Acts 2:46-47 “Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.”
The book of Acts is the story of the church, the birth of God’s new family in the earth through Christ. We become part of that extended family of God as we enter into this fellowship by placing our faith in Jesus. When Jesus imparted the Holy Spirit to His people, the world changed. The fire of God consumed the things of the past and brought a new thing to life, a new covenant with the Father and a new way of relating to others. Everywhere the fire of God came, His new family was birthed.
Every mother knows that new family is birthed through water and pain. Before birth takes place, the water breaks. In baptism we experience a new birth through Christ. We enter into the water, ending our past, dying with Him at the cross, and rise up out of the water a new creature in Him. We are now alive in a completely different way, and have new relationships with Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and new relationship with the Body of Christ.
The new believers in Acts were baptized into Christ and so joined a new family. When they did this, many were rejected by their biological families and religious fellowships because of their new faith. Becoming a part of this new family can come at a cost. Many of us have not paid such a high price to enter, but we will pay a price to stay. You cannot build a new house or building without paying a price to establish and complete that new work. In the honeymoon season this new relationship to family seems easier, but we will eventually find that we need to labor to build the house of God.
We are grateful to find family. It is always a joy to feel a sense of belonging among those we love. However, if we want to maintain, build up and establish a strong family, we will need to give of ourselves. We must pay a price to establish strong relationships, by radically loving others and living sacrificially. The Holy Spirit’s appearance by fire brought more than just supernatural power, it brought great change. God’s fire comes to refine and to define us. His fire refines our own nature and character, burning away what is not like Him. It will also define who we are, who He is for us and who He is in the people around us, marking us with His presence, His power, and the fire of sacrifice.
By water and fire we enter into God’s kingdom and His family. We have much to receive, but we also have much to give. Establishing God’s house is a work that we are all invited into. It’s worth thinking about this Easter season, as we rejoice and celebrate the One who made a way for us join the family of God. How will you give yourself to God’s work in this season? How will you demonstrate family to those who are around you?