Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Love & Devotion (8 of 21)

Acts 2:42 (New Living Translation) "All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer."
-Loyally In Love

First, it's Ash Wednesday. Today is the beginning of the season of Lent, which prepares us for the celebration on Easter (the resurrection of Jesus from the dead). I pray that today we will all remember that we're merely sinners, who have been saved by the grace of God. That's the message of Ash Wednesday. May we be intentionally repentant (asking God to forgive our faults) and thoughtfully focused on how to make tomorrow better.

Acts 2:42 is the foundational philosophy of our church. We don't do anything that doe's not embody the five principles that are mentioned. The early church loved Jesus for real, and their love was expressed in the language of the today's passage.

Teaching...The believers remained loyal to the teaching of Jesus after his ascension (departure) back to heaven. Our relationship with God must be developed and his word tells us how to do that. Studying the scriptures is important and living what we've learned from the scriptures is even more important. 1 John 5:3 reminds us that doing what God says is easy, when we love him. Find pleasure in God's word (Psalm 1:2) and watch your relationship with him improve.

Fellowship...What we do on Sunday morning in Café Grace is not a waste of time. As a matter of fact, it's not as unconventional as some may think. Fellowship, if we love God, is a necessary component for people of faith. Fellowship is how we relate with each other. If we're brothers and sisters as the scriptures teach us, then it's important that we get to know each other. Knowing each other, requires us to be non-judgmental and accepting people for where they are. Be loyal to the principle of connecting with believers, to be a spiritual system of support that loves people where they are, in order to lift them to where they belong.

Meals...The emphasis of this principle isn't the food. This was about sharing (to ensure everyone had enough) and communication (easing the tension to talk). There should be no lack of basic needs in our faith community. Not to imply that we're to take care of our brothers and sisters but we should be there in their times of need. Our goal in eating together, is to make it easy to get to know each other. Food is a common denominator, no matter your class, race or culture.

The Lord's Supper...The bread and wine is to remind us that Jesus loved us first. We were hopeless, helpless and homeless but he loved us enough to die for us, so we could gain all those missing elements. We are to celebrate the Lord's Supper, because Jesus told us to. It's a method of connecting with God's grace and disconnecting from our sin and shame.

Prayer...When you're in love, you talk about everything and nothing with your mate. That's how we should be with God. Don't just go to God when you need something from him. Be loyal in your communication with him, and call him up in prayer, just to say thank you and I was thinking about you today. Don't be shy in prayer (Hebrews 4:16), because God wants you to talk to him regularly without restraint.

Our love for God must be expressed in these five loyal principles. Don't back away from them, but live them out daily to show God that you're behaving like you believe them!

God, we thank you for this amazing place known as Grace Corner. Where we preach and practice your word. Help us to be more expressive of our love for you, by being loyal to these principles. In the strong name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

***Tomorrow's verse...John 3:16 'A Death Row Pardon'

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