And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. – Acts 2:47b
Scripture reading: Acts 2:42-47 (again)
Look back at our outline of Acts 2 from yesterday. What was the church doing that resulted in people being saved each day? They were simply being the church, doing so with a sense of missional purpose. We have been wrestling with this idea throughout this month: mission isn’t just something we do, it’s who we are. But at the same time, it affects and shapes everything we do.
Acts 2 describes the church’s life together as being fruitful for mission. But we so often do the opposite: we justify our community life together as a way of putting up walls, excluding others, defining insiders and outsiders. Acts 2 suggests, however, and the entire story of God’s mission throughout the Bible makes very clear, that we are called to be the church for the sake of the nations. God blesses us with community life so that we will be a blessing.
We must ask ourselves – as individuals, families and churches: what is our sense of identity and purpose? Why are we here? Is our fellowship eager to welcome others? Is our life together infused with the sense of being for the sake of others? Is our community ready, willing and able to include those who need the gospel, whose lives are messy and broken, who are drawn to the good news we proclaim? Or do we think of our churches as existing largely to meet our own needs? All of this is how the story of God’s mission must challenge us today.
Suggestions for prayer
That God would infuse our fellowship with a sense of being other-oriented and that He would make our churches welcoming places for those who need the gospel of Jesus Christ.
This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Nick Smith is pastor of the United Reformed Church of Nampa, Idaho