Shared Life

Ken_LoomisThis morning I traveled to Denver for some appointments. One of my first stops was by Addenbrooke Park in Lakewood to connect with my old senior softball team. It was good to see some of my former teammates and know they are playing well.

I had my annual eye doctor’s appointment. Dr. Steve Loomis has been my eye doctor, friend and political supporter for a number of years. It was good to see him and to find that my eyes don’t display some of the symptoms that are normally exhibited by those with active Myasthenia Gravis. (see today’s picture)

I was able to get by to see Christian and Bridge and the grand kids for a few moments. Next week, Riley and I attend a “grandcamp” in Estes Park. I then connected with my mother for lunch with some of her Wednesday Bible Study friends. Before leaving town, I enjoyed another visit with Vila Mae Byrum and a special time of prayer as her health continues to fail. But what was special was to find that Vila’s health my be failing but she is not failing! She is strong in faith and ready for the future the Lord has for her. What a great legacy she is leaving for her family and all those who know her.

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… They spent their time learning the apostles’ teaching, sharing, breaking bread, and praying together…The believers met together in the Temple every day. They ate together in their homes, happy to share their food with joyful hearts. They praised God and were liked by all the people. Every day the Lord added those who were being saved to the group of believers.”  Acts 2:42,46-47

After the Day of Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit, we see the nucleus of the “church” beginning to emerge. We can observe some important commitments and characteristics of the lives of the early disciples as they forged a new future as “followers of Christ” without Christ being present.

They basically shared their lives together. They spent time with each other, as they had spent their lives together with Christ. They learned from the apostles, they shared their lives with each other, they ate together and celebrated the “Lord’s Supper” and they devoted themselves to prayer.

They met together for worship and instruction and they enjoyed each others company over food in their homes. From the earliest times in the Bible we see shared hospitality marking the lives of God’s people. Whether it was Abraham having Sarah prepare a meal for visiting strangers, the instructions in the law about the feasts and festivals, to Jesus sharing meals with the disciples and the multitudes. There is a dimension of sharing a meal that goes beyond the required in-take of calories to sustain life. Sharing the meal with others sustains the life of community, of together.

I believe it is important to observe that “life done right” – in a way that is honoring the Lord results in three things. The scripture records that the people “praised the Lord.” There was a sense of the Lord presence and blessing on their gatherings that made individuals give recognition to the Lord.

They had the favor of people. “They were liked by the people.” The life they shared, the community they were establishing was difficult to criticize and put down. Jesus told His disciples, “by this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another.” (John 13:35) The verb tense of the Greek language, suggests this is describing an “atmosphere of love.”

People wanted to be a part of what they saw happening. “…Everyday the Lord added to the group of believers those who were being saved.” As the gospel was shared and the lives of the disciples were lived out for people to see, people wanted to be a part of what they saw taking place. It is not just “sharing” the gospel and it is not just “living out our life faith” that draws people to Christ. It is both.

Shared life does not happen “on the run” with the time we have left over in our weekly schedule. It requires time, and priorities. It requires a “shared life” and a unity that backs up the words of truth that we share.