Firstly, let us acknowledge the division we are facing in our nation. And, let us also acknowledge that we are not an “American” church, a “Western” church, a “Northwestern” church, or a “Seattle” church; we are Jesus’ church. First and foremost, we belong to Him. It’s even in our name: Mosaic! Our commonality is that we are all broken, and have come together to look like a complete picture of Jesus. The division we are facing as a country, though, has a solution: real relationships. This is the topic of our discussion for this week’s sermon, led by Andrew Bach.
John 15:15: “By this, all people will know that you are my disciples: by the way that you love one another.”
Acts 2:42-47: “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. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”
This week, we are looking at the term ‘devotion’ in particular (which means a ‘profound dedication marked by love, loyalty, and enthusiasm). In the above passage from Acts, the disciples were devoted to 1). The apostle’s teaching, 2). Fellowship, 3). Breaking of bread, and 4). Prayers. The result of this devotion was: awe upon every soul, miracles, unity, generosity, thankfulness, worship, favor with people in the city, and salvation. To be Jesus’ church, according to Scripture, is to be devoted to fellowship.
Because Millennials represent a good portion of our church – as well as incredible and beautiful diversity across the world today – we’re going to use some statistical evidence (courtesy of Gallup) to exemplify the significance of real relationships. The Millennial demographic is characterized by 4 commonalities:
- Connected: in ideas, inclusivity, etc.
- Unconstrained: they are not limited by the status quo
- Idealistic: they are optimistic and envision purpose and meaning in everything they do:
- Unattached: independent; there are so many options, which induce a fear of commitment
Three out of these four characteristics of Millennials, as a generalized population, are admirable and necessary to neighborhood, city, nation, and worldwide change! However, a propensity to be unattached can be disastrous; Jesus’ church must be devoted to fellowship. Nothing is more powerful than real relationship. This is why Lifegroups are so important. If we ourselves are not walking in real relationship, we cannot help a nation divided become unified.
John 15:15: “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” Real relationships grow us in the fruit of the Holy Spirit. God, Himself, is in community! He does not exist alone, but in relationship with the Son and the Spirit. The power is in devotion. The power is in showing up. As a church family, we encourage everyone to commit to a group of people; in that devotion, you’ll find yourself on a launchpad toward real relationship.
The nation, in its division, is set up for a move of God through the local church. Friends, let that be us! Let our devotion be contagious.
If you are already part of a Lifegroup, we encourage and applaud your commitment. If you are interested in joining a Lifegroup, we’d love to speak with you after church on Sundays at the Welcome Table!