The Acts 2 Church: Devoted to Each Other

A Sermon Series by Rev. Aaron Powers based on the book by Rev. Toby Morgan

Acts 2:46-47: “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”

Introduction:  Stories of Love

How are we supposed to love one another?

1 John 3:18 says, “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

We can only love each other in deed and truth if we learn to love one another the way that Jesus loves.

In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul instructs of the spiritual gifts and says, in verse 1, “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.”

In 1 Corinthians 14:1, Paul begins to explain how the gifts must function in love when he says, “Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.”

BUT…right there in the middle, Paul puts love…without which we cannot use the gifts for the betterment of the body, which is the entire reason they are given.

Paul’s words of 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 tell us how to accomplish this love.

When Paul says, CHARITY, in Greek is actually agapēn which LITTERALLY is the INDWELLING LOVE of God. 

Think about the indwelling love of God.


Because the indwelling love of God is patient, and it is kind.

The indwelling love of God does not envy, because there is nothing greater.

The indwelling love of God does not call attention to itself and has no pride with in it.

The indwelling love of God does not behave itself inappropriately, does not have to have its own way, is not easily provoked, neither does it think evil thoughts towards others.

The indwelling love of God does not rejoice not in sin, but rejoices in the truth.

The indwelling love of God bears all burdens, believes the best for all things, hopes all things will turn out according to the will of God to usward, and endures all things until the manifested will of God becomes a present reality.

The indwelling love of God does not never fails.

Prophecies and prophets shall fail.

When the languages of men and angels no longer continue, and even when the gift of tongues is no longer needed; the indwelling love of God remains.

If there is any knowledge, it shall vanish away, but the indwelling love of God remains.

For we know in part, and we prophesy in part for our knowledge is fragmentary and incomplete.

But when that which is complete and perfect comes which is the REVEALED love of God personified as JESUS CHRIST, that which is incomplete and partial will pass away.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; but when I became a man, I did away with childish things.

Likewise when the indwelling love of God becomes the revealed love of God manifested as Jesus Christ before our eyes, we will graduate to that same perfected love!

For now, in this time of imperfection, we see in a mirror dimly which is but a blurred reflection, a riddle, a puzzle, and an enigma, but then, when the time of perfection comes into view we will see reality and face to face.

Now I know in part, for I only know fragments for I cannot see the entire picture (like a puzzle with pieces missing, but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known by God, for then I shall see God’s perfected indwelling love become the revealed love of God with my own eyes.

BUT UNTIL THAT TIME, right now, there still lives faith, hope, charity (indwelling love of God), these three; but the greatest of these is charity, the love of God in us.

The indwelling love of God gives us God’s power to stand in every circumstance!

No wonder Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Point 1:  Love for the Hurting

The unadulterated truth about God is that HE LOVES TO HELP PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN HURT!

God does not love wrath.

God does not love to hurt people.

God does not love the fact that people reject Him and choose Hell over Heaven in so doing.


No matter how wretched…

No matter how lost…

No matter how broken…

No matter how abused…

No matter how damaged…

No matter how wrecked their lives…

No matter how ruined and wasted…

No matter how derelict, crumbling, abandoned, morally bankrupt, spoiled, destroyed, devastated, squandered, or exhausted…

No matter if they see their lives as pointless, needless, useless, or unnecessary…

John 3:16 still says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

1 John 4:10 still says, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

AND… I have not forgotten how lost I was!

I have not forgotten where Jesus has brought me from!

I have not forgotten how afraid, wounded, painful, injured, and marred I was!

But I remember that Galatians 2:20 still says, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”


God LOVES us!

Jesus died to prove it!

People FORGET it!

Even Christian people!

Paul reminds the church at Corinth in 1 Corinthians 6:11, “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

Point 2:  God HATES some things…but NOT PEOPLE.

Make no mistake about it, though God loved and still loves sinners enough to die for them, there are some things GOD HATES!

Proverbs tells us some things that are REPULSIVE to God!

Proverbs 6:16-19 says, “These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”

All of those things, GOD HATES.

Notice NO WHERE, sorry Westboro Baptist, does it say GOD HATES PEOPLE.

But why does God hate those things?

God hates those things because of the sin that separates us from HIM and one another!

There is a difference between what God expects from the pastor and what the people expect from the pastor.

