Summary: We tend to become like the people with associate and identify with.
Why Is It Important to Fellowship With Godly Associates
1. Godly associates enabled one another to help develop Christianity from a handful of people to a movement of over 600 million present day believers.
Illustration;One day, while my son Zac and I were out in the country, climbing around in some cliffs, I heard a voice from above me yell, "Hey Dad! Catch me!" I turned around to see Zac joyfully jumping off a rock straight at me. He had jumped and them yelled "Hey Dad!" I became an instant circus act, catching him. We both fell to the ground. For a moment after I caught him I could hardly talk.
When I found my voice again I gasped in exasperation: "Zac! Can you give me one good reason why you did that???"
He responded with remarkable calmness: "Sure...because you’re my Dad." His whole assurance was based in the fact that his father was trustworthy. He could live life to the hilt because I could be trusted. Isn’t this even more true for a Christian?
Tim Hansel, Holy Sweat, 1987, Word Books Publisher, pp. 46-47.
Mutual encouragement provided them with the necessary incentives to stay obedient, loving and committed to our Lord. They assembled together in the upper room for prayer, reflection and mutual accountability as we see in this passage. They were willing to pay any price to give all for Jesus Christ. Ask the Lord to help you plant and grow new fellowships of people which can expand the kingdom of God out to the parts of your communities that are yet to be reached with the light of truth.
2. Godly associates fortified the apostles with one purpose, mind and priority as they waited to be clothed with power from on high. Prayer became their chief vehicle for drawing each other together in worship, confession, thanksgiving and supplication. Ask the Lord to help you commit yourself to praying together with Godly associates for the synergistic benefits of strengthening one another’s purposes, minds and priorities. Remember you do not have to share personal problems while committing yourself and your ministries to the Lord.
3. Godly associates chose to use the networks of family connections in a strategic urban center where their fellowship would have the greater influence. Acts 1:12 says, "They returned to Jerusalem." It is a characteristic of Godly associates to seek out the places where they can have the greatest potential for qualitative and quantitative growth of the church. Ask the Lord to help you think strategically as to where you will locate your Godly fellowships for greater results.
4. Godly associates all joined together constantly in prayer along with the women and brothers. (Acts 1:14) Godly people make a habit of setting aside a time and a place where they can assemble together for prayer and worship of the Lord. Do not hesitate to bring in Godly men and women who can help you nourish one another spiritually, emotionally and socially. Avoid any hint of prejudice. The initial numbers in your fellowship is not as important as the quality of commitment in the members. Only through regular times of prayer will people be able to maintain the discipline of corporate prayer. Ask the Lord to help you select and welcome committed people who will share in prayer and worship.
5. Godly associates were willing to hold each other in spiritual accountability as a way of helping each other to avoid being sidetracked by the worries, riches, pleasures and troubles of this life. Early Christians were prone to the same kind of temptations as we face today. However, they found amplified power, wisdom and love in their connections with one another and with the Lord. Ask the Lord to help you hold one another in spiritual account with an attitude of love and not procedural or legalistic.
6. Godly associates are able to work through the most natural lines of communication found within each family, tribe and community. The first century believers were enabled by the Spirit to establish many house fellowships around prayer that allowed the church to grow naturally. Ask the Lord to give you wisdom and connections and love to spawn new prayer fellowships that will help people grow up into all aspects into Christ in their communities, work places and social classes.
7. Godly associates knew that every generation needs renewal. Godly fellowships allowed for age group oriented groups to accomplish great things for Jesus Christ. Ask the Lord to allow you to start a small fellowship of prayer and Bible study among your own age group and peers.
8. Godly associates were led to provoke one another to love and good works. It is the duty of every believer not only to comfort the distressed, but to distress the comfortable. Trust the Lord to use your fellowship in a positive way instead of a negative judgmental way to bring out the best in every person. Godly believers are able to encourage, exhort, correct, rebuke and stir one another up for the maximizing of their contributions for Christ. Ask the Lord to allow you to be more open to the spiritual provocations of Godly associates.