Acts 2:42 - 47
ESV - 42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.
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Expressions of the Holy Spirit - led church are worship, fellowship, discipleship, evangelism, serving, healing/ delivering and giving / generosity. Today, there is a spiritual degeneracy in the first century church practice. In this connection I would like to quote a recent message delivered by Br. Zac Poonnen which is apt for this topic. Jesus said to the Father, “All that is Mine is Thine.” And so He could also add, “All that is Thine is Mine” (Jn.17:10). When all that is ours is freely given to God, then all that God has will also be freely given to us. In the measure that we give to Him, He gives to us. This is why many Christian leaders are so poverty-stricken when it comes to spiritual authority: They have not given their all to God. In John 2:23-25, we read that even though many believed in Jesus, yet He did not commit Himself to them. We may also be among those to whom the Lord doesn’t commit Himself because He sees what is in us and what our motives are. If it comes to a choice between our profession and building the Body of Christ, which will we choose? Are we willing to give up advancement in our earthly occupation in order to have more time to build the church? If not, why should God commit Himself to us? Are we willing to open our homes for the Lord’s people? Or are our convenience and our privacy more important to us? If we seek our own in any area, we won’t get spiritual authority from God, even if we fast and pray for it. God cannot be fooled. Everything - yes everything - in our life must take second place to the kingdom of God, if we want to build the Body of Christ. There is no partiality with God. All of us are the same to Him. What He has done for others, He will do for us. Jesus and Paul were mightily attested by God in their ministries, because they paid a price. God will do the same for us if we are willing to pay the same price. Even our money and our savings must belong to God if we are to build the church. When God told Noah to build the ark, Noah did not ask God as to who was going to pay for the expenses involved in building such a huge ship. If he had asked that question, God would have told him, “You have to pay for it yourself, Noah. Who else will pay for it?” But Noah did not need to ask, for he knew that already. The question is whether we know it. Noah probably had to sell some of his own property in order to build the ark. But how many servants of God do we find who are willing to sell their personal property in order to finance God’s work? Those who do not give their all to God will discover that God does not give His all to them either. With most servants of God, their attitude is that if it is the Lord’s work, the money for it must come from somewhere else, and not from their own pockets. They are lavish in spending the money that comes in through the offering-box. But they are not lavish in giving their own money for the work of God. A servant of God who is not freed from the grip of money in his life can never have spiritual authority. Have we ever said to the Lord, “Lord, Your work is my work. And my savings are Yours. I won’t make a distinction between my money and Your money”? If we haven’t said that to the Lord (and meant it), then we are still under the old covenant, where they considered 10% of their money as belonging to God and 90% as belonging to themselves. Once they had given their 10%, their obligation was over. But Jesus did not come to give only 10% of His income to the Father. He came to establish a new covenant and to build a new-covenant church. And so He gave 100% to His Father. And now He says to us, “Follow Me.” The only one who can have spiritual authority is the one who has given his ALL to God. We must be willing to build the Body of Christ, whatever the cost to us - whether that cost be our money, our honour, our convenience, our physical energy, our reputation, our job, or anything else.
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