Now that Labor Day has passed this means that SUMMER IS OFFICIALLY OVER! I hope that you had a relaxing summer break and were able to “recharge your batteries.” It’s important to have a healthy rest/work rhythm in life. It’s good to be fully rested so that you can be more effective in your work life. With summer now over, this means that school age kids are heading back to school. If you are an adult that means that you're heading back to work. (If you are retired, that means you have earned your rest and now you are probably busier than ever!)
For most students the first few days of a new school year involve a certain amount of review. It’s a time to review what may have been “lost” over the summer so that you can be more productive in learning for the new year! Just like the kids who have to review the “Three “R’s” of “reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmatic”, Christians also have the opportunity to get back to the basics in reviewing the elements of living out our Christian faith.
It’s helpful for us to review how the early Christians lived out their faith. We read from the book of Acts, “They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers…and the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved!” (Acts 2:42, 47) As Christians to be a disciple of Jesus is to be “devoted” to the teaching about Jesus! To be a follower of Jesus is to love Jesus and love to read and listen to His Word! Christians are to be so “devoted” to Jesus and His words that we live it out daily!
How do you “live out” God’s Word? By loving other people! Jesus tells us how we are to “follow him” in our daily lives. Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:24-25)
OK, that may have been how they did it back then when it was “easier” to be a Christian. How about now in the “real world” where it’s not so easy to practice my faith? Although, it may seem that earlier Christians had it easier, the truth is they were living in the “real world” back then as well! Government persecution, divorce, family struggles, were VERY REAL in the lives of early Christians!
Yes, we continue to live in the real world today! A world where sin seems out of control! Today’s church faces growing opposition from the world around it. That’s nothing new for many Christians around the world, but for Christians in the US, this is not something we are accustomed to. Yes, we may live in the “real world,” but for that “real world,” God in his grace has provided a real Savior, the risen Lord Jesus!
The description of life in the early church is beautiful, not because Christians faced no real problems, but because they were learning to face real problems with a real living Savior!
Jesus lives, and because he lives, we shall live also—in him. TODAY! Our Good Shepherd, Jesus is leading his flock TODAY! God’s Word is: eternal life is NOW! Life with Jesus begins the moment we are called to faith to follow Jesus. Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life!” John 5:24
Living with Jesus!