What are you really passionate about? Some people love sports. Some are really into food, while for others it’s politics. All of these things are fine to be interested in, but Pastor Greg Laurie thinks that Jesus Christ should be our main passion.
The early church turned their world upside down with their commitment to sharing the gospel. Christianity began in a small geographic area on the other side of the globe with just a handful of followers. In his latest message, Better Together, Greg shares valuable insights from the Book of Acts on how we too can reach the world.
We need God, and we need each other. God wired us that way when He built us for community. We’re not meant to do life alone. In fact, the first thing God said was not good was the aloneness of man. Proverbs 27:17 reminds us that iron sharpens iron, and Ecclesiastes 4:9 says two are better than one. If either one falls down, one can help the other up.
We Need Community
Dozens of studies have shown that people who have satisfying relationships in the community have fewer health problems and live longer. ‘That’s true because God wired us that way,’ says Greg. ‘This is where the church comes in. The church is an oasis of hope in a desert of hopelessness, and that is why every one of us needs to be a part of it.’
In Acts 2, we see the birth of the church that Jesus established. But it’s not about a building. The church is when God’s people gather together because Jesus said when two or more are gathered together in my name, I am there in the midst of them.
‘The church is a place to find accountability,’ says Greg. ‘The church is a place to be spiritually fed, and to hear the Word of God. The church is a place to discover and then use your spiritual gifts. And the church should be your family.’
The church in Acts changed the world. They sold their possessions and goods and divided them amongst everyone in need. Continuing daily with one accord in the temple and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, and the Lord added to the church daily those that were being saved.
A Desire to Hear the Word
‘What can we learn from this church?’ asks Greg. ‘They were a learning church, and if you want to be a growing Christian, you need to be a learning Christian. These people listened and continued with passion in the Apostles doctrine, and that’s the way we should be as well. We must come with the desire to hear the word.’
The Acts church was also a loving church. They continued in fellowship together. To grow in faith, we need to be with other believers gathering around the Word of God. The Lord loves it when we talk about him together.
‘Fellowship is praying together,’ says Greg. ‘It’s serving together and suffering together. It’s also being blessed together. The stronger your vertical fellowship, the stronger your horizontal fellowship will be. By vertical I mean the closer you are to God, the closer you’ll be with God’s people.’
We Grow Together in Church
We need to realise the church is made up of imperfect people. We all fall short. We all make mistakes. If you go to a church and someone calls you out because of a sinful thing you were doing, that’s not condemnation. That’s love. The Bible says faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
‘A true friend will stab you in the front,’ says Greg. ‘Not the back. Right? The Bible says an open rebuke is better than a secret love. We do need to be accountable to one another. The Church is a place to develop a consistent theology, a place to develop friendships and a place to grow together.’