Caring for the Poor and Hungry
The first baptized believers in Jesus who were added to the number of God’s people lived in a special way at Jerusalem, Acts 2:40-47, 4:32-35. They showed the power of God to all who saw them living their lives each day. They shared with each other and had a great fellowship in their new family relationship with God. They were not an institution, but they were God’s people.
God had promised through the prophet Jeremiah that He would make a new covenant with His people, not based on laws written in stone, but based upon a relationship made possible by the forgiveness of sins in Jesus Christ, Jer 31:31-34 --"Behold, days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them," declares the LORD.
"But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the LORD, "I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, "Know the LORD,' for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the LORD, "for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more." (New American Standard Updated)
The Christian Community is to be a fellowship in Jesus Christ, lived out each day in our relationships with family, friends, co-workers, and even strangers. Paul explained the sacrifice involved in his letter to God’s people at Rome, Rom 12:1-2 – “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
We prove God’s will when we demonstrate love for God and for our fellow human beings in our daily lives. It is one thing to dress up and go to a church building on Sunday and call ourselves worshiping God. It is more difficult to worship God each day of our lives by loving Him and the people He created in His image. Sunday assembly is important, but we should not think that worshiping God is limited to assembly in a special building for a special program. We should not think that the Holy Spirit is only present on such occasions. The Holy Spirit lives in the minds (hearts) of God’s people, and wants to lead us in living Godly lives each day; every hour, every minute, every thought of our lives.
I suppose that Jesus said it best, John 13:34-35 --"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." NIV