January 29, 2019
It was an ordinary Sunday with seemingly ordinary people. We huddled in a couple of couches, with ice cream and chips on the table. There was no TV and we couldn’t go on social media because the signal was pretty bad where we were.
It was just food and conversation shared between young people.
We didn’t notice that the hours went by; the moment was filled with laughter and tears. We were all excited about what God was about to do in and through us.
We saw each other not just as friends, but as family. I looked at each one of them and realized that we were quite diverse. Some of them have been working for a year, while others are still studying. Despite our differences, we had one thing in common: We were excited to see how God will use each of us.
It wasn’t like this at first, however. It was definitely easier to stay apart. But as the months progressed, we understood that even when it is difficult to stay together, it would be impossible to do life alone.
This may have been how it felt like for the early church after Jesus had ascended into heaven. It must have been disheartening to lose the one Person who united them despite their differences. But instead of drifting apart, they chose to stay together, devoted to bring each other closer to God.
They followed a daily discipline of worship in the Temple followed by meals at home, every meal a celebration, exuberant and joyful, as they praised God. People in general liked what they saw. Every day their number grew as God added those who were saved.
Acts 2:46,47 (MSG)
What do these verses teach us about fellowship, and why is it a vital part of our devotion to God?
The early church excelled in their devotion because they understood that their lives were meant to be shared.
We find it difficult to be consistent in seeking God because we tend to walk alone sometimes. It is important to have people with you not just for the highs, but also for the lows. This rings true even more when life takes a wild turn or when our days are filled with darkness and fear.
There are moments when it isn’t easy to be involved, when it is easier to just stay alone and try to work out your problems on your own. But to have someone with you who will listen to you and believe God with you can revive your faith!
There are moments when it is easier to stay away because it is difficult to love a person we can’t get along with. But it is in these moments that we can look to God’s unconditional love for us even when we were unlovable. These become opportunities for our hearts to become softer and for us to become more like Christ.
The verse continues to say that they ate together, celebrating at every meal. We are supposed to have fun together! Spending time with each other and talking about small triumphs and big victories, reminds us of God’s love and faithfulness.
We can even laugh at our awkward moments. As I recount some of the most embarrassing moments in my life, there will always be friends to either witness it and laugh about it with afterwards. Fellowship makes even our small wins feel like big victories, and makes some of our most awkward and cringe-worthy moments become laughable.
Not only is spiritual family present in milestones. We can be there for each other when one of us needs a sounding board, when everything gets so messed up and we need a shoulder to cry on, and when we need someone else to be in faith for us because we feel so hopeless in our situation
Our spiritual family can help us as we go through difficult times in our lives. And at the same time, we can help those who need a boost in their faith or remind those who seemed to have lost all hope. As Christians, we are meant to bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2).
A story in Mark 2:3–5 illustrates this kind of friendship so well.
And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
The impact of real, Christ-centered friendships is one of the most powerful testimonies to the world. In Acts 2:46,47, the people around them liked what they saw, and every day someone new was added to their community.
Looking at the friends around me, I remember how one by one, these students were called by God into His family. I realize that it is a privilege that we get to seek God together, celebrate life together, and journey through life’s ups and downs together—all to give God glory.
It may not be easy for you, but remember that you don’t have to have a large group of friends. You can start with one or two people you can trust.
Share a meal, be vulnerable, and be ready to listen.
Pray together, believe together, and expect to witness God’s faithfulness in your lives.
1. Do you have friends around you that can help you seek God daily? Who are these friends?
2. How can you others grow in their relationship with God?