They devoted themselves to the apostlesâ€™ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts 2:42 (NIV)
I have frequently heard in conversations with fellow Believers that we would â€œlove to see our church look like the first church after Pentecostâ€. We would love to attend such a churchâ€¦but are we willing to do what they did?
This group of Believers came together daily. Daily! DAILY! Most of us are not really willing to do that. When our church has revival services we canâ€™t make the priority to come every night for FOUR nights! (Sunday-Wednesday) We complain if our Sunday service lasts more than an hour. We whine (or ignore) when small group study involves â€˜homeworkâ€™! The words in this passage say that the Believers were devoted to the teaching. What does that mean? â€œWell, if we had a â€˜Peterâ€™ teaching us we would be committed and loyal to that teaching too!â€ There is always an excuse that can be found for not being faithful to the teaching that God has provided us! Too often it is not a lack of good teaching but a lack of investment from the student! If I am stepping on toes today â€“ remember that God stepped on MINE first!
This group of Believers also broke bread together. They had fellowship. They remembered that Jesus told them that when they came together in unity, breaking the basic â€“ like bread â€“ that He would be there with them. On any given week, with whom do we break bread? Do we remember to acknowledge that Jesus is there? Is our conversation something that He would want to be a part? Do we spend time BUILDING UP THE BODY or tearing it down in our conversations?
This group of Believers came together daily to PRAY! Personal prayer AND corporate prayer was a priority! Recently my daughter told me that their pastor decided not to have their usual Saturday evening service and their Sunday service. There was a need to pray for two families who were battling very serious illness. There was a need and so the group of Believers made meeting that need a priority. Are we willing to suspend the â€˜usualâ€™ order of worship to meet the needs of the Body or are we too concerned about what others â€“ even a visitor â€“ might think? If I was a visitor, I might not know the ones who had the need but I would be pretty impressed with a church who was willing to meet that need!
And the Lord added to their number DAILY those who were being saved. Acts 2:47 (NIV, emphasis mine)
Well, duh! Do you think? When we â€˜allowâ€™ GOD to be the leader of the church then good things happen. When we stop trying to figure out and over-think and make a program fit and just let GOD do the figuring and the planning and the fitting â€“ then good things happen. GOD gets the credit nor the program or the person. GOD. We turn our hearts to God. We give Him our time and priorities. We praise Him in all things. The world is looking for us to be really and truly sold out to God! No more straddling the fence but firmly on Godâ€™s side. Let us be devoted to God.