Grace Vineyard Oceanside Podcast

The weekly podcast from Grace Vineyard Christian Fellowship in Oceanside,CA. gracevcf.org

EPIC FRIENDSHIP P-2 w/RON OHST

Posted on September 11th, 2016

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Epic Friendship, Part 2

How Koinonia empowers us to face loss and maintain joy

 

The Importance of Mourning Loss

 

Matthew 5:4

4 Blessed are hose who mourn, for they will be comforted. 

 While we await the consummation of the Kingdom when sorrow and pain will be no more, we all will experience the pain of loss. 

 

 The path to blessing in the face of the reality of loss includes wisdom of mourning.

 

 The Cost of Avoiding Mourning

-        When we avoid mourning our losses, we short circuit emotional and spiritual growth

-        We can get stuck and spend the rest of our life reacting to present situations out of the pain of our unresolved past hurts.  The effect on our relationships is devastating.

-        If we don’t face the pain through mourning, we often self-medicate in addictive ways that are immeasurably destructive physically, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually:  substancea buse, sexual addiction, workaholism, religious performance, and many more

 

 The example of David -- after the death of Saul and Jonathan, David leads the entire nation in an extended season of mourning before moving on to the long awaited establishing of his kingdom.   2 Samuel 1:17-27

 

 More than half of the Psalms are songs of lament!

“…we are deepened by taking the time to grieve our losses before moving on.”  -- Peter Scazzero

 

 Pay attention to the pain. Acknowledge it.  Experience it with Jesus instead of fearing and avoiding it.

-     Jesus wept at Lazarus’s tomb (John 11:32-43)

-     Jesus mourned over Jerusalem’s rejection of her Messiah and what it would cost them (Matthew 23:37)

-     Jesus cried out on the cross, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)

 

 How mourning loss benefits us

-     We become compassionate with the compassion of our Father in Heaven

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

 …the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

-     We are less covetous and idolatrous. We rarely say, “I have to have that…”

-     We are more in touch with the reality of heaven

-     We discover that our brokenness bonds us together with our brothers and sisters in Christ.   Mourning empowers us to be authentic and enter into real relationship.

 

How Koinonia Empowers Us to Face Loss and Maintain Joy

 

Philippians 2:25-30 NLT

25 Meanwhile,I thought I should send Epaphroditus back to you. He is a true brother, co-worker,and fellow soldier.

 

Koinonia – New Testament Greek word, primarily meaning fellowship, sharing in common, communion. “Koinonia is being in agreement with one another, being united in purpose, and serving alongside each other. Our koinonia with each other is based on our common koinonia with Jesus Christ”  (from www.gotquestions.org/koinonia.html)

 

True Brother – our shared experience in Christ as daughters and sons of God the Father, brings us into a relationship with each other and Jesus as brothers and sisters that is deeper and more profound than the ties of natural family.

 

Co-Worker – When you work together in the eternal mission of Jesus Christ, that shared purpose serves also as ballast that keeps the ship of friendship upright even in the severest of relational storms. 

 

Fellow Soldier – In Christ, we are in a spiritual battle.  The depth of relationship that is built in defending each other from the attacks of the kingdom of darkness is indeed epic.

 

Joy– the sense of overall and ultimate well-being, even in the midst of suffering and loss.

 

  Jesus teaches that the love experienced in koinonia results in “complete” joy.(Complete joy is joy so full you couldn’t have any more!)

 

John 15:9-15 NIV

9 "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.14 You are my friends if you do what I command.

 

  John’s experience of koinonia resulting in joy

 

1John 1:1-4

1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched-this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We write this to make our joy complete.

 

-      The complete circle of love:

I have fellowship with the Father

Is hare that fellowship with others

They enter into fellowship with the Father and with me

Our joy is made complete

 

  Paul’s experience of koinonia maintaining joy in the face of loss

 

2Corinthians 7:3-7 NIV

…I have said before that you have such a place in our hearts that we would live or die with you. 4 I have great confidence in you; I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds.

5 For when we came into Macedonia, this body of ours had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn-conflicts on the outside, fears within. 6 But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, 7 and not only by his coming but also by the comfort you had given him.He told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me, so that my joy was greater than ever.

 

-      God comforts the downcast, and He does it through our koinonia (deep fellowship made possible by our shared relationship with Jesus)

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