Posted by: pastortomvabeach | November 4, 2015

Thought For The Week November 8, 2015

Last Sunday, I shared with our church that I believe that we can make an impact for the Kingdom of God in our community by connecting with principles of Kingdom growth that are evident in the New Testament.

Looking at Acts 2:41-47, we found that there are five principles or functions that characterized the Jerusalem church. These were worship, discipleship, fellowship, evangelism, and ministry. In verse 42 we read that those in that church “continued steadfastly” in these things. That term means that they were fervently dedicated to participation in worship through prayer, communion, regular gatherings, and praising God. We also read they were as dedicated to building intimate relationships or friendships among themselves and in serving everyone according to their needs.

Verse 47 says that the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. That would indicate to me that there was an extremely reliable commitment to witnessing within the community so they could hear the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I wonder if it could be said of the church, as a whole, today that we “continued steadfastly” in any of these kingdom principles. Statistics from a wide range of churches indicate that “regular attendees” at worship services today are those who attend an average of twice a month. If these are the regulars our definition of being steadfast has changed significantly from the book of Acts. Other reports indicate that Christians are so busy with work, leisure, sports, children’s activities, etc., that they have no time available to serve with their church in meeting needs of the church, much less needs that are evident within their community.

I illustrated the idea of steadfastness or reliability by asking what if Christians applied the same kind of standard of reliability they use at church with other areas of life. Would we think our TV cable system was reliable if it only worked 2 or 3 days a week? Would our employers call us dependable if we only came to work on Monday and Friday, every other week? Would we muddle through the winter if our furnaces only came on every other week and say, “Well, that’s just the way it is?”

God gave everything He had when He sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. He has given us the amazing opportunity to be forgiven and adopted into His family, filled us with His Holy Spirit and imparted to us spiritual gifts with divine potential for making a difference. In Jesus’ parable of the talents in Matthew 25, He said the kingdom of heaven was like servants being given talents and later the master expecting a return on His investment. The servants who returned more than they were given were called “good and faithful servants” (Matthew 25:21, 23). Faithful means dependable, reliable, steadfast, etc. Again, I wonder whether God will view many in the church as reliable and faithful based on our participation in Kingdom growth principles.

These principles worked in Jerusalem and they will work today, but only if we work at them. We embody these principles by saying our desire here is to Make Jesus Known by Connecting People to God, to Each Other, to the Community, and to the World. Connecting is an action word that only works if we decide together that we are going to worship, grow, witness, relate, and serve together and do it “steadfastly“.

How do you think you could increase your connection to God, other Christians, the community, and the world? If we’re honest, most of us would likely look at our level of reliability and say, I need to improve. I know I do. What would it be like in our church if all of us just became more dependable in one or two areas? Do you think our impact and influence might grow? Food for thought.


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