August 26, 2011

Acts 5:42 Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.

In keeping with Peter’s statement that “We must obey God rather than men!” (verse 29) the apostles directly disobeyed the orders they were given by the Sanhedrin. That’s what’s called congruency, when your actions match your words. Congruency is extremely important in life in general, but nowhere more so than in the Church. Sadly, it’s all too often lacking there. Jesus said of the Pharisees, “Do as they say, not as they do.” (Matthew 23:3) That is good advice in some churches! It’s also important to note what the apostles were doing, and that is, being obedient to the Great Commission. They weren’t sitting around congratulating themselves on being saved, they were actively making disciples. That activity wasn’t limited to formal settings, like the temple, but was essentially wherever they could get people to listen. Here too, Christians and churches today have a lot to learn. We tend to compartmentalize, when being a disciple of Jesus Christ is a 24/7 proposition, and this verse specifies that the early disciples didn’t limit their activities to any particular day of the week. Some churches today pride themselves on being “1st Century Churches.” If that is true, well and good, but they need to remember that 1st Century Christians endured persecution to the point of martyrdom. Like the apostles in this verse, we need to remember that following Jesus Christ is a matter of total commitment.

I certainly strive for congruency in my own life, but that hasn’t been put to the test of active persecution. I need to help the believers understand how they can be 24/7 Christians, not letting the devil shut them up. That’s not to say we are to be yammering idiots – the world has plenty of them – but that we are constantly to be looking for the opportunities God provides to speak His truth into people’s lives. We are to let the Holy Spirit open our eyes to see people as God does, and speak His Word into them for their deliverance, healing, and everything else that comes with salvation. I’m back to the point of taking our eyes off of ourselves and fixing them on Christ. As long as we’re looking at our own weakness and foolishness, we won’t trust God to use us as He desires to do, in His strength and wisdom.

Father, I realize I’m preaching to myself here. That’s an issue of congruency! Help me follow through indeed with the truth You allow me to speak, putting Your Word into practice all the time, in every detail of my life. Help me also lead and train the believers in doing likewise, so that together we may be marvelously effective, in Your wisdom and power, for the salvation of many, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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