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A Search For God
Lesson 6: Fellowship
(262-21 to 262-23)
"If we walk in the light,
as Christ is in the Light,
we have fellowship with one another."
(1 John 1:7)
How excellent is Your Name in the earth, O Lord!
To have fellowship with You, I must show brotherly love to my fellow man.
Though I come in humbleness and have something against my bother,
my prayer, my meditation, does not rise to You.
O Lord, help my efforts in my approach to You.
In preparation for the task before us,
let us become more conscious of the Divine Spirit within,
that we may go on.
May we face the issues before us as a call for a purpose.
May we rely on His promises, for while we are often weak and selfish
- and the work is great - God will encourage our spirits, our hearts,
with the presence of His Holy Spirit,
so that there may be no idleness or delay in us.
A spark of the Divine (Our Soul) is forever seeking its source.
As we develop our spiritual forces, our soul forces within,
we fan this spark into a flame which brings realization
of our oneness and fellowship with the Creator of all things.
There is a longing in our hearts for this fellowship
- an urge driving us here and there
in search of happiness and satisfaction,
onward in search of God.
In the beginning, all knew a perfect fellowship with the Father,
and in the knowledge and understanding of this fellowship
men walked and talked with God.
Again, this same fellowship is offered to all,
a promise of the Father, through the Son.
It is the reflection of this fellowship which expresses itself
in our love for our fellow man,
whom we innately feel to be one with us
as part of the all inclusive Whole.
As we manifest love toward our brother,
we increase or awaken our consciousness
to a more complete fellowship with the Father,
and we more fully realize that He moves within others
as He moves within us.
The brotherhood of man is but a shadow of fellowship with the Father.
It is a true expression of the fellowship that exists in spirit.
AM I MY BROTHER'S KEEPER?
Thousands of years ago there arose a question in man's heart,
"Am I my brother's keeper?"
It is still being asked.
Until this is fully answered in our hearts in God's way
and put into practice in our lives,
we cannot hope to have the fellowship that is our rightful heritage.
When we fail to reach "the mark of the high calling"
that is realized in service, we endeavor to justify ourselves
by making the old inquiry, only to receive the answer,
"Your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground."
No wonder we are miserable and cast down,
and have fears that paralyze our efforts.
Is it not because we know in our hearts that sin lies at our door?
"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us
that we should be called children of God!"
(1 John 3:1)
God gives only love to His children and pities them
even as an earthly father pities his children.
It is only when we part from the relationship with the Divine Love
by failing to suffer with our fellow man, to bear his burdens,
and to forgive him that we are out of harmony and sympathy
with all that makes life worth living - fellowship with the Father.
Have we not at some time realized this?
If we would be in a position to commune with the Spirit within
and if we would seek to know His face,
then let us be kind and gentle,
compassionate and loving to others less fortunate.
Manifesting love for our brother is manifesting love for God, in whom
"we live and move and have our being."
We are enjoined not merely to ignore the shortcomings of our brothers,
but to love him in spite of his short commings
and to show such faith in the power of the Spirit within him
that he will catch our vision and in time come to realize his strength
and seek to rise to higher planes of consciousness.
We need not flatter him or lead him to overestimate his strength;
rather we should help him to understand himself
and to know that he has a friend who will stand by in time of need
- one who will extend a hand if he is about to fall into temptation.
This answers the whole duty of man to man, of brother to brother,
and of man to his Maker, for
"what ever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine,
you did for me."
The test is this:
Are we willing to deal with others as we wish them to deal with us?
May we ever be bound together in service to others
through the fellowship which we have in Him.
OUR FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD
If we wish to know how we stand with God,
let us examine ourselves and see how we feel toward our neighbor.
This companionship that we are seeking with God
is found in the friendliness we show our brother.
It is evident that our actions, our words, and our thoughts
indicate too plainly our failure to seek fellowship with the Father.
Let us examine ourselves that we may know
what is buried in our hearts and minds
that may be blinding us or binding us;
and if we have anything against our brother,
let us pray for forgiveness, knowing that His mercy is sufficient for all.
Seek God where He may be found, even in the heart of a neighbor.
How well do we know God?
Just as well as we seek to know and understand our fellow man,
and just as well as we seek to magnify the divine consciousness in him.
Do we seek for for the Divine in this direction?
