All Things In Common

Acts 2:42-47 NIV

They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

What a wonderful time it must have been in those early months after our Lord had risen. At last, the disciples understood what Jesus had been trying to tell them! And although He was no longer physically present, He had sent the Helper - the Holy Spirit - to guide them and comfort them and pray for them. As the work of the Spirit flowed through the people, they were all filled with the love of Christ. and they began to treat each other accordingly. They ate together, studied together, spent time in prayer together... and not just on Sundays, but every day of the week. They were becoming one body, working together for the cause of Christ. They were participating in true fellowship.

Fellowship - true fellowship - with other believers can be difficult. Many times, we've been hurt by other people in some way that affects every other relationship. Trying to avoid further hurt can cause us to build invisible walls for protection. Although we crave companionship, we are fearful of the intimacy that comes with close fellowship - even though we may not admit it to ourselves. So we participate in fellowship only as far as it feels safe ... and then we stop. And we miss the blessings that Jesus intended for us through fellowship with other believers.

But there's another thing to think about where these first believers were concerned. In today's world's view, when the believers began to sell their belongings and share with one another, they were becoming a bunch of wackos. Visions of hippie communes come to mind today. But that was not what was happening. Instead, those believers were experiencing and sharing the love of Jesus for one another. What they had, they shared, so that all needs would be met. They acknowledged that each and every thing they owned was not theirs, but belonged to God. He had only placed it in their care. So instead of socialism, controlled by the government, they practiced stewardship, controlled by their devotion to and love for Jesus. They didn't sell everything they had and pool it all together. Instead, as it says in Acts 4:34, "There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need."

These people met together daily in the Temple courts (most new believers at that time were Jews). Their hearts were humble, and they spent much time praising God. The Bible says that "the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved." (Acts 2:47) And no wonder! Any lost person who saw that kind of fellowship and love would "want some of that!"

Pray that the Lord will help you participate in true Christian fellowship... to open up. to join in. to experience the blessings you've been missing. Pray for the removal of any fear of hurt you might have so that you can reap the rewards our Lord has for you in fellowship with His other adopted children. And pray that all believers will learn to live in the kind of fellowship and love that Jesus intends - the kind that He can use as a tool for winning a lost world to Him.

Used with Permission

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