Lately, I've been praying and really
begging asking God to help lighten our load and help us to slow down. We're always so busy that our tight schedule leaves little room for spontaneity.
It always a mad dash to the finish line. Whenever I step out my front door it's because I'm headed to the car and running off somewhere. What happened to the days of sitting on the front porch? Or talking to the neighbors?
I have been blessed with living in a great neighborhood with fantastic neighbors. Yet how often do I take the time to enjoy their company when I see them? It's usually a "Hi, how are you?"or "Nice seeing you, goodbye."
This has been something that has been on my mind and in my prayers for a while now and tonight I was convicted about it during life group at our house.
We were discussing the value of friendships and connecting with one another. One of the ladies who grew up in a different country was saying how where she grew up it was very different. They visited each other daily and everyone was like family. It was the "borrow a cup of sugar" type of enviornment.
I started to think how its so different today. We work and go about our own business that sometimes we don't even get to know our neighbors, the very people God has placed us next to.
It's the reason we've started life groups at church. To make it a point to visit with others and be in community because if its not planned, it doesn't happen.
I think about the way it was when the church first started.
All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
This passage screams LOVE to me because it shows how intertwined they were with each other. They were sharing more than just a cup of sugar, they were actually selling their things to share with those who needed among them.
They even met together daily. I realize today, geographical and with the complexities of our lives, its not possible to meet that often. The problem is sometimes we don't meet with our church family, except for in the church.
I think of my own excuses and I'm ashamed that my focus is not just love.
This needs fixing...
That needs cleaning...
The food needs to be perfect...
What strikes me most about this Acts passage is the last sentence of this scripture. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
It was their unpretentious love that others noticed. It was the fact that they were selfless and loved deeply.
It was love in pure form.
And something amazing happened. Others took notice and wanted the same thing...and they were saved, daily.
Thats it. No organized evangelism program, just love.
I wonder how many times we've missed out on being blessed through friendships because we've been too preoccupied with other things or waiting for perfection to happen.
I wonder how many people would take notice and be led to Christ if we would make ourselves available and be more hospitable, more often?
All you need is love.
By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
So sweep up your entryway, dust off your mat, and make way for the people God is putting before you