Contemporary English Version (CEV)
The behavior of the early church always amazes me. They weren't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but they had astounding courage, especially under persecution. They had their vision so firmly fixed on Christ and his beloved church that they were able to endure seemingly impossible situations, including violent ones, with grace that proclaimed a greater truth than the world we can see. They reacted with kindness towards their tormentors and did not cling to worldly goods, trusting in the reality of a life beyond this one, believing that the greatness of what is to come so surpassed the present that it was willing to sacrifice and strive for.
I wonder if we allow our lives to be so caught up in the vision of what Christ intends for the church that we would be able to live with such passion and conviction. Perhaps the time between the early church and the present has dulled our edge, or maybe the comfort in which we live saps some of our drive. The more time we spend amazed at the promises of God, the more likely it is that we will find compelling reasons to pursue our relationship with him above all else, allowing our passion for the things of this world to take a backseat. May we let our minds focus on Christ and his great love for us.