Message by: Pastor Christina Karanick
They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
– Our word FELLOWSHIP is derived from this Greek word defined as “holding something in common” used 20 times in the New Testament
For just as we have many parts in one body and all the body’s parts do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually parts of one another.
Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.
1 Peter 5:8-9 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.
— First off, notice how the passage says “the enemy prowls like a lion, looking for someone to devour.” Not some group, or some church, but someONE. Lions are strong, yes, but they also know they have a much better chance at a meal when they can get an individual cut off and apart from the herd. Lions know, like the enemy knows, that it’s far more productive to attack one than it is to attack an entire herd. Think about that with me for a moment today. The enemy is looking for someONE to devour, not some group. There is strength in the herd, the group, the church and it can be dangerous to forgo the community in favor of your own isolated path. Secondly, notice how Peter says we should respond to the enemy’s tricks. He says we should “resist him, stand firm, and remember that the FAMILY of believers around the world is enduring the same kinds of suffering.” Resist him, yes. Stand firm in the faith, yes and yes. But also, remember the family of faith. Set your mind on the herd, on the group, and on the church fellowship. Remember you’re not alone in the battle, but rather, there’s a whole worldwide church experiencing similar suffering and pain as you. The enemy wants to get us alone, or get us thinking we’re alone, but Peter wants us to remember we are not alone. We’re part of a much bigger family, a fellowship with a common focus and bond.