“They devoted themselves to the Apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Acts 2:42
Imagine for a moment that you are Jesus during His earthly ministry. You have been given the most important assignment that anyone will ever be given. Only you can complete it. If this world is ever going to be right with its Creator, it will be because of you and your ministry. What would you do and where would you spend most of your time? Most of us would probably jump immediately into teaching in the synagogues, performing miracles, and perhaps even telling the world that we were the Son of God. But not Jesus. While Jesus did perform miracles and teach in the synagogues, the majority of His time was spent with twelve close friends – His disciples.
Even Jesus – the Son of God – did not attempt to live the Christian life alone. He knew His work would be endlessly demanding, frustrating, and tiring. He knew He would want time away from the crowds to refuel because He had chosen to wrap His deity in flesh and subject Himself to all of the limits that humanity brings. But let’s face it, Jesus did not need these twelve men, because God does not need anything, and Jesus was still fully God. Jesus did, however, want these close friends. He didn’t want to face hardships or experience joy alone. He wanted friends. He wanted community. And perhaps most importantly, He wanted to set an example for us.
The way that Jesus chose to live His life on earth is a model for all Christians who have come after Him. As followers of Jesus Christ, we need real fellowship with other believers. We need the kind of fellowship that cannot take place in a worship service on Sunday morning, but rather the kind that happens by living life alongside one another and sharing joys and burdens, sorrows and disappointments, and victories and defeats. We need an inner circle, just like Jesus had. These trusted friends will allow us to be transparent with our sin struggles and will love us enough to be there, yet still hold us accountable to the truth of God’s Word. This is biblical community.
Do you have this type of Christian fellowship in your life? If so, you are rich beyond any wealth the world could offer. If not, you are missing a vital element in your personal relationship with God. If Jesus Himself did not try to live His life without a community of faith, why would we?
Dear God, Thank You for the gift of my brothers and sisters in Christ. I pray that You would help me to invest in deep, meaningful relationships with other believers. Lead me to a small group community where I can serve, fellowship, and grow in Your Word. In Your name I pray, amen.