July 17

Acts 2:42, 46-47 42They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

The church of Jesus grew and blossomed overnight. The power of the Holy Spirit, through the message Peter preached, drew thousands to give their lives to Jesus. This short passage tells us what that first year of the church was like. These new believers had come from all over the region to worship at the Jewish Feast of Pentecost. Instead of returning to their homes, they stayed in Jerusalem to learn from the apostles the things that Jesus had taught and done. That is what we do today as we read the Gospels. Because they were away from their homes, everyone shared his possessions and homes as needed so that all could stay and be instructed.

We can see many elements that should be a part of any godly believer's life today. There is the devotion to learning about Jesus, fellowship with other believers, communion, and prayer. There were too many to meet anywhere but in the Jewish temple. It would be centuries before Christian churches were built. They shared meals with glad and sincere hearts. They spent time praising God. They had a good reputation as they walked in the fruits of the Spirit. Then we have that beautiful last line. The Lord added daily to their group. Every day people came to saving faith in Jesus.

I didn't read about any witnessing program. It was simply the life of these new converts, their joy, and their example that drew others. Surely when people asked them, they told of how Jesus was transforming them. Who added? The Lord did! It was not human effort. Perhaps if we have all the wonderful elements of that early church, we, too, will see the Lord add to our numbers those who are being saved.

Consider: Are you experiencing all the elements of that early church? What can you do to add them to your spiritual life?