How are we to grow as a healthy family of Jesus’ disciples, letting His light shine in Skellingthorpe and beyond?
“…the apostles’ teaching…”
Commissioned by Jesus, the apostles taught who he is and how to be his disciples. We will need to sit eagerly and expectantly at their feet as we study the Bible together.
All the Bible is God’s powerful word. How do we know? This is how Jesus treated it. How do we know that He is to be trusted? he is the One who was raised to life just as he said, proving himself to be the Son of God.
We’ll be a healthy church if we listen to and obey the word of God.
“…and to partnership,…”
It’s through the encouragement and support of our church family that we will grow, and so we must keep meeting together. Church partnership also involves serving the Lord Jesus together to share his good news and extend his influence; using our different gifts and sharing our resources. It involves working well with other groups of believers and our particular vision for our particular setting will help us discern when and how to do this. It involves praying for and supporting believers in other countries.
We’ll be a healthy church if we partner well in the gospel.
“…to the breaking of bread and to prayer…”
Jesus gave his people a way to remember the central point of all history - when he died in our place on the cross. Breaking bread and sharing wine helps us refocus ourselves on this and to ‘feed on him in our hearts by faith’ as the Church of England service says.
And we devote ourselves to prayer! It is by God’s power that anything can grow at all and so we depend upon him in prayer. What a privilege to be able to speak with our Creator now the way has been opened for us by Jesus.
We will be a healthy church if we focus of the cross of Jesus and if we pray.
“…they gave to anyone who had need…”
Jesus is not a Leader who lords it over other people but one who serves . His followers are to do likewise: “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you,” he says. In Skellingthorpe, we are to be sensitive to the particular needs around us and seek to act as Jesus would in these situations. The Bible is clear that our greatest need is to be given a new heart and reconciled to God, but we are also called to care for one another practically.
We will be a healthy church if we serve those in need.
“…and they spoke the word of God boldly.”
God’s people are a people who have been rescued out of slavery to their own desires into the freedom of serving God as we were created to. The sort of freedom a beached whale would experience after being helped back to sea.
And so we are to praise God in all we say and do and tell others ‘the gospel’ - the great announcement that the true King has finally arrived and has won the victory over sin and death.
We will be a healthy church if we faithfully preach as Jesus did: “The Kingdom of God has arrived: turn your lives around and believe the good news!”