Sharing All Things
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…
Acts 2:42 – 47 ESV
In Today’s Treasure we see a practical application of the power of Christian community. In response to the teaching of the Word, early Christians committed to doing life together. They lived out Jesus in their daily lives and they did this by depending on one another. It was in this community that they learned how to forgive, serve, and love. They experienced contentment (they received their food with glad and generous hearts) that led to generous sharing with others.
Chuck would often say that during a worship service he thought that if he wore suspenders and someone cut them, he would just fly up to heaven. The power of worshipping the living God with other believers filled his heart with such great joy, he experienced a taste of heaven. These new believers experienced a taste of heaven (awe came upon every soul) through living life with their “community group.”
Doing life together broke them out of a selfish mindset, showing them the power of living life together as God’s people. A Jesus centered small group creates an environment that encourages our sanctification and helps us to mature as a Christian. Note how Paul explains that God gave gifts for the purpose of helping Christians to grow:
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
Ephesians 4:11-16 ESV
If your heart’s desire is to “no longer be a child, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes”, then intentionally commit to doing life in the context of a Christ-centered community. Attending once is not a life-long commitment. Check out different small groups in your church, i.e. a Sunday School class, a “life group”, a weekly family night Bible study. Prayerfully consider the best match for you and commit to regular attendance.
STORE UP MORE TREASURES
At some point in our lives, we or someone we know will go through great suffering. I encourage you to go the MARKINC website and listen to the interview "Hope In The Midst Of Grief: A Conversation with Nancy Guthrie" so that you can store up treasures of encouragement for the next rainy day in your life or someone else's. Here is a summary and teaser of this resource:
In this wide-ranging interview, two mothers who have experienced the grief of losing their children transparently answers questions from how to push the question “why” through the grid of God’s love and sovereignty, to how to protect marriages assaulted by grief. Nancy’s loss of two children uniquely qualifies her to offer help and hope in sorrow’s darkest night.