"All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those where were being saved." Acts 2:44-47
This is one of the most inviting passages in the Bible. Don't you wish you could have been there? When I read this as a teenager, I thought, "Wow, I wish church was like that." But more importantly, this is still what God wants to do.
Recently, when traveling a long distance on a Western Highway, I came across a puzzling sign. It simply read: "No Services." It was announcing that there was no Gas, Food, Lodging, Rest Area, Hospitals, or anything resembling assistance at the next exit. It was telling me that unless I had some kind of connection with the people in that area, "Don't bother stopping, just keep passing through."
That sign could be accurately displayed in front of some of our homes, and probably in front of some churches. It is the opposite of inviting. It communicates the stark reality that if you exit from your travels there, expecting some form of help or relief, you'll be disappointed.
At its beginning, the Church was where people came to follow their Leader/Lord and Forgiver/Savior Jesus. They had been set free from the penalty, power, and future presence of sin. What they found when they grew together was a commonality, generosity, community, bond, and purpose that was infectious. It served as an exit ramp off the wide road of destruction and brought them onto the route to eternal life.
What do you find when you go to church? What do you bring? What do people find when they enter into your life?
I know that Acts 2:44-47 describes the great beginning of the Church. But I believe that God wants us to continue on in the same fashion.
Pray for the Church, its leaders, and your role in it all.
Ask God to revive it.
Ask how you can better yield to His Spirit's desire to bring unity, and eternal impact to and through His Church.
Posted on Wed, September 28, 2011
by David Gaunt