Saturday 29 April 2017

Bible Book:

“They devoted themselves … praising God and having the goodwill of all the people…” (vv. 42, 47)

Acts 2:42-47 Saturday 29 April 2017

Psalm: Psalm 141:1-5


At the end of the Day of Pentecost, Peter found himself theleader of a new community of more than 3,000 people who werelearning together how to follow this risen Jesus (Acts2:41).

Groups could decide to align themselves around a set of rules,say the Ten Commandments (Exodus20:1-17), or find a new Covenant built on a gracious agreementto build relationships (Jeremiah 31:31-34). Here the people of Christdevelop a set of 'holy habits'* designed to strengthen thecommunity.

So, as they meet every day, they work at:

  • biblical teaching
  • fellowship
  • breaking of bread
  • prayer
  • sharing resources
  • service
  • eating together
  • gladness and generosity
  • worship
  • making more disciples

As they devote themselves to each other and the flourishing ofthese habits, the community around them spots that there issomething positive about this new group. They care for each other,their generosity spills out and becomes infectious.

A group that was by now numbering in the thousands was becomingmore significant, but rather than cause alarm, we read that theyhad the "goodwill of all the people" because of their habitualpractice of behaving like Jesus.

Luke tells us that "day by day the Lord added to their numberthose who were being saved" (v. 47). It was not just that peoplewere keeping an eye on what the developing group was up to, butthat new converts were joining in.

Faith in Christ is attractive when allied to a convincing changeof life.

Holy Habits, a book by Methodist ministerAndrew Roberts, is being used by churches and circuits throughoutthe Connexion. It explores the ten habits as a model fordiscipleship.

To Ponder

  • "Evangelism through being like Christ can be more effectivethan 'speaking at' people." How far do you agree with thisstatement? Why?
  • How would you develop these holy habits in the life of yourchurch? Which is the most difficult habit for you?
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