In my quiet time, I’m following the First 5 study on Acts. The early church’s unity, devotion, and the way they sold off their possessions to support each other is foreign to us.
But it’s refreshing, too. When was the last time we showed that level of devotion? Those new believers were unified by Christ’s love, His instruction to tell His message, and even through persecution.
Do we, as believers, have that kind of bond today?
If not, should we?
Culturally, we look different from that group two thousand years ago. But shouldn’t we strive to share the same spirit of unity in Christ, the fervor of running together towards a common goal, the same big picture thinking those new believers had?
Let’s remember, love, unity, fervor and big picture thinking doesn’t equal sameness.
Hence the abundance of denominations, all claiming that Jesus is Lord, but differing in the way they interpret Scripture. Which one is right?
In other words, we should do our best to interpret His Word, then get over ourselves. We’ll get it wrong somewhere, somehow, because we’re human. He’ll set the details and gray areas right in the end.
One thing He’s been abundantly clear about: Jesus is His Son.
God wanted us to find peace with Him through Jesus. If He didn’t want a relationship with you, with me, with all of us, He would have done nothing. He certainly would not have sent His Son to live on earth and die a horrible death. But God did — does — want a relationship with us, so someone had to die in our place. Someone without sin. Jesus.
To date, Jesus is the only person who has given His life for me on a personal level. I’ve never had anyone else die in my place. No one has willingly taken a bullet meant for me, no one has taken my place at the guillotine, no one has pushed me out of the path of a speeding car. If someone had, I’d live forever in their honor, filled with renewed purpose. I’ve always loved A Tale of Two Cities because that kind of self-sacrificing love amazes and humbles me.
In recognition of the One who DID give His life for me, for you, for all of us, shall we live with renewed purpose, in Jesus honor, and in unity, as those first believers did? Isn’t it the least we can do for the One who gave it all?
46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Acts 2:46-47New International Version (NIV)