How should the Church interact in the lives of Believers in this modern day and age? Most of my church experience up until four years ago was going to a place listening to a sermon and then going home. When we became “really involved” we participated in a small group or would go to a more intensive Wednesday meeting designed to dig deeper into the Bible. I remember the attendance being very anemic. Seems most people had better things to do.
We knew people by name and enjoyed small talk with them while at church, but rarely did we really get involved in their lives or them in ours and since it was a larger congregation if you felt like coming and going without really knowing anyone that was pretty easy to do.
Acts 2:44-47 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
This is very strange sounding to modern day evangelical ears I would guess. Most people just are not going to embrace this kind of involvement with others in their churches. Most people don’t know them well enough to be involved. We are autonomous beings desiring what we think is best.
Today I want to encourage the body of Christ with my testimony of the birth of our fourth child. This past Friday Anna Joy was brought into the world and what a joyous and wonderful experience it was. Thursday evening Jen and I had gathered with our church family for a webinar on home education and that night went to bed with much anticipation.
Friday was the due date and Jen typically goes right on time, or just a day or two over, so we expected it to happen soon. When I become conscious of Jen being up and down a lot in the night I thought, I’ll bet this is it.
I got out of bed about 2:00 am and asked Jen how it was going? She said “I think this is it”. She had a good contraction before she went to bed and at 1:50 am experienced the first one that really confirmed labor had begun. We embraced one another and prayed that the Lord would be glorified in this process, that Jen would have strength and endurance and seek Him for His grace in her time of need. He poured out His mercy abundantly upon Jen that morning and she labored and gave birth in a beautifully calm and assuring fashion. We are so grateful for all He is when we need Him most.
I guess it must have been a little before 3 am that I placed our first phone call to Andrea. Andrea is a woman from our church that we had asked to assist in the birth process. She has been a tremendous blessing in Jen’s life, as a Titus 2 woman, that has taught and counseled Jen for many years now and we were so honored Andrea accepted the invitation to be a part of this experience.
It seemed like Andrea arrived at the house 10 minutes later, although I know she lives at least 15 minutes away.
Next I called Dr. Wells and placed her on alert that we would be having a baby today.
My third call was to Greta, and she answered the call after about four rings. Greta is a mother of four and an expert in the natural birthing process. Greta and her husband Brad have been a tremendous blessing to our family and having her experience was invaluable. She has a great calming influence and when she arrived it greatly assured Jen that everything was going to be alright. Immediately Greta found a good position for Jen to have her hard contractions.
Our third support person, Brenda was providentially prevented from us being able to get a hold of for reasons only God knows, but God provided everything we needed. Brenda was incredibly important when Lydia was born and continues to be a great resource in our lives.
Around 4:00 am Greta began seeing the transition into the final stages of labor and said it’s time for us to go to the hospital. I called Dr. Wells and let her know we were heading to the hospital and by the time we arrived Dr. Wells was waiting. From this point it was a very short and fast labor and at 5:01 am Anna arrived into the world, she weighed in at 9.03 lbs.
Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
As much as Believers need to be about the work of ministry of reconciliation and preaching the gospel to the lost, they must also be about ministering to the saints. This is pretty uncommon today and I’m thankful that we are part of a body of Believers that gathers frequently and share in the simplicity of life, gathering from house to house, and breaking bread together often. We enjoy doing life together.
The next couple weeks we will also experience the love of Christ as we are assisted in evening meals. Saturday evening I received a call from our Pastor and he said we’d love to bring pizza and ice cream over if you are up for it. We had a wonderful time of conversation and reflecting on the miracle of a new life. When Lydia was born, we had many meals dropped off, but the last couple evenings we’ve had the families join us and that has been even a bigger blessing as we are able to share and spend time with them just as Acts 2:44-47 describes.
I think many miss the purpose of the church and too often get caught up in ministry to unbelievers. I don’t want to be misunderstood, because the gospel must be preached, but the saints should be the primary recipient of God’s grace through His church.
I’m so thankful for God’s provision of the church and how Christ is the head and we are to serve Him by serving others. What joy we feel when we serve the One that taught us how to serve.
Galatians 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.