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 Message (MSG). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: People were created to live in community, sharing our joys and supporting each other through difficult times. Faith, worship, and discipleship are best experienced in community, as wholistic efforts to make God central to our lives. The Bible is filled with stories of God calling us back to Him and urging us to love each other (Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18; and Matthew 22:36–40).
We have actively been developing community collectives at Boulder Adventist Church and in other places around the world. In part, this is because of our desire to follow the call to intimate community in the style of the early Christian church. Luke referred to these early Christians as “devoted to fellowship” (Acts 2:42). People looked after one another, taking an active interest in each other’s lives and holding each other accountable. In the name of Jesus, communities can be transformed because individual lives have been transformed. In the early twenty-first century, we are more connected (by technology) than people have ever been before, yet we are also more disconnected socially. Many of us experience great loneliness. Community collectives are a way to build greater connections with friends, neighbors, colleagues, and fellow Christians. These groups have one single agenda: to create a community of people who are there for each other. Collectives will feed and transform your lives, your families, your neighborhoods, your churches, your schools, and your workplaces.
The difficulty with community collectives is that they sound lovely in theory, but in reality they require you to love everyone. That is really hard. Think about how deep these the message in Acts 2:44–45 is. The implications are profound. That kind of fellowship seems like it should only apply to the nuclear family. Yet for the story of salvation to continue at a level that would generate awe (vs. 43), this kind of community has to exist. It brings new people to want to discover Jesus’ plan for their lives. That level of of fellowship has to be driven by love. That love has to have been born of the Spirit. Some people can be very difficult to love—or even to like. Yet we are called to be a new people. This means transformation. It means doing more than what comes naturally to us.
Recalibrate: Who has Jesus asked you to love?
Respond: Pray for a heart driven by the Spirit of God.
Research: Listen to this message by Michael Knecht on the Good Samaritan.
Let your love be BIG in me, Jesus, so I can share it with the people I meet today. How big is Jesus’ love? Start with your hands close together and move them out wider and wider to show your child that Jesus’ love is even bigger than our arms can reach!
I’m thinking of one word that begins with an “S” and ends with an “E”— S _ _ _ E. This is what the people did that Luke tells us about. The story is in Acts 2:42-47. Do you like to share? [hint]
What has been the most difficult thing to share? Maybe it’s sharing your room with a sibling or sharing your french fries with a friend. In Acts, we find those who believe in Jesus sharing all they have. What is something you can share today?