May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? Pretty amazing that our awesome God would consider feeding even us with His Word! May I encourage you to read the whole devotional, and look for a blessing, friend!………
Today’s Bible Reference: Acts 2:42-47
Today’s Bible Text: 42 All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper*), and to prayer. 43 A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. 44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. 46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity*—47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.
The Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)
My Take Away: Without giving the appearance of being too repetitive, I wanted to highlight some of the things that made the very early church a very successful one. This is in hopes that we may see something that might help us to do the same today. Friends, let me say at the very outset that I am not referring to the BIG church down the road who seems to be flourishing already, or the small to medium church that seems to be catching the BIG church up pretty quickly. I’m talking about the church of our Almighty God, for I believe that it should always be our objective to see His church added to daily (evidence of the unsaved world being reached with the gospel). So here are some things worth taking note of:
- Those that were saved, devoted themselves to the apostles’ teachings. What beautiful choice of words! Being ‘devoted to my wife’ means that I will do everything to be with her, listen to her, try to please her and will go with her even when a good football game is on or the fish are biting good! Therefore attending church, or Bible teaching, would have similar priorities to those things just mentioned, or as mentioned in Acts 2. There would be nothing with greater priority;
- Fellowship – I believe that when these Acts 2 believers spent tIme together under the teaching of God’s Word, they learned some things that helped them really get along with each other, so they enjoyed times of fellowship together. I bet they learned to overlook one another’s faults, and also their individual peculiarities!!
- Sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper) – The mention of ‘food’ will normally bring folk out to church, but what a challenge to get those same folk to join you for a Bible Study that follows, or the Lord’s Supper that may only occur once per month or quarter. Knowing that God sees the heart, I wonder what He must see as the ‘devotion’ of these folk?
- Prayer – Similar to the last item, this is probably one of the least attended services at a church. Analyzing this from a human perspective, means that folk either struggle with talking to their Father, fellowshipping with other believers while they talk with their Father, or simply sees no importance in publicly talking with their Father with hopes that others might be encouraged or blessed to hear of your answered prayer. I wonder which!
- Shared everything they had with those in need – In other scripture, God shows where the church was designed to handle this through tithes and gift giving, or through handing out food and clothing to those in need. Oh that we would be done with the excuses of assuming that the church abuses this privilege, therefore we will not give to the church as God directs. These folk sold everything they had so that others might be blessed. May I suggest that the giver was probably more blessed than the receiver?
You may be asking why God would have all this included in His Word for us. I believe that it was very intentional in mentioning that the church grew daily. Again, this refers to God’s church – regardless of what denomination tag may have been placed on it on earth. Friends, our churches are dying rapidly today, so may I encourage you to not worry about inviting the church growth division of your state to discuss and help you analyze your church problems, but rather look inside your own heart and see how well you are doing in the above items? God will add to His church when he sees people who are serious about Him. Let’s take care of these things personally, and I believe that God will take care of the rest!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, in appreciation for all that You have blessed us with, we want to recommit ourselves to the proven qualities of this early church. I believe that You placed things like this in Your Word so that we might be best equipped to help grow Your kingdom in and through the many churches that we are involved in. Please help us to cut through the church politics, and the conclusions we tend to jump to about how our churches are run, and just do our part, knowing that You will add to Your church daily when Your children follow Your prescription for church growth. Thank You oh Lord for loving us enough to point us in the right direction. May we now be obedient, so that Your work might be accomplished before it’s a day too late. For I ask these things in the precious name of Jesus, AMEN!
Footnote: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to http://www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!