Friday, July 22, 2011

IBS: The First Church

  Our two-week blackout has been lifted for a very specific cause. The staff at the ranch believes in utilizing every outlet available to us to reach the world for Christ, and with social networking on the rise they have encouraged us to create blogs. Pastor G is instructing us on how to share with all of our readers what the Lord is showing us, and the great works that He is doing within us.
  We will have weekly blogging assignments (which I think is pretty cool). I hope you all continue to read on and are blessed by what the Lord is blessing me with.

  We are, over the course of our time here at the ranch, going to be studying out of the book of Acts.

  Acts 2:42—And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and of prayers.

  In the previous verse we see three thousand souls added to the body of Christ and get baptized; the “they” in verse 42 is talking about the group of new believers. After being baptized they immediately took to devoting themselves to the teachings of the apostles and creating fellowship in the name of the Lord amongst themselves. They broke bread and prayed with each other, just as we, as brothers and sisters in Christ, are commanded to do. Hebrews 10:24-25—And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

 This group of people was eager to learn about Christ and eager to spend time in fellowship with their brothers and sisters in the Lord. The fact that they devoted themselves to the teachings, and to the things that the Lord wanted to bestow upon them stirred up some strife in my heart. I’ve been a follower of the Lord for most of my life and somehow the excitement of hearing from my Savior has faded. These people are just babies in the faith, yet they have so much to teach us. No matter how long we’ve been following the Lord, He still has things He wants to teach us, and we must devote ourselves to hearing whatever it is He may say to us.

Another aspect of this verse that pierced my heart was that they devoted themselves to fellowship. The understood the importance of surrounding themselves with other believers who could fill them up and spiritually encourage them.

Secondly, I pulled out a couple of applications from this verse. The first being, when the Lord called me to the mission field I was stoked, but when He called me to Potters Field I didn’t want to go because I didn’t want to be taught or have to go to school and do homework. The Lord had to work in my heart to show me that I need to devote myself to the teachings of His word and to fellowship in His name before I could be useful on the field.

I have never dedicated myself to applying the teachings I’ve heard, nor have I devoted my life to finding and dwelling in good fellowship. I’ve listened to pastors and took notes in church and said, “Oh what a good nugget, I must be sure to apply that.” But it never seems to stick with me once I leave the building. And I go out to coffee and lunch with my friends and fellow believers quite often, but what young Christians, myself included, tend to forget these days is that fellowship means more than coffee shop hopping. The believers of the first church devoted themselves to praying for each other and with each other. I need to apply this to my life by cherishing my brothers and sisters in Christ and devote myself to praying for them and with them, and I would encourage you all to do the same.

Written: 7/18/11

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