We got together as a family to reflect on the month of May, my husband decided to do a roll call of the things that we are thankful for. As he called out the different reasons, I realised I had forgotten some of them. It was like I replaced the things that happened early in the month with the memories of the more recent ones. I left the session a lot more grateful because indeed, I was surprised at what God had done for us as a family in one month.
With today’s post, we will like to take out time to remember the early church also known as the Church of Acts. There are so many lessons that we can draw from our history to keep us focused and prevent us from making mistakes. For any journey to be meaningful, we must remember how it all began, the sacrifices made, the errors recorded and the gains accomplished so that we don’t forget and miss our way.
Do not remove the ancient landmark which your fathers have set.
Proverbs 22:28 NKJV
Going back in time connects us with the essence of our walk, almost like looking at a mirror and conducting a self-assessment. An ancient landmark can be like a boundary. A boundary serves two purposes – it keeps the things that you want within and keeps out the things that you do not want. A boundary defines what belongs here and what does not. The way the early church conducted itself serves as an ancient landmark for today’s church, reminding us of what we should do and not do in our conduct as believers. It is important to highlight at this point that when we speak of the Church, we refer to You and Me, not the building.
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and prayers.
Acts 2:42 NKJV
What does this mean for us today?
We will start with the easy version from the famous Sunday School song – “Read your Bible, pray every day if you want to grow”. And now the grown-up version –
1. The word – We have to continue steadfastly in the reading of God’s word. When we read the word, we are feeding our spirit and out of our bellies shall flow streams of living waters. That stream is the word of God. Since there were no early writings of the teachings of Jesus in the days of the early Church, the apostle’s doctrine was a simple retelling of all the apostles heard Jesus teach, the stories of the life of Jesus as they witnessed it and the revelations that they derived from their encounter with the Holy Spirit.
Why is the knowledge of the word of God so important?
We will use an object lesson to share with you how God’s word works in our life. The word of God is like a seed that we plant in our heart(the soil), as we read more of the word, we water the initial seed planted until it takes root and become a big tree. When the word is still a little seed or stump, it can be easily uprooted but when we keep watering it, it grows into a big tree with roots stretched wide and deep. At this stage of growth, it will take a lot more effort to uproot that tree than the effort that will be required for a stump. When the word in us grows into a tree, it bears fruits and because the tree is well watered and healthy, the fruits will be good fruits. The fruit in this case represents our behaviours and actions.
The reason why you need to continue in the word and do it steadfastly (consistently) is because you can only grow in your knowledge of God if you are disciplined and hungry for more.
2. Fellowship – Our walk with God is not a solo walk, yes it is personal but it thrives in community. Iron sharpeneth iron!
When we are in fellowship, you lift me, I pray for you, you encourage me, I rejoice with you. The Body of Christ helps us grow. Fellowship is more than just attending a church service. I make this distinction because fellowship can happen in a Church building but I have also seen Church buildings with no fellowship. So always look out for a community that you are accountable to, that supports your growth in Christ. A community that gives priority to studying the word, prayer and breaking of bread.
And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. Hebrews 10:25 NLT
Fellowship is even much more important today than it has ever been. Don’t let anyone deceive you into accepting isolation as normal, seek out fellowship, you will need it to strengthen your faith in the days ahead.
We will stop here for this week and continue to explore this subject next week. We invite you to join in and help shape this conversation. What is missing in your Christian walk today that existed in the early Church? Let’s spend some time in self-reflection and ask God to set us on fire for him like the Days of Pentecost.
Till we connect again next week, stay connected to God!