You Have to Decide
Now here is the switch that you will have to flip. When it’s time to go to the market, you will have to decide that you would like another sister or two to come with you. It will not always be convenient. You will have to make decisions. Suppose a brother is working and he is in the middle of a project and can only take a short lunch break. He has to decide at that point that there is good value in calling another brother and saying, “Will you meet me for lunch? I know it’s not convenient for me or you, but I’m committed to the command to be called alongside one another daily, and this is my best window to do it.”
God says, and I believe Him, that when we are gathered together in Jesus’ Name, He comes in greater measure. So I force myself to be involved with teaching a young child to play the violin. Or maybe as I start to cook dinner I decide, “I really want to take advantage of this time in my life. I want to squish my bubbles together. I want to make sure that the time I am spending right now is used for kingdom purposes and not just for food purposes. So let me think of who I can invite over so I can teach them to cook while I’m cooking. It will slow me down because I will have to explain things, so it’s not as efficient, and they might even burn something. But there is eternal value in it.”
So the hard part of all this is that we have to make personal decisions that will cost us. We have to decide to be committed to the process of being called alongside one another daily. It’s not going to be convenient, but it does have eternal value. I grow spiritually, they grow spiritually, and we’re able to show Jesus to the world better because they see how we love one another. The world will see people walking to my house again and again, and they will see me walking to their house. They will see us playing in the streets together.
There is a street game called four-square. Four boxes are painted on the road, and you take a ball and a person stands in each of the four boxes and bounces it in another person’s square. It’s a children’s game, but we’re all children where I live so adults play it too. That’s part of our life together. Adults will go play in order to be with children—to impart the love of Jesus to them. They will force themselves to not be so busy that they don’t have time to love on the children in a practical way.
All these things sound right, good and beautiful, don’t they? But if you don’t make the decision to admonish one another daily and to break down the walls of all your trivial, mundane things and make them Kingdom things by getting outside of yourselves and involving others, it will all come to nothing and will go back to “attending” each other instead of being intertwined with each other.
So it doesn’t happen just because you want it to or you agree that it’s right. It happens because you decide to buy the pearl of great price that costs you everything. You have to make that choice every day, to get outside of your comfort zone. There’s this little bubble of comfort—what we’re used to doing and what we want to do. We have to get past that in order to live this life that we’re talking about.
You’ll see the fruit of it soon enough. You will begin to change more quickly than you ever dreamed possible. Fewer and fewer people will fall away from Jesus. Fewer people will have broken relationships and fewer children will be lost to the world. You will grow spiritually, more in one year than you did in the last ten years if you will begin to live the way God wants us to live.
If you want to grow a coconut tree would you take it to the South Pole? It doesn’t grow there, does it? A Christian life is like that too. It grows very quickly in the environment that God created for it to grow in. The Christian life—my life in Jesus—grows best in the middle of people who have Jesus inside of them. As they are giving to me and I am giving to them, all of us together as One reach out to the world to seek and save that which is lost. “Contending as one man for the faith” (Phil 1:27). “We being many are one, members of one another” (Rom. 12:5)
That’s the place where the coconut tree grows. It doesn’t grow when we’re all individuals in Antarctica. It doesn’t grow very well. But together in the right environment and climate, the climate of what we read in Acts 2, that climate grows the Christ life in us faster and faster than we could ever have imagined. We grow far faster than if we are by ourselves being committed to God, reading the Bible and praying. Does it say in Acts 2, “All the believers were separate and read the Bible and prayed”? That’s not what it says.
No doubt they were committed to reading the Scriptures and the Apostles’ teaching and the breaking of bread and fellowship and prayer. But they did it together as “one new man,” as “one loaf.” That is the environment in which the Christian life grows the fastest. That’s why these things we’re talking about are so important. You can’t grow a coconut tree in Antarctica very well. It’s hard to grow a coconut tree in the South Pole. But in the right environment it grows very fast. And Acts 2 is the environment in which God says we grow very fast.
Lunch is ready and we can continue this discussion while we are eating if you want to.
Thank you, Lord for this time. We believe that You are here guiding us to discuss Your Words. Thank You for giving us understanding and feeding us spiritually and showing us how we can apply it in our daily living. Thank You for this love and unity. Bless this food for the nourishment of our body and clean it by the power of Your blood so it will benefit us and we can go and do the work that You have prepared for us this day. Continue to pour out Your Spirit in the midst of us so we will be filled by Your Holy Spirit as we are here, Lord. In Jesus Name, this is our prayer. Amen.