As a nation and right around the globe we are living in dark and uncertain times. This is a worldwide pandemic that is spreading with such speed. It is seriously infectious and cannot be contained unless separation is done at the highest level possible.
The world has changed within a few weeks with restrictions on family life, working life, education, travel, shopping and social life. Our spiritual life has also been dramatically affected with the Church unable to be together in one place which restricts corporate worship in a way we have never known. How can the Church respond in such a way as to keep our lives close to God and close to each other?
Acts 2 v 42 – 47 we read of how the early church experienced growth and reached the lost. We see three things that we somehow need to continue even though it will be in a different form for a short while.
1. THEY DEVOTED THEMSELVES TO SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES.
They devoted themselves to the Apostles teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. They held firmly to the truth and did not allow any distortion of the message. The Apostolic authority was functioning in the body and released a spiritual dimension of power that the unsaved needed to see. Let’s pray that in these days we would not only see clear declaration of the Word with apostolic authority and boldness but also with demonstration of the power of God flowing through us. The Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2 verses 1 to 5 that ‘When I came to you brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I came to you in weakness and in fear, and with trembling. My message and preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with demonstration of the Spirit’s power so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power. The result in the early Church was that everyone was filled with awe, many wonders and miraculous signs were done.
2. THEY HAD EVERYTHING IN COMMON.
There was a level of love and care among the believers that caused action. They gave as needs arose from the resources which they shared. Now we live in a different age and wisdom is needed in this area. It is needed not because this no longer applies but because of the selfishness and abuses that we witness in our age. In this time we need to reach out with care that causes us to give where there is need. I know God will guide you as you operate with sacrificial sharing in these days. Please do ask each other whether enough food is in the cupboard for the family and bless each other with provisions. While we cannot eat together we can cooperate to bless families around us. Do this by a phone call and not a home visit.
3. THEY CONTINUED TO MEET TOGETHER.
We know that these practices took place in homes as well as the temple courts. Right now we cannot meet together in the temple courts which would be the equivalent of our Church premises and neither can we meet in homes, however, we can meet in our homes via all technical means and we should do just that. God is not restricted by our location and His Spirit is everywhere present. He indwells us which makes us the temple of His Spirit. Therefore where we gather and by whatever means we are meeting in the courts of the Temple. We can step beyond the outer courts of the temple into the inner place; the holy of holies and worship in His throne room. The unity and the connection we have is in the Spirit, by the Spirit and therefore distance cannot limit our oneness in the Lord. There is no other body of people on earth like the Church. No organisation or group of people can know the level of oneness like the Church of Jesus Christ because it is held together by the Head who is the Lord. Hallelujah.
There was a joy, celebration and praise as the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
May we see unprecedented growth in the kingdom in this time of unprecedented turmoil. May the love and the gospel message spread faster than any virus and may God save us and bring healing, protection and health to us all.