Pastor Joynt's Devotionals

Your Church, God's World - Day 33

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ACTS 5:12-16 | Now many signs and wonders were done among the people through the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico. None of the rest dared to join them, but the people held them in high esteem. Yet more than ever believers were added to the Lord, great numbers of both men and women, so that they even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on cots and mats, in order that Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he came by. A great number of people would also gather from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all cured.

 

The other way Christianity has spread is through the public work and mission of the church. Bringing light into areas of ignorance and confusion, the church has promoted education, fought to relieve poverty and disease, and embodied God’s love and justice. There have, of course, been many instances where Christian believers have been captive to cultures hostile to Jesus’ values, and where they have acted in ways contrary to love and justice. The battle with evil goes on in every Christian life and community.

But the practice of Christian faith has done more than any other movement to advance human life. Christian truths have been freely accepted by billions of people who claim to have learned to live more deeply, generously, and joyfully in relationship to God.

 

How is Christianity portrayed in the media?

 

What is not reported that should be?

 

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Your Church, God's World - Day 32

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LUKE 24:44-49 | Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

The worldwide character of the Christian faith is a unique phenomenon in world history. It is a strongly suggestive reality, given the barriers to such a progression. Despite political resistance, the hostile attitudes of other regions, and the challenge of “particularity,” Christianity has been embraced by the world. Interestingly, Judaism, which birthed Christianity, is not a global religion and has about 14 million adherents around the world. How does a “sect” of Judaism, which an obscure founder who was crucified for sedition, somehow develop beyond the cultural limitations of first century Palestine and became the world’s largest and most widespread movement?

Much of the work has been salt-like, invisible, and individual. Followers have simply lived out the truth of their faith in acts of love and mercy, sharing and caring in their workplaces and neighborhoods.

How do you explain the particularity and universality of our faith?

 

How are you “changing the flavor” of the places you live and work?

 

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