By Justin Randolph
Pastor, Zion Hill Baptist Church, Sevierville
“The unstoppable mission was to share the unstoppable message, but the unstoppable message was fueled by an unstoppable love. This love was shared by Luke in the latter part of Acts 2 and was expressed by the early followers of Jesus Christ in three ways.
First, they gathered together in supplication. No movement of God happens without the power of God and we tap into the power of God when we pray. The Bible tells us that prayer was a major component of the early church. They prayed in unity and with fervency. They understood that communion with God was vital for their hearts to be changed and His message to be sent forth. We don’t see people’s lives changed through our presentation, but through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit of God which comes through prayer alone. The disciples knew that Jesus was a man of prayer and had taught them how to pray and now they needed prayer in order to form and grow the church.
Second, we read they served one another. Luke describes their selflessness in verse 45. It has been truly said before that people “don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” The early church was committed to caring for one another and their love for one another helped show the world the change in their lives that had been wrought. Christ had said that everyone would recognize His disciples because of their love and their love helped launch this revolution. Today, things have not changed much in this respect. Your community will recognize your small group or church and know they are Christians by their love. It is not your ability that will define you as a Christian, but your availability to serve and care for the least of these in your community.
Third, this early group of followers schooled the community for the reason or hope they had within them. They knew the power and love they shared did not come from their own endowment, but was a gift of God through the Holy Spirit. As they served in love, they shared the message of Christ and the Bible says many were added daily to their number. Friends, people today need love and people today need hope and we have both. The questions we have to ask ourselves are: Will we take time to care? Will we take the time to share the hope we have within us?
Today, the church is always looking for a new method or another approach to evangelism and missions when the best avenue of transformation is committing ourselves to the original mission, message, and love of the first church. Let us preach the message with our works and our words and let us do it all in love.