Series: The Mvmnt
Message: Four Ways to Be
Preacher: Japhet De Oliveira
Reflection: Japhet De Oliveira
Live Wonder: Zan Long
Live Adventure: Zan Long
Live Purpose: Jessyka Albert
Editor: Becky De Oliveira
Refresh: Begin today in prayer. Ask God for understanding through the Holy Spirit and for God’s character to be revealed.
Read: Acts 2:42–47 in the English Standard Version (ESV). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: Any kind of change requires a shifting of values and perspectives. This is especially true when moving from the small to the large—expanding your horizons. Enlarging can be becoming part of a couple, moving to a bigger city, attending university, or joining a big and intimidating new company. Your expectations, daily routine, and relationships are reconsidered—along with the very concept of who you are.
My first quarter as a student at Newbold College in Berkshire, England, was awful. Perhaps this was simply the result of the increased academic load, or the fact that I knew no one there, or because it was my first time out of the family nest and I was not sure I could fly. After a miserable couple of months, over Christmas break I made a deal with myself to return to campus with vigor and intention. I was determined to make college life work for me. I went out of my way to greet everyone on campus, aiming to get to know as many people as possible. I decided to invest more completely in every part of the college experience. My undergraduate and postgraduate years at Newbold became very rewarding and transformative.
The Bible is rich with stories of characters shifting from the small to the large. These shifts often create complex struggles for people facing multiple demands and expectations as they negotiate dramatic change, often making mistakes and having to rethink their approach to problems. Moses brought the Hebrew people out of slavery and tried to organize them in probably the same way he had controlled his sheep for the previous 40 years. His father in-law, Jethro, finally had to sit Moses down and give him leadership counsel (Exodus 18).
The disciples also faced a major shift—not only in leadership paradigms, but also in establishing the very DNA of the Church (Acts 2). The focus on mission they had experienced when Christ was on earth was not something they could afford to lose. The Gospel story had to continue—and it had to become bigger. The change from an intimate community to one of thousands—almost overnight—was rapid and dramatic, driven by the power of the Holy Spirit. Luke shared what these new Christians looked like when they were filled with the Holy Spirit. When you read Acts 2:42, do you recognize your community? Is it like that new temple community?
Recalibrate: What has been the most recent shift that you have had to make in your life?
Respond: Pray for the foresight to choose a shift.
Research: What other stories in the Bible required a major shift?
I want to move closer to you Jesus. In everything I do. Pray a prayer of thankfulness that Jesus is always with us and that He wants to be a part of everything we do, like eating, playing, and coloring!
Imagine for a moment if we played follow the leader in a horizontal line rather than a vertical one. Imagine that we could all see the leader clearly and those behind us could step up in to the line to see the leader too. Jesus call us to follow Him together. What do you think this game would be like?
Make a list of 5 things you love about your room. Your list and the hundreds of other lists that teens across the world are making today probably look a lot different. The way our rooms, lockers, or cars look is unique to who we are. The way our church community looks is unique to who Jesus is. Now make a list of five things you love about your church family.