“All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all.” Acts 4:32-33
Paul wrote in Romans 8 that the whole world groans in eager anticipation for the revealing of the sons of God. The world yearns to see a living picture of love lived out in a tangible, visible group of real people. I believe that God Himself and all of creation long to see the same thing.
How can the world see such a picture of love lived out? Through us.
The primary means for such a revelation of visible love is the community of the church of Jesus Christ. We are that picture. We are God’s end-time plan to reveal the Father.
Sadly, we often do not look like the love Jesus lived and taught. Our selfishness, our divisions, our foolishness and our pride are often what the world sees. This must stop. God wants to show the world His loving and gracious nature through us.
One of the most exciting things for me personally is to think about the possibility of building an authentic, tangible community of true AGAPE. It is what drives me forward every single day. I believe it is possibly the greatest contribution we could make in our lifetime. It thrills me to think of revealing the unfailing love of God through an AGAPE-filled community of believers.
The scripture above speaks of the powerful witness of the early church community. They shared all that they had. They were unified. Psalm 100 says that God commands blessing on believers who live in unity. That blessing was upon the early church and that blessing went out to their cities and villages like when a big rock is dropped into water. Waves of water flow outward from the center.
How does this work? It begins by knowing God. Individuals begin to know the God of creation intimately. The life of Jesus begins to flow into the branches of individuals and that life begins to flow into families and then communities. The life flows outward from the center, which is God Himself.
One reality of the church is that we cannot share anything with the outside world that we are not experiencing ourselves inside our local community. This is where it gets exciting. God wants us to experience His life in our community. He wants us to experience His power in the relational ebb and flow of our community. Then we get to share that life with the hurting and hungering people around us. The life flows outward.
Are you experiencing the overflow of life from Jesus today? Have you felt Jesus moving and healing and blessing you through others recently?
I was a part of a small group recently that brought me tons of life. I met with a small group of men weekly at 6:30 am to go through some simple scriptures together and share a meal. Every week, we saw life poured out from the Father. Each time we met, the Holy Spirit had specific ways He wanted to pour out life among us. It was absolutely beautiful and refreshing.
I encourage everyone in our growing fellowship to seek out community. Find ways to gather in smaller groups regularly to seek Jesus. Pursue intimacy with God and others on a continual basis. There is life in community.
The result will be a living picture of Jesus growing and expanding among us. Our lives will be changed. Our families will be changed. Our city will be changed. Waves of blessing will flow outward. The world will see Jesus and His beautiful kingdom.
How pleasant and fitting when brethren dwell together in unity. There God has commanded His blessing. Thank you Jesus for living Christ-filled community!