BACK TO THE GARDEN

WEEK SEVEN, DAY THREE, COMMON ENGLISH BIBLE COMPANION

WEEK SEVEN THEME: HOSPITALITY

DAY THREE THEME: HOSPITALITY IN THE CHURCH

SCRIPTURE: ACTS 2:42-47 (CEB)

“The believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the community, to their shared meals, and to their prayers.  A sense of awe came over everyone.  God performed many wonders and signs through the apostles. 

All the believers were united and shared everything.  They would sell pieces of property and possessions and distribute the proceeds to everyone who needed them. 

Every day, they met together in the temple and ate in their homes.  They shared food with gladness and simplicity.  They praised God and demonstrated God’s goodness to everyone. 

The Lord added daily to the community those who were being saved.”

THE WORD OF GOD FOR THE PEOPLE OF GOD – THANKS BE TO GOD!

SOAKING IT IN: This scripture points to a very important spiritual discipline – devotion.  It was as the believers devoted themselves that every need was met and the ability to keep on and keep up was met through their own generosity as inspired from above.  This devotion included teaching, responsibility to the community and prayer. 

Because of this devotion they were overcome by a sense of awe and obviously empowered by the Holy Spirit.  This enabled them to use their possession to the benefit of others in need.  They were basically a tribe of folks who saw a need and who met the need with generosity, foresaking their own materialism. 

Through this devotion, the needs of the community were met and the community flourished and the community grew.  It was a simple time of total dependence on God to meet their every need and see their responsibility to be a vessel to meet the needs of others through their own giftedness and resources.  It was contagious and such a time of blessing.  Utopia. 

And it all began with devotion.  It all began with realizing the relationship to a loving Father and remembering the sacrifice of his only Son and accepting the power of the Holy Spirit to look beyond the immediate and be creative thinkers and doers.  It seems as the scripture reads on that it was relatively short lived before greed and self ambition crept in like the serpent in the Garden and began to break away form such a wonderful existence. 

However, individually and through our Churches we on-goingly have the option every minute of every day to be devoted and to have the eyes and heart of God in all that we do and all that we say – remaining in “the garden”, where all needs are met and people love their ability to be a gifted, giving, loving vessel not consumed with what all they can get and grab but relaxed in God’s presence in all things.  Such devotion and actions are Kingdom building even if in a small way – they do affect the whole of society…maybe one little segment at a time. 

Let all God’s children turn ever more toward a life of devotion that is not without fear and doubt, but that recognizes from Whom all Blessing flow!  Praise God!

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