“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers . . . And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts.” (Acts 2:42,46, ESV)
I enjoy reading the Book of Acts. It lets us view the birth of the church and see how the believers learned to support each other as they faced the exciting, but difficult, days ahead.
Acts 4:32 says “those who believed were of one heart and soul.” They were united by a common purpose as they worked together to see the church grow and reach beyond Jerusalem. Were there bumps in the road? Definitely. But that common purpose held them together during the good times and the not-so-good times.
I suppose there are many who believe attendance at a Sunday worship service is what church is all about. They show up, sing along with the worship songs, listen to the sermon, and go home. But is that really “doing church” if you have little or no connection to other believers? Do they not understand that the church is a community of believers doing life together? That’s what I see when I read the Book of Acts.
The King James Version of the Bible does not contain the word community, but it has a phrase I really like. Galatians 6:10 speaks of the “household of faith.” Other translations use “family of faith” or “family of believers.”
If we are a family, a community, a household—and I believe we are—then there are things we do for each other as a family member. When these things are present, we are a healthy unit working together for a common purpose and the good of each member.
We encourage and support each other.
- “And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.” (I Thessalonians 5:14, ESV)
We pray for each other.
- “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” (James 5:16, ESV)
We share in life events together.
- “That there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” (I Corinthians 12:25-27, ESV)
We hold each other accountable.
- “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:1-2, ESV)
We serve one another.
- “Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” (I Peter 4:9-10, ESV)
We help each other grow.
- “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.” (Hebrews 10:24, ESV)
Whether we call it community, household, or family, this body of believers has some wonderful characteristics that embrace and support each member. It’s all about loving, caring, sharing, serving, praying, and gathering.
You are loved. If you are not yet part of this family, come join us. There is always room for one more.
Thank You, Lord, for the privilege of being a part of this great family of believers. Through tears and laughter, good times and bad times, trials and victories, high points and low points, I am surrounded by people who love me, care for me, and will one day spend eternity with me. I am blessed to have each one in my life.