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Next Step – Day 19

Next Steps

Who has God linked me with?When people become followers of Jesus, their highest priority is to nurture their new relationship with the Lord. There can be no substitute for developing a personal one-to-One bond.

Even so, as we emphasized on Day 11, we aren’t supposed to be isolated, but rather joined to other believers in a common pursuit to discover God and walk in His ways. It has been said that the two sections of the cross — the vertical and the horizontal — symbolically represent our dual relationship with God and with others. They intersect. They are not unrelated.

Gatherings of believers — or “churches” — come in many packages — from small clusters of those who gather secretly in regions where such practices are forbidden, to “mega-churches” of tens of thousands of Christians. Regardless of the configuration, it is vital for every believer to be linked with other believers. This linkage was the spontaneous response of those who came to faith on the day of Pentecost, and we need to understand how they functioned.

And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine (or teaching) and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers (Acts 2:42).

Each of the four aspects of their assembling was catalytic to their growth individually and as a group:

  • Teaching kept them centered on God’s word, rooted in “sound doctrine.”
  • Fellowship kept them involved with one another in friendship, as well as praise, worship and testimonies to God’s activity.
  • Breaking bread kept them in touch by sharing meals with each other, giving opportunity for warm dialogue and growing friendship. These meals generally took place “house to house” (v. 46), and brought whole families, including children, together in a very natural setting.
  • Prayers kept them focused as a group upon God’s presence. As they offered prayers, petitions and intercession, they were able to hear His will for their lives.

If only these same elements were always present in church life today!
As a new believer, you may or may not have an existing relationship with a church fellowship. Or, you may be in a church that falls far short of being the right place for you. Sadly, many churches seem spiritually dead. Some are making serious mistakes. But you can boldly ask God to bring you together with the individuals and groups He desires for you. He knows your needs, and knows with whom you ought to be connected.

He may direct you into a format that is “unconventional.” For many years our family met “from house to house” with several other families. Our children were enthusiastically involved, and the essential elements of the early church noted above were present. In many areas of the world, thousands of new churches are forming, growth is taking place and dynamic fellowship is occurring.

Jesus is intent on this kind of growth. He said, “I will build My church, and the gates of Hades (Hell) shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). Jesus’ church is not in retreat, not barely getting by, not just going through the motions. Jesus’ church is healthy, vibrant and strategic. He wants you to be in such a church.

Key Scripture … not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together (Hebrews 10:25).
Key Thought As a new Christian, I need to be in healthy fellowship with others.
Copyright © 2006 by John D. Beckett

Continue to stay in God’s Word, keep focused, and build friendships with other Christians… not staying focused on these tasks can be detrimental to your growth. Ask God to surround you with other Christians to support you on your journey.


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