Who Is Your Real Family?
The Church is designed to be a real family.
And all who believed were together and had all things in common.
One of the key benefits of a relationship with God is the relationship that we share with other believers. Once we receive the grace gift of salvation, we are positioned to receive other grace gifts, namely, the gift of community. Yes, living life with others is a grace gift. It is within this framework of community that support, sacrifice, and accountability are established. As time progresses, and as fellowship is cultivated, we become a true family.
A glimpse at the early church
The early church was intentional about community. They were intentional about family. They worked to remove hindrances that limited the power of community: isolation, insecurity, fear. Each of these hindrances was met with love, acceptance, and unity. Our passage states they “were together.” They understood that time and space could work against their faith, so they intentionally spent time together. That’s what families do.
We create and cultivate a family within the Church by emulating the Early Church. We have a SINGLENESS OF FOCUS: Acts 2:42 states, “And they devoted themselves to…” Our desire to experience family within our church requires a devotion to teaching, fellowship, and community. There is no such thing as “casual” devotion. It’s about being “steadfast and single-minded!”
We must also display SUPPORT OF FELLOWSHIP: The second half of Acts 2:42 says: “…the fellowship.” Notice how fellowship is not “a fellowship,” but “the fellowship.” It’s the organized gathering of believers – it’s the Church. This fellowship must be supported, and new believers need the support of the fellowship. New believers need the encouragement and love of the fellowship. It’s hard enough to grow with support, think of attempting to grow and navigate through life without it. It’s almost unthinkable.
Finally, we must display the STABILITY OF FOLLOWSHIP: Acts 2:42-47 includes action words like “attending and praising.” The members of the Early Church were followers of Christ and His Church, and this ongoing engagement created a consistent growth and stability in the church and the lives of her members. They received the Word of God consistently, praised God faithfully, served their brothers and sisters passionately, and experienced the power of God intimately. And the passage states that the Lord added to their numbers daily.
This is what family looks like. This is the Church. We are a true family.
Pray this week:
Lord, I need You to help me to be more devoted to the local assembly. I often feel isolated and alone. Please guide me to engage my brothers and sisters, so that I can have the support I need while offering the same support to others. Help me to appreciate the family that you’ve given me through faith. In Christ’s Name, Amen.
Why do we fail to assemble with the local assembly? What’s the best way for anyone to grow in their faith? Can the Church really be a family?