#carmelprays – Acts 2:42-47
Opening Song: The Church’s One Foundation
Read Scripture: Acts 2:42-47
In this passage, we are met with the first Christian fellowship. The early church was deeply rooted in devotion to the Apostles’ teaching, fellowship and prayer (v42). This caused them to exhibit characteristics that are both beautiful and challenging.
First, this was a church aware of its duty to study the teachings of the apostles (v42). This is the first area of devotion mentioned in this passage and reminds us that a key aspect of Christian community is a devotion to the study of Scripture. A community that is not centred on God’s revealed truth is doomed to fail. This is on full display in Hosea, where an important warning is issued: “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge”. In a time of COVID-19, it may be easy to slip away from reading God’s Word and engage in worldly entertainment instead. The early church reminds us that reading the Scriptures is central to knowing Him, and this remains true today. Pray for sustenance and hunger in your Bible reading.
Second, this was a church that came together in community. This took place in the form of both fellowship and the breaking of the bread. We are reminded here that fellowship is a duty that we are to devote ourselves to. We are not to be selective and only fellowship when it is convenient or easy for us. Instead, we are to fully participate in the community as we are all part of one spiritual family. These days, it is very easy to neglect fellowship. It is very easy to live isolated lives, freed from the mess that relationships can sometimes cause. We are reminded that even in a time where we cannot physically meet, we are still to commit ourselves to community. Pray for the strength to continually fellowship with others, even if it may have to be online.
Third, this was a praying church. Much like Bible study and fellowship, this was another central and compulsory aspect of the early church. Prayer reminds us about who God is and helps us to align ourselves to His will. Are you praying regularly? Are you praying with others? The early church sets an example that challenges us to pray more both individually and as a community.
As a result of the early church’s devotion, a radical spiritual character was built. Everyone was filled with awe (v43), which refers to an attitude of reverence associated with an awareness of God’s divine presence. The church shared (v44-46) to the extent that they “had everything in common”. The church was filled with joy (v46-47). The church gained favour with people (v47) and even grew in number (v47).
The people devoted themselves and their obedience yielded much fruit. God caused the growth!! If we want to be joyful, loving, sharing, growing and favourable, then the path to take is clear. We are to devote ourselves to knowing God in studying His Word, be in fellowship and be prayerful.
Pray in Response
Who we are Lord as Church has all to do with Whose we are! How blessed, how marvelous, how wonderful that You are Lord and we are Yours! Thank You Lord Jesus for making it all possible. When we search deep within us, all this is possible because You sent Your Son Jesus to demonstrate the depth of Your love for us. Precious Jesus how blessed we are that You would be a Friend of sinners. We have such a glorious hope as Your people. Lord Jesus, as we come to You, make us one, make us radiant as Your Bride. Holy Spirit, purify our hearts, souls, minds and strengths to know You in Word and Prayer together. You call us as Your people and so unite us in one body and one Spirit, just as we were called to one hope when we were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Response Song: Build Your Kingdom Here
By Darren Sim