A Church that Acts – Courage to be Bold

 

Today we continue with our journey through the book of Acts. Remember, our objective here is to rediscover the origins, history, divine influences and governing principles which drove the first century church and followers of Jesus through the centuries to follow in order to discover some practical lessons which are relevant to our walk of faith today.

Central to what we hope to glean from the book of Acts is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit during Pentecost. Apart from this event the early followers of Jesus would have been committed but powerless. The arrival of the Holy Spirit is THE defining catalyst for the success of these early believers.

Today we continue in Acts, chapter 4. You may recall that the Apostles had rocked the boat. They were becoming a threat to the status quo. And when that happened they were confronted, jailed and commanded to stop talking about Jesus. We pick up the story in verse 23.

Acts 4:23-31
23 And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them.

When faced with adversity to whom do we resort?  Do we go to the people of God?  To the presence of God? Or do we try to fix it on our own?

24 And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:
25 Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?

When we speak to God, our first act must be to remind ourselves of who God is!

We must bring perspective to circumstances…which may appear beyond control.

We must contrast the perfect holiness of God with the imperfection of man.

26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.
27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,
28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

We remind ourselves of God’s sovereignty and complete awareness of all that happens in His creation.

29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,
30 By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.
31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

And, finally, we declare our dependence upon God and His Holy Spirit.

We implore Him to enable us to do what we are often reluctant to do.

 

What is often the catalyst for bold action?  Adversity, injustice, moral boundaries.

We invite God to act on our behalf and for His glory.

We expect God to enable us to act by His power and Spirit.

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