Pastor Joynt's Devotionals

in Lent

Belong & Become, Week 4, Day 27

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ACTS 2:46-47 | 46 Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

The explosive growth of the early church occasionally happens today, in Asia and Africa and sometimes the USA. But often growth is more organic, arising not from dramatic Pentecost moments but from relationships and connections. This means you and I must recognize the spiritual needs and gifts of our neighbors and friends. We must tease out gently and patiently, their questions. We must hear their experiences with God and with the church. We do all of this knowing God created each person with individual attention and intention. He wants each one to be part of his work in this world and his sacred company in the next.

There will be connections between the people we know and the care and mission and life of the church. They have doubts and questions—we give opportunities to voice them and find answers. They have gifts and passions—we have many opportunities to serve and lead. They have needs and problems—we have ministries of care and support. They have hopes and dreams—God has the most beautiful plan for all of us!

How contagious are you?

Who can you reach for Christ?

 

Posted by David Joynt with
in Lent

Belong & Become, Week 4, Day 26

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ACTS 2:44-45 | 44 All who believed were together and had all things in common; 45 they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need.

ACTS 4:32-34 | 32 Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. 33 With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold.

One of the contagious features of the early church was awe. Another was generosity. In a selfish world without charities or non-profits or social welfare, they used common resources to meet urgent needs. Now these two passages together might seem to indicate a kind of primitive communism, a society without property or individual possessions. But we must remember the actual historical situation.

The church needed pastors and teachers and missionaries and had no existing resources. Many of the 3000 converts needed food and shelter because they were pilgrims who lived elsewhere and had come for Passover. Radical generosity launched the church, regular generosity sustains it and expresses a powerful truth about our gracious God and his people.

Is generosity contagious?

Do you ever pay it forward?

 

Posted by David Joynt with

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