The good, the bad, and the ugly is revealed in the early church throughout Acts. This included conflict and disagreement. In #3 of 4, “Messy People, Faithful Church,” consider everyday applications for navigating personal differences while staying on mission.
The success of the First Missionary Journey creates a dispute over the relationship of Gentile followers of Jesus and the Law. The dispute is graciously resolved, the gospel affirmed, and the church strengthened in mission. Text: Acts 15:1-35
As followers of Jesus we are part of a vast multitude living between salvation accomplished on the cross and salvation completed when Jesus returns. In this ‘in between’ state everyone is important, everyone counts. God is faithful to us, will we be found faithful to Him? Will we stand up, step forward, and be counted? Text: Num 1:1-19; Eph 2:19-20; 1 Cor 16:13-14
In the power of the Holy Spirit the message of Jesus is proclaimed. Persecution scatters the church propelling her outward. Believers are baptized and disciples multiplied. The measure of the mission is people and places. Where Jesus is faithfully proclaimed lives are restored and the church grows. Who are the people God has placed in our space? Text: Acts 8:29, 9:10
What is wisdom? Wisdom is the skill of living life in a God-honoring way. The writer of Proverbs invites us to consider carefully four seemingly insignificant and vulnerable creatures, and by observing these little creatures, to discover our own vulnerabilities and learn how we can navigate life wisely, that is in a Christ-centered, God-honoring way. Text: Proverbs 30:24-28; 1 Peter 3:8
The solution to a life that is leaning away from God is to return to God, and one of the ways we return is through our giving. Giving is an expression of worship which reflects trust in God’s steadfast love and gracious provision in Jesus. Where the Old Testament speaks of a tithe, the New Testament looks to the self-giving, sacrificial love of Jesus inviting us into a life of generous giving.Text: 2 Corinthians 8:1-15; 9:6-15; Psalm 24:1
Measurable 2 asks “Is Ananias on the road?” This pointed question tests obedience and action to God’s call in mission. As an Anabaptist community, consider why we must be accountable and evidence active engagement around this question. Text: Acts 9:13-17; Romans 16:25-27