Acts 2:42-47"And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved."
I love reading these verses and imagining what it would like for the Church to look that way. And I am encouraged because I see so much of this happening in our Church! Yet I know we (I) could grow so much more, especially as I think about our neighbors living in the homes beside us, or even the people in the check out line, the waiter, the other families at the park or pool, the teachers, etc. who are missing this sense of fellowship and community. Who long to belong to something and be someone's.
My prayer and my longing for myself and for my brothers and sisters in Christ is for this desire for our neighbors to know our Saviour to turn into action. That I'd actually make an effort to move out of myself, out of my comfort zone, and into relationship with my neighbors. Just speaking a kind word, being generous, and serving those I may never say more than a few words to as I run errands in our community. I can't do this on my own, but in God's strength I can do all things.
It's encouraging to read that out of their generosity and fellowship, the Church was led to worship God and they praised God and He gave them favor with all the people. God moved and He was the one that daily added number to their fellowship, and He saved them, not the Church. I'm thankful for a God who cares for us and does it through other people. I am thankful for a God who meets all of our needs, who SAVES.
There is freedom in knowing the only thing we need in this life is Jesus. Something I have only just begun realizing since my time spent in the slums of Kenya. Recognizing that being poor does not equal unhappiness when you belong to God the Father who takes good care of His children. Freedom to give of ourselves in relationships to people who may seem not to have much to offer us in return. Freedom to be generous with all that God has blessed us with as it all comes from and belongs to Him. To have "all things in common" What praise that would bring to our Father!
|Tony from Muthiga, Kenya 2008|