Do we not judge our brother from appearances rather than by righteous judgment?
Do we not often overlook the motive which may have prompted his misconduct?
Do we realize that deep down in the heart of our brother
there lies buried a celestial fire that burns ever before the altar of our God?
Then let us seek him out and, in spite of the rebuffs that we may receive,
love him, not for what he appears to be, but for what he realy is
- not because he is human and needs our sympathy,
but because within him there is the Divine that merits our adoration.
What is more beautiful than fellowship?
The Master sought it, that He might do the works of God.
He did not withdraw from men, but mingled with them,
sharing their sorrows, living their lives, and relieving their sufferings.
We cannot hope to emulate His example, however,
unless we abide in the Spirit that gives the strength.
"I am the vine; you are the branches.
If a man remains in me and I in Him,
he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."
The Master taught that love and service go hand in hand.
What greater love could He have shown than to lay down His life
in service for His fellow man; yet that is just how far the Master went
to demonstrate His power over sin, death, and the grave,
that those who seek life might know the way.
May the Spirit help us to be willing to serve,
and to see in our neighbor his higher self at all times,
in all places, and under all circumstances.
If we affirm that we want to know God, but do we really mean it?
If we are really sincere, will we not be eager to sacrifice our desires,
our opinions, and our whims, that the wonders found
in the knowledge and understanding of the works of the Creator,
our God and Father, may be revealed to us?
May we not be willing to endure, that we may be counted worthy
to share in the glory to be revealed to those who have given
themselves wholly to His service?
How easy to follow when we have been told
to use what we have and more will be given.
Let us remember the Master's words to Simon:
"Take care of my sheep."
None of us can approach the Father with any degree of assurance
when we feel and know in our hearts that we are out of harmony
with our ourselves or others.
We are out of harmony with ourselves when we lack faith in ourselves,
or when we minimize the power of the God within
and forget that all power in heaven and earth is committed to our keeping -
if we will attune ourselves to the Infinite Source of that power.
We are out of harmony with others when we think of them
as less divine than ourselves or as possessing less divine power, love, and mercy.
Therefore, it is necessary to begin with ourselves
to purge our hearts and minds and
to become more conscious of the divine Spirit within others.
This is necessary if we hope to have fellowship with the Father
that will cause us to realize our oneness with Him
Prayer and meditation are the essential factors
that will keep alive within us this perfect harmony.
Are we seeking this fellowship?
Would we have God draw nigh unto us?
If so, then let us draw nigh unto God,
approaching often the Throne of Grace,
with mercy in our hearts.
"The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure."
that is, the unregenerated heart,
the heart that knows not the cleansing of the Spirit
of the awakening of the presence of God.
Let us search our hearts.
"Whenever our hearts condem us.
For God is greater than our hearts,
and he knows everything."
(1 John 3:20)
He knows our joys and sorrows;
He knows how we have tried and, therefore,
in spite of our failures, shows love and mercy.
If our hearts condemn us not, then we have faith in God,
faith that He will keep His promises.
Let us be ever ready to forgive.
This is the way that God deals with us.
He has pardoned our sins and blotted out our transgressions.
How much more should we be willing to forgive others!
If the thoughts, deeds, or acts of others have caused us pain,
let them not be magnified in our own mind or charged to their account.
Let us who have pledged our loyalty bear the cross,
since we have the promise of the crown.
Let us help our fellow man by our patience and forbearance
and show him that love is a living thing.
What great love hath the Father bestowed upon us
that we might show forth His glory among men!
Let us strive to be kind, training ourselves to be considerate
of those who do not seem to appreciate it.
Yes, be kind when it is the hardest.
It is worth the trail, not for the reward we may expect from others,
but because we cannot allow anything to mar the fellowship
we would have with the Father.
One unkind word may not leave a lifelong pang in the heart of another,
but it will place us so out of harmony with all that we count worthwhile
that its effects will follow us perhaps through many years.
Great kindness may be shown through little deeds.
He who gives a word of comfort to the disheartened will have his reward.
Though this is a small service, it may help as nothing else would help.
Let us not count any good act lost.
No seed falls to the ground without the Father's knowledge.
It was only a cup of water to the tired Master at the well
that set the occassion which brought many out of the city
seeking to know more about the water of life.
