Summary: What true fellowship in community is?
Time goes by so fast. I feel like I just came to Smyrna but it already has been more than a month now. The first impression that I got from the youth group was very awful. I got the impression that the group is not organized at all and there is no one who¡¯s willing to serve the group. I felt like I have to start from the beginning as if I am building a new church.
After a month, I started to realize that the group has great potential to grow, and to serve the Lord in many different ways. I now see that the students are very polite, able, and kind. You guys are wonderful beings that God will be pleased to accept your commitment.
But before we build our group and grow ourselves, there is one thing that we have to keep in our mind. The bottom line to start our group grow is to have fellowship, is to have true fellowship which God wants us to have. How many of you can sacrifice yourself for the people around you now? Are you guys all friends and brothers and sisters of Christ?
In today¡¯s scripture reading, it shows us what kind of fellowship that we believers (Christians) should have. I wish that all of us would have the same fellowship that they had during that time.
From there, we can derive three basic principles about fellowship, which are so special for Christian communities.
First of all, in verse 45 says ¡°Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need¡±. After the death of Christ, there is now the Holy Spirit working in the days of Pentecost. One day, people gathered together in one place and suddenly the people were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues.
After they¡¯ve filled with the Holy Spirit, their lives have been totally changed. And we now see what are some of the changes, which the Holy Spirit brought to them. These changes are mainly with their inner being. As I just read, the first change was that they sold all their possessions and goods; they gave to anyone as he had need. They did not care how much money they had at the time, they just shared everything together. Some of them had more possessions than others but after they¡¯ve filled with the Holy Spirit, they wouldn¡¯t care, they were willing to give theirs to the people who needed.
I look around our youth group and I am quiet pleased that we are all close to each other yet we are some how divided into different groups. There are some people who are isolated and ignored by others. If we are true believers of Jesus Christ, we should have this kind of open mind that we can even share our money for our brothers and sisters.
When God made us to be in the same church and same youth group, he has his own purpose of doing that. It is our responsibility to help and support others. The point that I am making here is not just a matter of money, it is the attitude we should have as brothers and sisters of Christ. We should open our hearts and mind for others and try to see what is going on, what is happening to the people near me. And let us give our helpful hands for them.
As I look at myself, I find that I am so selfish sometimes that I only know and care about myself. There are times when I do not feel good if somebody is better than me. I sometimes have hard time encouraging people and having hard time-sharing myself with others because of my self-pride and self-respect. But our God is challenging us to share the important part of our lives with others. Let us try to be united, let us try to be one family in Jesus.
Secondly, they tried to have a lot of fellowship within themselves. Verse 46, ¡°Everyday they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.¡± I strongly ask all of you guys to come to Friday fellowship because of this verse. It is God¡¯s intention for us to have fellowships, to meet one another, and to know one another. Let us try to open our selves for others and try to make our selves available.
Thirdly, we need to gather together to praise God the Father. Our purpose of meeting has to be focused on praising God. God wants us to have fellowships as often as we can. God wants us to meet with others and have fellowship. But the purpose of our gathering, in every gathering is to praise God, is to lift up His name, and is to glorify the Lord. Once we know the purpose of our gathering, we will try to do the things that will please God in every gathering. If we keep do have our fellowships like the apostolic people God will honor us. Let us read verse 47 together. Let us try to glorify God through our youth group!