November 13 – Barroom Culture

Read: Ezekiel 27:1-28:26, Hebrews 11:17-31, Psalm 111:1-10, Proverbs 27:15-16

I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people… He causes us to remember his wonderful works. How gracious and merciful is our Lord! (Psalm 111:1,4)

Relate: I was sitting with a friend last night and the question was asked, “What’s your story? How did you get to where you are today?” From that launch point we both ended up sharing various moments from our past and what God has done for us.  It is good to hear how God has worked in someone else’s life. It is also good to be able to share parts of my own story with someone who genuinely cares. It is good to be able to have the friendship and camaraderie made richer with the common bond of grace through the cross. (It was also a great football game, although my friend might not agree on that point. KC lost)

Respond: The end of Acts chapter two describes the distinguishing marks of the early church. Food and fellowship are both mentioned twice, the word “together” is used three times. In fact, the overriding principle is this unity. It is that they spent time together, and this on a daily basis. I firmly believe that the reason that so many people will head to the bars at the end of their working day is because they can find there a community of people with whom they can let down their guard and be themselves. With friend and stranger alike there is fellowship found behind a haze of alcohol.

On the flip side, the biggest complaint most unchurched people have against Christians is that they are not “real”, that they are “hypocrites”. We need to adopt a barroom culture. God didn’t say they will know we are Christians by our belief. It isn’t by our worship, our buildings or ministries, it isn’t even by our holiness. They will know we are followers of Christ by our love. When we have a culture of getting together and sharing our stories around the dinner table. When we open up a bag of chips and tear down our masks. When we laugh and cry and banter with one another with no pretensions. The world will come flocking to our doors. They will want in. Because they will know we are just like them with just a touch of grace and a generous helping of love seasoned in.

Respond: God, it is so easy to go through my life insulated from genuine fellowship with others. It is part of my nature to just step back and do my own thing. It is also uncomfortable for me sometimes to just let down my guard. Help me to balance that with the fellowship of community that I need from, and need to offer to others. You are the model of getting alone to spend time with the Father but living in community with others. Help me to follow the example You set.

This is a devotional created by and for Two Rivers Assembly.

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