DAY TWENTY THREE of 50-Day Spiritual Journey

As we have been looking at Acts 2:42-47 over the past few days, we have seen the early church in action. They were passionately devoted to Christ. They were intense, heartfelt, urgent, persistent, and diligent…. TOGETHER!!!

Also we have been talking about the distinctions between Head, Heart and Hands. And often times there can be an imbalance when one aspect of our identity and obedience overtakes another.

Read Romans 12:1-2

Paul tells us to present our BODIES as a living sacrifice. In other words, being a disciple involves the totality of who we are. We cannot love God with our hearts, and yet spew venom from our mouths. We cannot love God with our hands and then pay no attention to doctrine or theology. We cannot have all of our theological ducks in a row but have no love.

Read Acts 2:42-47

  • Head—they gave themselves to the apostles teaching. Truth mattered in the early church.
  • Heart—they were praising God and having favor with the people. Their passion and affections played a vital part in their gospel impact.
  • Hands—they sold their possessions and distributed to those in need. Their theology and their passion for God were not solely intellectual or emotional, but led to action.

Consider these formulas of imbalance:

Head + Hands – Heart= legalism.

We can preserve truth and do our religious duties, but have no love for people and improper affections and passion for God.

Read Revelation 2:1-7

The church in Ephesus had lost their first love. They were theologically accurate in that they did not tolerate the false doctrine of the Nicolaitans, but yet their love for Jesus had grown cold. They had a really good grip on theology (HEAD) but had lost their grip on a passion for Jesus (HEART). When this happens, we can become legalistic, calculating and cold in our sound theology, but lacking compassion and gentleness.

Hands + Heart—Head = liberalism

We can do great things for God and love people, but have no truth. Our doctrine can be shaky which almost always leads to liberalism.  This is expressed in the Emergent Church movement or the social gospel.  There are those who do mercy ministries and acts of kindness and try to uphold social justice, but they waffle on Jesus being the only way of salvation or the reality of an eternal hell.

Read James 1:27

As believers we are called to take care of the poor, disenfranchised, widows, orphans, the hungry and the hurting—but not at the expense of holiness and adherence to sound doctrine.

Liberalism within Christian circles may have big hearts and do great ministries (hands) to help hurting people, but they have abandoned the truth of Scripture.

Head + Heart – Hands= monasticism/isolationism

We can have great doctrine and a great passion for God and for each other, but live in an isolated bubble and never make a gospel impact in the world.  This characterizes a church that has very sound theology and has a very loving internal fellowship, but they are not seeking to make a gospel impact on the world through evangelism, missions, church planting, or mercy ministries.

It is the “we four and no more” mentality. There is great teaching and a sweet fellowship, but no real concern for lost people or unreached people groups.  What happens is that we can enclave into a Christian ghetto or bubble and isolate ourselves from the rest of the world who desperately needs the gospel?

Read John 17:15-19

Jesus has not taken us out of the world, but sent us into the world and we are protected by Him through the gospel to make an impact on a lost culture.

The best formula:

Head + Heart + Hands = a theologically accurate, loving and passionate disciple who puts faith into action. 

Our desire is that everyone connected with EBC has a holistic integration of head, heart, and hands as we live out our identity in Christ and our obedience to Christ in the life of the church.

Examine these formulas and see where you may fall. Do you lean more toward “head”? Or maybe heart? Or hands?  Pray and ask God to give you a holistic integration or balance in all areas so that you can be a disciple who offers your entire body and everything you are as a living sacrifice to God.

Sovereign God,

You have created me to worship You with my entire self—my head, my heart, and my hands! I want a healthy balance of these in my life! Help me to love your truth! Help me to love others! Help me to serve and minister to others. I want to be theologically accurate, loving and passionate disciple who puts faith into action. Would you in your sovereign grace work these in my life to conform me more to the image of Christ?
Amen

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