In the book of Acts we see the infancy of the church. As we read we find that as early as the third chapter of Acts, the body of believers was established after Peter addressed the crowd on the day of Pentecost. In Acts 3:42-47 we see the response of the believers, who devoted themselves to the teaching of Christ and to fellowship with one another. Some of the highlights of this passage: “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship”, “selling their possession and goods, they gave to anyone who had need,” and “the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
The early church understood the need to live as brothers and sisters in Christ, making sure that everyone in the church knew they were a part of the family of God. They became a living, breathing, body of Christ–a fellowship of believers who lived with glad and sincere hearts. They loved one another. Oh, the church wasn’t perfect, as we see throughout the rest of the New Testament. And the fact remains, that Satan is our enemy and would love nothing better than to sow discord and deceit into the mix so that believers turn their hearts from God.
I could write all kinds of blogs about the things that are wrong in today’s church. But I am so glad to be a part of a body that can still show their love and their willingness to be the kind of church that is modeled in the New Testament.
This past Sunday we had prayer time for two very special people in our church–Emily and Kathryn. You see Emily has been need of new kidney for quite some time, and Kathryn, the very special sister in Christ who stepped up, was found to match. On Tuesday, Kathryn gave the gift of a kidney to Emily, her Christian sister. When I think of the kind of love that allowed this event to happen I am in awe.
Many prayers have been said over Emily as she went through the process of waiting for a kidney. You see, a few years earlier she needed a liver transplant and that gift was given to her through organ donation. Because of the medication needed for the liver, it affected her kidneys to the point where she needed the transplant. Despite her health issues, she has put her trust in the Lord. Emily has been an example to all the believers who gather in our church. She has served and worshiped with us, has always been a huge encourager to others, and has studied God’s word diligently. Kathryn, too, has been a devoted Christ follower and serves Him willingly and lovingly. When God put this on her heart, she answered his call.
Today the latest word is that both women are doing extremely well and are actually ahead of the curve on their recovery. Her doctor even commented on how well Emily is doing. I am pretty sure she probably told him it was all because of God. I can only believe that it is in answer to the many prayers going up on their behalf.
Sometimes I wonder, when did the church get so far away from how they were in Acts? I hear occasionally of small groups of Christians establishing house churches and trying to go back to the Biblical model that we read about in Acts. It has merit. But I think our biggest need is to just to love one another. Oh wait, I think that is what Christ meant when he said, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.” Then he added, “The second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31).
So how should we love? Maybe we should love enough to even give a kidney if God calls us to do so!