I LOVE MY CHURCH. Throughout the month of February we will be putting out devotionals for you to engage with. Our purpose is twofold: First, we know the power of being in the Scripture daily. Our desire for you is to develop the personal discipline of hearing from God daily. Second, we want you to fall in love with the church. Not because it makes us feel good, but because the church is the expression of what Jesus is doing on the Earth. We love Jesus, and we love the things that He loves.
Each devotional will include three sections at the bottom: A Bible verse for you to engage with, a thought to sum up the devotional, and a prayer to guide your conversation with God. We hope that these devotionals are a blessing to you!
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to speak to a group of college students at Colorado School of Mines. What an honor! It was so great to see that generation so passionate about Jesus. While thinking about what I would say to them, I was drawn to the book of Acts. I wanted to spark a fire in them for the love of the church, and what better place to start than the book that describes the start of this movement called “church". I sat down to read the first few chapters, and was drawn into the story of the origin of this unstoppable force.
The story starts with this group of people waiting in a room. Jesus had said that He would give them access to the Holy Spirit who would dwell inside of them. The Holy Spirit suddenly comes with force and the whole room experiences something life changing. People now have access to God in a way that they have never experienced in the history of the world. They start meeting together and immediately they see that the movement is powerful. They are so committed and in their core believe that the advancement of the group is greater than the individual, so they start selling all of their possessions so they can support this thing. Then Stephen preaches and thousands came to know Jesus. Thousands are being transformed. Thousands are moving the message of Jesus forward. Then a little sin creeps in. One family decides to deceive God and the church. God isn’t having any of it. HE. STRIKES. THEM. DEAD. It’s like Jesus meant it when He said: “I will build my church and the gates of Hell won’t stand against it.” Then a guy named Saul comes and he is going door to door looking for Christians so he can throw them in prison and subsequently execute them. But nothing hinders the movement of God. Jesus meets Saul on the Damascus road and changes his name to Paul. Paul then goes door to door telling people about Jesus. He’s beaten, whipped, hungry, thrown in jail, rejected, persecuted, but through all it says “I rejoice in suffering” because the message is moving forward.
I closed my Bible after finishing the whole book, amazed, encouraged, challenged and comforted. You get this feeling when reading the book of Acts. This feeling that nothing is going to stop the church. Nothing is going to stop them. No Thing Is Going To Stop Them.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. Acts 1:8
Do you see the church as a movement of God or just something you do on Sunday?
Lord, people need You—people around me and people around the world. Use me to reach some of them in Jesus’ name.