The Holy Spirit was just getting started on the Day of Pentecost. With Holy Spirit empowered Christians there were lots of strange things happening, things that defied the natural world and human nature. A man who hadn’t walked in 40 years was walking and jumping and praising God. The apostles were boldly proclaiming the truth of Jesus Christ in spite of great adversity and threats of political repercussions. The people of the First Century church were living in unity. There were no needy people, no greedy people, no entitled people among them. If they saw a need, they met it. They gave of their wealth to spread the gospel and gave even beyond the 10% tithe as they saw the need. Some sold land and laid the proceeds at the apostles’ feet to be used to promote God’s Kingdom. Even though they came from diverse backgrounds and cultures, they were united in their faith and in their mission to care for and encourage one another and spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. The power of the Holy Spirit made all of these things possible.
Pr 3:9-10; Jn 14:6; Acts 2:43, 3:6-8, 12; 4:19-20, 32-34; Phil 4:6;
Many miracles and wonders were being done through the apostles, and everyone was filled with awe.
(Acts 2:43) All believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them…. (Acts 4:32-34)
What was happening in the First Century church was amazing and miraculous. It was the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through devoted believers. This power is available to all Christians; sadly, there are many who live at a low level of devotion and never allow God’s power to be revealed in them. God prompts believers to step out and step up. God may ask you to do something that you consider risky…out of your comfort zone. You can either take a bye or you can take God’s hand and trust Him. As you cooperate with the Holy Spirit and experience his power in those moments, you will be seeking more opportunities! When time and time again God has strengthened and empowered you, you develop a high level of devotion. Walking in the Spirit is simply responding with a “yes” as God leads you. The First Century Christians did not withhold of their time, their service or their resources. They honored God with all they had. They made sure that no one was needy, that all were cared for, that the ministry of the apostles and the church were funded so that God’s Word would spread to every corner of the world. This seems like a utopia that works on paper but could never work when people, personalities and all their differences are involved. Yet, the Christians we read about in Acts were from many cultures and backgrounds; they had many differences. However, those differences did not have the power to separate what the unity of faith in Jesus Christ created.
How has the power of the Holy Spirit helped you to set aside differences you have with other believers? Why is unity so difficult? Have you experienced a miraculous healing? Were there more miracles in the First Century church than there are today? Explain. When has God called you to do something risky? How did you respond? Do you frequently ask for the Holy Spirit’s power in your life? Why or why not? If yes, when?
Read your Bible every day. Ask God for opportunities to trust him and take risks. Pray for his power to be revealed in your life. Keep a journal of the doors he opens, how you respond, and how things turn out.
Gracious God, thank you for your Spirit that strengthens and empowers me. Open doors and help me to walk through knowing that your Spirit will be with me. Give me the courage and the words that I need to be your witness. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.