Every Friday, we’re taking a peek at how God is working in the lives of our iCYOUTH students. These servants of Jesus are walking daily by faith as they navigate the hallways and relationships inside their school walls and beyond. Our weekly series highlights what God is up to in their lives in their voices. Leave them some encouragement by commenting!
by Grant Everly
Finding something to write about was somewhat difficult this week.
There was no Impact, so there wasn’t a message to reflect on. There was, however, Deeper (a mid-week Bible study for high school students in which the group meets at someone in the youth group’s house, enjoys a meal together and enjoys fellowship with one another).
Deeper has been the highlight of my week all throughout high school, and I’m quite thankful for it to say the least. Given the season that we are in, and with Thanksgiving just a week away, I thought that it would be fitting to simply share how grateful I am for the simple yet powerful, gift of fellowship.
As I’ve grown in my relationship with Christ, the power and beauty of fellowship with other Christians is something that has really impacted me. If it weren’t for having a strong base of Christian friends around me, I’m quite positive that my life would look nothing like it does today.
Deeper is very special. On a weekly basis, we enjoy two hours with many God-loving people in which Jesus is the focal point of the night. It’s something that is so simple yet so powerful. Every week, I walk away from Deeper completely refreshed in my walk with Christ. It’s the same thing with other Bible studies and even with just having spiritual conversation with someone else; fellowship in any form is something that is so special, and something that I’m truly grateful that God has blessed us with.
One of the biggest things that I’ve loved getting to see in regard to fellowship is just how special and effective the accountability brought by it is. We all struggle with remaining solid and consistent in our spiritual journeys, but spending time with other Christians who “sharpen” you is something that has an unprecedented impact on our spiritual walks.
Proverbs 27:4 says that, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
How can we as Christians expect to be sharpened in our walks without challenging and spending time with each other?
Proverbs 27:4 has certainly reigned true in my life. My spiritual life becomes quite dull when I am not actively engaged in fellowship with other Christians; but when I’m constantly spending time with friends who are demanding the best of me spiritually, my spiritual life becomes sharp and filled with zeal. In our darkened world, it is so essential for us as Christians to be living visibly Godly lives, and this can’t be accomplished without our sharpening of each other.
In reading the Epistles, it becomes quite apparent that this journey we are on was never meant to be done alone. The words “we,” “our” and “us” are always being used, and even when the word “you” is used, it is usually used in a way that addresses a group, or body of people. There seems to be a particular reason that the wording of the Epistles is the way it is, and I believe God designed for us to have people around us who “spur” us on in our relationships with Christ. If God had wanted us to do this on our own, I’m positive that He would’ve made it quite clear in the Bible that we didn’t need other people in order to be strong in our relationships with Christ. Obviously we don’t see that in the Bible; in fact. it’s quite the opposite. I love what Hebrews 10:22-25 says:
“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
In this passage, it becomes quite apparent that we as Christians are called to function as a body of believers that “holds unswervingly to the hope we profess,” “spurs one another on toward love and good deeds” and “encourages one another.”
I don’t think that it is on accident that the author of Hebrews wrote in a way that addressed Christians as a body. Did you notice that every single sentence in this passage starts with the phrase “let us”? It doesn’t say “on your own draw near to God”. It doesn’t say “consider how you can spur yourself on.”
Once we grasp this, I believe we see a picture of what our walks are called to look like. We are called to work as a body, and rely on each other in Christ, so that we will be able to stay strong in our walks; it becomes visible that we are called to be spurring and encouraging of each other, while at the same time holding strong in our relationship with Christ.
Fellowship is something that is truly special, and that is why I’m so grateful to be a part of a church and youth group that takes fellowship as seriously as Impact does. Without the gift of fellowship, my life and the lives of many of my peers, would look nothing like they do today.
Grant Everly is a sophomore at Warren Township High School and regularly attends church with his family and iMPACT on Sunday nights. He plays soccer, enjoys sports and has passion for learning more about Christ and growing in Him.