The Unwavering Constancy of the Early Church

The Unwavering Constancy of the Early Church
Author: Andrew Archer, Student Ministry Director
What's the Point? - Part 1
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and signs were being performed through the apostles. Now all the believers were together and held all things in common. They sold their possessions and property and distributed the proceeds to all, as any had need. Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with joyful and sincere hearts,  praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. Every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.”
– Acts 2:42-47
Awe. Unity. Joy. Glad and sincere hearts. Needs being met. Favor among all people. Praising God. People crossing over from death to new life every single day. These things and more were the reality of the early church. What Jesus told the apostles in John 14 was unfolding before their very eyes—that they would do even greater things than they witnessed Him do. 

I think it can be easy to focus on and desire the results of the early church; however, we often have less control than we would like to admit when it comes to guaranteeing the outcome of a given situation. The truth is that we can only control the left side of any given equation—we can only control the inputs, not the outputs. So, rather than focusing on the results of the early church, I’d like to look at what they did that led to those results. 

What did they do? The early church spent time together. They worshiped together. They shared communion, ate together, grew together, prayed together, and cared for one another’s needs. They also shared the Gospel with anyone who would listen. Gathering, growing, remembering, praying, praising, caring, and thanking God—these were the defining actions of the early church's life.

The early church had a common aim that they were pursuing over everything and in everything they did—they were living to know Jesus and make Him known.

However, it’s not just what they did that interests me; it’s how they did it. The “how” can be summed up in one word: devoted. The church held an unwavering constancy on these things. They were non-negotiables. They didn’t miss gathering together. They didn’t choose to skip out on communion because they weren’t feeling up to it. They didn’t pray just when they felt like it. They didn’t care who had a need that they might have to sacrifice to fill. It was all day, every day, 24/7.

Now, this is not to say that the early church never sat around and played games or joked about life or anything of that nature. They went to work. They shared meals at home. If they had some extracurricular activities, they probably did those too. The early church had a common aim that they were pursuing over everything and in everything they did—they were living to know Jesus and make Him known. 

As we look at the early church, I'm sure that we feel the desire to have the results like they did; however, we must ask ourselves if we are as devoted to the inputs as they were. Our job is not to produce change or even save people; our job is to be faithful to what God has called us to do—to know Jesus and make Him known. The early church lays out a great strategy for doing that.

I want to encourage you to refrain from thinking of your neighbor who isn't as devoted as you think they should be. Instead, be honest with yourself about where you still have room to grow. Can your devotion to Christ grow in how you gather, learn, remember, pray, praise, care, and show thankfulness? Pick one of those areas to work on and ask someone you trust to hold you accountable as you grow in that area.

Recent

Archive

Categories

Tags

1 Timothy 4:3-4 1 corinthians 13 3 tips Abraham Barb Bible Christ centered friendships Christ-centered friendships Christ Control David Deuteronomy 31:8 Elijah Gideon God's Word God's faithfulness God's will God\'s Word God\'s will God\\\'s will God\\\\\\\'s will Gods Word Gods voice Gods will God Good Samaritan Isaac Isaiah 41 Isaiah 53 Isaiah James 1:22 James 4:14 Jesus is coming Jesus Jonathan Josiah Live at Peace Matthew 26:38-39 Messiah Old Testament Paul Philippians 2 Psalms Romans 6:9 Saul Savior Scripture Significant Others Talented Word of God You Say a mother's prayer a mother\'s prayer a mothers prayer abandon abby conner absolute truth acts 1:8 acts 2:42-47 acts adam and eve adam etris adam adulteror advent alls well that ends well andrew archer andrew angels sing anger anguish anxiety apostles appreciation archer arch are you prepared art of neighboring attributes austin michels austin authorities authority baptism barabbas barb banhart barb barnhart barnhart be a friend be still be strong and courageous be transformed beauty from ashes becoming fearless believers believe betrayal better neighbors better be brandy gibson brandy broken bronze serpant bruce lane bruce cancel culture cancel care carols celebrate others christian life christianity christian christmas with the ridge christmas church defined church design church circles cleaning the temple clinging to jesus colossians 1:13 community compassion concentric circles conflict connection courage created for community crisis in israel cross crowd crucifixion cultivate the soil daughter death debt delaney deuteronomy 31:6 devotional devotion disagreement discernment do not fear doers don't panic don\'t panic do early church easter sunday easter elderly empathy encouragement end times endurance ephesians 3:14-23 ephesians5:21 eternal impact eternal king eternal life eternal security eternity etris exhausted extended family face to face faithful in the small things faithfulness faith family famous last words father fear less series fear less fearless fear foretold forgiveness forgiven forgive forgiving forsaken foundation four tips free from sin freedom freely given free friendships friendship friends friend garden of gethsemane generosity generous get ready getting along gibson gifts give thanks gloria good enough good friday good works gospel government grace and truth grace hill grace grateful gratitude great commission greed grief grieve with others groups haring he has come he will be called heart heaven hell helping hill holy monday holy saturday holy tuesday holy wednesday holy week homecoming hondruas honduras hope huggins husband i do but do i ian young ian identity immovable in all things in christ inspired intimacy invitation israel jamie huggins jamie jill wargo jill john 8:1-11 john 8:10-11 john josh rhodes josh joy judas judgemental judgement judge katie lemley katie key relationships kim sheets kim kingdom of heaven king kinsman redeemer know the truth la ceiba lamb of God lane last supper legacy lemley life light of the world light listening live generously living intentionally living water logos love one another love loyalty luke 10:42 luke 23:34 made new manna marriage matters marriage martha matthew 22:37-39 matthew 23:24 matthew 6:3-4 maundy thursday mediator melissa parker melissa mercy michelle lemley michelle trimmer michelle michels mission trip missions money morality moses neighbor new family new year new o holy night ourselves overcome evil with good palm sunday parables parable parenting parents parent parker passover lamb passover path of life peacemaker peace people of god people perfecter perfector perserverance perseverance persistence philippians 4:6-7 philippians pioneer point of church point possessions power of the past pray like paul prayer life prayer plan prayer pray prepare promises of God provision psalm 139 purpose quality time race read reconciliation recreated redeemed redeemer redemption rejoice relationship with God relationships relationship relative truth religion religious leaders remember response resurrection retaliation return revenge rhodes riches roger sealey roger role model romans 12:12 romans 12:15 romans rules sacrifice salvation sealey second coming secure seek the truth selfish separation sermon on the mount serve Jesus serve others serve serving others serving set free shame share the gospel share the truth sharing the good news sheep and goats sheets signs sing sin social media sower speaking the truth speak spiritual gifts spiritual leaders spiritual relationships spring cleaning stand firm stillness still strained straining out gnats and swallowing camels strength submit substitutionary atonement support surrender take time talents tender heart thankfulness thanksgiving thanks the dishonest manager the good samaritan the lost coin the lost sheep the lost son the parables of jesus the persistent widow the plot the point of church the primary purpose of the church the prodigal son the purpose of the church the rich fool the sheep and goats the sower the talents the ten virgins the two foundations the wedding banquet the word of God the word through thick and thin throught thick and thin tim haring tim transformation treasure tribulation triggered trimmer trustworthy truth about people truth is truth matters truthiness truth two foundations two lies and the truth ukraine unbelievers uncertainty unclean victorious victory volunteer wargo wealth wedding feast weep what's the point? what\'s the point? what\\\'s the point? what\\\\\\\'s the point? what\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s the point? whats the point whatsthepoint when we pray who am i who i am who we are wife work worry wronged you are forgiven young