Jump Start # 2954
Acts 2:44 “And all those who had believed were together, and had all things in common.”
Some call it “community.” Others like the term, “church family.” “Gathering” is another popular expression these days. Each of these are reflections of the same idea, Christians being together. That is where our verse today takes us. Those who believed were together. Like little birds huddled together on a cold winter morning, these believers received spiritual warmth and comfort by being together.
We need to remind ourselves of the joys and benefits of our togetherness. Staying home and watching worship on a screen might work when you are not feeling well, but it’s time for us get up, get out and get together.
First, there is encouragement and strength when we are with other believers. Alone is when discouragement is the worst. Jesus was tempted when He was alone in the wilderness. Alone, our problems seem larger than what they really are. Alone, we have doubts about whether we can continue on. But together, we can make it.
Studying the Bible with others is always richer than just by yourself. There are other perspectives, insights and thoughts you have never considered before. Bible classes are just that. It’s more than just getting the information about a text of Scripture, it’s sharing, receiving and learning from one another. It’s being challenged when we would not do that ourselves.
Worship is more powerful when there are others with you. The Corinthians were told, “When you come together.” That’s it. Coming together. Coming together to blend our voices, bow our heads, open our Bibles, share in the communion and pool our money together. Fellowship and unity necessitates others. Fellowship is about “fellows,” or togetherness.
Second, coming together opens our eyes to serve others. Alone, you tend to forget about others. Alone, you think of only yourself. But when surrounded by others you learn about this one having surgery or that one having some struggles. And, those very things becomes opportunities for you to serve. And, through serving, our bond with each other grows closer and stronger.
Third, God made us to be sociable. It was not good for Adam to be alone. God did not provide a dog to solve that problem. He provided another human being. A helper. Someone that was suitable to him and complimented him. Within our DNA is the need for interaction with others. There are family and friends. There are neighbors and co-workers. All of these circles of relationships are important. We need them. But we also need that social interaction with those who share a common faith as we have. We need spiritual connections. We need to be able to talk about the deeper subjects in life and our concerns spiritually. This is where friends, family, neighbors and co-workers come up short. Often, they are not believers. Often, they are not concerned about the spiritual side of life. Often, they do not have an understanding of God’s ways. Often, they are only interested in the now and in secular matters. Politics, sports, weather—you can find about anyone to talk about those things, even strangers. But what about a passage of Scripture? What about evangelism? What about spiritual growth? What about the kingdom? Who are you going to talk to about those things? When we do not have that network of believers, our need for social interaction is then limited to talking about things of the world. That in turn has a long term effect upon us. The kingdom isn’t first in our hearts. Our time, our minds, our interests, becomes what our circle of social influences are.
Fourth, among believers, we will find a greater desire to do what is right and godly. Peer pressure isn’t always negative. The challenge to do more, be better, grow faster and involve yourself more comes from our interaction with each other. The young learn from the old. The old is encouraged by the young.
Remember, as a kid in the summer, the game Red Rover, Red Rover. A line of kids, with their arms locked together, would stand like a wall as a kid came running to break through. Solomon said a cord of three stands is not quickly torn apart. It’s easy to rip a sheet of paper. Put ten sheets of paper together, and it’s much, much harder to do.
You know where you can find strong Christians on a Sunday? They are with other believers worshipping. Those early disciples came together. You need that. You need that for yourself and you need that to help others.
Together—in person, in faith, in direction, in goals, in Heaven.