Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Few Things So Lovely
Do you ever walk out on a cool evening just to catch a breathtaking sunset? Do you ever go and stand by the roar of the ocean and feel your soul just stretching out over the water to touch somehow the beauty your eyes take in? Do you ever look at a new life and just drink in the awe of brand new creation? All these things are glimpses of the glory of God and they make our souls absolutely soar with delight in something way bigger than we are. We were created to long for beauty beyond ourselves, the beauty of the glory of God. More in a minute.
I love the second chapter of Acts. I love the amazing timing of God to bring the Holy Spirit at a time when so many men and women from so many nations would be gathered in one place to come to the knowledge of the gospel of God himself. I love that the fact that the Holy Spirit allowed the apostles to speak in all the languages that were represented there despite the fact that they had never heard perhaps a word of it themselves, let alone been trained in speaking it.
I love that it encourages me when I want to share the gospel with someone and just feel like I just don't "speak their language" seeing that we are so different perhaps, that the Spirit is given me just as it was to the Apostles and I don't have to worry about the details that God can handle.
I love that it reviews the fulfilled prophecy about the coming of the Spirit as well as the resurrection of Christ. It declares forth the validity of them both...rock solid.
I love that it includes the second most important event in church history (the first being the coming of the Spirit) being Peter's sermon which leads to the 3,000 converts all from those many many places ready now to go back, in perfect timing, to their own lands to declare and start the spread of the good news of salvation from sin.
Still, my favorite part comes at the very end. Just as any other thing right from the hand of God without the help of man, this picture is a lovely display of the power of the Spirit to accomplish the glory of God:
"Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and ppossessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved."
Does that not make your heart soar!? Just like the other "awe" inspiring things I mentioned above. These people were experiencing a glimpse of eternity. They were filled with joy and selflessness toward each other even to the point that they felt they had all things in common. Now, as with any group of humanity, they of course did not have ALL things in common, yet they had all that really mattered in this life in common, and temporal things in ownership to Christ and therefore held it to each other with open hand. Wow, the unity of that, and what a different picture than the world around us going for what each man can get for himself and the building up of his own importance and confidence.
They were sharing the joy of food together in a wonderful fellowship. Not hording their own food for their own families (as they actually had very little and could have been perhaps justified to do so in the sense of it being more "smart" perhaps) but making sure all were provided for and met in their needs.
It's obvious that in our world, every man longs for peace. He longs for the world to become a better place and for us all to just work together for the greater good. Though this desire is misguided through the fall and sin has twisted it into goal for blowing up our own vanities and the vanity of mankind itself (therefore positively effecting us as well), it comes from a desire given to us by God. Yet, our peace is found in LETTING GO of everything that would build us up and giving it in open hand to where God would use it for His purposes. It was such a beautiful picture of everything humanity is NOT on his own, that it drew in more and more unbelieving people. They were in awe of this unity.
I wonder if the church today is as beautiful to those who look upon us. It should be. It should be amazing what Christians do for others because of the love they have for Christ. They should feel that we would just as earnestly give what we had for a need they had as well. It is undeniable beauty and not something that we could just conjure up. Just like the sunset or the waves of the sea, it is awesome and God revealing. It makes us long to be a part of it because it is bigger than the self-seeking beings that we are.