Wrote this today as I pondered what’s the point of our worship gatherings. Hope it blesses you.
The Fellowship of the Believers Acts 2
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
What is the point of Christian fellowship? Sometimes I look around at church and it seems like a big party. Even our small groups seem like a party at times. People show up for the snacks and want to hang out and make friends, some are spouse shopping or looking for a friend. All those things are good things. They are great things! God wants us to enjoy each other and have a good time. The problem comes when we believe that is all church is for. It’s one big party where people are supposed to make us feel good. What can we learn from the first church see passage above.
1. They adhered to the teachings of the apostles. We can spend our entire lives in church and still miss God. How? If we are not applying and adhering to His teachings we are just taking up space on Sunday.
2. They prayed together. Prayer is vital. Not one person praying but they all prayed together.
3. They had everything in common. This means unity of spirit. They weren’t bickering, fighting, filled with offense, and strife. They had God in common and focused their attention on Him.
4. They gave sacrificially to those in need. The Acts church sold their possessions to care for those who did not have. They were outward focused. Each person connected to each other. They didn’t come to be served. They came to serve.
5. They ate together and fellowshipped outside of church. They viewed church as family.
6. They praised God together. Worship was a part of everyday life.
7. Point each other to Jesus (added by me). Part of community is pointing another person to Jesus. Jesus never agreed with the disciples sin or went along with their poor behavior. He corrected in love. He used every moment as a teaching moment.
I had someone tell me in community that she didn’t want me pointing out areas for improvement based on the Bible for her life. She wanted to me to hang out and simply agree with any sin she partook in. Well, I will tell you part of Christian community is pointing each other to Jesus and the Bible. Any person who knows Jesus and refuses to point you to Him, doesn’t love you. Sin leads to death. And while Jesus paid for the eternal consequences of our sin, the sins we commit still impact us and those around us.
I am thankful for people who will point me to Jesus in a loving way. The Bible is the blueprint they use for correction, not their own opinions. And I am thankful for any person who wants me to be more like Christ.
Are you in a community that’s like the Acts church? Are you fellowshipping with people who point you to Jesus, sacrificially give, promote unity, share, love, and serve together? Are you in a community that challenges you to be become more like Jesus? There’s no perfect church or pastor or leader. However, I believe the Acts church had it right. The point of our worship gatherings isn’t to just have one big party. Each member of the Body of Christ is called to do their part to encourage and build up the other members so as one unit we become more like Christ. Our pastors aren’t there to spoon feed us the word and then we go home. We are called as members of God’s body to seek Him for ourselves, to know God for ourselves, to join forces in unity to represent Him as a whole. That is what Christ died for, a Bride that functions as one unit. As Bill Johnson says, “Jesus is returning for a church who’s body is in equal proportion to her head (Jesus).”
May God bless you friends. And may we all take our place within the Body of Christ to be who we were called to be. Each member is crucial to the functioning of the church. We weren’t called to sit on the bench. Every part is needed in order for us to fulfill God’s will in the earth. You are valuable. Get out there and seize the day!