Monday, September 7, 2015

Positive Acts - Some Sweet Fellowship

I try not to get jealous. Really, I do.

I try not to get jealous when I read Acts 2:42-47. However, the picture that Luke paints of the sweet fellowship in the early church is almost irresistible. Quite frankly, it is exactly what I want but cannot seem to find.

The early church had its problems (see here for example). Despite those difficulties, the believers managed to spend a great deal of time together as a large family. We see this:

And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved (Acts 2:42-47, ESV).

What a beautiful portrait of what church life can be!

When I read this passage several things jump out at me:

1. The church gathered simply. They got together, learned from and with the apostles, ate meals, and prayed.
2. The church met frequently.
3. The church experienced signs and wonders.
4. The church gladly shared all they had with each other.
5. The church was viewed positively by those around them.
6. The church grew significantly.

When I take all this in one more thing strikes me: there is nothing in scripture to suggest that this same thing cannot happen today. The only difference is that we do not have the apostles with us. However, this does not matter because we have the Holy Spirit to empower us and the scriptures to instruct us. Each and every aspect of this fabulous passage in Acts 2 is a possibility today. We can experience this!

Instead of moping around feeling jealous of the early church, I am more determined than ever to do two things. First, I'm going to pray that God will use me to edify other believers whenever and wherever. Second, I'll be praying more earnestly than ever that God will bless me to be part of a fellowship something like what we see in Acts 2. I encourage you to do the same.

5 comments:

Peter Horvatin said...

Eric,

Yes, I long for the sweet fellowship as well and it is my prayer for both of us that this comes to be by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Peter

Eric said...

Peter,

Amen brother!

Joel Zehring said...

"I'm going to pray that God will use me to edify other believers whenever and wherever. Second, I'll be praying more earnestly than ever that God will bless me to be part of a fellowship something like what we see in Acts 2."

Fantastic, positive resolutions. I've found that God likes to use me at times to take conversations to "Jesus-level" and in the process, we go from just chatting and visiting to actually sharing the Lord together. There's no real formula to follow, I sometimes just get a feeling in my gut and a question in my head that helps us to change gears from "pleasant Christian conversation" to "whoa, Jesus is revealing himself through our conversation."

Eric said...

Joel,

I'm hoping for those sorts of opportunities. I'm going to start asking for them.

Tim A said...

Joel, I think there is a formula, a structure to accomplish the fellowship God is after. It is found in Hebrews 10:19-25. It's called "the new and living way". It was "opened" up for us by the sacrifice of Jesus into "the holy place. There are 3 elements, each marked with a "let us" statement. There is a 4th element, the "meeting together" that is a culmination of the 3 "let us" instructions. This is 7 days a week church life. It is an amazing formula for the distribution of Jesus through every member of his body. There are many other texts that include formula elements to walking with Jesus. Everything in the universe has a formula for existence and sustainability. The body of Christ is a body with a formula for existence like our physical bodies and the bodies we will have for eternity. You need to go way beyond your gut and head in every conversation. Prepare for it by walking "the new and living way".