Where the church today finds itself stagnant, unattractive, humdrum and shrinking – and sadly, there are many churches, in the
Western world at least, of which that has to be admitted – it’s time to read Acts 2:42-47 again, get down on our knees, and ask what isn’t happening that should be happening. The Gospel hasn’t changed. God’s power hasn’t diminished. People still need rescuing. What are we doing about it?
N.T. Wright, Acts for Everyone
"And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.
So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”
The God of the universe - the Creator of nitrogen and pine needles, galaxies and e-minor, loves us with a radical, unconditional, self-sacrificing, love. And what is our typical response? We go to church, sing songs, and try not to cuss.
Most of my Christian life I’ve been making the same mistake over and over and over. I keep putting my confidence in my discipline, in my good intentions, in my knowledge of the Bible, in order to produce love for God. I always end up in legalism and self-righteousness when I do this. One day the Lord interrupted all of this. He said to me, ‘If you ever hear me say to you, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant,’ it won’t be because you were a good follower, it will be because my Son is a good leader. Put your confidence in His ability to lead, not in your ability to follow.’