The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord. (Acts 11:21)

You’ve got to hand it to those early Jesus freaks, they sure knew how to ride a wave. It’s not that they were particularly handy; most of them were dweebs of the first order. They weren’t great crowd handlers either, not having huge climate-controlled auditoriums equipped with titanic sound systems, jumbo plasma screens, and orange-clad parking attendants. No, most of those early believers lived hand to mouth.

On the other hand, these early believers were hands down the best church-growers since—well, since themselves. Forget the heavy-handed PR stuff of today. These guys laid hands on the sick and healed them. On all hands these early believers handed over what was at hand as handouts to the poor. Never high-handed with each other, they would lend a hand whenever needed, rarely lift a hand against somebody, and extend the right hand of fellowship to everyone, high and low alike. Their Christianity wasn’t second-hand, but a first hand, hands on, hand-over of the kingdom of God. And they had their hands full with takers, so much so that at times it nearly got out of hand.

There was nothing under-handed about their success. In fact, they really didn’t have a hand in it at all. Their incredible growth was hand-crafted by God, period. Salvation was God’s handiwork; anything they would have added would have been a handicap. They knew enough to keep their hands off a good thing.

So maybe we should stop all the hand-wringing about relevance and technological innovation and simply join hands in prayer? If God moves his hand, the pagans will be eating out of our hands. If he doesn’t, we might as well sit on them.


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