Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. (Acts 4:32)
Have you heard an orchestra warming up before a concert? It is the most horrendous sound. There is no rhythm, no tune—just noise. Everyone is doing his or her own thing in a kind of musical anarchy. When the conductor steps up and raps the baton, everything changes—as the percussion, woodwinds, strings, and brass blend in beautiful harmony. God has designed the church with diversity—some are cello players, others hold cymbals, and some clarinets, yet in following our Great Conductor, and reading from the same sheet of music—the Word of God—there will be heavenly harmony. Sadly, many churches are more like the orchestra warming up with awful, discordant notes! We discover the difference in the latter portion of Acts chapter four.
Harmony comes in PRAYER (v.31). Something happens when people bind themselves together in a chorus of corporate prayer. The church was birthed in prayer at Pentecost, and now we see them bound in prayer here. Likewise, the glory of God came down, and His power was manifested in a remarkable manner. The filling of the Spirit was evident, and their witness to Christ was courageous. How we need such a move of God today! Until God’s people unite their voices in prayer, the church will lack power.
Harmony is nurtured in PURPOSE (v.32). We move forward together when we focus on a common goal. They shared a common faith—their shared belief in Christ united them in the same family, and their shared beliefs in conviction united them in the same faith. They had a complete fellowship—their hearts knit together in grace and generosity.
Harmony yields a credible PROCLAMATION (v.33). The Great Commission was their assignment and they refused to be sidetracked. Any church that permits the Devil to detour them from evangelism and discipleship will soon find itself in the quagmire of division over lesser things. A congregation hot after lost souls has no time to get hot with each other in anger. Such will be a great church for they have tapped into great grace!
Harmony leads to sharing POSSESSIONS (v.34-37). Talk is cheap. If we love someone, we will put our money where our mouth is! They laid their possessions at the feet of God’s men, signifying their submission to God’s will and dedication in God’s worship. Our giving ought never to be an afterthought, but an act of adoration. It involves worship. They gave all. While God may not call us to share everything we have, He does call us to surrender all we have. The needs of others are met when we do. One of us cannot fund the missions and ministries of the church, but pooled together we can do all God wants.
If we are not in harmony with our fellow believers, we are not in harmony with God. Let us look to the Conductor, get on the same page, and make music that will wow the world!
Dennis Thurman has pastored churches in Western North Carolina for 36 years. Currently, he is Senior Pastor of Pole Creek Baptist Church where he has served for almost 20 years. Married to Marilyn for 40 years, they have 5 children and 11 grandchildren.
This article was originally posted on Dennis’ blog, Mountain Top Musings