Acts 2:42-44 ESV - And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common.
koinonia meta Theos - koinonia met allelon: fellowship with God - fellowship with one another
When the church was born in Acts 2, the devotion to God and the fellowship of believers was characterized by their sharing life together. “Community” comes from “common”-“unity”, and these new Christians had Christ in common to unite them in a hostile world. Unity was fuel for the outpouring at Pentecost, and unity was a characteristic of the early church. How devoted are you to sharing your life in unity with the rest of the church?
Hebrews 13:16 NCV - Do not forget to do good to others, and share with them, because such sacriﬁces please God.
Sharing of your life - your time, your friendship, your hospitality, and even your material generosity are not only expressions of Biblical fellowship, they are spiritual sacriﬁces offered to God as worship. In what areas this past week have you worshiped God by sacriﬁcially sharing your life with others in the church? What opportunities to sacriﬁcially share has God set before you this coming week?
Romans 12:10-16 NIV - Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in afﬂiction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Some powerful “allelon” (one another) verses are found in Romans 12. When it comes to sharing together, how consistently do you honor others in Christ? Sharing in excitement (zeal, passion) and joyful hope (for instance, rejoicing with those who rejoice) is to be contagious in Christian fellowship. As you review Romans 12:10-16, what areas of sharing life together stand out as a strength or a weakness in your life?
1 Thessalonians 5:8-11 NIV - But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. 9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
Sharing together in warm fellowship should MUTUALLY encourage and build up. When you consider 1 Thessalonians 5:8-10, how does it affect how you view verse 11? Have you ever noticed that you are built up when you build others up? How easily do you receive encouragement? (If you don’t receive it well, might others become frustrated at attempting to encourage you?)
For more on “allelon” see, http://www.smallgroupchurches.com/the-59-one-anothers-of-the-bible/