I know people who believe in Jesus but aren’t plugged in to a local church. They’re just not into it.
They like Jesus, but not church.
I love the church, and it bothers me that people would like Christ…but not the body of Christ. Don’t the two go together?
Well, what if that’s the problem. What if the church has become something other than what God intended it to be? What if it has morphed into a something very different than how it started out.
Well, what if they could go back and see it in its infancy? What if they could see it as it started out, and see what God intended for it to be?
Wouldn’t it be great if we could show them that?
Well, it turns out you can.
Luke was a doctor who wrote…wait for it…the Gospel of…Luke. But, he also wrote a book we know as the Acts of the Apostles, or Acts for short. It turns out these are really one big book. Acts picks up where Luke stops. Luke is about the life of Jesus. Acts is about the early church. When you read these two books together, a pattern emerges:
What Jesus does, the early church does.
Jesus fed the poor. The early church fed the poor.
Jesus proclaimed the kingdom of God. The early church proclaimed the kingdom.
And, on and on we could go.
The early church mirrored the life of Jesus. His life formed their life, personally and communally.
So much so, that outsiders even called them by his name…they called them “Christ followers” or “Christians.”
So, here’s the challenge:
Go back and read the Acts of the Apostles (right after you’ve finished with Luke). And, then ask yourself…what was this group called “The Way” all about?
Did they carry out Jesus’ mission of love and compassion?
Did they embody his message of resurrection and new life?
Did they bring about a revolutionary change in the world?
So, if you’re reading this and you’re one of those people that isn’t plugged in to a local church, then I’m not here to judge you, but I want to ask you this. What if you could be a part of revolutionary group like you read about in Acts? What if you could find a group like that?
Well, then I challenge you to look for that group in your community. Look for a group that looks like Jesus.
And, if there’s not one…why don’t you form one?
Well, now if you’re reading this and you are a part of a church, then let me challenge you. Is your church a lot like what you read about in Acts? Is it a lot like what you read about in Luke? If not, then I challenge you to look back to the reason we’re doing all of this. Look back to Jesus, and focus on him. And, see just how much like him we can become. Because, guess what…he’s what it’s all about.