40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” 41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.
There are three things every Christian needs:
The presence of God
“they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine [teaching]...”
4 But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’ ”
9 How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.
11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.
23 Princes also sit and speak against me, But Your servant meditates on Your statutes.
24 Your testimonies also are my delight And my counselors.
25 I lie in the dust; revive me by your word.
28 I weep with sorrow; encourage me by your word.
50 Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles.
54 Your statutes have been my songs In the house of my pilgrimage.
house of my pilgrimage = wherever I live
98 You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; For they are ever with me. 99 I have more understanding than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation. 100 I understand more than the ancients, Because I keep Your precepts.
105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
165 Great peace have those who love Your law, And nothing causes them to stumble.
“…they continued steadfastly in… fellowship, in the breaking of bread...”
Having put their faith in Christ, these new converts didn’t follow Christ by themself. They surrounded themself with like minded people and grew together!
They fellowshiped together, and did so in the context of shared meals. In others, they did not only have brief conversations, they built meaningful relationships.
We need people
We need people
1 A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment.
9 Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up. 11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
17 As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.
(Last person to see you is you!)
We need the right people
We need the right people
20 He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed.
33 Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”
22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
The Presence of God
The Presence of God
“…they continued steadfastly… in prayers”
1 As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God.
“Pants” is literally “longs for” (NKJV note) or “brays” (KJV note) i.e. the harsh cry of a donky or mule. Translated “cry out” in Joel 1:20.
Why does the deer long for the water?
The deer is fond of feeding near the waters. When hunted he will go into the river, stay submerged as long as his breath permits, then swim downstream in the middle so as not to touch the branches of trees on either side.
In so doing, he prevents the hounds from finding his scent.
Sometimes he will stay in the water submerged with only his nose out.
In other words, he finds protection in the water.
Likewise, the presence of God keeps us safe, protected from the what the devil wants to do.
5 For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.
20 You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence From the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion From the strife of tongues.
1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”
The deer longs for water also for refreshment.
In the midst of life’s difficulties, we too need to be refreshed, and what better to referesh us than the presence of God!
“I have been anointed with fresh oil”
(Psalm 92:10 NKJV)
19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,
11 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
3 For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, And floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, And My blessing on your offspring;
Once the Spirit has been poured out on us, we have acccess to continual refereshing from the presence of God, which we can access every time we pray.
20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,
Not only does God’s presence protect and refresh us, it also strengthens us...
16 At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them. 17 But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.
32 Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.
From where did Jesus get the strength to go through with the cross? It was from knowing that the Father was with Him.
But on the cross, Jesus cried out:
46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
On the cross, Jesus received the bad we deserve, so that we can received the opposite good. Jesus was made sin, so we could be made righteous. Jesus was punished so we could be forgiven. Jesus was bruised, so we could be healed. And Jesus was forsaken, so that we could always have God’s presence with us.
5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
10 Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
Allow yourself to experience His presence and strength, by spending time with Him in prayer each day!
Every Christian needs:
The word of God for spiritual life, meditation, comfort, encouragement, worship, wisdom, guidance, and peace
Fellowship with like-minded godly people
The presence of God which protects, refreshes and strengthens us