41Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
The Fellowship of the Believers
42They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-47
Soon after the Lord was crucified, the disciples hopes were shattered, they were terrified, timid and traumatised. Then three days later the Good News of His resurrection came and He appeared to them to confirm it. Hope was resurrected.
Before He ascended He told them to wait in Jerusalem for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. They obeyed Him and on the Day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit came and transformed them. The result was a Church that came alive, came on fire, uninhibited in the proclamation of the Gospel, united in purpose, generous, praying without ceasing, fellowshipping from house to house, breaking bread as they were commanded, having favour with God and man and having reverential fear of the Lord. Bible studies were taken seriously and there was joy released as was spontaneous praise.
Are there any lessons for us?
1. Boldness in Witnessing
8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
The righteous are as bold as a lion (Prov.28:1). God has not given us a spirit of timidity but that of boldness, power and sound mind. (1Tim1:7)_ We are enjoined to be always prepared to tell people why we have hope (1Pet 3:15)_. Paul encourages us to put on the shoes of the Gospel of peace enabling us to be ready to go and witness(Eph6:15).
" Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marvelled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus." (Acts 4:13)
You may have received the Holy Spirit, but are you letting Him to be God? The Holy Spirit made Stephen so bold that he continued to witness in power even when he was being stoned to death. In the end before he died he prayed for those who were killing him. That is the power of the Holy Spirit. The disciples who were imprisoned for a while were released and what did they do?
Peter and friends refused to keep quiet in spite of persecution.
"18 So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. 20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” 21 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way of punishing them, because of the people, since they all glorified God for what had been done. 22 For the man was over forty years old on whom this miracle of healing had been performed.
Paul and Silas were beaten mercilessly and their backs were bleeding after witnessing. Their hands and feet were in stocks, but at midnight they sang praises to God.
"23After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.
25About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody's chains came loose. 27The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28But Paul shouted, "Don't harm yourself! We are all here!"
Without wood their fire goes out. Without fanning ablaze the gift in you it becomes redundant. Without flexing your muscle can result in limb that is useless, just as faith without works is dead. If you don’t use it you lose it
Quench not the Spirit. Let God be God. Be filled with the Spirit not just once but be being filled. You can be filled many times. Just as power went out of Jesus it can go out of you and you need to replenish you cup so to speak.
God wants you to be a vibrant Christian, unashamed of Christ, on fire for Him, standing up to be counted, letting your light so shine that men see your good works and glorify your father who is in heaven.. You a light of the world, a city on a hill, previously dead in Christ but now raised up from the dead and sat with Him in heavenly places far above principalities and powers. You are more than a conqueror through Christ. If God is for you, who can be against you? God is with you, for you and in you. You are a co-labourer with Christ created fir good works. You are His voice, His hands and feet on earth. Go in His Name. Go in His power. Go in His boundless grace that is sufficient for you. Let His word be like fire in your bones. Release it at very opportunity that He brings your way. Be not afraid. Be not dismayed The Lord Your God is with you wherever you go. Be not afraid of their faces. Set your face like a flint. You are more than a conqueror through Christ. You can do all things through Christ. Realise that you were crucified with Christ and this live you now live you should live by the faith of the Son of God who dwells in you.
Reach out in faith. The just shall live by faith. Without faith it is impossible to
please God. There is someone waiting to her the Good news from your lips. Someone is waiting for the seed planted in them to be watered by you.
Never mind if you are rejected or ridiculed. They rejected and ridiculed your Master. Many who seem to be tough on the exterior are soft on the inside. You may be witnessing to the next Billy Graham.
For a long time a boy ridiculed his father’s beliefs, arguing with him. But his parents did not give up on him. He got worse to the point of smoking up to 30 cigarettes a day, taking drugs and dabbling in the occult, summoning evil spirits. They kept praying for him. Other believers also watered the seed that had been sown by his parents. They boy, now a man, is gloriously saved and is a very active member of a vibrant church.
Your harvest is coming.
"They weep as they go to plant their seed,
but they sing as they return with the harvest."(Psalm126:6)
Be bold and be strong.The Lord is with you. No weapon fashioned against you will prosper.
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