Ladies Bible Study

Fellowship with the Father

As we start this new series of lessons for mothers it is important for us to get our priorities right. It is very important for us to realize that to have our lives balanced, we have to establish order in our life.

God is a God of order. If you look in you folder, you will see verses relating to this. It is the verses for the basis of this series of lessons and discussions BALANCE FOR MOMS.

BALANCE being an acronym for Balance All your Life And Nurture your Children in

Christ Everyday! Being a well-balanced woman is the most important thing you can accomplish!

God is a God of first things first. He must be first in your life or you will remain unbalanced in everything you do for the rest of your life. One of the things I want to talk about today is your relationship and your fellowship with God the Father and His son Jesus Christ the Lord. If you do not have both relationship and fellowship you will be unbalanced in your life. We cannot have any successful relationship of any kind if our relationship with God is not right.

Letís look at the definition for relationship. It is defined as 1. The condition or fact of being related; connection or association. 2. Connection by blood or marriage; kinship. 3. A particular type of connection existing between people related to or having dealings with each other: has a close relationship with his siblings. 4. A romantic or sexual involvement.

We are related to God by our acceptance of Jesus Christ as our savior.

Romans 10:8-13: But what does it say? "The word is near you, even in your mouth and in your heart'' (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation. For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.'' For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.''

We believe in our heart and confess with our mouths are we are saved.

Romans 8:10-17: And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father.''

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

So you see, when you are saved, you now have a permanent father-child relationship with God the Father, and Jesus, with whom you are now joint heirs. It is a relationship just like the one you have with your child. That child is yours; he calls you mom or mommy. He may develop other relationships but nothing will ever change the fact that he is your child and you are his mother.

But the closeness you have with that child, the way you relate to each other, know each other, the way you meet his needs is a deeper part of your relationship and that part is your fellowship with him. To have a deep relationship with God you must fellowship with him. You cannot have fellowship without relationship.

Today I want to really look at what Fellowship with God is, what it means and how to

strengthen it .

The word fellowship in one dictionary says communion or sharing,

W.E. Vines dictionary says Fellowship -- partnership, i.e. (literally) participation, or (social) intercourse, or (pecuniary) benefaction:

Strongís dictionary say it means -- make alive, give life, quicken.

1 John 1:1-7: 1. That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life, the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

  1. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Truly our fellowship is with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. God is light, life and love. It is who or what God really is; it is the very essence of His being. In both these Scriptures Romans 8:10, it states "And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness" and in 1 John 1:2, "and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us.

Godís very life was manifested in the person of Jesus Christ and it is the presence of that light and life in us that enables us to have fellowship with God and each other. It is the depth of this fellowship that I want to discuss.

I want us to look at two men who had relationship, but not fellowship and how it affected their life.

Luke 15:11-32: Then He said: "A certain man had two sons. "And the younger of them said to his father, `Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.' So he divided to them his livelihood. "And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. "But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. "Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. "And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything. "But when he came to himself, he said, `How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! `I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants. "And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. "And the son said to him, `Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.' But the father said to his servants, `Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. `And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; `for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' And they began to be merry.

"Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. "So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. "And he said to him, `Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.' "But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. "So he answered and said to his father, `Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. `But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.' "And he said to him, `Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. `It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive, and was lost and is found.' ''

I am going to approach this parable in a bit of a different light, than what we have traditionally been taught.

This parable is very familiar. The key word here is son! Both these men were sons of a very wealthy benevolent compassionate father. They had an established relationship as father-son. Each of them ruined their fellowship with their father in different ways.

The younger son took his inheritance, left home, and lost all he had through riotous living.

The older son, lived at home, but did not spend enough time with his father to know how much his father loved him and what his inheritance was.

Which son are you?

I have been both. In my younger days, when I was single, I "partied hardy" and had a good time! But then one day, just as the younger son did, I came to myself and realized

that I did not want to spend the rest of my life living like this! I realized I was living with pigs and I needed to change.

Then in my more mature life, I had rededicated my life to Christ, but continued not to have the fellowship I could have, and spent most of my adult life living with God closed in one tiny part of my life. My priorities were messed up. My life list was something like this:

Me > Nursing, job> the boys, my children>Mark, my husband>God. Now that was so messed up, I donít even want to think about it!! But, Praise God! I did think about it and 5 years ago, I got on my face before the Lord and set things right! Now God is the center of my life and my life list looks like this- God > Mark> family>church>job. God comes before everything, your spouse, your family, your children, your job, your friends, everything!

