By church I’m talking about people not buildings. These first Christians were “devoted to (intense & constant commitment to - see 1:14; 2:46) … the fellowship” - verse 42.
In seasons of revival we “re-commit” to each other. We …
Look forward to meeting together - verses 44, 46.
Sacrifice to take care of each other - verses 44-45.
Open our homes for worship together - verse 46.
This sort of devotion to the church is modeled for us in Philippians 1:
“God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more …” - Philippians 1:8-9
It is the Holy Spirit who gives us a deep yearning, affection, and love for each other. In seasons of revival, that commitment to the fellowship is renewed and intensified. Church takes on a new important and priority in our lives.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss is something of a revival expert. She said this:
“Revival is something like the roof coming off and the walls coming down. When the roof comes off, people get right with God. That's the vertical dimension. Then, the walls come down—the horizontal dimension—as people make things right with others … some of the fruit of revival can be seen in forgiveness, clearing of consciences, reconciliation, and restitution.”
Forty-five years ago, there was a revival in the churches of Saskatchewan. Thousands were converted. Thousands more who were already saved, got things right with God. The pastor of the church where the revival began was Bill McLeod. He explains this horizontal dimension in the story of Gordon, one of the men in the church:
“During the revival on Sunday morning in our church, he came to the front, stood by the communion table and laid his heart on the table. He said, “You know, people, for three years I've been sitting in the back pew. The reason I sit in the back pew is because I don't like some of you people. I used to sit there and shoot arrows of hatred at the backs of your heads. God has dealt with me and I want your forgiveness. I want to be right with God.”
We’ll know we’re in revival when we have that kind of deeper love for our fellowship.