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: The final ingredient that held the local church together so well was its prayer life. Prayer is one of the most beautiful elements of a faith journey, and yet so often misunderstood. It is hard work, simply because the discipline is so powerful. It allows you, without any special permission, to connect directly with God. Just pause and think about that for a moment. Perhaps in our attempt to make Jesus accessible, we have forgotten that He is also all-powerful. Perhaps for that reason, we also forget how easily accessible He is to us through prayer. Prayer can be hard; our minds wander and we can find ourselves thinking about so many other things, forgetting that we were praying in the first place. This often continues until we become accustomed to the daily practice of prayer. The daily practice of talking to Jesus. That is when the strength of prayer transforms the individual and the community.
This is how members of the early Church became a new people. They were effectively “new temple” people living in the old temple. They were new church people living in the old church. That overlap of time and space called them to live life on a higher plain.
We live in incredibly difficult times. While some would argue that the world has never been better and that advances in technology and culture mean that we are more civilized, I would counter that this is true in many respects for some people, but not for all and not for most. We have simply grown accustomed to building better barriers and filters from reality. That reality is taking its toll on humanity in new forms. We cure one disease and—low and behold!—a new one appears. We have more wealth, but experience more pressure and a higher rate of suicide. Educational expectations are increasing; an undergraduate degree is no longer sufficient in many fields. Pressure varies for every single person. Our church should be a place that helps relieve that pressure. That is why local context has to dictate so much of local mission. Understanding what our people are going through every single day should shape our focus. The Gospel compels us to admit that we all need Jesus to transform our lives.
Recalibrate: What is your unique local response to the Gospel?
Respond:Pray for the sight to see the vision God has for your Church.
Research: Read one of the suggested commentaries from the bibliography on this passage.
Get creative today; use finger paint or crayons to make a picture for a new friend. Maybe someone just moved next door or just started coming to your church. Jesus added more people to the number of those following Him. Talk about how following Jesus is fun to do together!
Have you ever found it hard to know what to say? If that is you, know that actions speak louder than words. If you are shy meeting new people, sharing something with them shows you care. Passing the popcorn or a basketball is an invitation to friendship. Find someone you don’t know this weekend and share. You can do it.
Sometimes it can be awkward to meet new people. God brought more and more people together in Acts. Tomorrow you might see someone new at your church or maybe you’re going to a new church. Go out of your way to meet someone new and learn a little bit about their story.