Friday – October 20, 2017 –Community
Acts 2:42-47 (NLT) All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.
43 A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. 44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. 46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity— 47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.
Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV) And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Life can be particularly difficult when we are attempting to get by on our own with very little support. We think that we can do so much more than we really can. Jesus said in John 15:5 (NIV) “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
Even atheists have a rudimentary understanding of this concept. Carl Sagan once famously said, “If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.” Without God’s creation we can’t even bake an apple pie. We need natural fruit that God has created to get an apple; we need supernatural fruit in order for our work to last forever. We each have our part to play in advancing the Father’s business and we are so much more effective when we come together in community. Like the disciples who left their earthly father’s business to follow Jesus and became a community of friends, we assemble together, sometimes in homes and sometimes in auditoriums to work in the Father’s business. We receive encouragement and support from each other to do what only God can do through us.
The rich young ruler, however, would not follow Jesus as he sought to get by on his riches. Somehow deep inside he knew that would not be enough and he left the presence of Jesus full of sorrow. He would not give up what he trusted in as his ultimate value. He found out that his riches could not save him.
He became part of the group who could do nothing without Jesus. The believers, the friends and ambassadors of Christ, on the other hand, became the community who according to Jesus could do all things. Mark 10:27 (MSG) Jesus was blunt: “No chance at all if you think you can pull it off by yourself. Every chance in the world if you let God do it.”
Prayer: Lord, thank you that I am part of a Christian community, who when we are together in unity can do whatever it takes to advance the Father’s business.
Proverbs 20 | Audio
Wine produces mockers; alcohol leads to brawls.
Those led astray by drink cannot be wise.
2 The king’s fury is like a lion’s roar;
to rouse his anger is to risk your life.
3 Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor;
only fools insist on quarreling.
4 Those too lazy to plow in the right season
will have no food at the harvest.
5 Though good advice lies deep within the heart,
a person with understanding will draw it out.
6 Many will say they are loyal friends,
but who can find one who is truly reliable?
7 The godly walk with integrity;
blessed are their children who follow them.
8 When a king sits in judgment, he weighs all the evidence,
distinguishing the bad from the good.
9 Who can say, “I have cleansed my heart;
I am pure and free from sin”?
10 False weights and unequal measures[a]—
the Lord detests double standards of every kind.
11 Even children are known by the way they act,
whether their conduct is pure, and whether it is right.
12 Ears to hear and eyes to see—
both are gifts from the Lord.
13 If you love sleep, you will end in poverty.
Keep your eyes open, and there will be plenty to eat!
14 The buyer haggles over the price, saying, “It’s worthless,”
then brags about getting a bargain!
15 Wise words are more valuable
than much gold and many rubies.
16 Get security from someone who guarantees a stranger’s debt.
Get a deposit if he does it for foreigners.[b]
17 Stolen bread tastes sweet,
but it turns to gravel in the mouth.
18 Plans succeed through good counsel;
don’t go to war without wise advice.
19 A gossip goes around telling secrets,
so don’t hang around with chatterers.
20 If you insult your father or mother,
your light will be snuffed out in total darkness.
21 An inheritance obtained too early in life
is not a blessing in the end.
22 Don’t say, “I will get even for this wrong.”
Wait for the Lord to handle the matter.
23 The Lord detests double standards;
he is not pleased by dishonest scales.
24 The Lord directs our steps,
so why try to understand everything along the way?
25 Don’t trap yourself by making a rash promise to God
and only later counting the cost.
26 A wise king scatters the wicked like wheat,
then runs his threshing wheel over them.
27 The Lord’s light penetrates the human spirit,[c]
exposing every hidden motive.
28 Unfailing love and faithfulness protect the king;
his throne is made secure through love.
29 The glory of the young is their strength;
the gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old.
30 Physical punishment cleanses away evil;[d]
such discipline purifies the heart.