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Refreshment in Refuge

    by Gina Burgess

To be thankful and to be satisfied...
Date Posted: May 21, 2023

Why does He love us so? We have so much to be thankful for and the question is are we? Will we sit at our tables next Thursday and contemplate what we have to be most thankful about? Remember when love first blossomed in your heart?

What about now? Is it Saturday Night Fever or is it Monday Night Football? Is it The Sound of Music or The Sound of Silence? Is it $60 a dozen or $1.50 a stem including thorns? Ideal or Idle? Which of these best describes your fellowship with your First Love, our LORD Jesus?

Those questions come from one of my very favorite devotions coming to my inbox by Alan Smith when he was pastor of Helen Street Church of Christ in Fayetteville, North Carolina called Thought For The Day

I cannot fathom why God loved us so much He gave His Son. Remember that first flush of love? Remember when it was so exciting to run, not walk, down that aisle to proclaim Jesus had saved you? If you are not Baptist, perhaps you proclaimed it in a different way. What ever way you declared to the world that Jesus was your Savior and that He gave you the Holy Spirit to wear as a seal upon your heart, you were in the first flush of love… all was fresh… all was exciting… The fellowship was exhilarating, the κοινωνία koinōnia koy-nohn-ee'-ah From G2844; partnership, that is, (literally) participation, or (social) intercourse, or (pecuniary) benefaction: - (to) communicate (-ation), communion, distribution, fellowship should continue to be thrilling, but as we all know, it either fades away or it develops into something very mature and extremely satisfying.

Our fellowship with our beloved, our betrothed should be tender, unique and should carry an inexpressible joy. God has a specific plan for our fellowship and that is why He gives us just enough light for a few steps, for His desire is for us to lean upon Him completely every day not just on Sunday.

Our engagement ring, the Holy Spirit, fellowships with the Father and with the Son and thus we are included in the koinonia. This is the vertical koinonia. How great is that! The key to this kind of koinonia is 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous that He may forgive us the sins, and may cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Confessing His word will divide the joints from the marrow, and the soul from spirit. Hebrews 4:12 For the Word of God is living, and powerfully working, and sharper than every two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of both soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge of the thoughts and intentions of the heart;

Having this kind of fellowship leads to such great fellowship, the soul yearns to be in the presence of the Father, and yet we must remain here to complete the work begun in us. God is able to detoxify all relationships because of our partnership with Him. He, of course, does most of the work, but we are also required to participate as well. As in, “if you abide in Me and I abide in you…” which is conditional upon our participation.

The Holy Spirit in me recognizes and fellowships with the Holy Spirit in others. This is horizontal koinonia—with brothers and sisters in Christ.

Have you ever met someone for the very first time and had such a keen rapport with that person there was an instant friendship? If you’ll think back, there was no pride, insecurity, insincerity, or self-absorption involved in that relationship at all. Rather, you found a lot in common. Most of the time, you find that person is Christian, too.

I always remember the time I was getting my college transcripts so I could go back to school to finish my degree. I was walking across the green and a woman was walking toward me. We started smiling at each other and then we started grinning and when we finally met each other, we clasped hands in the air and started reciting the exact same Bible verse! We hugged and then she went her way and I went mine. I never knew her name and am not sure I’d recognize her face, but I know beyond doubt that my soul will recognize her soul in Heaven. The koinonia was so intense, I could feel the Holy Spirit in me rejoicing with the Holy Spirit in her. That was just a minute taste of how it will be in Heaven.

Without our fellowship with God being in perfect shape, we cannot possibly have excellent fellowship with our brothers and sisters. The “I” in me will kill it. Rather we should make sure we are at peace with the Great I Am.

The Peace Offering talked about in Leviticus 7:11 is the Fellowship offering. It is when the Israelites would sit down to a meal with the LORD, and is all about communing with God. This is when the Soul is satisfied and content.

The Lamb has already been slain, so all we have to do is go back to the table and take our fill, but we must dine with Him to be satisfied.

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Biography Information:

Gina Burgess has taught Sunday School and Discipleship Training for almost three decades. (Don't tell her that makes her old.) She earned her Master's in Communication in 2013.

She is the author of several books including: When Christians Hurt Christians, The Crowns of the Believers and others available in online bookstores. She authors several columns, using her God-given talent to shine a light in a dark world. You can browse her blog at Refreshment In Refuge.

If you'd like to take a look at some Christian fiction and Christian non-fiction book reviews check out Gina's book reviews at Upon

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