Friday, January 24, 2014

(40 Days of Focus) Day TWENTY: "It's About Relationships"

Read: "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 — 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" (Acts 2:46-47, NLT).

Think About It: One house. One dining room table. 18 people sitting together for dinner. I'm not sure I would have really been able to picture that in my mind had I not seen it and experienced it for myself. The host family had settings for everyone around the table. We all served ourselves, sat down to a delicious meal, and enjoyed the conversation and the presence of those around us. Purposing to all sit together, we were able to not just hear, but to listen to those who spoke. We were positioned as such that we were able to listen to more than just the words of their mouths, but get a whisper of the depths of their hearts. It was relationship. It was love. It was Church.

Going Deeper: For many, the idea of church is a constantly changing, culturally evolving methodology of employing the latest technology, the newest approaches in creativity, and the hottest and most current worship music. All of this to do exactly what the early church did with a passion for Jesus and a love for one another. Using new methods in a changing era is not something to be shied away from when the message shared doesn't get lost in the bells and whistles. The church in the Book of Acts was a church where people were determined to be together. They lived in the awareness that they were each a gift of God to one another in an atmosphere that wasn't always sympathetic to the passion in their heart for the One in whom they believed. Sound familiar? They had each other. They needed each other. They purposed to be together, to live life together, to share in life's challenges and joys together, and to worship God together. The results were exponential. It was relationship as it was designed by God. It was authentic. It was obvious. It was contagious.

Next Step: Sometimes relationships "just happen" as you find yourself in the right place, at the right time, and with the right people. Most of the time, however, relationships are strategic as you seek God for every step in every direction He desires to lead you. Take a church directory or look in your address book or scroll down your contact list. How can you better invest in the lives of those God has crossed your path with? Pick up the phone. Meet for coffee. Go to church during a mid-week service. Don't allow the business of your schedule to rob you and others of the rewards and the calling of relationship. Be a part. Bless others. Be blessed. It's about relationships.

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