Journey Through The Bible Hero

JUNE 4, 2021 DEVOTION

2 Samuel 22:1 – 23:23, Acts 2:1-47, Psalm 122:1-9, Proverbs 16:19-20

“Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church – about three thousand in all. They joined with other believers and devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, sharing in the Lord’s Supper and in prayer.” (Acts 2:41-42 NLT)

Question – “What are the primary practices of New Testament Christians and Christianity?” The answer to that question is summed up in the last verses of Acts 2, where Dr. Luke tells us about the early lives and focuses of believers in the first century church.

To begin with, Luke notes that these first century Christians were willing to publicly acknowledge their allegiance to Jesus Christ by being baptized (by immersion) and joining the Church in Jerusalem (Acts 2:41). Baptism and Church commitment are illustrated and encouraged frequently in the New Testament.
Second, those first century Christians devoted themselves to hearing and learning the Word of God from their leaders (Acts 2:42). They wanted to know everything there was to know about Jesus and the new life He offered, and so they took advantage of every opportunity to learn about Him and the Christian life.

Second Question – “What have you done to grow in your understanding of God’s Word, will and way for your life?” Jesus taught that knowing and living by God’s Word is essential for our lives (Matthew 4:4).

Third, they were committed to fellowshipping with one another and praying personally and corporately (Acts 2:42). Fellowship means more than spending time together. It means a willingness to share our lives together with other Christians, rejoicing when they rejoice and sorrowing when they sorrow. Also, prayer was extremely crucial for their lives and their fellowship. They knew that they would not have the strength to live for God in such a pagan and hostile world if they didn’t daily spend time in personal prayer, and regularly spend time praying with other believers.

Third Question – “What are your plans and practices in regards to regular fellowshipping with other Christians and spending time in prayer with the Lord?” The early Christians saw prayer, learning God’s Word and fellowship as essential as eating and breathing.
Fourth, the first century Christians were accustomed to seeing God work in miraculous ways (Acts 2:43), and were willing to give generously and sacrificially to the Lord’s work and to meet the needs of others (Acts 2:44-45). Faith in God and sacrificial giving are to characterize our lives as well.
Fifth, the first century Christians were involved regularly in small home fellowships, and larger worship gatherings (Acts 2:46). They knew that both were essential for their continued growth in the Lord.

As a result of these practices, the lives of the first century Christians were filled with joy and praise, they found favor with outsiders, and the Lord blessed their witness by continually bringing more and more people into the Church (Acts 2:47). They grew so mightily spiritually and numerically, that they literally turned their world “upside-down” (Acts 4:4, 5:12-16, 6:7, 8:5-8, 9:31, 11:21, 17:6).
Fourth Question – “What changes need to take place in your life for you to become a first century Christian in our world?” The Lord wants today’s Christians to be involved in the same practices first century Christians were involved in; and He wants us to experience the same growth and blessings, and to have the same impact on the world around us.

As you pray today: 1) Ask the Lord to show you what changes need to take place in your life for you to live like a first century Christian; 2) Ask the Lord to show you how to make those changes in your life; and 3) Ask the Lord to show you others that you need to be encouraging, giving to, and witnessing to.
The early Christians were able to live such dynamic and different lives because they had experienced the wondrous filling of God’s Spirit (Acts 2:4). If you’ve never had that experience or it’s been a long time since you have, ask the Lord today to fill you today so that you can be equipped and empowered to make a difference for Him like the first century Christians did in their world!