Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, . . . they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people.
Dorothy Sayers is credited with the observation that in God’s effort to rescue humanity, He willingly underwent three great humiliations. The first was the incarnation, when God gave up His rights as God and came in human form to earth. The second was the crucifixion, when He allowed His Son, Jesus Christ, to be executed by His own creatures. And the third humiliation is the church, in which God entrusted His reputation to sinful human beings like you and me.
Yes, the church is God’s representative here on earth. But the church is also the third conduit through which the Holy Spirit pours His power into your life. Without a vital connection to a local church, you are kind of like a limb severed from a body. If you were to separate my hand from the rest of my body, my hand would quickly wither, and then it would die. And it is the same way with members of the body of Christ. You will never experience the power of God in your life unless you are vitally connected to the people of God–that is, the church.
Now, in our culture of rugged American individualism, we get this idea that we do not need other Christians. We think, “I have the Holy Spirit, and that is all I need to have a relationship with God.” In fact, more than half of Christians in a recent survey said worshiping alone or with family is a valid replacement for regularly going to church. But that is not what the Word of God says. The Word of God says we need the body of Christ, in spite of its flaws. God created the local church to carry out His purpose in the world and to pour His power into your life.
How does God pour His power into our lives through the church? Let’s look at Acts 2. A few days after Christ’s ascension, God sent His Holy Spirit to baptize every believer into the body of Christ. As a result, Christians were not only joined together with the head of the body, Jesus Christ, but also joined together with other believers in the body. And it is through those other believers as well as the head that God pours His energy into our lives.
As we look at what the early church did in Acts 2, we find several activities through which God poured His energy into the lives of believers. This week we are going to talk about one of those activities that should be a priority for any church whose members want to experience the power of the Holy Spirit: worship.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Up With Worship” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.
Dorothy L. Sayers, as attributed in Philip Yancey, “God Isn’t as Embarrassed as We Think,” Christianity Today, October 21, 1988, https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/1988/october-21/god-isnt-as-embarrassed-as-we-think.html; “The State of Theology,” Ligonier Ministries and LifeWay Research, 2022, https://thestateoftheology.com/.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.