They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

In Acts, as people responded to the gospel and were changed, one natural result was a new community. The community was the first church, who had believed the gospel and sought to encourage one another in the truth and lead others to belief. The early church continually reminded one another of the truth of the gospel by holding to the teaching of the apostles and devoting themselves to prayer.

Today, we are called to live in the same way. We abide in the truth of Christ through continual time spent in the Scriptures and prayer to the Father. The early church was dynamic. The truth of the gospel could not be contained in their midst. A result of their time together in community was an outpouring of the message of the gospel to others.

Though it is tempting to look for big, impressive ways to stir up momentum in the church today, we would do well to hold fast to the practices of the early church. We should be devoted to the Scriptures and prayer. Further, these things are to be done as the community of God. God has designed the church to live and work together for His purposes. We are not only called as individuals, but also as members of His family who will impact the world by holding to the truth of the gospel.

• What are some obstacles to community within the church? What can you do to help some of those specific obstacles in our midst?

• Where have you sought something that you viewed as bigger or more important than the study of the Scriptures and prayer? How can you return to these foundational practices of the church?

• Thank God that He has called us into a family and given us the same means as the early church to live faithfully as His people and spread His message to others.