You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? But He gives a greater grace. Therefore, It says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. James 4:4-6
But that you also may know about my circumstances, how I am doing, Tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make everything known to you. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, so that you may know about us, and that he may comfort your hearts. Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love. Ephesians 6:21-24
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
In God’s plan for human relationships, the bond of marriage of a husband and wife makes their relationship a permanently exclusive relationship. When one marriage partner or the other oversteps the bounds of exclusiveness, that partner becomes an adulterer because they are no longer “faithful” to their marriage partner. In today’s first Scripture, we see that the Apostle James borrows this terminology to highlight the exclusivity of our relationship with God. We are told elsewhere in Scripture that we are “in the world but not of it.” Someone who is “of the world” is “a friend of the world,” according to the Apostle James. The inference is that one who is “not of the world” is “a friend of God.” To be “a friend of God,” we must have an exclusive relationship with him. If we go after the world, we are being “unfaithful” to God.
Maintaining the bond of marriage is a serious matter and so is maintaining the bond of our relationship with God. Being a “faithful” friend of God is what “Koinonia” is all about. As faithful friends of God we share in the “Koinonia” of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Some have called this, sharing in the “fellowship of the Trinity.” Mankind was created to abide within the sphere of the “fellowship of the Trinity” and to share the true “koinonia” of relationship with God and other human beings who share in it as well. Just as we are called to have a relationship with God that is close, deep, abiding, loving, and meaningful, we are called to have relationships with fellow believers that are close, deep, abiding, loving, and meaningful.
Being a “faithful friend” to other believers begins with being a “faithful friend” of God. Truly, “Koinonia” is a high calling. Today’s second passage is another window into the “Koinonia” of the early church. What a great portrayal of faithful friendship we are given here. One cannot help being moved by these beautiful words, “Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love.” Truly, this is what “Koinonia” was really meant to be.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, forgive me for taking my relationship with you and my fellow believers far too lightly. Develop my understanding of “Koinonia” more fully. The reality that you “jealously desire the Spirit which you have made to dwell in me” is sinking in. I see that I cannot have it both ways. I need to be totally yours and not the world’s. I really do want to be a “faithful friend” to you and to my brothers and sisters in Christ. Amen!