I love Acts chapter 4! It is a proclamation and testimony to the power of the resurrected Jesus our Lord and Savior! All throughout the chapter you can sense the presence and power the resurrection of Jesus provided in his believers. It is a picture of people and a church that have confidence in Christ. They have an expectancy that God is and will do great signs and wonders in their midst. It is a church filled with boldness derived not in themselves, but in the living Christ. It is the picture of a church filled with the anointing and presence of the Holy Spirit. A church that prays. A church that has complete unity of purpose that is radically meeting each others needs and affecting lives. It is a church that is on fire with the power of God! It is a church I so long to re-establish and be part of.
I read this chapter on the power and presence of God in the resurrected Christ and the Holy Spirit in the church. The church is exciting, expecting, and seeing healings, signs and wonders. It is boldly standing up to powers and principalities, removing social barriers and injustice, and boldly spreading the gospel. People are banqueting together and participating in life together. And I so long to be part of that church. Why do I long for that church when the same resurrected Jesus is alive and now present. The same Holy Spirit full of power moves among the earth today. The same kingdom of God is now at hand.
I am part of the United Methodist Church (UMC). In 1786, the founder of Methodism, John Wesley, looked back on the revival begun during his lifetime. He seemed to think that it was well enough established that it would not immediately vanish after his death. However, he was not content with the survival of a lifeless sect that hung around, but failed to renew souls in the image of their creator. He wrote in “Thoughts Upon Methodism” : “I am not afraid that the people called Methodists should ever cease to exist either in Europe or America. But I am afraid lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power. And this undoubtedly will be the case unless they hold fast both the doctrine, spirit, and discipline with which they first set out." These words haunt me. It is as if Wesley continues to challenge all who call themselves Methodists to continue to have the zeal to “spread Scriptural holiness” that the early Methodists had. I can’t read this quote without asking myself the obvious question, not just about the UMC, but the church in America in general: Is the church in America a dead sect, does it have the form or religion without the power? Or have we held fast to the doctrine, spirit, faith and discipline with which the early church we read about in Acts 4 first set out?
I, and I know you as well long to be part of a church like that in Acts 4. Long to be part of a church that others will look at and long to be part of, because it is full of the power and presence of the resurrected Jesus! Please pray over and into this today.
Pray the power of the resurrected Jesus over yourself, family, HC and ODC:
its power to save humanity vs. 4, 12,
Its power to heal. vs.9-10, 14. 22, 30
its power to provide us and fill us with the Holy Spirit v, 8, 25, 31,
Its power to fulfill prophesy, and sovereignty over time and our lives vs.24-29
Its power over all creation v.24
Its power to give us boldness in proclaiming the Gospel v.29
Its power to give us the ability to heal and do signs and wonders. V. 30
Its power to give our prayers power in and through the Holy Spirit v. 31
Its power to bring God through the Holy Spirit tangibly into our midst. “The place where they were assembled was shaken” signifies this. V.31
its power to unify us into one body v.32
Its power over all we posses v.32-36
Its power to fill all our needs v.34
You received the power of the Resurrected Jesus at you baptism. Pray into that power, ask God to reveal to you people, places, possibilities for ODC.
Please as a community share your thoughts and reflections on Acts 4 with us today in the comments box.