What makes a Godly Church?
The Family at Restart Church researched this question. We firmly believe that this verse in Acts shows the way.
They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer – Acts 2:42
Every act, intention, and effort of Restart is focused within the five guidelines above.
The church in Acts devoted themselves – consecrated (set apart) accepted their duty. It also means, zealous, wild about. This word devoted has a powerful place in the Bible – as things devoted for the use of the Lord – as we are…
- But nothing that a person owns and devotes to the Lord – whether a human being or an animal or family land – may be sold or redeemed; everything so devoted is most holy to the Lord – Leviticus 27:28
It says three things can be devoted to God – humans, animals and family land. Now you might say hold on a minute Pastor Bob, I don’t own any humans to devote to God. But you do… You have YOU. You are a human being and what you own is your willpower. And the Bedrock Church comes alive when the personal willpower is focused to the benefit and use to the Lord God almighty. And the coolest, life-changing truth is that this verse plainly says that those who are devoted are “most holy to the Lord.” Most holy. Not just kinda important – not just just pleasing to God – not just holy – but MOST HOLY. God loves when He sees Restart Church purposeful and caring for each other – Paul wrote to the Romans:
- Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves – Romans 12:10
But our key verse in Acts now instructs us where to focus our devotion. Lets turn to the four things cited here to ensure Restart is a Bedrock Church
The Teaching of the Apostles
We must unite to pay strict attention to the Word of God. Its no sense turning elsewhere for answers.
- For the word of God is alive and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart – Hebrews 4:12 (NASB)
God’s Word, and His Word alone must instruct, guide, correct or reprove the actions, intentions and activities of the Bedrock Church
Fellowship is often confused with eating. Hanging out in the “Fellowship Hall” for a potluck. But the Bible shows a much more rigorous use of that word.
- God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord – 1 Corinthians 1:9
Notice first, fellowship is something we are called into. It is not like a country club where you crowd in next to people you don’t know and call that being together. God directs the focus of our fellowship with Jesus… to see the world as He does – and how does Jesus see the world?
- For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost – Luke 19:10
We are called into fellowship together to see the world as Jesus does – to join with Him in His openly declared mission. To seek and to save those who are uncertain, unloved, unrepresented, and unprotected – maybe that’s you today – and if so, you came to the right place – Restart Church is Bedrock Church. But let me warn you! Fellowship with Christ means to accept – to bring upon yourself – what the world brought upon Him. Paul states his goal is:
- That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death – Philippians 3:10
There is fellowship in suffering – in being called out for being different. To not leading the double-life – a life divided between displaying a moral identity to one group others but living out unrighteous behaviors when with your worldly “friends. He suffered because He took a stand and was different – if you look and live like those in the world – you bring no distinction to others. But the truth is you and I are all about harm avoidance – want to avoid annoying other people so we don’t engage them. Or we don’t stand up for Christ among our good-timing buddies because frankly we just flat enjoy the sin we can do freely among them – whatever the cause; Bedrock Church means you are going to take a bunch of lip from people for being different – for following and fellowshiping with Christ.
Breaking of Bread
Something special happens over a meal. In many countries business is never conducted without first sitting together for a meal. At Restart Church we do a pretty good job of packing in the groceries. Every Thursday night during the school year we eat together before (and during) our Men’s and Women’s adult studies. It is a great way to relax, to enjoy and to serve each other. Make it a point of coming one night. We start at 6:00-ish.
The last insight Restart gleans from Acts 2:42 is devotion to prayer. Now there are many published helps and reminders offered to help structure and guide Jesus Followers in the aspects on prayer. Instruction from the pulpit at Restart included this following visual to help things stick. It is a cat above the greek letter Pi (yup, that symbol from Geometry). This is just one idea to help you.
Confession, Adoration, Thanksgiving, Petition and Intercession.
- Get right with God
- Focus on Him
- Show appreciation
- Ask for yourself
- Ask for others
Bedrock Church means to remain faithful in prayer, as Paul wrote:
- And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people – Ephesians 6:18
The Bedrock Church is where these elements of spiritual living are conscientiously practiced each day – are intentionally woven into the DNA of the Church. At Restart we want to be a place of safety and rest. As Friend Isaiah wrote:
- There will be a shelter to give shade from the heat by day, and refuge and protection from the storm and the rain – Isaiah 4:6 (NASB)
May Restart Church be such a place! May the people of Restart Church offer such protection and covering! May you join with us in this most precious and honoring work of God. Lord Bless You as You Go