Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

Contributor or Consumer?

ACTS 2:42-47 – And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”


THEME OF THE DAY:  CONTRIBUTOR OR CONSUMER?  Before we go any further in reading today’s nugget, do one thing and then ask two questions.  First, the doing.  Slowly read today’s scripture and the description of life in the early church.  Now, the questions; are we regularly attending a church committed in word and practice to the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer?  If so, thank God for such a place.  They are becoming increasingly rare. If we are not in such a church, find one, and get involved.  The second question is this, if we were transported back in history to the church described in today’s scripture would we fit in comfortably as an active contributor or feel like being on the outside looking in as a passive consumer?


God has designed and desires for all His children, unless physically hindered, to be actively engaged in the life of His church, not the invisible, but in visible local assemblies.  It is necessary for our spiritual growth, and for the healthy Christian it is an intense desire to be involved with other Christians as they were in what we read in today’s scripture.  And what would motivate such sacrificial involvement?  Love.  Love for one another that Jesus states is the true identifier of being His child (John 13:34-35).  It is a love wonderfully illustrated in the following story. 


In 1765 John Fawcett was called to pastor a very small congregation at Wainsgate, England. He labored there diligently for 7 years, but his salary was so meager that he and his wife could scarcely obtain the necessities of life. Though the people were poor, they compensated for this lack by their faithfulness and warm fellowship. Then Dr. Fawcett received a call from a much larger church in London, and after lengthy consideration decided to accept the invitation. As his few possessions were being placed in a wagon for moving, many of his parishioners came to say good-bye. Once again they pleaded with him to reconsider. Touched by this great outpouring of love, he and his wife began to weep. Finally Mrs. Fawcett exclaimed, “O John, I just can’t bear this. They need us so badly here.” “God has spoken to my heart, too!” he said. “Tell them to unload the wagon! We cannot break these wonderful ties of fellowship. “This experience inspired Fawcett to write a hymn. “Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love! The fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.”


May the love of Christ so move us that we find ourselves compassionate and committed contributors to being the church as the Word of God would have us to be!


PRAYER: “Father, help me to be an active participant, not a passive spectator, in my local church.”


QUOTE: “God’s people are to strive to be the church as He designed and desires.”


In the affection of Christ Jesus,


Pastor Jim