Lately I have been reading about the early church in Acts, the gathering of the saints was a lot different to how it is today. In reality the only thing that has changed is the date and the culture. There is no reason why this generation of believers cannot walk like the saints of old, maybe somewhere along the line we forgot some of the basics!
So lets talk about them.
The first generation of believers gathered together regularly. At that time they only had the old testament, so most of there teaching about Jesus was from word of mouth from believer to believer or from eye witnesses such as the 12 apostles. These gatherings grew and grew as the word about Jesus spread throughout the country. I believe when they gathered they knew what they were there for…to know more about Jesus and encounter him as they lift each other up. There would have been so much unity because they were crammed together at these gatherings and ate, read and prayed together.
These believers knew the power of prayer, they did it everyday. If you look through acts you will see time upon time where they were gathered together praying. They often prayed three times a day, which should show us how necessary it is. If the apostles prayed like that who were taught from Jesus himself, how important is it that we pray.
I can say that I have only started praying sincerely a few months ago, while I was going for a morning walk one day God gave me a word on prayer.
“Prayer has become like the spare tire you have in the boot of your car, you only get it out when you are in trouble, maybe if you were praying you wouldn’t need the spare tire”
And so it is with a lot of believers today, speaking from experience I used to only pray when I had a problem. But oh! how I have seen the benefits from it. He has called us all to prayer, not an anointed few. Not just when we need something, He is not a genie in a bottle that grants wishes at our desire. He is our Heavenly Father and he wants us to talk to him through prayer and have an open ear to what he is saying.
One thing they knew how to do was praise, they knew how to give glory in the highs and lows of life. They knew the power of the name of Jesus to brake chains, they knew his name was above all names. They didn’t have all the fancy equipment we have today but they knew his name. They knew that praising God wasn’t about us but about him and what he has done. When we get our eyes off ourselves and onto him something changes.
The word of God is our spiritual food, it helps us grow in the things of God. The early church knew the importance of Gods word, they gathered together to learn about it so they could live it. How blessed most of us are to have such easy access to it, back then it wasn’t so. Maybe the easy accessibility of the bible has made it not as desirable, all’s I no is that book is the most important physical possession a believer can have. Like prayer reading Gods word is a necessity for believers, it’s not just a book we read when we are bored. We have to read it for ourselves instead of living of other peoples revelations.
They were baptized in Holy spirit
The day of Pentecost shows us how important the Holy spirit is, if the apostles needed him so do we. Before the apostles went out and did anything they needed to wait for the Holy spirit and it is the same for us. Before we go into any form of ministry we need his spirit. It’s that simple, if you’re a believer you need the Holy spirit and all you have to do is ask God to baptize you in the Holy spirit and he will… Don’t stop asking until you get him. If you are already baptized in the Holy spirit awesome, I want to ask you thou do you know of any other new believers that don’t no about the baptism of the Holy spirit? Maybe you could tell them about it!
These are the basics, they were good enough for the early church and they are good enough for us. We often get caught up in our daily lives and can forget about our walk with the Lord So take a look at these areas and ask yourself “Am I lacking in any of these areas” I pray that if you are God convicts you to do something about it as he does me. May he be your number 1.
Shane Rowney is currently living on the Gold Coast attending a local church. He enjoys surfing, gym and music but most of all spending time with his Father.