In thinking about the Easter once again and the power of the Resurrection, it is my prayer that we ALL be more empowered by the Holy Spirit to do what God has called us to do as individuals and within in each local church fellowship. That took me to Acts 2:37-42, one of my favorite passages of scripture which says; “42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”
If we allow ourselves to be empowered by the Holy Spirit in 2016, I believe we can have the following six characteristics personally and corporately in our churches.
We have a Sanctified Hunger in our lives - v42 – “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship…” These early Christians were devoting themselves to the things of God. There was a hunger in them that fed on Spiritual things. Things pertaining to the Kingdom of God held the biggest priority in their lives. What about us? What’s ruling our lives? Where do we spend most of our time and resources? What is really important to us?
We have a Powerful Presence – v43 – “Then fear came upon every soul...” They were focused with a sense of awe as miracles, etc. were happening all around them. Actually if we just stay in awe of Jesus, these things will naturally flow out of our lives. It’s one thing to be in awe of the things God does for us, but quite another to be in awe of Him!
We have Intimate Fellowship – v44 – “Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common.” The fellowship of this early Church was extraordinary. They didn’t just worship together they cared about each other, they spent time together, they shared, they prayed, ate together. There fellowship was much more than just a “Sunday thing.” These are the signs of healthy faithful group of believers.
We Have Real Worship – v46 – “Day by day continuing with one mind in the Temple”. These folks loved to worship. They loved to spend time in the presence of God through worship. They were hungry for the fellowship of the word, and worship. Today church has become one responsibility among many. When our lives are filled with the Spirit – worship is not work it’s what we live for.
We have an Impacting Testimony – v47 – The testimony of this church was making an impact on their community. If your church doors closed, would the community miss it? How about your personal life? Is it making an impact for the Lord? The people in your workplace, in your neighborhood, at the gym… Do they know that you are a Christian? Do they know that you are about the Father’s business?
We Have True Growth – v47b – “And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.” That is the true focus of the Christian life. We have come to believe that Church is about us – We’re supposed to about winning the lost, bringing people to understand that they can have a relationship with Jesus Christ. That is true church growth, when we see many souls coming for salvation.
If we’re allowing the Holy Spirit to empower us our lives we will demonstrate
more fruit of the Spirit. We will be more and more conformed to the image of Christ. Our prayer life and study of God's Word will become more meaningful. We will experience greater power in witnessing. We will be prepared for spiritual conflict against the world; against the flesh; and against Satan & his evil spirits. And, we will experience Holy Spirit power to resist temptation and sin.
In closing… Just think; if every born-again believer in our city would become more Kingdom focused and Holy Spirit empowered; things would forever change in all of our communities, churches, schools, etc. I am ready for the challenge, how about you? Brothers and sisters, let’s go for it!