“And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.”
Several years ago there was a movie whose theme was basically living to fill a “bucket list,” one time dreams to be realized before death. For a while after its release many conversations surrounded individual bucket lists; one time things to do before one dies. It is good to want to do things, discover new lands, and experience lifetime dreams. Life is to be treasured and enjoyed there is no doubt. Jesus calls us not into a one-time fulfillment of a dream but a lifelong, eternal journey of experiencing the presence of God and the incredible peace of knowing we are not alone no matter where that journey may lead. In the early church, the numbers of disciples grew “day by day.” The numbers of people who accepted Jesus Christ grew because people were invited to share the joy of faith day by day; the more folks met, the more they were filled with the Spirit. They grew in love for God and one another. The people in the community saw in these gatherings something that they couldn’t find anywhere else. Not a one-time shot at joy but a continual nurturing of their soul that led them to a deeper relationship with God and with each other. In a world of “bucket lists” and one-time experiences, the church offers something so profound, so incredible, and so amazing that it has the power to transform lives forever. The church is not a building or a one-time experience but a group of people that share the incredible love of an amazing Savior with one another, their community and the world. The love of God is more than a one shot deal; it is an eternal gift that is meant to be shared.