Rabbi’s Reflections – Saturday, November 12, 2022
Shabbat Shalom *|FNAME|*,

Day 21: Morning
Our Redemptive Fellowship with One Another
by David Harwood

Let’s examine some redemptive aspects of fellowship.

Our relationships are intended to be “in the Lord.” Being “in the Lord” connotes the spiritual location of people who are connected to Yeshua. Paul regularly used this expression. For instance, in Romans 16 Ampliatus is Paul’s beloved “in the Lord.” Herodion, Narcissus, Tryphanena and Tryphosa, Persis, and Rufus are located “in the Lord (Romans 16:8,11-13).” It is a synonym for being “in the Messiah,” as was Urbanus (Romans 16:9).

When people are spoken of as being “in the Lord,” what is described is a sacred sphere of interaction and affection. Such friendships are marked with Yeshua’s active presence. They pursue the King and seek first His Kingdom empowered by, and in fellowship with, the King’s Spirit.

the fellowship of the Ruach ha-Kodesh be with you all. Amen (2 Corinthians 13:14b TLV)

These are not mere social relationships. This is not a religious club. Aspects of heaven have broken into this cosmos. Their fellowship is based upon their relationships with God.

What we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so you may have fellowship with us. Indeed, our fellowship is with the Father and His Son, Yeshua the Messiah. (1 John 1:3 TLV)

Is the Father, in fellowship with His Son, seeking to express His Kingdom? Yes. Zealously.

Of the increase of His government and shalom there will be no end— on the throne of David and over His kingdom— to establish it and uphold it through justice and righteousness from now until forevermore. The zeal of Adonai-Tzva’ot will accomplish this. (Isaiah 9:6 TLV)

Aren’t we, through the Ruach ha-Kodesh, in fellowship with Them?

God’s increasing Kingdom is marked by obedience to the King. Our King lived and pointed out the most important commandment. He prioritized it. God’s Kingdom and His righteousness are pursued as we encourage the outworking of the Prioritized Commandment in one another’s lives. Helping others love God with all their hearts, souls, minds and strengths is an important reason we gather as disciples.

Again, this is the Prioritized Command. It won’t hurt you to read it again. Religious Jews recite the Shema every day, twice a day. Here’s the Messiah’s summation:

Yeshua answered, “The first is, ‘Shema Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai echad. Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One. And you shall love Adonai your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’” (Mark 12:29-30 TLV)

You and I obeyed the summons to repent and believe in the Good News (Mark 1:15). We were instantaneously transferred out of darkness and into the Kingdom of God’s beloved Son (Colossians 1:13). We are justified, “in the Lord,” within His dominion, in fellowship with Yeshua. Within this new framework of existence, obeying the Foremost Command is the most important act of obedience we might do in this life.

If we assimilate this priority, and if we love our brethren, we will encourage one another to keep our love for God alive, fresh and growing. Although underemphasized, that ought to be a primary goal of our relationships.

Everyone’s love for God is under assault. Temptations to spiritual adultery (idolatry) abound (James 4:4). Yeshua said that growing lawlessness will militate against vibrant love (Matthew 24:12). Paul wrote that in the last days people shall be (speaking of the future) lovers of self, money, and pleasure, rather than lovers of God (1 Timothy 3:1-4). In the light of this, it is important to maintain relationships that are spiritual in nature, devoted to God, that edify one another—encouraging faithful love to God.

Hebrews was written in a time of pressure, fear and temptation to fall away. Rather than apostatize, the writer encouraged them to press on.

But encourage one another day by day—as long as it is called “Today”—so that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. … And do not neglect our own meetings, as is the habit of some, but encourage one another—and all the more so as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 3:13; 10:25)

Our fellowship is with the Father and His Son through the Ruach ha-Kodesh (1 John 1:3; 2 Corinthians 13:14). We get to be loved by God, and love God, in fellowship with God and each other. It is our fellowship.

Share what you love about God with someone you love.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarsson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Sat 12-Nov-2022 18th of Cheshvan, 5783 Parashat Vayera
Ge 22:1-24 2 Ki 4:1-37 Heb 11:8-19