All believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity- all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-47
I often wonder why we hold so closely to our denominations and who is right and who is wrong. The early church just worshipped God, together. If someone strayed they spoke truth and lovingly corrected in Christ. I would love to have been there and seen the original Christ movement. The authenticity of it was earth shattering, life changing. People believed left and right because of the faith these people had. They loved God so much that they couldn’t help but to love His people by sharing all that they had with one another. I know I don’t work every day just to give it away to others, but that is what the first church did. Selfless acts of kindness are what others saw in these believers. No other religion brought that kind of community or selflessness. Everything they did was to further the kingdom. We live in an increasingly selfish world. We must be set apart from the rest of the world. How do we do that? Well, we can start in God’s word right here in Acts.
Meeting with other believers is essential to our walk with Christ. I just spoke to my dear friend, a missionary in the Dominican Republic, this morning. I was so filled after talking to her. I know God gave her to me. She is honest and Spirit lead in all things and it just fills my heart every time we speak. If there is something I am struggling with she prays for me and she always speaks God’s truth to me even if it is hard for me to hear. She encourages me in my faith. We have a mission as Christians and that is to be the hands and feet of Jesus. That isn’t always easy, but we are still called to live that life. We need others to encourage us and rally around us so that we can live the life we are called to live. We need to lift each other up in prayer and love one another with a kind of love that only comes from above. Living that life for Jesus allows us to forgive when we have been hurt and to see each other the way God sees each of us. It gives us the courage to love each other like Jesus loves us. Friendships with other believers are vital and should not be taken lightly. We have to meet or speak to each other and pray for each other daily. It is easier to do that now more than ever because of technology. Texting someone or sending a quick email or social media message allows us to lift each other up as soon as God puts them on our hearts and not wait until later. That is why we need community in Christ. That’s why we go to church to meet with other believers and to lift each other up in the body of Christ.
Our job as the church is no different than it was 2000 years ago. What if we lived every minute to further God’s kingdom here on earth? What if we looked at our possessions as a way to bless others rather than ourselves? What would happen? What if we lived to be THE church rather than a church?
Loving God, help me to live as the first Christians lived. I pray that everything I do is to help further Your kingdom here on earth “all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people”. Lord, I pray that I remember that my job is still the same as it was so long ago for the first followers of Jesus. Help me to live in community with other believers so that we can lift up and encourage one another. In His Name, Amen.