“The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. No one else dared join them, even thought they were highly regarded by the people. Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.” (Acts5:12-14)
The local church assembles for worship and fellowship. “Meet together” includes the meaning in common consent and purpose. Christ wanted His followers to be unified.
Unity remains the church’s goal. Unity does not mean exclusiveness. The Jerusalem church continued to evangelize and grow. The faithfulness and unity of the church gained respect and admiration in the community from those without the courage to commit themselves fully to Christ and His church.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, The church has always risen to meet the need for love and support for its members, and for all those seeking this for their own lives. As stated, unity in the church is not for the purpose of excluding anyone; rather, it is for bringing all who seek comfort, peace, love and support for all. For it is in Jesus’ holy name, that we who claim to be Christians, honor Him for all He has already done for us. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“The easiest way to bring up a child in the way they should god is for us to be traveling that same path.”
“I urge you brothers to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.” (Romans16:17-18)
The church on earth is not perfect. Some members sinfully serve selfish desires instead of Christ. They divide the church and obstruct its work. Christians must not use such people as models. Rather we must turn away them to work with God’s faithful leaders. God desires unity among His people. The church should be one in Christ Jesus. Holding grudges and resenting other members of the body separates us from the will of Christ. Christians should accept one another as Christ accepted us. Beloved, in God’s Word we have the truth and the truth will set us free, but only if we collectively study the Word for understanding and clarity of thought. Anything or anyone that attempts to turn the church and people away from Christ, are not of Christ, therefore, we must call them to accountability for their reasons. Satan loves to lead people astray from God’s Word, because he can then teach them lies that will destroy those weak in the Word. We must open the Bible and read it daily, to gain strength and courage to stand up to those who would lead us astray.
“She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark.” (1st Peter5:13)
A local church is a group of believes chosen by God. Peter sent greetings from a local church. Babylon stood for evil, so here it probably represents the church living in an evil location, possibly Rome. Acts expresses the work of the body of Christ, the people, and the expansion of Christianity in the early church. In Acts 4:32, we see the example of people, for there was no one in need. Those with land would sell land and bring it to the feet of the apostles, to take care of whatever need that had arisen.
In short they were growing because the body of Christ was openly setting an example of what Christ’s people are supposed to do. But, as always, we must be careful, for in Acts 5 we see the story of Ananias and Sapphira, wanted to be see as being good Christians, but they sold their land and Ananias held back a portion of the money for himself and Peter confronted them both of lying to the Holy Spirit and both dropped dead, because of being caught in their deceit. Be an example, beloved, but do not try to deceive others, for the Holy Spirit will convict you of your actions.
Second Thought of the Day:
“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” (Revelation22:16)
Jesus, in this last chapter of Revelation is reaffirming His position as the long awaited Messiah, for He is the Root and Offspring of David. There are times when the Bible seems to be little vague, but this is not one of those times. Jesus is clearly stating Who He is and What He is preparing to do. The clarity of this statement leaves no room for doubt or confusion.
Jesus was the diving example of what Christianity is and what it stands for. We are not only to be living examples of how a Christian is to act, but we are to live out our lives as shining examples of selfless giving. There is no confusion, we are to give to meet the needs of those around us, and to do so in a joyful and responsible manner. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit not only to help us through tough times, but to also become an example of living our our faith every day, in every situation, and with every person. Clear?