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FELLOWSHIP and WITNESS



 

BIBLE READING


ACTS 2:42-47

 

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.


 

FELLOWSHIP and WITNESS

 

One of the characteristics of the Early Christian community was that they devoted themselves to fellowship. Fellowship means holding all things in common, in other words, sharing together, doing life together.


They began to know and to love one another. Think about it, here are 3,000 people suddenly added to a little band of twenty. Most of them probably were strangers to each other. Many of them had come from other parts of the world into Jerusalem for that occasion. They must have been unknown to each other.


But now they are one in Christ, transformed toward unity, and they begin to love each other and start to talk to each other, to find out what each other has been thinking and how each has been reacting, and to share their problems and burdens and needs, to talk about these together and pray together about them. There was a wonderful sense of community, of harmony, of belonging to each other. That is the fellowship which is the intended life for the body of Christ, the Church.


God intends that Christians should have fellowship, should share one another's lives and thoughts and problems — bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.


"Fellowship" is a bit of a lost word. Too many think it means greetings and socializing. But, for this early Christian church, fellowship meant so much more. They shared, contributed to one another, and participated in each others' lives.


For them, fellowship turned into physical generosity. They sold their goods and lands and, for a time, lived communally. Not every description in Acts is a direction from God, but the self-sacrificial service found here is beautiful, and is a sign of what can happen when the Spirit is at work within a community of Jesus followers.


Notice in our text above that it says that the fellowship was joined to other important communal activities. We Read, they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” The “fellowship” of this community was a witness to those around them, we are told that this early community of Jesus had “favor with all the people” and that many joined in on this experience of community shaped by the resurrection power of Jesus Christ.


I find that this passage in Acts 2 is challenge to us all. To demonstrate a love among Christ’s community that those looking on will desire? To be marked by a generosity that those around will be astonished by. That the harmony of fellowship among God’s people will make the world curious and want to know more of the hope that is in us.


I read one time these words, “When Christ is given rule in His Church, He still draws all people to Himself.” Perhaps that explains the final lines in our reading today, that “the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”


 

PRAYER



Lord, use me today as a channel for all You have in store for those

around me.

Help me to show them Your love, Your peace, Your hope, Your

mercy, Your grace, and Your joy.

Give to me, so that I can give to others;

fill me to overflowing, so that I can fill others.


May I be Your messenger;

may I be Your hands;

may I be Your feet on this earth today.


Meet others through me;

help others through me;

heal others through me,

and provide for others through me.

Use me as You desire, in Your service, this day.

Amen




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