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The Benefits of Citizenship: Fellowship

All the believers were together and had everything in common.
 Acts 2:44

In 1772 John Fawcett, an English minister, was called from his small church at Wainsgate to a larger one in London. After his farewell sermon his parishioners gathered around him. His wagons, loaded with books and furniture, were ready to take off. With tears in their eyes his friends begged him to stay. 
His wife said, “Oh John, John, I cannot bear this.”
“Neither can I,” exclaimed the good pastor, “and we will not go.” They stayed at Wainsgate with a much smaller salary. John wrote the words of this hymn in commemoration of the event.

Blessed be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.
God’s children are citizens of a kingdom made up of men and women, children, all races, and many nationalities. How can all these diverse groups find something in common?

The answer is in the verse of the hymn. Our kindred minds are like that above.  Just as Christ above is filled with love, so should be the minds and hearts of his citizens. Jesus tells us, By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another John 13:35.

No matter the size of your church, you have your salvation to tie you to the other members. You have Christ in common. You have the benefit of fellow believers. You should be bound to them with love.

I look at the fellowship in my church that cares for children, comforts widows, gives hope for the alcoholic, teaches God’s Word and supports missions around the world. Thank You, God, for my fellow believers. We may not dress alike, speak alike, or demonstrate our worship the same way. However, we have the love of Christ in common. We can all work together as fellow citizens to show Christ to the world. As the following verse of John Fawcett’s hymn says:

We share each other’s woes,

Our mutual burdens bear;

And often for each other flows

The sympathizing tear. 

Dear Father, I am so thankful for the fellowship I have with other Christians. Whether they are in my church, community, nation or the world , we have Jesus Christ in common.
Janice Yandell

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