Our Other Family
Verse 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common.
Now that we have briefly covered all the components of the family unit we turn to another family that should be as vital to our existence, our church family.
In the Early Church of the New Testament the members were bound by chosen family ties. In some cases they were no longer accepted in their natural families because their Jewish family refused to see Jesus as the Messiah. The Church started calling each other by familial titles of brother and sister and they started doing life together daily. In our passage today we see some of the ways that they were involved in life together. The first things listed are being devoted to the teaching of the Apostles and fellowship with each other. This meant two things – they had a hunger for more understanding and for time together.
The Apostles teaching was a truly vital part of this as they were the ones Jesus had taught the important truths of how He fulfilled the Old Testament promises of a Messiah. Jesus had spent 3 years pouring Himself into their lives and they were now to be passing on that information to anyone who would listen but especially to those in the new Church. These brothers and sisters were going to be scattered by persecution and they needed the truth of the Gospel so deep in them so they could pass on what they knew. The Apostles knew through the power of the Spirit just how important this was and the people were hunger for the teaching. Yes, this is still important today.
Next on the list was fellowship. No, this wasn’t limited just to having coffee or tea with cookies after the teaching hour. These people genuinely did life together. They knew what was going on in each other’s lives. They knew what they were struggling with and what they were rejoicing about. This fellowshipping was not a burden as some relationships may seem. Jesus had said it was by their love for each other that people would know they were His followers (John 13:35). I wonder how many in our daily circles know about our fellowship with other believers.
Just as we are related by blood and name to those in our household we are bound to those in the Church through Christ’s blood and name.
Making It Personal
What is your average relationship with those in the church family? Do you enjoy true fellowship with other believers? Do those you work with know you enjoy fellowship with fellow believers?
Making It Personal Kids
Do you have friends from church? What do you think it means to be brothers and sisters with other believers? Did you know that older people at church are also your brothers and sisters in Jesus?
Father, thank You for giving us the church as a family of believers. Help us learn to love our Christian family as would bring You greatest glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.