May we lose no opportunity to bind up the broken hearted,
to pour oil on the troubled waters, or to heed the command,
"Comfort, comfort my people, says your God."
Let us remember that we shall give account for every idle thought;
therefore, let us think on those things that make for brotherly love.
As we develop step by step, here a little, there a little,
we learn cooperation,
we get better acquainted with ourselves,
trust more fully in our Ideal,
have our faith strengthened,
gain virtue and understanding,
and more and more
become aware of our fellowship with the Father
and our duty to others.
FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD, THE NEED OF THE WORLD
The crying need among men of all ages
has been that man must understand himself,
his relationship to his neighbor and to his Maker,
and know that they are inseparable.
These are one.
It is impossible to separate God from His creations,
for He manifests through them.
It is impossible to love God and hate our brothers,
whose souls are made in the image and likeness of God.
Love and hate cannot live in the same heart.
Too many of us count fellowship unimportant.
Many of us are selfish and are neglecting to let those attributes
that reflect fellowship have a place in our lives.
If we are making this mistake, we know it,
our brother knows it, and nore than all, the Father knows it.
The world is poorer because of the stumbling blocks
we have put in the way of others.
In this we are not only blocking our own development
but also the very purposes for which we were created.
This fellowship with God, of which the world is so much in need,
does not simply embrace kindness and gentleness toward friends
but also includes love for enemies.
This relationship to God will likewise make us see
that to love our enemies does not mean simply
to have the right attitude toward them,
but rather to have in our hearts a yearning
for them to know the Way.
In their most terrible acts we can see a power for good misdirected.
This attitude will help the world to better understand the obstacles
and trials of others, including other nations, since peace on earth
and good will toward men must first be experienced by the individual
before it may be realized among nations.
With this knowledge of the need of fellowship,
how can we hold a spirit of revenge, dislike, or judgment?
Would we dare to bind others by our thoughts?
Love and brotherhood, reflections of fellowship with the Father,
instilled into the hearts and lives of all, would bring this world
into such a happy state that the millennium would be here in deed and in truth.
It will be well for us to examine ourselves in order to know
whether we as individuals are doing our full part.
Are we fulfilling the law of love toward rich and poor,
high and low, saint and sinner, friend and foe?
There is no better place to practice brotherly love than in the home.
Just watch its effects upon members of the family.
If at home we cannot answer kindly, it will be better not to answer at all.
It is far better for an angry thought to die unexprressed
than for it to kill the good in the life of the speaker and
retard the development of the one to whom it is addressed.
DUTY OF THOSE WHO HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH THE FATHER
"You did not choose me, but I chose you."
In fellowship there comes a duty to others.
There are certain bonds to be kept, and certain laws
to be understood and reverenced.
"Who may stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart."
- such have fellowship with the Father.
They delight in His laws and understand and cherish them.
Yet many of us may complain that the way is hard
and that the obligations are many and heavy to bear.
Are we not judged out of our own mouths?
Should we not rather take Him at His word
and know the truth of His assurance,
"For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
(Matthew 11:30) and that He will place no burden upon us
that we are not able to bear?
One who sought true fellowship told of the experience in these words:
Personal Experience 1
"I saw a vision. In it I was able to discover what it meant to be selfish.
I beheld myself in the school of life,
using what little spiritual food I had for my own benefit.
I was sitting on the side of a hill, eating.
I soon realized that the ground upon which I was sitting
was beginning to crumble.
My food was also rapidly diminishing.
A voice said, 'Whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has
will be taken from him.'
Suddenly, I became aware of my destitute position.
My food was gone, the earth was receding,
and great billows of water were about to overtake me.
I arose and began to climb upward, slowly, laboriously.
I eagerly sought and accepted help from those
I had formerly considered on lower spiritual planes than I.
These words came to me:
'A man reaps what he sows.'
(Galatians 6:7) and,
'So in everything, do to others
what you would have them do to you.'
That we think, we become.
That which we are, we reflect.
That which we reflect, others judge us to be.
We may be mistaken in our estimation of ourselves
and others may misjudge us,
but God looks on the heart and knows all things.
He knows our purposes and what we are capable of becoming.
The Master said, "And I tell you that you are Peter,
and on this rock I will build my church,"
(Matthew 16:18) though He knew that Peter
in his weakness would deny Him.
It is our duty to walk before men in such a manner
that they may see the good within us and thus glorify the Father.
