We often focus on the vertical relationship but neglect the horizontal relationship.
In Acts, 120 believers gathered to whom Jesus had appeared.
After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.
Acts 1:3 NIV
Jesus proved that He was alive. He died on the cross for our sins and rose again. If you have not believed in Him, you can do it today.
Jesus gave them a command - wait for the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:41, after the Holy Spirit came, Peter preached an amazing message and 3000 were added to their number that day.
Believing is one step and getting baptized is the next step.
Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
Acts 2:41 NIV
So from 120 that became 3000 and the Lord was adding daily. Imagine that!
Acts 4:4 They grew to 5000 men (+ women & children)
Acts 5:14 - More and more men and women believed.
Acts 6:1 -The disciples were increasing
Acts 6:7 - Increased rapidly
Acts 21:20 - How many thousands of Jews have believed!
What did they do?
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Acts 2:42 NIV
This is how the early church was. There are some practices they were engaged in - BOB, Prayer, fellowship and the apostle teaching met together, met in homes, shared their possessions.
They had great love! They were together, they shared and had things in common.
One thing that we see in this - 10000 to 15000 people is huge. They met in the temple courts and in homes.
That's what I want to focus on today - "In home"
You took a lot of effort and came here today. That's great! That's one part.
Paul went from house to house. The large gatherings were important but they also met in homes, ate together. So there were small groups happening as well.
As a Christian, this is one area we need to grow in. There are some Dynamics that happen only in a small group that cannot happen in large meeting.
The church can be like 2 legs - the large meeting and the small meeting. When the small meeting does not happen, it hinders our progress. It is like walking hopping in one leg.
The large meeting is doing well. But the small meeting is not doing well. Some think it is not important and it's okay if I miss it.
The mark of a disciple is love one another. This loved cannot be shown in a large meeting. But we can have real fellowship in a small meeting. In a small meeting you can practice your spiritual gifts, pray, share you needs and burdens
Meeting in small groups is critical. Make every effort and make it to your GYM meetings.
What do we demonstrate when we meet together?
Yes, there is pressure from work, but for the sake of love, can we stretch ourselves? When we are in love, we don't think of time and distance.
Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.
1 John 2:9-11 NIV
John speaks a lot on Love.
From the verses, hate can be indifference. Love is an action word - a decision
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
1 John 3:1 NIV
Verse 11 - We should love one another
Verse 14 - because we love our brothers
The proof that you are Born Again is that you love one another.
Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
1 John 3:18 NIV
Love with action and truth.
Words come easy but action is costly.
Action + Truth - Go to the GYM meeting
1John 4:7-10 - God is love
Have you received the love of Jesus? Since God has loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 John is full of instructions on love.
In a small group, you get to know one another, share heart to heart and the other leg gets strengthened. Take every important opportunity and meet. Let’s value the Sunday meeting and the small group meeting
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.