Saturday, December 5, 2009

Brothers, Preach to One Another

I received a phone call from a close friend the other day. He told me of his life. I told him of mine. We talked for a while and then he began to preach to me. Not in the bad way - out of pride or loneliness, but out of recognition of what God was doing in his life. He shared with me what God was doing through his circumstances. It was clear that through events in his life, God was changing his heart and mind, bringing him in to right thinking and feeling about God. How gracious that God would ordain that we have friends like that to encourage us in our faith. And O, how much I need that.

When we love someone dearly, we want to speak with them, we want to share with them and they with us. It's a bond that grows, and as we share that bond grows stronger. All people were created with a desire for love and companionship with others. While it doesn't take love for God to want to talk on the phone to another person, it does, however, take love for God to talk about God. It is the unique work of the Holy Spirit in us that causes us to not want to be an island, but to share the love of God with other believers. We want to be amazed, and we want to share our amazement.

It was the love of God and each other that motivated the believers in Acts to devote themselves to the Apostles' teaching, to fellowship, breaking of bread and to prayer (Acts 2:42). I believe they met in the temple courts every day (vs. 46) because they loved to share among themselves the Word of God and the experience of being a child of God. The Bible tells us that it was with sincere hearts that they met, praising God (vs. 47).

They met out of love for God and because of that, love for one another. The new experience of the power of the Holy Spirit must have been so fresh for them that they couldn't help but meet together and share. The strength of the Apostles' faith sparked something great in each of their lives. We read about it in Acts, but the truth is that the evidence of God's work in our own lives should bring out the same sort of spark today.

We appreciate phone calls that encourage us, and we should love to give phone calls like that. We should be thrilled to hear about God's work and a friend's growing faith. So I encourage you - if God is at work in your life (and God is always at work), open your mouth and tell someone. Your faith will encourage someone else to grow in theirs. And if another person doesn't see God at work in their own lives, your perspective can change that.

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