I am very proud of our church and the volunteers that went to Texas for a week to help rebuild after Hurricane Harvey. Their story is not mine to tell, but I can say that this is what it looks like to bring the kingdom of God to earth. This trip was the church taking care of each other as they were able. I am proud, not because we did this thing, I am proud because 14 people followed God’s call and as a church, we chose to pour our resources and our love into the lives of others.
In Acts, we get a picture of the early church. The author (most likely Luke) writes “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power, the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.” (4:32-35)
Christians taking care of Christians
The Christians had legitimate needs that the early church met and it not only brought the believers together in unity, but it also drew people to the gospel. I love what our people did in Texas because it brought peace and hope. It showed God’s love to people who so desperately needed to see it. And I know this because of the responses my wife received from those that lived in the area.
And this makes me wonder how many people would think differently of Christians if this is what they saw of Christians as a general rule, not the exception.
We live in a post-Christian culture, not a non-Christian culture. One of the significant differences is that many in the post-Christian culture are aware of what the Bible says, and they know about Jesus but aren’t buying it. Many of them have attended church at one point in their life, and I think to myself, would they return if the modern church looked more like the early church?
Christians united as one, taking care of each other is part of what drew people. It was a significant departure from the current Roman culture in which they lived.
Paul writes in Philippians 2:2-4 “then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
Take some time to pray and ask God to show you where you can make a difference. It may be hanging drywall; it may be changing someone’s oil, it may be providing food or other resources. When we serve in the name of Christ, God gets the praise and glory.
Matthew 5:13-16 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.