Appreciation of Fellowship (1 of 3) by Stephen Whitney

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Appreciation of Fellowship (1 of 3)
Series: Philemon
Stephen Whitney
Philemon 1-7

It was ''fellowship'' that brought the village tinker John Bunyan, the future writer of Pilgrim's Progress, to faith in Christ. In his book Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, he recalls being a lost young man who became interested in Christ by overhearing the conversation of a group of village women enjoying fellowship.

He wrote, ''Upon a day, the good providence of God did cast me to Bedford, to work and in one of the streets of that town, I came to where there were three or four women sitting at a door in the sun and talking about the things of God; and being now willing to hear them talk, I drew near to hear what they said . . . But I understood not; for they were far above, out of my reach, for their talk was about a new birth, the work of God on their hearts, also how they were convinced of their miserable state by nature; they talked how God had visited their souls with His love in the Lord Jesus, and with what words and promises they had been refreshed, comforted and supported against temptations of the devil. Moreover, they reasoned of the suggestions and temptations of Satan in particular; and told each other by which they had been afflicted and how they were born up under his assaults.

And methought they spake as if joy did make them speak; they spake with such pleasantness of Scripture language and with such appearance of grace in all they said, that they were to me as if they had found a new world . . .

As this I felt my own heart began to shake, as mistrusting my condition . . . therefore, when I had heard and considered what they said, I left them, and went about my employment again, but their talk and discourse went with me; also my heart would tarry with them, for I was greatly affected with their words . . . therefore I should often make it my business to be going again and again into the company of these poor people, for I could not stay a ...

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