Do we have something to learn from the early church?

July 27, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
(Acts 2:42-47 (NIV))

This sounds very wonderful!

What do you think was the main reason why people were being saved?

Was it the short and concise worship service with everything spelled out in the bulletin?

Was it the music? Was it the lack of music? Was it the programs? Was it a new church building? Was it the food pantry? Was it the clothes closet?

Or was it simply the power of God as it was shown in true fellowship with the Body of Christ?

What are the basic fundamental aspects of life that we all share as human beings?

As someone pointed out this morning, we are created to be a part of a community. We long to be with others. We either find fellowship with those who are a part of the Body of Christ, or we find fellowship with those who are not. In short, the fellowships that we have will either lift us up and hold us to a higher standard or they will drag us down into the sin that we don’t want.

One of the basic aspects of life is that we all must eat. Eating is very much a social activity, especially when you gather with people who share your common interests. Breaking bread brings a bond. We simply don’t just sit there and stuff our faces in silence. We socialize. We laugh. We cry. We share ideas. We share thoughts, dreams and aspirations. We share parts of ourselves that may never see the light of day in any other way. We build friendships over meals.

It is said that it is easier to get people to come to your house for a meal than it is to get them to go to church. Think about that the next time someone hems and haws about accepting your invitation to go to church.

The early church did not have buildings. They met in people’s homes. They became friends. They built trust. They built relationships and they built the church through these aspects of life. They did not build the church through big buildings or great music.

Do we, the modern church, have something to learn from the early church?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you love Jesus?

January 11, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

If you love me, you will obey what I command.
(John 14:15 (NIV))

We are told not to judge others. 2 Timothy 4:1 tells us “of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead.” It is only He who shall rightfully judge.

Even so, we have the right and responsility to take a look at our lives and measure ourselves based on John 14:15. Do we honestly obey what Jesus commands? Do we desire to do what He would have us to do? If that is the measure of our love for Jesus, where does it place our relationship?

It is human nature to judge others based on what we are supposed to be doing ourselves. We need to take a long and serious look at ourselves before we look at others. We also need to pray that others will take the same long and serious look at themselves. Perhaps, if everyone took John 14:15 as the benchmark of all of their activities and relationships, we would truly show the love of Jesus in all that we do.

Do you love Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Which type of a relationship do you have with God?

March 30, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him.
(Titus 1:16a (NIV))

What do your actions say about you?

Do they deny your claim that you know God or do they uphold your claim?

Let’s take a look at the ways that we claim to know God. Just like our human relationships, we can confuse a casual acquaintance relationship as one where we think we truly know a person. Is this how you know God? Is He a casual acquaintance that you call upon when and only when you need His help? Do you struggle with knowing what is in God’s heart because your relationship with Him is based on this casual arrangement. This type of relationship has no depth. It has no breadth. It has no long lasting qualities because everything is very superficial.

To truly know someone means that they are much more than a casual acquaintance. It means that you know them intimately. This relationship has depth. It has breadth and it has long lasting qualities because you have taken the time to get to know the other person. You know what is on their heart and mind. You know them so well that being able to understand them is no longer casual. You understand them completely. You know what makes them tick. When you know someone this well, your actions will reflect this knowledge. You will not deliberately do anything that will hurt the other person.

Which type of a relationship do you have with God? Is it casual and superficial or is it in-depth and meaningful?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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