使徒行传是路加医生记载早期教会增长的秘笈。当时教会人数短期间从200人暴增至3, 200 人，因为基督徒接受圣灵赋能力后顺服大使命及大诫命而勇敢走出去。圣灵的降临不单让当时的基督徒放胆宣扬好消息，经历许多神迹奇事，还让基督徒无私地分享，跨国籍地相爱。因信徒与神建立真实亲密的团契关系，无私地分享神托付他们管理的物资，当时会友中间连一个缺乏的都没有。教会真心的介入他人的需要，得众人十分的喜爱并讨阿爸天父的欢喜。这导致当时的教会面临“人满为患”，因神将得救的人数不断加给凡物公用的教会。
The Faith of Loving God and Loving People
By Pastor Andrew Wong
“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There were no needy persons among them…”
Acts 4: 32-34
In the book of Acts, Luke accounted the secret for the growth of early church. At that time the church was experiencing a tremendous growth of members from 200 to 3,200. This was the result of Holy Spirit empowered Christians’ submissiveness to the Great Commission and Great Commandment. The descent Holy Spirit had not only gave courage to the believers in spreading the Good News and brought them through the experience of numerous miracles, but it has also caused them to share in a selfless way as well as loving one another despite nationality differences. As an outcome of the believers’ authentic and intimate fellowship with God, as well as the selfless sharing of those materials which they were entrusted by God to manage, there were no needy persons among them. The church was sincerely involved in people’s needs and pleases both God and men in consequences. The church to face with over crowded situation because God added to their number who shared everything they had.
Today, if Malaysian Chinese churches want to see God adding to our number daily, we really need to follow the example of the early church in terms of their dedication and love. The church cannot just aim for the growth in numbers yet unwilling to carry the cross and sacrifice for our grass-roots neighbors who in need of helps yet unable to get to the church. The church is not a profit-making institution, thus the consideration of social concern ministry should not be based on cost-effectiveness. There were no “short cuts” in the history of mission and church revival. There were also no fears of investing in “losing money” business. Many Godly servants willingly sweat, shed blood, and go against all odds for suffering neighbors by practicing the life principle of ‘sharing everything they had’.
We should give our full effort, priority and seriousness to care for families afflicted by crisis by investing time and manpower in the community to care for families afflicted by crises. The early church chose seven spirit-filled wise men to manage the daily distribution of food; this showed that social welfare matters a lot to them. If the church truly submit to the Great Commandment (Mark 12:28-34), it should reflect the “busybody” culture just as Paul had challenged Philippian church (Philippians 2:1-4). Have the same attitude as that of Christ and there will be compassion for sheep outside the pen; have selflessness replace with selfishness and there will be sharing with the poor; move from self-concern to other-concern then we will be able to reach out to the unreached people; transform indifference into love will bring great joy to Jesus. Extend our focus beyond the church and maintain a lively and outgoing fellowship will be a great blessing to non-believers around us; underprivileged and impoverished members of the community will be able to have firsthand experience on God’s promise for a genuine fellowship that “he who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little.” (Corinthians 8:15)
I deeply believe that there will be no lack in provision if there is no lack in love. Therefore, the first thing we must know when there are needy people in the church is that there is an issue of love to deal with. Every week on a regular basis HISTEAM fasts and prays for Malaysian Chinese churches for the compassion of the Holy Spirit to pour out on and always be with believers. We are also thankful to God for those who similar Kingdom interest as well as for churches that have been involved with the good work of loving neighbors all along. We are looking forward to see Malaysian Christians to fulfill the faith of loving God and loving people with one heart, and willingly make themselves available to act justly and to show mercy for the exaltation of His name. So much so, it changes the stereotypical and negative impression of the Chinese community on church, let the Word become flesh through the fulfillment of the Great Commandment of loving others as ourselves at every corner in need. Let’s keep it up!