Acts 5 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“Many signs and wonders were being done among the people through the hands of the apostles. By common consent they would all meet in Solomon’s Colonnade. None of the rest dared to join them, but the people praised them highly. Believers were added to the L_rd in increasing numbers – crowds of both men and women.” Acts 5:12-14
There is a growing movement in greater “community of Messiah”, called the “home church” movement. People seeking a more intimate worship experience are meeting in homes. One of the arguments that “home church” leaders give to support their ministry model, is that the early believers always met in homes. Today’s passage addresses that assumption.
Personally, I don’t have a strong opinion as to whether the “home church” movement is a good or bad thing. On one hand, it seems a bit odd & cultish whenever people depart from the norm and isolate themselves. The question of, “How are we going accommodate for growth, and still feel small?” is always looming. On the other hand, I run a growing ministry (www.LivingRoomStudy.org) that started in my home!
My rule is: I have nothing against “small” groups, as long as it doesn’t intend to stay that way. When G_d is working in the midst of something, it grows…to His glory. What healthy congregational growth should “look like” is a topic of another day. In today’s chapter, two myths of the early Messianic community are debunked.
The first myth debunked, concerns the early believers “having all possessions in common”. While that was true very early on, it wasn’t sustained for a significant amount of time. About as soon as everyone jumped on board with that idea, a couple named Ananias & Saphira sought to exploit it…then others. The apostle Paul also rebuked some congregations for giving nothing, while praising others who contributed.
The second myth centers on how the early Messianic community always met in homes. While it is true that many believers met in homes in the beginning, the Apostles, along with the faithful & bolder believers, met daily at the Temple Complex. Those who met in homes, initially, were those whose fear overrode their boldness to testify & identify with Yeshua and His growing Messianic community. Later, with intense persecution and the eventual destruction of the Temple in 70 AD, all believers had to meet in homes, eventually building their own synagogues, or “churches”, as they came to be known.
Still, it was the bold proclamation of the Gospel, accompanied by the Spirit’s powerful displays, that was the growth engine of the early Messianic community. Let today’s passage be a challenge for us to move beyond our holy huddles, and unashamedly proclaim Yeshua! For the same reason that we cannot return to Eden, we cannot return to those days immediately following Shavuot (Pentecost). We also cannot return to the early days of the modern “Messianic movement”. Today is a NEW era, and it demands boldness. Battles are not won by retreating. They are won by forcefully & faithfully advancing the cause! The L_rd goes BEFORE His people, so let’s get moving!!
~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Daily Devotional, Monday, July 22, 2013