Meridian Star

January 12, 2013

From the Shepherd’s Heart

By Dr. John A. Temple / Guest columnist
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     "Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved."

— Acts 2:44-47 (NKJV)

   “Are you contagious?” There seem to be several “bugs” and flu making the circuit. When someone is contagious, they spread what they have. Usually, it is by coming in contact with a contagious person that we develop what they have.

    Not everyone that has a “bug” is contagious. Some illnesses cannot be spread. In such cases, contact with that ill person leaves no lasting effect. It is difficult to give away an ingrown toenail.

    Today, I call for Christians to be contagious! For too long, we have kept to ourselves the impact of the Lord in our lives. Many Christians have friends that have no idea our lives have been forever changed by Jesus.

    To be honest, I don’t want to catch what some show they have in religion. I don’t need more “policies and procedures.” There must be more than sitting in a pew for an hour each week.

    In the early church, Christians were contagious. Others desired what they saw in their fellowship. The early church attracted others like flies to honey. Notice characteristics of the contagious fellowship of the first century:

    1. They had a priority on fellowship. They were constantly together. Once a week was not enough. Every day they were seen together. The fellowship was happy, unified and focused. They enjoyed being together and others noticed.

    2.They had a focus with expectancy. There was a spirit of fear or reverence as they met. They were seeing miraculous things happen and they expected further miracles to occur. In such a situation, one would not want to miss what was expected to occur.

    3.They had a habit of praising God. The Lord was the reason for their celebration. They were happy to be alive. They seemed untouched by other issues. God was real! Their faith was vocal and public. They had smiles on their faces and positive attitudes in their hearts.

    4.They attracted others. They had favor with all the people. Even those who did not believe celebrated the spirit they saw in the believers. The believers were not known for their rules and rituals. They were known for enjoying life, and it was very attractive. I imagine the believers looked like they had just won a bowl game.

    This week, be contagious! Live a life others will desire to have. Celebrate your relationship with the Lord! Be positive! What we won through Jesus lasts forever. Go ahead, smile! Shout about it! Give a “high five” to another who celebrates too. And, when someone asks if they can join the party, know you have finally become “contagious.”

    Let the celebration begin and others will be attracted to the party.

    Dr. John A. Temple is pastor of Poplar Springs Drive Baptist Church, located at 4032 Poplar Springs Drive in Meridian. Visit the church website online at www.