Some call it fellowship, others simply a relationship and I’ve chosen the name partnering in life. Neither one, however, can fully reflect the meaning of the Greek κοινωνία (koinonia) better than the passage from Acts 2:42-47.
Today we tend to take relationships for granted. The Internet offers them at practically no cost, and so does the local school, sports club… oh, yes – even the church. So far – nothing wrong. Sadly enough, the fragrance of the koinonia seems to have faded away. Instead of being like a fresh Spring bloom, it’s more like a frozen vegetable which has then been microwaved – you wouldn’t know it smells like something if it weren’t for the big fat colored label on the package that tricks your mind into believing it does. We’re either really dumb fools or really lazy and indifferent to our own lives.
We like having partners in life as long as they don’t require much of us. As long as they don’t disturb out comfortable and well planned and organized living. It seems to me that the fancier mobile phones one can buy, the less we care about sincerely maintaining our relationships. Perhaps this would be quite a shock to Johann Philipp Reis (whom I credit as the inventor of the telephone). Nevertheless, my point is – the things that ought to draw us closer to each other seem to actually scatter us apart.
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality (Romans 12:11-13, NIV).
Paul’s letter to the church in Rome from the first century is often limited to a well written lesson on systematic theology. This, however, is the very reason due to which most of the letter’s today’s readers miss seeing the practical guides which make up the message. After all, Romans is a letter by a caring spiritual father to his children in the faith. Thus, after clarifying for his brothers and sisters in Christ the basics of the Christian faith Paul does not forget to also remind them how to show this faith through practice in their lives. The whole chapter 12, as well as much of the following ones, is a description of how the life of a believer ought to be like. So, before you continue reading this devotional, please, do read the whole chapter 12 of Romans (you may also read till the end of the letter).
It does not come by surprise that in the middle of this description one finds the phrase “faithful in prayer.” Multiple times already we have turned our attention to how seriously Paul takes prayer. In most Bibles there is two references attached to this phrase. These two other passages confirm the apostle’s teaching. read more