Good memories are great motivators!
I remember well when I came to know Jesus Christ as my personal Savior in the early 70’s. About the same time I realized I wasn’t alone. Back then many others were being added to the Church by the power of God’s Holy Spirit.
Those were good days when the faith of many who shared in the same experience was vibrant and exciting. At times the thirst to know more of our God through Messiah Jesus was almost all consuming and no one ever thought of complaining. In fact it was just the opposite. We would complain if there wasn’t enough time spent with one another learning and sharing Jesus.
Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:46-47 (NIV)
Perhaps your present shared experience with other believers is vibrant and exciting. That’s great! But may I encourage you to guard what you and those share in Christ. It’s so easily taken for granted. Honor the Holy Spirit as He works among you.
We eagerly attended to hearing God’s word on Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings and different evenings through the week. Our Bibles became a part of us like a finger is to a hand or a hand to an arm.
On the pages of our Bibles you’d find underlining, arrows, exclamation points with words, sentences, paragraphs and at times entire chapters were colored to help us to remember that we found something special on the day we read them. We were digging for the golden nuggets that revealed Jesus from Genesis to the last book of the Bible.
No one had to compel us to pray. We wouldn’t think of missing out on prayer gatherings and not because it was expected of us. We gathered together simply because we shared a common love and faith in Jesus and a love for one another.
It was an exciting time. We made time one for another and we just couldn’t find enough time in God’s word and in prayer. Those days were so sweet. Not only was Jesus and His word precious, we were all precious! Friendships were made and valued.
Though almost no one spoke of it, there was an “accepting” of one another as those whom God has forgiven and made alive spiritually. The love of Christ does that. It accomplished in and through us what we could never do apart from Jesus who loves and saves people who are broken through sin.
There is no greater humility than the humility evidenced by those for whom our God has ransomed from sin and death. God has reconciled sinners unto Himself by the offering of His Son, Jesus. Reconciled sinners are to be reconciled to one another through the power of a risen Savior.
We need to follow the example of those who have gone before us and dedicate ourselves to strengthening and encouraging each other in Christ. Some of us have seen firsthand how the love and zeal for the things that please our Savior and God has grown cold.
They preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, 22 strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. Acts 14:21-22 (NIV)
It’s now more or less 44 years of walking with God in Christ. Yes, I’ve had my hilltops and valleys, but God has proven to me over and over that He is faithful. I want to sing of His faithfulness and I would have you sing with me. No worship leader is required to motivate worship in Spirit and truth.
The joyful exuberance we experienced as much younger Christians needs to be refreshed and revisited. In fact, we must!
Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. 5 Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. Revelation 2:4-5 (NIV)
Will I meet you there. Will we see each other across the table as we open our bibles? Will we pray together? Will we pray for one another? Will we pray asking God to refresh us once again with His presence?
Think on this simple question asked by the well known and respected Christian rapper, Lecrae.
Let’s keep our Bibles working long after the worship leader has ended their performance and have left the stage.
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:12 (NIV)
Let us refresh ourselves in Christ and once again delight in the knowledge that God has qualified us to be His children by His grace alone.
One final word. I must say this. What I enjoyed most about those days we had together, was that the Spirit of Jesus was with us. He provided the fire that warmed our hearts.
So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, 29 but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. 32 They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” 33 And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread. Luke 24:28-35 (ESV)