Daily in Church
Daily in Church
The Bible speaks of several things that happened daily in the church under the leadership of the apostles.
Saints Were Strengthened
Luke’s first portrait of the church is found in Acts 2:41-47.
They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer... Day by day, continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart.
I know some who left the Lord because they were challenged by His doctrine; but I know many more who left because they were ignored by His people. The early church was a family. Edification must also happen outside the walls of the worship hall, with sincere hospitality and uplifting company in homes of brethren.
Sinners Were Saved
Also in that first portrait, in Acts 2:41-47, Luke records,
The Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.
Throughout the book of Acts, among Jews and Gentiles, to the ends of the known world, the number of the disciples increased regularly (4:4, 5:14, 6:1, 6:7, 9:31, 11:21-24, 12:24, 16:5, 19:20). Of course, there are factors that make the spread of the gospel different in modern America than the ancient Greco-Roman world. But how often could we see conversions here? Is once a month too much to hope for? Of course not! If we planted and watered and God gave the increase, a baptism could happen every week, even every day.
Sufferers Were Served
In a subsequent portrait of the Jerusalem church, in Acts 6:1-7, Luke records,
Now at this time, while the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food. So the twelve summoned the congregation and said, “It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables. Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task.”
Sometimes a few days slip by before we realize a dear sister has been hospitalized, or a few weeks or months slip by before we realize an elderly couple has become homebound. The phrase “daily serving of food” indicates that the first-century church got organized, so as to not overlook anyone for long. They put a high priority on caring for the widows and needy of the congregation.
Swords Were Sharpened
Luke records the faithfulness of the Bereans, who in Acts 17:11,
Were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures
daily, to see whether these things were so. Therefore, many of them believed.
Personal Bible study is important, so that members will be prepared and immovable when they encounter “every wind” of false doctrine (Ephesians 4:14-15).
Strugglers Were Supported
The book of Hebrews says,
Take care brethren, that there not be in any one of you and evil unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another, day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:13).
Even the best Christians have spiritual struggles from time to time. But each time such a need arose, the church reached out in love and encouragement, as a family.
Supplications Were Sent Up
Jesus showed His disciples how to pray.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors (Matthew 6:11-12).
Luke said they were “continually devoting themselves ... to prayer” (Acts 2:42). They prayed “without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17). They prayed when the appointed servants (Acts 6:6) and elders (14:23) and evangelists (13:3). They prayed in good times (Phil. 1:3-5) and scary times (Acts 12:5, 16:25). They prayed about needs far off (Col. 1:3) and nearby (Acts 20:36). Let’s use the same frequency and fervency to offer up prayers to God.
Selves Were Surrendered
Jesus summarized the challenge of Christian faith:
If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to
save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake, he is the one who will save it (Luke 9:23).
Let all of us make Jesus our king, abandoning ourselves to Him, not just in some general sense of membership, but in specific, daily actions in keeping with our calling.