A totally Christian Church
Seeing things through different eyes
18th August 2019
Col, writing from the Quiet Place
This love also expresses itself in the church family, even when we disagree and even when we find situations painful. A number of visitors have said that their first impression of the River is of the love shared before and after the meeting. People try to greet as many others as possible in the short time available, and the smiles and hugs say it all.
These thoughts arose out of a glance at a very special verse, which you’ll probably recognise immediately:
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord, in one place. Acts 21
The reason the disciples were in that particular room at that time was because just before His ascension, Jesus had told them to be there:
And He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for you shall soon be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 14-5
Those 10 days were a critical time, when you might think the disciples were particularly vulnerable, because Jesus had left the earth at His ascension, but the Holy Spirit had not yet been sent at Pentecost. Ten days without the physical presence of God on the earth! Perhaps that’s why Jesus told them to “stay”, where they would be safe. In due course, the room would cease to be their cage and would become their launching pad into international evangelism!! And the rest is history.
I have always loved that phrase: “of one accord, in one place”. I expect that you, like me, will believe that it is a beautiful description of loving fellowship:
The same vision is shared by all. The same gospel and the same Kingdom is common to every heart. That is what unites us, and makes us of “one accord”. So even when we disagree about something, we remain of “one accord” because the basis of our shared faith is unbroken. If you see people who are not of one accord, you see people who do not properly hold the gospel as their most important, their sole aim.
It’s easy to say that you’re of one accord with someone you hardly ever meet, because the “one accord” is never tested. But the disciples had to stay together in that one room for 10 days. Can you imagine some of the incidents that might occur in 10 days with at least 11 people in one room? And yet, they were “in one place”. That’s what Jesus had told them to do. And they remained “of one accord”.
But Jesus had not told them how long they would have to stay there. Nor did they properly understand what was going to happen, because they asked Jesus:
“Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 16-8
Quite often, we look at the purposes of God in our lives or in our fellowship here at the River, and we don’t see clearly what God is going to do, nor do we know when He will do it. Nor did the disciples! But they stayed of one accord, in one place, and in God’s right time, they were anointed for service:
Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. Acts 23
Did you spot that the tongues of fire sat not on “all of them”, but on “each of them”. Each one of us has his or her own unique anointing, by the Holy Spirit.
How beautiful, that with different, unique anointings, we can still stay of one accord, in one place!
Only God can do that in us!!