My question to you is where is God in your life now?

In your folders, you will find a daily activity list. There are three of them, I recommend, that starting Monday, you take the next three days and write down everything you did that day. Donít change how or what you did, just write it down. At the end of those three days, look and see where God was in your life. Then I urge you to dedicate yourself to making Him first, if he has not been. Then you must make your husband second and your children third.

Making God first is a quality decision you have to make, and stick to it!

To accomplish this important first step we need to look at several things.

  1. We must put first things first, set our priority.

Your first and most important priority is an intimate, personal relationship with God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

  1. You must know Jesus as your personal Savior.
  2. Romans 10:9-10: 9. that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.

  3. You must plan to grow up spiritually, to become a spiritual adult not remain a spiritual child all your life.

1 Peter 2:2: as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,

2 Peter 3:18: but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

It is clearly a definite command of God that we grow up, learn the deeper things of the Word and let them flow out of our lives.

You must do two things to accomplish this.

    1. Read and study God's Word and
    2. Obey His Word.

Learn and obey. Two very simple statements but difficult to do many time. It is my prayer that as we go through this series each of us will grow in knowledge and learn ways to perform faithfully, put into practice the things the Lord is showing us.

  1. Steps to Growth: (A Wife After God's Own Heart, Elizabeth George, 1994)

1. Discover: Discover for yourselves God's truth in His Word. You cannot successfully live or walk on what someone else tells you. You must discover if for yourself.

Psalms 119: 105: Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.

2. Discern: You must discern the truths in God's Word and how they apply to you.

What one Scripture says to me in a given situation may not be applied to your heart by the Lord in your situation. You cannot live off my or anyone else's revelations, you have to get into the Word and find it for yourself. And apply it to your life.

James 1:5: If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

3. Do what you discover and discern. There are several ways to study God's Word, you can obtain several good daily devotionals to use a jumping off point. Always expound on them, don't just stop with that. Look up the Scriptures for yourself and pray for wisdom in interpreting them. Or you can take a topic and look up and study the Scriptures found in the concordance for them. Plan on spending time with God each day.

James 1:22: 2. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving

yourselves.

 

Define the areas you find as hindrances in your growth.

(Personal Areas for me):

  1. Laziness in studying and obeying.
  2. "Plate too full" of works. At home, work and church.
  3. Being inconsistent. Being faithful for awhile, but then allowing the time to slip away and not redeeming my time wisely.
  4. Immature emotionally. Always thinking of myself first. My needs and wants over everyone else.

God's Answers:

A. Decide:

1. You have to decide what is important. You have to choose if the things of God are really that important in your life.

Deuteronomy. 30:19: "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;

20. "that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.''

  1. You have to decide to make the effort to grow or not. To study or not, to change your lifestyle to have the time to fellowship with God.
  2. Then you have to decide to follow through with your decision to develop that personal deep intimate fellowhip with God. You have to make the time, cut the waste, choose between things to read, pray and study God's Word. Or you can decide not to do these things! There is a price to pay and you have to search your heart and decide to pay it.

B. Search:

  1. Really look at yourself and your goals and dreams. What do you really want?

Stop right now and jot down your goals. Quickly, don't get all religious about it. Be real.

Now, jot down how you start and end each day. Is God in there anywhere?

2. Look into your heart, what areas do you need to weed out, give up, throw away or

change?

3. Get before the Lord and make a Covenant with Him, to grow a deeper intimate

relationship with Him. Remember that God does not take Covenant relationships lightly.

  1. Keep a journal and write down the day you decide to Covenant with God and journal

regularly from that day forth.

 

You see, we all sin, we all mess up, but when we have fellowship with the Father we have the way to right that wrong and step back from darkness into light.

1 John 1:6-10: If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

You see, the older son, was really the one who maintained broken fellowship with the father. He had been in his presence all the time, but knew no more than the younger brother did, while the younger was living the "wild life". But, Praise God, the younger son, "came to himself" and came home, begging forgiveness. He walked from darkness into light, he no longer deceived himself by saying he had no sin. The older son was self-righteous in his relationship. It was all about him! "I stayed home, I worked hard, I never transgressed your commandments! What about Me?" When all the time, if he had just taken the time to fellowship, share his fathers life and love, he would have already been living in what his younger brother had discovered Ė a Heavenly Fatherís compassionate forgiving love for his child! Amen?

I urge you today, choose life and not death, put God first in your life and walk in the light as he is in the light and have fellowship with Him!