Day 11

Making Room for the Church



Psalm 133:1, Malachi 2:10, John 13:35, Acts 4:32, Romans 8:15-17, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, Ephesians 3:8-10, Colossians 3:12-17

BY Guest Writer

Text: Psalm 133:1, Malachi 2:10, John 13:35, Acts 4:32, Romans 8:15-17, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, Ephesians 3:8-10, Colossians 3:12-17

“Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.”
– Acts 4:32

This verse sure feels warm and fuzzy. It’s easy to romanticize the friendships in the early Church. But the reality of our own relationships surely lifts the veil. What is true for us must also have been true for them: authentic community takes work.

Mind if I make a confession? I spent most of my adult life trying to live without intimate, Christian friendship. It was too uncomfortable for me, too messy. The investment didn’t seem to match the payout. But living life outside the circle was like being a fish in a mud puddle: I could survive, but I sure didn’t thrive. My patient, loving, imperfect friends have pulled me out into deeper waters again and again.

I used to think this verse from Acts 4 meant the church shared all their “stuff.” Maybe they rotated the ancient equivalent of lawn mowers and weed eaters, or pooled their money to get a better rate at the fish market. There may have been an element of that, but I’m now convinced they had more than stuff in common.

They shared their gifts, recognizing that talents and abilities are given by God “for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:4-11).

They shared their inheritance, recognizing that we’ve been adopted into the same family by the will of the Father (Romans 8:15-17).

They shared a calling, recognizing that we can spend our lives building individual little kingdoms, destined to pass away, or we can join forces to build the only Kingdom promised to stand forever (2 Samuel 7:16).

If the church in Acts was anything like my community of friends, they shared their burdens too. When the weight of hurt or disappointment or rejection becomes too heavy for one of us to carry, we lay it down, knowing someone else in the circle will pick it up.

Just this week, I was hauling a load of heartache so big I worried it might bury me. My friends stepped in and said, “Let us carry this with you.” My circumstances didn’t change, my heart didn’t instantly mend, but I could stand up straight again. When life knocked me down, these friends picked me up. This is a picture of hospitality.

The way we in the Church respond to each other in the toughest times shoots up a flare. It tells a watching world that we are broken and busy people, eternally bound together with the unbreakable chord of Christ’s love.

“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
– John 13:35

Yes, hospitality is worth extending because of the benefits it affords us, but there’s a bigger story being told. Jesus knows we’re His disciples based on evidence found in our hearts. The world knows we’re His disciples based on evidence found in our homes.

Your house isn’t big enough, your floors aren’t clean enough, your cooking skills aren’t accomplished enough. Show hospitality anyway. Our hearts and lives are messy. But when we open our doors and our arms, we’re telling the story of Christ’s love.

If you’re living in a fishbowl, gulping and gasping for air, allow hospitality to pull you into deeper waters. Because it’s not just about gathering; it’s about giving. It’s not about neat and tidy; it’s about the poor and needy. It’s not about you. It’s about Christ and His Church.

SRT-John-instagram11s

Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

Post Comments (67)

67 thoughts on "Making Room for the Church"

  1. ed sheeran instagram says:

    I discovered your blog internet site online and appearance a couple of your early posts. Always maintain within the really good operate. I simply additional encourage RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. Seeking forward to reading far more on your part at a later time!…

    http://www.edsheeran.co.uk

  2. Vita says:

    I would love to be a part of a church community and start showing hospitality in this way, but it’s so difficult to choose where to go at the moment. I recently got married, and my husband and I are torn between churches (his and mine). I am flexible enough to where I can serve in either one, and have relationships with people in both churches, and my husband isn’t sure which one he likes better (mine is a little more conservative, and his is more liberal, but both have pros and cons). I have no idea what to do. Do I push us one way or another? Or do I wait for him to find somewhere to serve? I’ve been trying to do the latter, but it seems like it’s taking forever. I want him to lead our family one way or another (I want him to have the final say, although we both talk about the decision a lot), but it seems like time is passing, and we still don’t belong anywhere. What do I do as a young wife? Do I just wait?

    1. April says:

      Vita, Trust the Lord. The Lord will lead you both. First find a church you both like. No church​ is perfect -because we are there. Be a part of the church and God will provide the time and place to serve. Get to know and love your brothers and sisters.

    2. Maddie says:

      Good morning! Something that my husband and I have found helpful is to give ourselves a deadline. When we have big choices to make we will write down specially what we are praying about, agree on a goal end date, and pray about it separately. When we come back together we talk about what the Lord put on our hearts and usually end up coming to a decision. Having a goal end date helps my husband a lot, it helps him realize there needs to be a choice made and soon, not just leaving it so wide open. Hope this helps you. Blessings.

    3. JANE Farrer says:

      Yes, dear Vita, you just wait. Wait on God, by waiting for your husband’s wise decision. God makes all things beautiful in HIS time. Eccles 3:11

  3. Marsha says:

    I agree with Alicia Mack, this passage reminds me of my small group we call Lifegroup. We do life together, confide in one another (yes, the bad stuff too) and pray for one another. It is a real community with real love, not superficial and fake “everything is fine” group. This group and my church have given me peace and strength to grow as a member of God’s community and my church community through faith and love. Thanking God for putting these wonderful people in my path to worship and watch God’s power in our lives.

    1. She Reads Truth says:

      What a beautiful thing you have found, Marsha! So grateful when the Lord brings women into community with their sisters and allows them to have deep, rich and meaningful relationships. Encouraged by this!

      – Stormye

  4. Tammy says:

    I too read these verses and thought “sharing of stuff.” I love the emphasis on sharing burdens and the messiness of life, including sharing forgiveness with each other as Christ forgave us instead of nurturing offenses.

  5. Kensley Goodman says:

    My pastor is preaching a sermon centered around this series of devotions. Yesterday he said the “point of the church is to bring sinners to repentance.” “There are none to dirty or to far gone, we are all the body of Christ.” I know the Lord is speaking to me but I am praying for opportunity to show itself where I may use what he is teaching me.

  6. Alicia Mack says:

    This passage reminds me of my small group. We are a group of ladies, of all ages, different backgrounds, and were raised differently in the church. However, now we attend the same church and we are growing together in Christ. The power in numbers are incredible!

  7. Alicia Mack says:

    This passage reminds me of my small group. We are a group of ladies, of all ages, different backgrounds, and were raised differently in the church. However, now we attend the same church and we are growing together in Christ. The power in numbers is incredible!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *