And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and prayers.Acts 2:42
Last week, we reflected on the ways of the early church to remind ourselves of the basics. We talked about the importance of studying the Word and Fellowship with other believers. One of my early memories of Church involved coming together for a love feast with other families and sharing in each other’s meal. It was loving, simple and beautiful. This season of lockdown has made me miss getting together with other believers. Our home Bible study group practised the tradition of breaking bread from house to house. This fellowship kept us, we studied, prayed, ate, laughed and did life together.
This week, we continue looking at what the early Church did that we should not forget:
Praying together – The words, ‘Let us pray’ remind us that even though prayer is borne out of a personal relationship with God, there is something powerful about corporate prayers. The words of the Lord’s prayer set the premise for this by referring to God as Our Father and using the word ‘us’ in its lines. Our faith is strengthened when we come together in unity to pray. Our relationship with God is based on communication with Him as individuals and as a body. As Christians, we pray about everything because God wants to hear about it. If it bothers us, He wants to know. We don’t only pray for ourselves; we pray for others. The Bible is filled with different examples of when people pray, why they prayed, how they prayed and what God did in response. You can look to this as a guide or just say the words as you will when you talk to a friend. God listens and He is always looking for people who will arise and stand in the gap for others. Their prayers were powerful and we read testimonies of the raw evidence of God’s power. The early church prayed and so must we.
Giving– The believers sold property and possession to give to anyone who had need. There’s a lot to note from this. As soon as the believers gave their lives to the Lord, their possessions no longer meant anything to them. It was no longer their priority. Ensuring that their fellow brothers and sisters had enough became their priority. ‘They gave themselves.‘ When earthly possessions no longer have a stronghold over you, you have given yourself.
Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.Matthew 19:21-22
The believers of old didn’t just give their possessions, they gave themselves. That is the highest form of giving. When you get to this level of giving, the accolades don’t matter, knowing who gave what is irrelevant, self is relegated to the background and Christ is seen. When you give, let the people thank God and not you. This is why the believers laid what they sold at the Apostles feet.
Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.Acts 2:43
We must not forget that the early Church had no fancy buildings, no perfect audio system or comfort in worship. In fact, for all we know, they were always in hiding. Yet the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. They had the Power of the Holy Spirit who performed signs and wonders through them. This to me is the all-time guaranteed way to bring people to the Lord.
While the aforementioned things are good and needful, we must not substitute the Power of the Holy Spirit with other attractions. Lest we forget, we should more often than we do, go back and reflect on the book of ACTS so that we are in sync with our history. While times and seasons may change, the way of the Lord remains the same. It is timeless.
As we move forward, stopping to look back sometimes, makes our steps more firm and bold, because we have a cloud of witnesses cheering us on. They whisper to us “We did it, so can you, Stay Strong, Stay on the Path, Fight the good fight, Finish the race, Keep the Faith”
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