It is our duty to be on our guard at all times,
lest we lose courage when called into the "judgment hall"
to give a reason for the faith that is in us.
We must see that our fellowship is able to stand the test
in every trial so that no one can point the finger of scorn at us and say,
"Hypocrite, even your words condemn you!"
It is our duty, yea, our privilege,
"To make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery,
which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things."
(Ephesians 3:9) and now is being revealed.
FELLOWSHIP BRINGS A PEACE THAT PASSES UNDERSTANDING
As we have dealt with our fellow man, we may expect to be dealt with.
What cause have we for fear if we have obeyed the Voice?
We have become as little children putting our trust
in the Giver of all good and perfect gifts,
and we know that He will reward us according to His goodness and mercy.
"Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble."
To whom do we look for this peace?
Who hath brought the Pleiades into being, or set the bands of Orion,
or the waters of the deep that are cast upon the land,
or brings breath into the life of all His creatures
and supplies the union with those Creative Forces
that makes for the songs of the spheres?
The Lord is His name.
Under the shadow of His wing there is peace and no cause for fear.
Let nothing stand between us and the Father,
but rather let us cast aside the things that have hindered in the past
and allow no care to weigh us down as we go forth in His name day by day.
Do we not know and are we not confident that
"in all things God works for the good of those who love him,
who have been called according to his purpose?"
There may be things we do not understand now,
but those things we can safely leave in the hands of the Father,
knowing that He will reveal them in His own good time.
Let no worry or condemnation enter our minds
that might hinder the fellowship we have with the Father.
The time is at hand.
"Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong;
let him who does right continue to do right;
and let him who is holy continue to be holy."
It is not for us to judge, but to work, to serve, and to rely wholly on the promises:
"I am will you always, to the very end of the age."
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you ..
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
Let our meditation and prayer be expressed in the following words:
How execellent is Thy name in the earth, O Lord!
Would I have fellowship with Thee,
I must show brotherly love to my fellow man.
Though I come in humbleness and have aught against my brother,
my prayer, my meditation, does not rise to Thee.
Help Thou my efforts in my approach to Thee.
How Excellent is Your Name in the earth, O Lord!
To have fellowship with God,
I must show brotherly love to my fellow man.
Though I come in humbleness and
have something against my brother,
my prayer, my meditation, will not rise to God.
Help me in my efforts in my approach to God.
As each will find when searching their own hearts:
Fellowship with the Creative Forces
is always making the balance in the activities
of oneself towards your fellow man.
When we seek grace, mercy, understanding,
We should have faith and knowledge.
We must exercise this towards our fellow man.
As we have dealt with those attributes necessary in the preparing
of self to deal with, or know the heart of self.
So must the acts, the judgments that we build within ourselves,
be found towards our fellow man, if we seek to be in the position
of communion with the spirit within.
Fellowship is the promise of the Father through the Son,
that if you seek to know His face, then be kind and gentle,
compassionate and loving, to your fellow man.
Then in this manner let each purge their own minds and hearts,
and he that has something against another then present it
to the throne of grace, His mercy is sufficient to all.
"As you would that men should do to you, so do you to them."
"Forgive me, Father, even as I forgive my brother"
should be the lesson, the exercising of the position each should take,
if they want to know the face of Him who seeks fellowship with
For as the Father pities His children, so in that manner may
the Father gather those close that would seek fellowship with Him.
Know that as you forgive you will be forgiven;
For "Inasmuch as you have done it to the least
of these my little ones, you have done it to me."
Then, as we deal with our fellow man, may there be expected
and may we expect those blessings come to us.
In the way and manner how we deal to others,
so must it come again to us all.
Then in the preparations let each set their minds, their hearts,
their souls, at peace with Him; and there will come that light
that will shine in the darkest hour, in those periods when needed most.
Approach the throne of mercy with mercy to all.
Let each examine themselves first, that they may know that
within their own hearts and minds that must be purged,
that there may be true fellowship with Him.
In all things Fellowship as the lesson that begins,
that each must clarify themselves that their relationships between
their fellow man and the Creative Forces be such as to make a cementing
of the purposes for which the lessons are given to others.
Then, let the meditation be this:
In preparation for the task before us,
let each become more conscious
of the Divine Spirit in each, that we may go on.
May we face the issues as one called for a purpose.
