Daily Bible Reading

Share

We’re told all our lives that we need to share. Share your toys. Share your snacks. Share your room. Share the car. Share your office. Share, share, share. We’re told so often as we grow up that we have to share that when we’re all grown our response is often, oh good, I don’t have to share anymore. Sharing is something that we did because we had to not because we wanted to.

I believe that an attitude of generosity is something we could all use a little more of. I don’t necessarily mean in the way of finances, either. Money isn’t necessarily what someone in need actually needs.

The very first church in the Book of Acts grew by leaps and bounds in its first days. Was it because of the stellar preaching? I don’t think so. Many of those who joined up with the apostles had already seen and heard Jesus speak. I’m not sure anyone could teach better than Jesus. Was it because of the incredibly modern and up-to-date facilities? What facilities? They started with 120 people crammed in someone’s upper room. There was no church building to meet in.

Peter has just finished speaking his first message to the new church and here’s how the people responded:

Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church—about three thousand in all. They joined with the other believers and devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, sharing in the Lord’s Supper and in prayer.

A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together constantly and shared everything they had. They sold their possessions and shared the proceeds with those in need. they worshipped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their group those who were being saved.

Acts 2:41-47 (NLT)

Note that they didn’t start all sorts of programs. There was no men’s ministry or women’s ministry or kid’s ministry. There were no outreach programs or missions teams. The church worked and lived together as a community and God did mighty things in their midst. Notice that nothing they did specifically added to their numbers. And each day the Lord added to their group those who were being saved. The church did their thing and God did His thing.

There have been moments in my Christian life when church looked like this description in Acts. We did all sorts of things with other church members. We did life together. We saw the miraculous and we saw our church grow. But that seems to be the exception, not the rule. I long to see my church as well as the Global Church live and grow together—without division and without selfishness.

Whether you attend a small church or a large church, this example in Acts can serve as something to strive for. They started with a modest 120 and grew by three thousand that first day! And from there their generosity grew along with their numbers.

The world is looking for community, what better way to find it than in the church?

Daily Bible reading: Nehemiah 4-6, Acts 2:14-47

Uncategorized

Blessed

And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.

Luke 7:23 (ESV)

It’s nearly impossible these days to not be offended by something. It’s in the news and all over social media. No one is allowed to have their own beliefs any more if they do not fall under the banner of being politically correct. Everyone is offended by everyone else.

My neighbourhood has recently seen a string of vehicle and home break-ins. Not two or three. More like fifty or sixty. The entire neighbourhood is now on watch for a certain few people that have been caught on camera with suspicious actions. The community is on high alert, and rightly so. But it has started getting out of hand.

Photos of random people knocking on doors are being posted and those people are declared thieves – all they did was ring a doorbell. Recently the warnings have transferred from potential thieves and miscreants to Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Posts on the community social media page read something like, “JWs up the street caught on camera. Lock your doors and have your baseball bats ready.” People then comment that they’d rather have thieves in the area than JWs. I took offence at that.

When did it become offensive to share something you believe has value?

I’m not a Jehovah’s Witness. I don’t agree with all of their theology or methods, but I give them credit for their devotion and dedication. A lot of Christians could learn from them in that area.

Jesus made this statement in Luke after he’d healed people of diseases, plagues and evil spirits He’d restored sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf and life to the dead. He shared good news with the poor and people were offended by it.

In a world full of offence, where do you stand? Will you stand up for people who, like Jesus, purpose to do good or will you rally with those who would offer warnings of those same people?

Daily Bible reading: Judges 1-2, Luke 7:1-30