When was the last time you lingered on a single passage of Scripture? In our consumeristic, driven culture, slowing down to savor just a few words for an extended time isn’t the norm, but it’s highly beneficial — especially when the words are God’s. For the next week, we invite you to consider a daily theme from Acts 2:42–47 (ESV) and allow these verses to stir your belief in how God works through His children.
Day 1: Habit
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. —Acts 2:42
Notice the use of “devoted.” Was the burgeoning church all in for just a cause or a cultural trend? No. They were practicing the cornerstone of the body of Christ: Hearing the preached Word, meeting together, enjoying rhythms of daily meals and communion, and praying. These seemingly simple practices — and others like Sabbath and fasting — have been forming God’s people into His living kingdom for millennia. When we act on the belief that God’s kingdom power can flourish through formative habits, done in trusting and repetitive faith, we’ll grow.
Without the formational rhythms of spiritual disciplines, we won’t just happen to become people who live for God, but daily habits can turn us into people who believe in His promises through any circumstance.
Ask God to show you an area of your life that’s being formed more by the world than by His Word. How could a spiritual practice like contemplative prayer or fasting reorient yourself to His truth? Consider inviting a family member or friend to join you in this new discipline — accountability helps!
For kids and families: What’s one habit you could start, either on your own or with your family, that would help you grow closer to God this month?
Day 2: Power
And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. —Acts 2:43
The story of Scripture, from beginning to end, is that God is creating a people for Himself and establishing His kingdom through them. God’s miracles aren’t meant only to display His power — though they always do that — but are also part of His plan to draw people to Himself.
Paul writes in Romans 4:17 that we serve a God who “calls into existence the things that do not exist.” If our Creator is powerful enough to resurrect life when death seems to prevail, can we believe that He’s powerful enough to do “wonders and signs” in situations or places that seem hopeless? A world of change is possible when Christians believe in — and act on — God’s power to do the miraculous.
Ask God if there’s anything holding you back from fully believing in His power to work on your behalf. Are there any places in your life where you need to tell Him, “I believe; help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24)?
For kids and families: Talk with your family about some of the miracles Jesus performed in His time on earth. Which one stands out to you, and why?
Day 3: Community
And all who believed were together and had all things in common. —Acts 2:44
In contrast to what our individualistic culture tells us, we as God’s people are responsible for each other. We don’t get the option of living the Christian life in a vacuum, and Scripture doesn’t hold up isolated individuals as ideals. Again and again, the Bible emphasizes the body of believers and our shared — though messy — life in community.
What does it look like to have “all things in common” in a culture that not only prizes individualism but also praises dissension and contention? This simple yet difficult verse reminds us that God’s people are meant to share all of life. The parts we disagree on. The parts we’re annoyed by. The parts we’d rather not talk about. This is a radical call to the church in a day when divisiveness is increasingly normal. And it’s a beautiful way for God to display His goodness through His people to the world.
Ask God how you can engage even deeper in community with His people. Are there areas you need to press into difficulty or isolation? Are there areas you can celebrate your shared life with God’s people?
For kids and families: Talk about what it means to be part of God’s family with your own family. How do you think the relationships in God’s family are similar or different from the ones in your own family?
Day 4: Generosity
And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. —Acts 2:45
God’s generous gift to us in Jesus is our best motivation for generosity toward others. And the early church comprised at least a few people who had seen the Father’s gift in person! This must be part of what made them such a radically generous group, going as far as selling what they had to provide equally for everyone’s needs. Remember what Jesus told the rich young ruler in Luke 18:22? “Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”
That ruler made a choice not to believe that Jesus’ promise of eternal life was better than his many possessions. But in Acts 2, we see the opposite: a group of believers so bought in to Jesus’ promises of His abundant goodness that they care for others’ needs at any cost to themselves.
How does this verse challenge you? Ask God to speak to you about His generosity toward you in Jesus and how that can change your perspective toward giving and people in need.
For kids and families: Talk with your family about the meaning of the word “generosity.” How is sharing related to generosity? How are gifts related to it?
Day 5: Faithfulness
And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. —Acts 2:46-47
Here we see a simple yet profound example of God’s children being attuned to His work in the world. They receive from God and praise Him, and others see this lifestyle as an example worth following.
In many ways, Acts 2:42–47 is a summary of the entire book, which can itself be summarized as the inbreaking of God’s kingdom, first among the Israelites and then throughout the world. It’s a story of God’s people allowing their belief in God’s kingdom to move them to action. When God’s children believe His promises, they begin to act in ways that demonstrate their belief.
What does the steadfast faithfulness of the early church teach you about how God works through His people?
For kids and families: Talk together about why church is an important and special part of being in God’s family. How does participating in church help you live for God in ordinary moments of your days?
Day 6: Transformation
… And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved … —Acts 2:47
Have you noticed how these six verses start? Every new sentence in this translation (and other major ones) starts with “and.” This simple transitional word means we must consider each verse in light of the others. Habits and rhythms, the power of God working through belief, God’s people in community, the outworking of generosity, and putting belief into action are all necessary and interdependent elements of how God uses His people to transform the world through His kingdom.
Believing God’s promises to us always changes us — our very identity shifts when we become His children. It’s part of what motivates us to join God’s mission of salvation and restoration in the world. Leaving belief in the abstract doesn’t advance God’s kingdom or display His power at work in the world. That’s why God asks His people to move their belief from their heads to their hands, and act.
Think about how becoming a child of God has transformed your life. Ask God what you could do to show His life-changing love to others in need of it.
For kids and families: Talk with your family about the connection between being saved by God and being on mission for Him in your life. What’s one thing you could do to live for God?