Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A People Together: Designed For Community (Part 4)

Christ Followers are dedicated to each other. 

I want you to notice some of the imagery found in Acts 2:42-27. There’s a picture I see of the early church that is quite revealing…Everyone was filled with awe, all the believers were together, and every day they continued to meet together. 

The early church understood and had a clear sense of community. They wanted to be together and they were dedicated to each other’s needs. We are told if a practical, physical need arose, the early church sold their possessions and gave to anyone who had need. If a spiritual need arose, this tight knit group of people would be available for that as well, to help and pray.

Life can obviously be difficult and unfair. Dennis Wholey says, "Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is a little like expecting the bull not to attack you because you are a vegetarian." The bad news in life is that tragedy happens. A good example of this is Matt Chandler and PJ Smyth: godly men who have had to battle cancer. There is good news, however. If you are a member of the body of Christ, you don't have to go through difficulties alone.

Do you know what happens when a church loves to be around each other this much? What occurs when hardship comes on one who is part of God’s family? Encouragement is given. Prayers are offered up. Sometimes checks are written. The body of Christ does exactly what our name implies: we become Jesus to that person in the midst of hardship.

The local church is a community called together by God. We are friends together who will help you in anything. So when someone gets a job promotion or a raise or if they’re pregnant or getting married, we all celebrate together! Conversely, if something bad happens and someone loses a job or a loved one dies, we all mourn together. We are a people dedicated to one another. We are called to be like the church in Acts 2, where “all who believed were together and had all things in common.”

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