I read Acts 2 again today in my quiet time. Of course, this is a very familiar passage, one to which people like me give our lives. Today, this passage struck me a little differently than it has before.
"And all the believers met together constantly and shared everything they had" (Acts 2:44, NLT).
I'm struck by how devoted these believers were to one another on a daily basis. This is so different from the way the church normally operates today. They met and worshiped together daily (v. 46). They served one another daily (Acts 6:1
). They studied the Scriptures daily (Acts 17:11
). They encouraged one another daily (Hebrews 3:13
). And the Lord added to their number daily those being saved (v. 47).
As Warren Wiersbe says, "Their Christian faith was a day-to-day reality, not a once-a-week routine. Why? Because the risen Christ was a living reality to them, and His resurrection power was at work in their lives through the Spirit."
Small groups surely nudge us a little closer in the right direction toward being a day-to-day kingdom community, but it can unfortunately just move us from a once-a-week routine to a twice-a-week routine ... unless the culture somehow changes.
We can't make this happen. Only the Holy Spirit being active in people's lives can transform a culture. It doesn't happen by developing or changing a program in the church. It happens when the Holy Spirit works in such a way that there is a deep sense of awe among the people, when people's hearts are changed from individualism, isolationism, and consumerism to looking first to the interests of others, sharing everything we have.
When that happens, the church will once again be powerful and effective and will enjoy the goodwill of all the people. When that happens--and I believe not until that happens--God will add to our number daily those who are being saved. When that happens, God will turn this world upside-down ... again. We are God's best marketing strategy!
I'll stay committed to this and to praying that the Holy Spirit will move in such a way at our church and in his kingdom to transform people's hearts to live like this.
How can we move from a once- or twice-a-week routine back to a day-to-day community reality? What needs to change in your small group? Your church? The Church? The culture?