It’s amazing how church today has such a bad stigma to it; and, yet, as a Church, there isn’t a whole lot of self-reflection being done about it.
I was in Acts 2, this morning, reading about the early Church where Peter gave his first sermon of salvation to the people; and, their response?
“They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles.
And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.
Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people.”
(Acts 2:42-2:46 NASB)
Wow. Does that sound like our Church, as a whole, today?
The word “sincerity” that is used above in “sincerity of heart” literally means “simplicity” or “singleness.” The Church was responding out of singleness: One mind, One heart, One body, One perspective, under One truth. This is how a church looks when divine love is received from a Divine God: there is unity and one accord. There is, love.
In an Instagram story I posted a couple days ago, I shared with you Proverbs 3:3-4:
“Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.”
When you read about how the early Church responded to the gospel, you see that they didn’t let kindness and truth leave them; and, in response, the outpouring of God’s Spirit was upon them, causing them to find favor with God and man.
Why is that so significant?
Because, today, a large part of the universal Church is either not Biblical and/or being crippled from their lack of God’s heart; thus, keeping out God’s authentic, heart-changing love. One Church may still find favor with man, but neither will find favor with God; and, ultimately, both will leave the same “church” stain on the hearts of man.
The last verse of Acts 2 says this:
“And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.”
It is God, and God’s love, that makes it possible for man to find favor with man, glorifying God and drawing people to Himself to be saved.
If us, as God’s people, keep walking with the knowledge that the Church is one of the biggest reasons that gets in the way of people wanting to go to church, and we choose to look at everyone else around us as being the reason, instead of ourselves, we will never see a revival and God’s Spirit will continue to remain quenched, keeping out the very people that God wants to call in.
The Church, under God’s Spirit, is love and unity. In order for God to work as a body, every part of the body (meaning you, and me, and not just the pastor) must be faithful to remain aligned with Him, in a relationship with Him, binding kindness and truth around our own necks and writing it on the tablets of our own hearts.
Revival starts inside of us, friends. Inside of OUR hearts, individually.
I pray, today, that those who would read this would be called to You. That you would be faithful to show them where they have fallen short in their own walk with you, seeping your light into the smallest of places of their hearts. Heal them, oh Lord. Love on them. Let them be guided to where they need to go to know how to grow closer to You. We are ready for a revival, Lord, understanding that it has to start, first, within us. We love you, Lord, and we thank You for Your great faithfulness.
In Jesus’ name