Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Gang I'd Join

What is the best group of friends you have ever hung around with? What made that group so special?
Read about a group that holds a special place in my heart. This group’s story can be found in the book of Acts. “They joined with the other believers and devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, sharing in the Lord's Supper and in prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together constantly and shared everything they had. They sold their possessions and shared the proceeds with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord's Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity – all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their group those who were being saved” (2:42-47 – New Living Translation).
This group had their priorities straight! They loved Jesus, and in turn loved one another. There was no posturing and no one thought themselves greater than anyone else. When there was a need, this group responded. They shared what they had. Some even sold their possessions to help others in need! Would you do that?
Again, they had their priorities straight. We come to church on Sundays and Wednesdays and consider that a burden at times. These believers got together every day and worshipped God at the Temple. Yep, you read that correctly…they got together EVERY DAY!
What was the secret of their success? Number one, they loved Jesus. In response to their love for Jesus they submitted themselves to Biblical teaching every day. Not only submitted themselves, but the Bible says they “devoted” themselves to Biblical teachings. They spent intimate time together in “fellowship”. That means that they shared their lives with one another; good times, struggles, joy, and sorrow. Their lives were intertwined. Regularly, they shared the Lord’s Supper. Sharing that sacred meal meant that they examined themselves and remembered what the body and blood of Christ had done for them. Finally, they prayed together. There cannot be many sentiments of superiority or feelings of ill will between people who constantly pray together. I’d imagine they prayed for each others needs. That means they had to be open and honest with one another. I’d imagine they prayed God’s will be done, just as Jesus instructed believers to do. That would mean they had to forsake their agendas.
The result of such a lifestyle was that that group experienced the “goodwill of all the people” and that “the Lord added to their group those who were being saved”. The community around that group was drawn to them. Actually, I believe God was using this group of selfless servants to draw people to Himself.
Would you like to be part of a group like that? What are you willing to sacrifice to God to be in such a group? How similar is our youth group to that congregation of Acts 2:42-47? What can you do to make our youth group be like that of the early church? Are you willing to change your priorities?
I’d love to be in a fellowship like that. I’d love to be in a group like that with YOU!

Grace and peace to you from God the Father and Jesus the Son,

Tim Bowes

Romans 12:1-2

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