42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
What is it that we can do so that we can connect with the Lord God and our follow brothers and sisters of the faith?
Well, today, we are going to look at some of the things that the early church devoted themselves to that helped them to stay connected to the Lord and experience awesome connections to Him and blessings from Him.
I. Connecting Ourselves Through Bible Study
Acts 2:42a – “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching…”
The apostles’ teaching is recorded for us here in the New Testament. These early Christians not only would listen to the Apostles teach the Scriptures in large groups, but those who were growing also studied it as they met together in smaller groups from house to house.
Maybe you are saying, “Well, I can’t get together every day to study. I can barely find enough time to get the things I already have going on done.” If we are going to experience connection with the Lord, we have got to devote ourselves to studying the Bible together. It is vital to our spiritual growth to do Bible study in groups. We learn from others and God speaks into our lives through others as well.
II. Connecting Ourselves Through Fellowship
Acts 2:42b…They devoted themselves to …the fellowship… to breaking of bread…”
First, we need to understand that fellowship is more than just hanging around and talking with people. That is part of it, but it is for the purpose of helping us form bonds and more intimate connections so that others can know us, and we can know others. That only happens as we spend time with one another.
But how do you experience connection with the Lord by fellowshipping with people? Being connected to God means being connected to Other Christians. The church is made up of all other Christians and the church is the body of Christ. If we are not connected to other Christians, His body, we are not connected to Christ.
Breaking of Bread. Some have thought this is solely a reference to communion, but I think it really means just eating together and is a further explanation of an aspect of fellowship. Sharing a meal together is something that helps bond people together.
III. Connecting Ourselves Through Prayer
Acts 2:42c…They devoted themselves… to prayer.
If we are going to be experiencing Connection with the Lord, then we must be praying. Prayer is one of the essential ways we communicate with God. And it is through prayer that God hears and responds to us.
We are connected through prayer. I think most of us know and believe that. But God is present in a special way when we pray with Other Christians.
I know each of us have the Holy Spirit and that God is with us when we put our trust in Jesus as Savior, never to leave us or forsake us.
But there is something unique and special when Christians get together in prayer. We see throughout the book of Acts that the early Christians would gather together and pray.
In Acts 12, we find that Peter is arrested and thrown in jail as persecution of Christians began. But it tells us in Acts 12:5 that “Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.”
The church was praying and God miraculously freed Peter. Now they were not just praying individually, they were praying together. God wants us praying with each other and for each other.
Here at Cornerstone UMC, we must be that church where the people can connect with one another in Bible study, Fellowship, and Prayer. Amen!
Pastor John N. Punni, II