1 CORINTHIANS 16:7 – For I do not want to see you now just in passing. I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits.”
The Apostle Paul shared his heart with other believers which meant he shared his life. A place to see this clearly is in his letters to the Thessalonians, but also in his letters to the believers in Rome, Philippi, and a personal one to Philemon. The references are many of his desire to be with other believers, a desire for spiritual companionship, spiritual growth, and spiritual edification. But if we are tempted to say, “Well, that was the Apostle Paul–super Christian .I am no Paul.” And yes, part of that statement would be true, not the part of Paul being a super Christian. He was saved by the same grace saving us. He was the chief of sinners who needed the Gospel of the Lord Jesus like us. The part that is true in Paul is what is true in every Christian, every healthy Christian– a desire, intense desire, for together time with other Christians for spiritual purposes centered around the Word, prayer, and service. It was established right out of the gate with the early church. Ponder these references pointing to the practice of togetherness by the early Christians . . .
All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers (Acts 1:14); When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place (Acts 2:1); And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common (Acts2:42-44); And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them. And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness (Acts 4:24, 31)
It was clearly the practice of the 1st-century Christians to be together a lot–even daily–centered on the Lord and things of the Lord. And it was not a “have to” obligation of dull, heartless attendance. The Spirit of God so knitted these believers together in Christ, they longed to be together. It was a delight and desire. What about us? I remember talking to a Christian about praying with other believers. He wasn’t in the practice of attending any of the scheduled prayer meetings in my church or regularly meeting with other Christians for prayer. I asked him, “Why don’t you attend prayer meetings or gather with other believers for prayer?” His response was defensive, “I don’t have to do that to be a good Christian.” My response was simply, “My question is grounded in desire, not obligation.” I continued, “Why wouldn’t you want to be together with other Christians for prayer?” This extends to all things of the Lord–His Word, prayer, and Gospel service with other Christians. Are we regularly practicing togetherness time? Is so, thank God for the privilege. We are living out Biblical Christianity. If not, ask the question, “Why not?” When it comes to togetherness time with other Christians, it is never a time issue. It is a desire issue. Yes, we truly will make time for the things we desire most and are the most important to us.
PRAYER: “Father, impress upon me the privilege and responsibility to gather often with Your people.” QUOTE: “Christianity demands togetherness with other Christians; a togetherness of delight.”
Because of Him,