Taking Stock

OPENING PRAYER

Lord, search my heart. Am I walking in unity and love? Teach me how to love my fellow believers the way that You do.

 

Read: ACTS 4:32–37

32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.

 

Reflect: TAKE TIME FOR HONEST REFLECTION ABOUT YOUR CHURCH. ARE YOU UNITED AS BELIEVERS? ASK GOD TO SHOW YOU WHERE YOU FIT.

It’s time for a break. Four chapters in and we’ve had Jesus’ final instructions, a new apostle, the exciting events of Pentecost, a dramatic healing, two of Peter’s sermons, a run-in with the authorities and an earth-shaking prayer meeting! So Luke puts in a brief pause, standing back to take stock and give an overview of this new church.

The problem with familiar passages such as this is that they lose their impact. So try turning it around. Imagine that Luke had written, “All the believers were disunited and at each other’s throats. Everyone clung tightly to their own possessions and refused to share anything. The apostles seemed a bit worn out, and after the strong words from the religious leaders stopped talking about the resurrection.” I doubt whether a church like that would have survived!

So perhaps that’s the point for us today. Is your church more like the one Luke describes or the one I described? One will go on into future with faithful service, one may not.

 

APPLY

What can you do (or refrain from doing) to contribute to the unity of your church?

 

CLOSING PRAYER

Thank you, Lord, for my church. Show us where we are weak and make us strong to serve the world You’ve called us to.

 

Syndicated via Scripture Union. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Terry Schneider