May 28, 2014.
Today was the last day of work with the first group that was here. Even though we have a second group coming, it is very sad to see the first group go. There will be a different dynamic, though still good I’m sure. I have especially loved getting to know the team that we came with much better, specifically the guys. Short term mission work is very good for building relationships and learning about the people you are working with. It feels much more like what the church should be like. I’ve said this before, but it is no less true now: The church should be our family. We should want to spend time with one another. We should want to get to know one another. We should want to help one another. This is how the church was begun.
So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
The church was in fellowship with one another. They were in contact daily. They were family, but not like what we think of as family necessarily. They were a family that functioned and got along with one another. That’s how we are supposed to function. Granted, they were all in close proximity to each other at this time, but it wasn’t always that way. The church was scattered in Acts 8 and people went everywhere teaching and spreading the good news. Even though they were scattered, we see from the letters that were written to churches that they were still tightly knit and functioned properly. Or at least it was that way for most of them.
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Meeting together to fellowship with one another was a big deal to early church leaders. I think in America, this concept has fallen somewhat by the wayside. Church has become just a thing you do, or entertainment, or simply something to make us feel right with God to justify our own lives. But the church, the family, is so much more than that. It was never intended to be just a social gathering on Sunday mornings. It is intended to be a different mindset, a new way of thinking. A new life. The gospel is the good news of salvation, granted to any and all who obey the Son. Those of us who have accepted the gift should be happy in one another, rejoicing evermore as we see the day approaching. May The Lord grow our fellowship and his kingdom.
Suggested Daily Reading: Acts 2, 7, 8, Hebrews 10.
The Lord bless you and keep you.