Friday, March 16, 2007

Foundations for Community

At Myrtle Grove, we desire to foster a sense of true community among our members. We find an example of biblical community in the New Testament church in Acts 2:44-47. "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 (NIV)."

Here we see a few things that are helpful to us as a community of believers. First, they spent time together. We enter into relationships by simply spending time together. Second, they demonstrated practical concern by providing for one another's physical needs. This does not mean we are necessarily required to sell our posessions to do so, but does illustrate the depth of concern we should have for one another. It reminds me of another passage in which Jesus reminds his followers not to send another off with just a "blessing" if they actually have physical needs. Third, they worshiped together "in the temple courts," the place of corporate prayer and adoration of the living God. Finally, they ate together, enjoying conversation about their common life in Christ around the table. Notice the result. They earned the favor of the people in Jerusalem even winning some to Christ.

Pastor Jim is currently preaching a series on his top priorities: connecting with God and connecting with one another. He believes that if we are rightly connected with God and one another, one of the results will be that others will want to "be warmed by the fire" of our love for God and one another. That is what we see in the above passage. Others came to Christ as they witnessed the Jerusalem Christians' relationships lived out day to day.

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