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  • Writer's pictureChristy Schuette

Together

June 3


2 Samuel 14-15

Psalm 68:19-27

Proverbs 15:3-4

Acts 2:14-46

Together

 

“And they devoted themselves to the apostle’s teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer. Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple complex, and broke bread from house to house.  They ate their food with a joyful and humble attitude, praising God and having favor with all the people.  And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.”

 Acts 2:42,46-47 HCSB

 

This is a beautiful picture of unity in the Body of Christ. When we talk about the church, there are two different things we could be referring to.  We may be talking about the building where we go to worship and fellowship with believers, or we may be talking about the “church” as the body of believers.  It is not limited to the local congregation we are connected to, but rather the collective body of believers from around the world who are united in faith and belief in Jesus Christ as Lord.  The beginning of the “church” as a body of believers is described in these verses.  Before this time, there was no “church.”  There was a building, the temple, where the Jewish people gathered to worship God, offer sacrifices, and study the Law and the Prophets, but the people who met there were not referred to as the “church” or the “body of believers.”  After Pentecost, the believers began to meet together for times of worship and fellowship.  Peter and the other disciples spread the news about Jesus explaining His death, burial and resurrection and thousands of people believed.  On one day, 3,000 people were baptized and every day the Lord added to their number.  Having so many people join them in a short amount of time must have been very difficult to manage.  They did not have a huge building where they could meet, so they formed small groups.  They began to meet in houses where they shared meals together, had Bible studies, prayed together, and had fellowship.  That sounds exactly like small group meetings in churches around the world today.   It is a wonderful model to emulate.

 

In large numbers, it is difficult to have accountability and meet individual needs.  It is hard to get to know each other and develop relationships.  But in small groups there is greater intimacy and the possibility of deeper, more meaningful interaction.  Small groups are able to experience life together, face difficulties together, rejoice and mourn together.  That is what happened in the early church and people noticed.  They saw the unity and love they had for each other, and they wanted to be a part of it.  They didn’t have to knock on doors to get people to join them.  People were knocking their doors down wanting to come in.  That is a challenge for us today.  Jesus said in John 13:35, “By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (NASB1995) When unbelievers look at the “church,” what do they see?   Do they see love and generosity, or division and disagreement?  Do they see mercy and grace, or judgment and condemnation?  They are watching how we treat each other.  Do they want what we have?


 

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