January 20, 2022
The Best Reality Show
They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity— all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved (Acts 2:46-47 NLT).
Friend to Friend
In the late 1990s our culture became fascinated with watching television shows featuring real people experiencing real life. From scenarios involving deserted islands to dating life, reality television doesn’t fully live up to its name because we never really know how much of the relationships and experiences we are witnessing are staged. Although no one is likely filming us on a regular basis, we too can live an edited version of the Christian life. What I mean is that sometimes we live like what is real isn’t actually real. For example,
- We know Jesus paid for our sin on the cross, but sometimes we live in shame.
- We know God has given us power through the Holy Spirit, but often we live defeated lives.
- We know God is with us, but we feel completely alone.
I’m constantly seeking to reconcile my theology and my reality. I want to live the truths about God that I know from Scripture, but I struggle, and I don’t believe I’m the only one. When I scroll through social media, I wonder what the world thinks of Christians as a result of our online presence. Are we living as though the truths we espouse are true?
God’s Word says His power can transform our lives and unify us as believers. In Genesis 11, we read about the Tower of Babel where the Lord confused the people’s language and dispersed them over the earth. After that event, we find references in the Old Testament to a coming day when God’s people would again be united through His Spirit. God progressively revealed His plan in shadows and hints that came together on the day of Pentecost when languages unified rather than separated people.
In Acts 2 wind, fire, and inspired speech confirmed the validity of the Spirit’s miraculous work. Just as Jesus performed miracles to get people’s attention and authenticate His ministry, so the coming of the Holy Spirit was marked by supernatural events. You would think that after such an incredible display, surely everyone would believe that God was at work.
While I’ve often wished for God to awaken us to His presence through visible displays such as this one at Pentecost, I know that even if He did, some would not listen. The Lord more often chooses people than props to deliver His Word. Through the power of the Holy Spirit living inside us, we can share the news about Christ’s death and resurrection with a hurting world. The fruit of God’s Spirit pouring forth from our lives provides a witness of God’s love and grace to those around us. Often it is our lives as much or more than our words that attracts others to God.
This is what happened in the early church. They lived by the Spirit, which evidenced itself in action and others were drawn to the Savior. Those who responded to the Spirit’s leading were described this way: “They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity— all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved” (Acts 2:46-47 NLT).
Perhaps awakening to the power of God’s Spirit might increase these practices in our lives as well so that our spiritual communities will more closely align to the infant church we read about in Acts 2. That would be the best reality show for the watching world! The problem of disunity among us still lingers, but the antidote remains the same—receiving God’s Spirit and allowing Him to change the reality of our lives.
Lord, Your church is a hot mess sometimes. We fight and slander each other. Help us to live in the reality of Your Holy Spirit and rediscover the unity of the early church. I invite You, Holy Spirit—fully and passionately—to let transformation start with me today. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Have you felt a disconnect from the promises of God and your daily life recently? How can you live the truths you know by building up rather than tearing down another person today?
More from the Girlfriends
Check out Melissa’s new Bible study titled Acts: Awakening to God in Everyday Life for an in-depth study of the early church.
© 2022 by Melissa Spoelstra. All rights reserved.