May we rely on His promises.
While we are often weak and selfish,
and the work is great,
may He encourage our spirits, our hearts,
with the Presence of His Holy Spirit,
that there may be no idleness or delay in us.
In this manner may these truly become the living lessons.
Not one dependent upon another.
But all conscious that they have been called.
And unless they answer in person.
They may not have that whole fellowship with Him.
That is promised to those who have vowed and bowed to Him.
The outline is well, and with this in the minds, the hearts,
the understandings of all, there must come an awakening
that has not yet come to all.
The talents are in the expressions of bringing to others that
consciousness which leaves in the spiritual and mental body those
things that bring relief to the physical being.
Then, through these channels may there be the greater fellowship
with Him, brotherhood with your fellow creatures.
The difference between fellowship and brotherhood.
One to God, the other to man.
Judge not that you be not judged!
For with that judgment that you judge it shall be meted to you again!
Often the abilities of individuals to express or manifest appreciation,
and trust, is not capable of being manifested in such a manner
that can be interpreted in the material sense by those in a different vibration
or environs from those ministering or ministered to.
Hence understandings often produce those conditions in the hearts,
the minds of individuals, and thus warped conditions arise.
Rather let that mind be in you as was in Him.
"Were there not ten healed? Where are the other nine?"
But the healing was just as true for the nine as the one.
They that are whole do not need the physician,
but who having a herd of sheep and loses one
does not leave the ninety and nine and seek for that one lost?
So, in your ministering dare to do for those that do not understand,
doing rather for Him, in that
"As you have done it to the least of these my little ones,
you have done it to me."
Then reserve, that the thanks will come from Him who knows!
Be faithful to those that you minister to in every manner.
For he that serves with the might receives the reward from
and through the Giver of all good and perfect gifts.
Doing to others as you would have them do to you
is the extreme test of fellowship.
Without that you may not wholly please God.
Let there be unison of purpose from those ministered to
and those ministering, to those that the group as a group
and as individuals minister to the needs of, those who are
and who will be seeking through these channels.
That the way is being opened is evidenced by all of the group.
Be not afraid, for He will guide, direct.
Trust in His graciousness, in His support, in His understanding.
With the application in their own experience, it is expected that what
they may receive, is that true fellowship in the experience of the individual.
And when such is not one's experience, then they may know they
are lacking in their efforts in being what they should in their relationships
to themselves, their Maker, the group.
Then, be sincere in purpose, pure in mind, reasonable even to self,
walking in the way that brings a more close union with Him, that
"Will you be my people, I will be your God."
He seeks to find that expression even in all who are called in
the "I Am That I Am", and is an ever active force that through all ages,
all peoples, may be a memorial that one has Fellowship with Him,
that brought the Pleiades into being, that set the bands of Orion,
or the waters in the deep that are cast upon the land, or brings
breath into the life of all creatures, and supplies the union with
those creative forces that makes for the songs of the spheres
- the Lord is His name!
Fellowship is first brotherhood, a pattern of or a shadow of
what fellowship is.
All one sees manifest in a material world is a reflection or a shadow
of the real or the spiritual life.
Brotherhood, then, is an expression of the fellowship that exists in
the Spiritual life.
The awakening is the consciousness of a relationship that exists
in animate or inanimate, finite or infinite.
Becoming conscious of, aware of, the existence of conditions, relations,
and such, is an awakening.
As to self's being awakened, or aware of, that depends upon what
is referred to.
As to the abilities of self to become conscious of, or aware of,
all are endowed with that, will they but be awakened or aroused
to the necessity of becoming aware of.
In how one may have an answer to their experiences.
Or when an experience of yourself is in question.
Ask yourself in the mental being so that the answer may be yes or no,
and with sincerity.
Then, whether the answer is yes or no, as to any question with spiritual
forces, then accept that.
Then in meditation and prayer ask the Spirit whether that answer received
in the mental is yes or no, and know the Spirit answers! Doubt not!
For he that looks back, or doubts, is worse than the infidel.
Remember Lot's wife!
Keep that which has been committed into the care and keeping
of each, as individuals, as related to one another, as a group,
in a service to that ideal which has been set before the group,
as a group, as the individuals; for he that has been promised,
he that has vowed and vowed, must keep the same - or else
it becomes sin!
Updated: 8 August 2013