Here is what Toby Morgan says people expect from the “PERFECT PASTOR” in 2023.

The perfect pastor:

  • Preaches an hour sermon in exactly 10 minutes.
  • Is tough on sin but never offends anyone.
  • Works from 8 AM to midnight while simultaneously serving as handyman and janitor.
  • Makes $40 per week, dresses sharp, drives a Cadillac, and gives back $30 per week in offering to the church.
  • Is 29 years old and has 40 years of experience.
  • Makes 15 house calls per day and is always available in the office for consultation.

Of course, that guy is not available, so you got me.

Folks, the perfect pastor does not exist just as the pastor that can please 100% of the people 100% percent of the time is not walking around on the face of planet Earth!

Even Moses, arguably the greatest pastor to ever live, as powerful, talented, anointed as he was could not properly care for the people ALONE!

This is what Jethro, Moses’ Pappy in Law, said in PLAIN TERMS, or HILLBILLY HEBREW, if you please from Exodus 18:17-23:

“Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you are doing is not good. 18 You will certainly wear out both yourself and these people who are with you, because the task is too heavy for you to bear; you cannot do it alone.”

Truly, no pastor can do it alone.

There must be at least 2 people or the pastor is not pastoring!

If I go outside to lead the people of God and no one is following, I am not pastoring and I am not leading!

I am simply talking a walk!


Now, listen to Jethro…

19 Now listen to me; (Looky here now) I will advise you, and may God be with you to confirm my advice. You shall represent the people before God. You shall bring their disputes and causes to Him. 20 You shall teach them the decrees and laws. You shall show them the way they are to live and the work they are to do. 21 Furthermore, you shall select from all the people competent men who reverently fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; you shall place these over the people as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens. 22 They shall judge the people at all times; have them bring every major dispute to you, but let them judge every minor dispute themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. 23 If you will do this thing and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure the responsibility, and all these people will also go back to their tents in peace.”

Any pastor who does not allow someone to help them is ABUSING themselves before God!

I have had to learn this the hard way!

I have finally figured out that I am not Superman.

God does not like it when I abuse myself or my family by spreading myself too thin. 

INSTEAD, I must spread the care around!

God DOES NOT like it when the pastor does not do some SELF-CARE or SPOUSAL CARE or FAMILY CARE.

Look at what Paul asked Timothy in 1 Timothy 3:5!

“For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?”

BUT, just as much as God does not like it when the pastor is guilty of it, he also does not like it when the members are guilty of it too!

The bottom line here is that WE NEED ONE ANOTHER!

A good friend keeps reminding me that it takes a village to raise a child…but I would add that it takes a Christian Family of Believers to raise a CHURCH!

Hebrews 10:23-25 challenges the church when it says, “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

While I realize that some people are easily offended and some are equally easily offensive, one thing is true…if we do not SHARE THE CARE we will SPREAD THE HURT.

Point 3:  The Missing Model

Ok… the missing model comes from a lack on the modern church’s part.

It is a lack of observing Jesus!

Beloved, consider John 13:1-5, which says, “Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. 2 And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him; 3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; 4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. 5 After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.”

In those days (and still in Jewish culture), when people ate together, ESPECIALLY holy day meals, it was REALLY important what you did both before and after the meal.

Meals, to Jews, are a setting where the understanding of God’s place, the world view, and belief systems were developed in younger generations and renewed in older generations.

HOWEVER…John adds, “WHEN SUPPER WAS OVER…” to underscore that the time of satisfying the flesh was completed. 

Comfortable time was done.

Tradition was completed.

Yet the time of remembering the goodness of God was fresh on their minds.

While they are picking their teeth and rubbing their bellies, Jesus does something unheard of in His day.

The Master took off His garments, got a towel and wrapped up in it, poured His own water, and began the role of the servant.

Now, some commentators and writers think that these feet were dirty.

Some that they were stinky and filth covered.

I think that is highly unlikely because this was AFTER SUPPER and most likely they had had a servant wash their feet before dinner as this was the Passover meal, after all.

Regardless, this was an unnerving sight!

The Master washing feet?!?

But it was a powerful symbol and signal to them.

While the servants were collecting the supper dishes and the clanging and banging of plates, cups, and cook wear was going on, Jesus was saying to them in this time of foot washing that the time has come to stop being involved in what makes THEM happy, comfortable, and satisfied and get down to business.

