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Those who were following this new Way of Jesus held nothing back in their pursuit. They gave themselves fully to hearing and beginning to live out what Jesus’ disciples had learned from their Rabbi and were passing on to them. They shared life together – everything – the good and the bad, the extraordinary and the mundane – holding nothing back and keeping nothing to themselves. They faithfully remembered Jesus’ sacrifice by breaking bread together and enjoying His presence in their midst during a common meal that was marked by joy and love. They naturally and constantly knit their hearts together in prayer that was both the intimate conversations between humble child and loving Father and the effective communication between a sovereign King and His faithful subjects.
God’s presence was so unmistakable that the ever-present signs of His power and love left their jaws gaping and hearts bursting with wonder. The apostles often channeled this power, but everyone knew this power was a result of the Holy Spirit that had fallen upon them and filled them, guiding, directing, teaching and empowering – just as Jesus had promised.
Their sense of unity was incredible –they knew they were on the same team, the winning team, and that the goal was nothing less than the restoration of all of God’s creation. As such, they practiced a radical generosity as each team member contributed whatever they could, naturally and without viewing it as a sacrifice at all, merely their contribution to the bigger goal. This included selling property or unnecessary possessions, not wanting to lay claim to anything while another stood in need. Selfishness and greed were almost unheard of and no one put their own comfort or security above another’s needs.
Their joy kept bringing them back to the Temple where they could gather together and worship in the forms that were natural to them and understandable to everyone in their culture. But this was not just a series of meetings or services, it spilled into each others homes as they joyfully gave and joyfully received one another in loving hospitality in each others homes sharing good food and great conversations that lasted for hours, always eager to remember that Jesus died to make this community a reality and that He rose again in order to continue to be present with them. For this, they constantly praised the God who created everything, chose a people to be His own, revealed Himself in this new way through Jesus and now lavishly poured out the Holy Spirit to be in and among them at all times.
Those who were not yet a part of this new Way still recognized that something good was going on, that people were being changed and that they were living out their faith in fresh and authentic ways, from the heart and not just in obedience to the Law and traditions of their people. Their lifestyle was different and yet still recognizable to them and all agreed that they were a positive presence in the city.
Such was the interest that these believers stirred up that it was a daily occurrence to have people who had been watching them start to ask questions. These inquirers were welcomed into their community and soon found themselves full participants in the Way of Jesus, their rescuing and restoring King.