All About GOD

All About GOD - Growing Relationships with Jesus and Others

Where everybody knows your name. 
Acts 2.42-47, Acts #13 in the series.
 
The new ones came,
The old ones came . . .
Seems they couldn’t get enough of this thing that was growing; it was vital, stimulating, welcoming, life-giving and safe. It was the first Christian church.
        Luke’s description: They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching
     and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.1
 
They didn’t have a building with a cross out front
  They didn’t have microphones or sound systems
     They didn’t have a coffee cart or a choir or worship team
          They didn’t have any of the trappings
              that we associate with church. 
BUT, they had been filled with the Holy Spirit and they wanted more… more power in their lives, more love for God, more understanding of Jesus and more time with each other. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.2  Wow! Wouldn’t you like to have been there? O, how I would!
 
The simple men who had been with Jesus, now filled with the Spirit, were doing miracles among the people. Radical! Peter, James and the rest of the apostles remembered what Jesus had said, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.3  You can picture the fishermen rubbing their beards and reflecting - "So this is what our Lord was talking about. We couldn’t imagine him going away—yet we saw him go into Heaven.4 ‘And do greater things than him? How could that be? Yet those things are happening as we teach the scriptures and pray together. The new brothers love hearing about the things Jesus taught, because they fulfill the old scriptures – those things we were taught from our youth."
 
That was the faith side of the first Christian church, but there was another piece as well. I have been to the Boston setting for the Cheers show, which I miss watching. The theme song for Cheers captures an element of living we all need: community. “Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and they're always glad you came. You wanna be where you can see our troubles are all the same, you wanna be where everybody knows your name.”5 The believers came together to grow in faith and love, which they shared together in community.
 
It is true today: the community guided by God’s love flourishes when folks come and participate from a pure heart and sincere faith. Folks experience love in action.
~What does love in action look like--in a Christian community, in our individual lives?  
                                            
Love never grows weary of making room
  Love always believes the best about others
     Love gives the benefit of the doubt
     
Love protects ~ promotes confidentiality and safety
   Love honors ~ love dignifies
        Love reigns ~ for we hold as our highest good: Love the Lord your God  
          with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all 
          your strength; and love your neighbor as yourself.6
          Love bears all things ~ including one another’s burdens
              Love spurs one another on to good deeds ~ including holiness   
                  Love points people to Jesus ~ and creates an environment where
                        folks can learn and grow in their faith in him
    Love offers grace~ we all have need of grace! Giving grace is a learning
       curve that we shall surely practice all of our days.
             Oh, and one more thing… Love forgives.
Do you participate in that kind of community? There is nothing like it this side
of Heaven. 
song: Stay for Awhile, Amy Grant, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDZ7f2UBYis
 
Christine 
PastorWoman.com
 
1 – Acts 2.42
2 – Acts 2.43
3 – John 14.12
4 – Acts 1.9-11
6 - Mark 12.30-31
 

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