But in order to be a part, you’ve got to find your niche; you have got to find out where you fit. The Bible tells us we all have a niche. Look at what Ephesians 4:16 says: “The whole body is fitted together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole Body is healthy and growing and full of love.” We are each a part of God’s body, and we each have a part to play.
Mother Teresa spent her life working with the poorest of the poor in Calcutta, India. And she was once asked, “How do you handle all the death and disease on a daily basis? How do you do the tough things when it comes to serving?” And her answer was – “Every person I bathe, every person I bandage, I imagine seeing the face of Jesus and I do it for him.” That’s the attitude that’s behind this. It’s the attitude of Matthew 25:40 where Jesus said, “Just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” So I encourage you to make this practical this week and look for a need in your group to meet this next week, or maybe a need you can meet together as a group. Make it your aim to be more than a small group participant; be a small group partner.
Finally, the deepest level of fellowship in the family of God is what we might call “kinship.” Kinship is an old term, I realize. We don’t use it much anymore. Kinship literally means your closest relationships. For example, when you are in an accident, the people helping you want to notify the next-of-kin, which doesn’t mean find just any old person in the family no matter where they are. It means you find the person they care about most, the person who is closest to them, the one they hold most dearly, you go get that person and you bring them here right now because they are kin.
The Bible says that’s the kind of attitude we should have. Kinship is loving other believers like you love your closest family. You’re completely committed to them. Romans 12:10 Bible says, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.” This is the deepest level of fellowship – being as committed to each other as we are to Jesus Christ. That is kinship. Many of us know John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” But very few of us, I imagine, know 1 John 3:16, which is nearly as important as John 3:16. “We know what real love is because Christ gave up his life for us. And we ought to give up our lives for our Christian brothers and sisters.” This is the deepest level of fellowship – sacrificing for each other. It’s the kind of love Jesus Christ had for you. He died for you.
If you’ve had a chance to read much of the Bible, you might have come across the phrase “the fellowship of suffering.” If you have seen that phrase, you might have thought, “That’s one kind of fellowship I could do without.” Here in America we Christians know relatively little about this kind of fellowship. But overseas a lot of Christians know about this kind of fellowship quite personally. Did you know that all around the world, millions of Christians each year lose their lives just for being