Last week we kicked off our We > Me series and discussed the power of Christian Fellowship. We saw in the book of Acts how the first church consistently devoted themselves to the apostles’ doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer. The result of their commitment to fellowship was more healthy relationships, more courage for challenges, more needs being met, and more sicknesses healed. That sounds pretty good to me.
I would love to hear any stories of how you have been impacted by Christian fellowship in your life. (I know they are not all positive, so know I am up for hearing both.)
This Sunday we will stay in the book of Acts and look at what happened when conflict arose in the first church. Conflict is inevitable because we are conflicted people. James 4:1 tells us that wars and conflict come from the desires that battle within us. Therefore, the saying is true, “I have seen the enemy and the enemy is us.” Or as James might put it, I have seen the enemy and the enemy is me. The greatest threat to the harmony and beauty of the “We” is the “me.”
C.S. Lewis uses his snarky, sarcastic skills to describe the challenge of relationships this way: “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
If you would like to read ahead we will be in Acts 6 and Acts 15. I hope that you will devote yourself and your family to the same things the first church did so that you may experience the nearness and power of God’s Spirit who is the author of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.