The Family – Sermon Summary   Leave a comment

Acts 2:42-47, 10/12/8

On a recent trip back home to Ohio something very rare happened.  My Dad was having surgery and my Mother, sister, and I were all in the room with Dad before they took him to the procedure.  I have to admit, I missed the meaning of the moment at that time because I found myself slipping into “pastoral” mode.  You know; asking the family to join hands, leading a heart-felt prayer, and then leaving the room with the family for the surgical waiting lounge.

It didn’t dawn on me until later – when was the last time my family of origin was together like that and actually prayed together?  To this minute, I don’t recall the last time.  But what I found to be a very good point to remember was that we did share this moment.  The feeling of “family” is essential for all of us.

So how does this apply to the church?

Acts 2:42-47 allows me to make a simple bulleted point list of the principles and activities the church in Jerusalem adhered to while going through a simple identification process.  What are the things to which God’s people must commit in order to be the vibrant church He requires us to be?

  • Godly teaching – Sound biblical teaching is essential in today’s church.  God calls out Pastors to lead and many others to help in the teaching ministry.  Good and capable leadership is essential to the teaching ministry of the church.
  • Fellowship – Church activities are essential to atmosphere.  Functions need to be designed for the whole family to attend, but age-specific and affinity group activities are also necessary. 
  • Breaking of Bread – Since we’re talking about corporate activities, I read this to be a reference to Holy Communion.  This always serves as a great reminder of just who we are, Whose we are, and why we do the things we do.
  • Prayer – Much more than the Sunday morning ‘church’ prayers.  We need our regular prayer meetings and for folks to be there.  The church further needs to spend time in prayer together in other settings.  When was the last time you called someone and prayed with them over the phone?  Private prayer time is critical, but being a person of prayer greatly enhances the body of Christ.
  • The awesomeness of God – Worship.  These people were in awe of God.  Awe should be the result of everything mentioned above.  It reminds us to keep our perspective of who God is to us and who we are to God.  The results of these activities were even more miracles happening in and through the church.
  • Togetherness & Sharing – Unity, not uniformity.  This community had a real sense of closeness.  They shared what they had and spent time together.  Some feel that they have nothing to share, and this is never true.  You can share prayers, encouragement, joy, smiles, etc.  These people did share ‘things’ too and gave sacrificially to one another.
  • Meeting together – The Temple in Jerusalem helped form the religious and economic center of this region.  These folks gathered daily to strengthen their bonds: they were family!
  • Fellowship outside the church – They took this bonding to their homes as well.  All churches need social activities that go beyond the church walls.  True fellowship carries over into personal lives.  When was the last time you had someone outside of your family of origin from the church over for dinner?  Met for coffee?  Called just for the sake of calling?
  • Worship – God was central to all that this family did.  He got all the credit and their joy resulted in community approval.  With the exception of the religious leaders who had much to lose, everybody approved of this church…for a while.
  • Evangelism – It was because of their devotion to God and one another that God continuously brought even more people into the fold.  They were the lighthouse to their community that all churches should be today.

To me, the key phrase in this entire passage lies in the first three words; “They devoted themselves…”.  How devoted to God are you today?  How devoted are you to His family?  How devoted are you to His work in and through His church?

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