It is time to get down to business.

The Holy Ghost is trying to send us this signal.

The clanging of the dishes has already started and it is time for a shift in our focus!

We need to shift …


  • Having to be constantly fed to feeding others
  • Having to have everything focused on us and our wants
  • Having to have our way in the service


  • God’s business at hand
  • The fact that hurting people around us don’t care about the junk that bothers our churchianity (and yes, I said that on purpose)
  • Realizing that the service of the towel is about living out the songs and prayers we have sung and prayed into actually acting like Jesus.

We have set at the supper table so long that we have forgotten we are not called to remain there!

We are called to come to the table, then go and pick up the towel and the basin!

Some people tell me, “Preacher, I am just not being fed.”

Do we say “I’m not being fed” because God’s blessing has been so great that we are full to overflowing?

I doubt it.

Do we say “I’m not being fed” but we are so accustomed to the Spirit of God that we have begun to take His presence far too casually?


Do we say “I’m not being fed” but in reality we are just not eating what is being served because we are either too spiritually immature to handle or it or too mean spirited to accept it?


Do we say, “I’m not being fed” but in actuality we have become so spiritually morbidly obese to move effectively away from the table to the service of the towel?


I tell you the truth about the American Church, even the American Church of God, we have grown so inactive, sitting around supper tables we call worship services basking in the presence of the Lord that somewhere in the not-so-distant past, we began to take His presence for granted!

Bishop Toby Morgan said, “…those worship services (which have actually become entertainment venues) have caused us somehow, someway to become so indifferent (towards His presence) that we haven’t even noticed Him moving away from us, girding Himself with a towel, taking a basing in His hands and moving to care for the hurting and needy of His flock.”

I tell you the truth, if we are going to be an Acts 2 church, we had better figure out that church is not about us, our desires, and our whims, and make it about Jesus and His desires.

Listen to me, I know that this is not a popular message.

It is a dangerous message for preachers to preach in America with the spiritual buffet of seeker friendly, five-minute, made to order, have-it-your-way churches down the road and spiritual babies who care more about being fed than worshipping God because they will get up and go on to the next big thing or the closer, more convenient church!

It is time for the bloated, blathering American church to get up from the table and start to serve the hurting again!

At one meeting, a real minister of the gospel asked a great question.

He said, “With a religion that has a cross as its symbol and the battered body and blood of Jesus as its Communion, how in the world can se stand around and as, ‘What’s in it for me?’”

In Closing:  Walking in their Footsteps

What do we do? 

We must do what the disciples did.

Leave the comforts of home and get about the work of the Lord.

One writer says, and I totally agree, “If the church works as it should, there isn’t an organization on earth that can come close to the beauty and attractiveness it displays.”

The Acts 2 Church grew every day because it took of the garb of the culture and put on the towel in devotion to one another in God’s service.

The Acts 2 Church grew every day because it took of the garb of selfishness put on the towel in order to feed the hungry.

The Acts 2 Church grew every day because it took of the garb of self-righteousness, self-centeredness, and self-absorbed narcissism and clothed the naked, visited the widows and orphans and relieved them in their oppression, visited the jails and prisons, the hospitals, and the homeless and did so because the love of God INDWELLING in them compelled them to do so.

1 John 3:16-17 gives us this observation and warning, and it rings as true today for the postmodern, post-Christian American society and church as it did for the church of the first century.

“Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?”


Because you are not serving YOU.

And I am not serving ME.

Whatever we do, whom ever we are helping or ignoring, we are doing it to JESUS!

Jesus said, in Matthew 25:40, 45, “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” “45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.”

Finally, beloved, we are not devoted to one another in the love of God for rewards and accolades in this life neither are we in it for filthy lucre or our own welfare!

But make no mistake about it, rewards are coming!

In Revelation 22:12, Jesus said, “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”

He is that King who will say, YOU AND I DID IT OR DID NOT UNTO HIM!

We shall reap what we sow.

Genesis 8:22 established by God this principle from the very beginning!

“While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”

To us, the redeemed, it means that we should be sowing love, peace, kindness, help, hope, promise, goodness, gentleness, patience, grace, joy, and all of the countless fruit of the Spirit with the gifts of the Spirit operating from a heart full of the Spirit!

For Galatians 6:8-10, “For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”

Are we devoted to eachother?