In the temple… Riding in a chariot along a dusty road… In several synagogues… On the side of a river… In a prison… Among a group of philosophers…
These are some of the many places and circumstances we find in Scripture in which followers of Jesus Christ encountered other disciples. In the examples above, the people encountered where not yet following Jesus (they were “lost”), but after hearing the gospel proclaimed by Peter, Phillip, Paul, or someone else, and after being transformed by the Holy Spirit, they became disciples (they were “saved”).
In each case, the disciples of Jesus were expecting to find other people who were being drawn to God by his Spirit. And, they found these people in (what I would consider) unexpected places. I mean, they don’t seem unexpected to us right now because we know the stories.
But, today, do we expect to find new disciples riding along a road? On the side of a river? Among a group of pagan philosophers?
So, what’s the point of this post? Thank you for asking.
I talk to people every week – sometimes several times in the same week – who are desperate for fellowship with other brothers and sisters in Christ. They recognize that God has created us to love him and love others and in to live in community with others who are in Christ. But, they are struggling to find people who are interested in that same kind of relationship.
So, what do I tell them? Well, I tell them to pray. And, I tell them to look around at the people that God has already brought into their lives. Are they expecting God to bring this kind of fellowship into their lives? It may be there already…
Sometimes, those brothers and sisters in Christ who God is bringing into someone’s life are not actually “in Christ” yet – as in the cases that I mentioned above. Other times, the people are already Christians and perhaps even recognize that something is missing in their walk with Christ without being able to recognize the lack of relationship with their brothers and sisters.
So, are you seeking fellowship in the Spirit? Look around. The Spirit may be leading you to people in unexpected places, situations, and circumstances.
Have you ever “found” a brother or sister in Christ in an expected place, situation, or circumstance? Can you share part of that story with us?