Loving Others Makes A Difference
The amount of division among so many people these days can be overwhelming. It causes me to consider what it means to live in this world as a follower of Jesus Christ. What does it mean to live a life that is close to the cross?
Devotion to the Right Things
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.- Acts 2:42
They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching. The apostles taught that Jesus Christ was the Messiah, that He died on the cross for the sins of mankind, and that you can be forgiven of your sins. The message was so important to them that they made sure everyone around them heard.
They were also devoted to fellowship. This is a special fellowship, it is not just hanging out together watching a movie or playing a game. This is truly caring for one another, giving each other what they need, and worshipping the Lord together.
They were devoted to the breaking of bread,what we refer to as communion or the Lord’s supper. They were devoted to remembering Jesus’ sacrifice. With that, they were also devoted to prayer. They recognized that they needed to be people who pray proactively, not reactively. That means that when they get together, they pray. It also meant that when they were apart they prayed also.
Staying close to the cross means staying close to Jesus. Think about how much perspective you get for your life, when you live it in the shadow of the cross. How much more do we learn about ourself and how we ought to live when we draw closer to Jesus? When we remember all that He has done for us, it will change how we live.
The life of Jesus Christ Among Us
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. – Acts 2:43-44
The Holy Spirit had come and now was working among them and through them. As they stayed close to Jesus, things were happening. The apostles were used to doing miracles that showed people who Jesus is. True fellowship comes from staying near to Jesus. As we do that, Jesus works among us by the Holy Spirit and by the Word of God.
We want His life and power among us. We want Him. When we come together to worship, we want him to be the one who does the work, who captures hearts, who draws people in. If God is at work among us people will notice it.
Serve, Give, Go
Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. – Acts 2:45
They not only cared for each other spiritually, but materially. So, they took everything they owned and sold it all, giving to those who had need. Why would they do something like that? There is a story I want to share here that demonstrates this perfectly. See, it is not about selling everything just to prove a point. It is about giving all of ourselves to Jesus Christ.
Getting close to the cross causes us to recognize that this life is not about us. It reminds us that what we have does not belong to us and that we have a responsibility to give to others. Life becomes about others and not about us. It becomes about showing people, in practical ways, how much Jesus loves them.
praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. – Acts 2:47
The Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Things were happening, people were being changed, lives were turning to Jesus because a group of believers were devoted to the living close to the cross. This is what we want to have happen to us! That we would be so close to Jesus that there is no way people will miss it.