Pastor's Column 5/30/21
“Stretch your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” After this prayer, the meeting place shook and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of god with boldness.”
Acts 4:30-31. NLT
5th Sunday - “Shaking Things Up!”
In the afterglow of Pentecost, we must realize that this great happening upon the believers was more than an event. Pentecost was/is a continuing experience of believers. This is quite clear in the Book of Acts, where the group of believers grew exponentially. There were 120 believers when the Holy Spirit came, but that number quickly grew to 3,000; sometime later, the body of believers reached 5,000, and today an estimated 2.382 billion people in the world are Christians. In Acts 4:30-31, Peter and the early Christians prayed a powerful and strategic prayer that made a difference in the mission of the Christian movement. They did not take the euphoria of the Day of Pentecost for granted. They knew that their mission would encounter hostility and danger, so they prayed to God, in the name of Jesus, for three things: (1) His healing power; (2) that miraculous signs and wonders would be evident in their mission; (3), that they be “filled anew” with the Holy Spirit with boldness. There were many petitions offered by the early Christians, but I believe this was an early prayer that made a tremendous difference. It tells us that the Holy Spirit is neither dated nor static. The Spirit works in consort with the Father and Son to renew, restore, and enrich our lives. We need to seek the presence, and listen to the voice, of the Holy Spirit every day! Only through His counsel can we have the boldness to meet our challenges. Most commentary note that the believers did not ask God to remove the opposition; but they asked for “boldness” to withstand and overcome the opposition. We can defeat every trial that comes our way. We must put our trust in the God who shakes things up, and allows the Spirit to fill us again. The Spirit is not a visitor, but He is our permanent resident!