“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”
My daughter used to love story time at the library. It’s where she went to learn, to be entertained but mostly to meet new friends. Actually, it was my wife who was looking for friends, my daughter had no idea how to build friendships, she just wanted to get the most trains on the Thomas the Train table and win the race. But my wife used those story time moments as ways to find other women she clicked with. Then once she did that their kids became my daughter’s friends, it was as simple as that. But now that my daughter is a teenager she has better social skills, she’s no longer playing tug-o-war with the stuffed animal she says she had first, but she’s talking about shared interests, listening to music and learning about life together.
This is how it works for all of us, learning to gather with like-minded people takes time, it takes practice, and once we discover our faith in Christ our gathering goes to another level. We gather to grow in faith, in love and in fellowship. Relationships that grow in this kind of environment have sticking power, because they come together with something greater in mind. They come together to worship in the way we will worship for eternity, side-by-side. God wants us to devote ourselves to this kind of fellowship, to remembering together what He has done for us as a people. He sent his Son not to die for me, or to die for you, but to die for us. To die for the world. We are a body of believers, not just individuals who do life on our own. We are designed to faithfully gather together in order to act like a body, a body that recognizes its need for each part of the whole. When we gather together we recognize our need for one another as well as our service to one another. And like story time at the library we get to hear the Word of God not only through its reading but through the testimony of one another. Gathering together keeps us grounded in the gospel, it reminds us who we are and what He’s done. We cannot give up gathering together because we are too tired, or there is too much else going on, gathering together is as foundational to our faith as scripture reading and prayer. That’s why we read that the apostles devoted themselves to this very thing. They weren’t too advanced in their walks to take the time, they knew this was the call God has on all of us, and that it is an essential part of growing in faith.
Questions to ponder
What is the name the first person outside your family that you considered your best friend? How did you meet?
How often do you gather together to discuss the things of God with other believers? What are some options you might consider where you could do it more?
Are you ready to lead a gathering of people studying more about the Christian life and who God is? If not, how can you grow towards that goal?