Many things are necessary for the church to be faithful—courageous leadership from shepherds, diligent service from deacons, committed involvement from every member. Underpinning it all is an understanding of the work Jesus gave the church to do. The Bible shows us several things the church did every day.
Saints Were Strengthened
They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread … 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 (Acts 2:41-47).
I know few people who left the Lord because they were challenged by His doctrine; but I know many who left because they were ignored by His people. Much upbuilding must happen outside the walls of the worship hall, with sincere hospitality and enjoyable company in homes of brethren.
Sinners Were Saved
The Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved (Acts 2:41-47).
Throughout the book of Acts, among Jews and Gentiles, to the ends of the known world, the number of the disciples increased regularly (4:4, 5:14, 6:1, 6:7, 9:31, 11:21–24, 12:24, 16:5, 19:20). There are factors that make the spread of the gospel different in modern America than the ancient Greco-Roman world. But if we planted and watered and God gave the increase, conversions could happen daily.
Sufferers Were Served
Now at this time, while the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food. So the twelve summoned the congregation and said, “…select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task” (Acts 6:1-7).
Sometimes a few days slip by before we realize a dear sister has been hospitalized. A few weeks or months slip by before we realize an elderly couple has become homebound. The phrase “daily serving of food” indicates that the church got organized so as to not overlook anyone for long. They put a high priority on caring for the widows and needy of the congregation.
Swords Were Sharpened
They received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so. Therefore, many of them believed (Acts 17:11).
Personal Bible study is important so that members will be savvy and prepared and immovable when they encounter “every wind” of false doctrine (Ephesians 4:14-15).
Strugglers Were Supported
Take care brethren, that there not be in any one of you and evil unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another, day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:13).
Even the best Christians have spiritual struggles from time to time. But each time such a need arose, the church reached out in love and encouragement, as a family.
Supplications Were Sent Up
Luke said they were “continually devoting themselves … to prayer” (Acts 2:42). They didn’t just pray to acknowledge their daily bread (Matt. 6:11). They prayed “without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17). They prayed when they appointed servants (Acts 6:6) and elders (14:23) and evangelists (13:3). They prayed in good times (Phil. 1:3-5) and scary times (Acts 12:5, 16:25). They prayed about needs far off (Col. 1:3) and nearby (Acts 20:36). Let’s follow the same frequency and fervency to offer up prayers to God.
Selves Were Surrendered
If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake, he is the one who will save it (Luke 9:23).
Let each one of us make Jesus our king, abandoning ourselves to Him daily! –John Guzzetta