A Unified Church Is Bold and Fearless
"All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had." (Acts 4:32, NLT)
Unity removes fear and creates boldness. A unified church gives everyone in it more power and courage than a divided church.
You can see this in the Bible in Acts 4. Peter and John had been put in prison after performing a miracle and preaching in the name of Jesus. They were eventually released and returned to the church. Here’s how their fellow believers responded to the story of their imprisonment, trial, and release: "When they heard this, they were united and loudly prayed to God" (Acts 4:24 GW).
Praying together unifies the church. After this unified prayer of people in the early church, the building where they were meeting shook. That must have been a powerful prayer! The building shook, they were all filled with God's Holy Spirit, and the people began to speak God's message with boldness.
Do fear, insecurity, and anxiety plague you? Would you like to be more fearless? Would you like to be bolder? Do you wish you were more confident in sharing your faith?
Here’s how to become bolder as a follower of Jesus: Focus on your unity with other Christians. The Bible says that, when people in the early church were unified, they became bold in speaking the Word of God.
Division creates fear and destroys vision. A divided church is a fearful church. But unity removes fear. It helps God’s people remember the Gospel and what he has done, giving them hope.
You can learn something else from the first Christians in the book of Acts: When a church is truly unified the way Christ wants it to be, then all the members' needs are met.
Acts 4:32 says, "All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had" (NLT).
They shared everything they had so nobody was in need. Acts 2 says that this was impressive to the non-Christians in Jerusalem. The church had the favor of the community because they saw how Christians loved and cared for each other.
Unity in your church—and in the larger body of Christ—will have the same effect: People will see your love for each other and your common purpose in the Gospel. They’ll want to know what makes the difference. Then you’ll have boldness to tell them about the One who unites you.
Talk It Over
Do you accomplish more by yourself or in a group with a common purpose and motivation? Why?
What is your role in encouraging unity in the church?
Why does unity attract so much attention today?
Premium Resource: Going Deeper with God: A Personal Renewal Retreat
This devotional © 2022 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.