by Scott Stephens
Scott Stephens is the counseling pastor at West End Baptist Church’s West End Counseling Center, a board member of Redeemer Biblical Counseling Training Institute, and a PhD student in the Biblical Counseling Program at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. To find out more about our counseling center (WECC), please call the church at 864-232-7312.
Before sin entered the world, Scripture tells us that Adam had wonderful fellowship with God in the Garden of Eden. As a matter of fact, God created us for fellowship with Him. In Leviticus God tells His people, “I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people (Lev 26:12). God loves us and wants us to fellowship with Him through prayer and the daily reading of His Word!
God also created us to have fellowship with one another. Scripture explains that through the grace of God and the salvation that Jesus provided, we are members of the body of Christ, His Church. As a member of the Church, we are called to love one another with the same affection we show members of our immediate family (Rom 12:10). In our fellowship with one another at West End Baptist Church, we are to grow our love for each other by spending time with and investing in each other’s lives.
So, if we are investing in one another’s lives, why are there times when we feel alone and sad? Are we really investing in one another the way God calls us to?
When we truly love one another and invest in each other’s lives, it is natural to have conversations that share the trials and troubles that occur as we live in a fallen world. Loneliness and sadness are natural feelings that we all will occasionally have. These feelings usually occur due to some trouble or trial that we experience. As brothers and sisters in Christ, we should be so invested in one another that deep and meaningful conversations are a normal part of our relationships. These conversations help us to develop a trust and caring that continuously builds the love that we have for one another.
Galatians 6:2 explains that we fulfill the law of Christ when we carry each other’s burdens. The “law of Christ” is to love God with all our being, and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. One of the ways we can ensure that West End Baptist Church is a church of believers that follow the law of Christ is to carry one another’s burdens as we would a member of our family. When you see that someone is going through troubles and trials, spend time with them and ask how you can help. When you are feeling lonely and hopeless yourself, find a brother or sister in the church to have a good conversation with over a cup of coffee. Be open and truthful, sharing the life-burdens you are experiencing with each other. This is true fellowship!
Prayer, time in the Word, and loving one another as a family helps everyone in the congregation and builds the church on a firm foundation… the law of Christ! West End is a place where we all, as brothers and sisters in Christ come together to love God with all of our being, and love one another as a family. We have the wonderful opportunity to fellowship with God and glorify Him by improving our fellowship with one another. Why not call someone today!