~by Waylon Bailey
Many years ago I preached a sermon entitled, “When Good Things Happen at Church.”
At that time, our church had many good things happening and I wanted to encourage our people to be faithful in serving God and continuing doing those things that make good things happen at church.
The reasons for those good things happening are self-evident.
Good things happen at church when we depend on the Holy Spirit and pray. When we worship God and seek Him completely, we also seek to help others know God as well.
All of these things make good things happen at church, but none of these things keep bad things from happening at church. We live in a fallen and broken world that hated our Master and will hate His followers as well. We have an enemy who seeks to kill and destroy.
Acts 4-6 is a history of persecution against the body of Christ. When God’s power is evident, Satan will seek to destroy the work of the church. That is exactly what he did in those early chapters of Acts. He sought to destroy the church by physical violence (Acts 4), moral compromise (Acts 5), and distraction (Acts 6).
While we can’t do much about physical violence and government persecution, we can fight moral compromise and distraction by seeking God and following Scripture.
Satan’s most subtle ploy is to distract the church from the best work by filling it with good work. The good always seems to be the enemy of the best. In Acts 6, that distraction came in the form of caring for widows, something good in every age but especially in the first century A.D.
Instead of spending time in the Apostle’s doctrine, the church faced the temptation toward division and selfishness. Selfishness, division, and neglecting spiritual disciplines will mean that good things don’t happen at church.
What can we do to fight division and selfishness? We can seek God with all our hearts. We can look to Scripture for guidance and use the early church as an example in obedience and faith. Ultimately, the church grew because it depended on what God could do instead of what they could do.
Good things will happen at church when we do the same.
Have a great week!