Acts 4:31 “After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”

     This occurred at an early church meeting right after Peter and John had a run in with the Sanhedrin about preaching and healing in Jesus’ name.  Peter and John told the Sanhedrin; “Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”  (Acts 4: 19,20)  The Sanhedrin finally released them and when they returned to the fellowship, the church prayed; “And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word by stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.” (Acts 4: 29,30)

     Like today, the early church was surrounded by a hostile religious and political establishment.  Unlike today, the early church met this hostility with boldness and faith.  Today, many churches under the leadership of worldly clerics seek the friendship of the world through compromise, while far too many other clergy silently look on.  Matthew Henry writes; “In threatening times, our care should not be so much that troubles may be prevented, as that we may go on with cheerfulness and courage in our work and duty. They do not pray, Lord let us go away from our work, now that it is become dangerous, but, Lord, give us thy grace to go on stedfastly in our work, and not to fear the face of man.”

     Not only did tongues come to the early church in the day of Pentecost; “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:4)  The Holy Spirit brought boldness to preach the Gospel to the early church as well:  ” . . . they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.”  (Acts 4:31) Similar pattern, same Spirit, different evidence and all for the glory of God the Father!

     Jesus gave us a mission; “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15) Jesus told us to share the Gospel; “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19,20)  This is a job where Jesus promises us He’ll be right along side every step of the way.

     The joy of this mission is that we are to simply witness to what we have seen and heard, like those in the early church.  Our honest and humble testimony about how Jesus lifted us up out of our pit will speak volumes to desperate people.  When we demonstrate the Power of the Cross in our lives with testimony and faith,  Jesus Himself will do the work;  “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” (John 12:32)

    Praise the Lord!

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