I tweeted about this yesterday but this short video deserves a permanent place here because as a husband, father and pastor I am constantly reminded of how important this truth is. We’ll get ourselves into trouble if we operate based on how we feel rather than on what we know to be true from God’s Word.
What God wants and will use is not a bigger church but a purer church.
The church in Acts 5 is indeed growing by leaps and bounds, but its growth is not a result of the size of the church but the purity of the church.
We can see how God feels about this as He dealt swiftly and sharply with the deceitfulness of Ananias and his wife Sapphira in the opening verses of chapter 5.
Then, says Acts 5:13, “None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem.”
As a result, the church was pure and the church grew. God was blessing the testimony of believers and those who were fully devoting themselves to Christ weren’t afraid of becoming a part of the church.
As we’re seeing played out in the world today, being a follower of Christ can be often risky and sometimes dangerous, but if we want to be used by God we must be serious about personal purity and devoted to maintaining the purity of the church.
Read Acts 5 and you soon discover that what God desires and will use for His glory is not necessarily a church that is large, but a church that is pure.
“The older I get the more I am defining faith like this: faith means that I am content with what I’m told in the Bible and that I have ceased to desire to know what I am not told in the Bible.” -Martyn Lloyd-Jones
O HOLY SPIRIT…
…Come as teacher, leading me into all truth,
filling me with all understanding;
Come as love, that I may adore the Father,
and love him as my all;
Come as joy, to dwell in me,
move in me, animate me;
Come as light, illuminating the Scripture,
moulding me in its laws;
Come as sanctifier,
body, soul and spirit wholly thine;
Come as helper, with strength to bless and keep,
directing my every step;
Come as beautifier, bringing order out of confusion,
loveliness out of chaos.
–From Valley of Vision, Spiritus Sanctus.
Pick up your own copy of The Valley of Vision here.
But the Lord has become my stronghold,
and my God the rock of my refuge.
Finding opportunities to get to know our neighbors seems to be a constant challenge in our busy culture. Being a living witness to our neighbors can be difficult when we’re all preoccupied with living life. That’s why I found this article, 10 Ways to Love Your Neighbor, by Ed Stetzer encouraging and the list within helpful. I’ve summarized below some of these simple ideas you and I can start using today to love our neighbors.
10 Ways to Love Your Neighbor:
- Invite one neighbor over for dinner each month.
- If someone is new in town, invite them to join your plans for the weekend.
- Organize a walking group or running club.
- When someone tells you they have an upcoming job interview, a test, or a doctor appointment, mark it on your calendar. Follow up on the big day with a note of encouragement to let them know you are praying for them, or ask them how it went afterward. Better yet, do both!
- If you see someone moving in, bring them dinner, cookies, or basic supplies they might need…
- Ask your neighbor to be their friend on Facebook. This is a great way to find common ground and things to talk about the next time you see them.
- Practice random acts of kindness. Take your neighbor’s trash out, or put their trash can away after pick-up. Mow their lawn “just because.”
- Use your kids as an ice breaker. Invite a fellow mom and her kids over for a play date and get to know her…
- Get outside the walls of your house. You’ll meet neighbors as you walk the dog, take walks, work in your yard, or hang out at your neighborhood pool. Don’t just wave; be intentional…
- Organize a neighborhood get-together so that your neighbors can meet each other…
Gotta love everything about this music video by Luke Cyrus, but especially the lyrics. “You came to save you came to set the captives free”, praise God!
Items used in the making of this video:
– 28 White Plastic Tables.
– 44 ft. of Tyvek.
– 1 Basketball Hoop.
– 1 Medical Walker.
– 2 Pieces Of Barn Wood From The 1800’s.
– 2 25″ PVC pipes.
– 2 Shower Curtain Poles.
– 3 Outdoor Electrical Outlet Covers.
– 4 35mm Film Canisters.
– 1 Restaurant Tray Stand.
– 2 Spaghetti Noodles.
– 1 Gym
-1 Johnny Palmer #3 Golf Club Shaft.
-Approximately 148 sq. ft of cardboard found in Home Depot’s dumpster.
….and some duck tape.
"We should build our churches not from the pastor down, but from the Bible up." Hunter Powell
— Mark Dever (@MarkDever) December 17, 2013
Only the keeping of resolutions Jonathan Edwards wrote this in his personal journal.
“I perceive, if God should withdraw his Spirit a little more, I should not hesitate to break my resolutions, and should soon arrive at my old state. There is no dependence on myself. Our resolutions may be at the highest one day, and yet, the next day, we may be in a miserable dead condition, not at all like the same person who resolved. So that it is to no purpose to resolve, except we depend on the grace of God. For, if it were not for his mere grace, one might be a very good man one day, and a very wicked one the next.”