Verse of the Day Devotion: Acts 2:42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
One of the more important aspects of our Christian walk is the idea of fellowship and supporting each other. First, I want to present a quote from the Book of Ecclesiastes which points this out so clearly. “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. Solomon, whom many scholars believe is the writer of Ecclesiastes points out the importance of not separating ourselves from others. Simply put, if you are alone who will help you when you fall, who will help you in times of need, and who will fight for you when danger is imminent?
These ideas are found in our focus verse from Acts. What Luke is pointing out is that Christians need to be in fellowship with each other in order keep each other accountable, encouraged and strong in the truth. Back in the first century there was much persecution upon the church. The Jewish leadership hated them for they considered Christianity as an attempt to usurp their position and the Romans were against them because they considered Christianity as a new religion and this was forbidden in the areas they were in control over.
The first part of our focus verse says, “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching.” Act 2:42a. They were to be always devoted to learning all they could about their new life in Christ. What did it entail? What did it not? This was especially critical for the Jews who were always taught that obedience to the Law of Moses was the critical factor in obeying God, and they needed to understand that it went far beyond that. Also, as they grew in the faith they would be less likely to walk away and more able to train others they come across. They would also come together in fellowship, often times in sharing a meal. This was important in developing strong and Godly relationships which created bonds that were not easily broken. And lastly, with equal if not more importance with the others, they met to pray together. They came to God regularly to pray that their faith may be strengthened and increase as they grow in God, and for the extension of the kingdom of Christ via the salvation of more and more people.
And note the accomplishments that were seen in the first century church. They were built up on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, of which Jesus Christ and His teachings were the cornerstone. And not only were they built up in the faith, but they steadfastly continued in this doctrine received through the leaders from Christ, learning more so as to grow in their relationship with Him. Thirdly, they were separated from the world and instead lived in holy Christian fellowship and building all up who were with them. They frequently spent time speaking of those things that God, through Christ, did for them through His sacrifice. And they continued in prayers, knowing it was through this communion with God that they were now His children and they looked to Him for all things, including the beautiful relationship they had with Him.
These things were done in order that the church would grow, not only in numbers but in devotion and strength and love for God almighty. And this is the type of lifestyle we need to live as well. As the times get more difficult and as the world begins to persecute Christians even more harshly, we need to come together to encourage each other, supporting our brothers and sisters in Christ, and together helping those who do not know Christ to accept the sacrifice He made for them through His death on the cross. This is why we are here, and through the Holy Spirit, we have the means to live this life. Let us all make the decision to make the Acts 2 lifestyle ours and show the world the reality of who we are and this life we have taken hold of. The church in the first century grew incredibly. Wouldn’t it be great to see the true church grow in the same way in this generation?
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.
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