Something has been running through my mind over and over again in these last days, hours, minutes that we have left. The early church exploded because of the singleness of mind and purpose. The passion, steadfast unwavering obediance, and courage of the early church is truly amazing. Only the outpouring of the Holy Spirit could empower them to achieve what God had called them to do. All the glory, honor and praise goes to God the Father through our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ!
But why doesn’t the church look like that today? At least the Western Church. I am not speaking for all. I am not saying that everyone is lukewarm but so so many are. I myself have been this way in the past.
I repent of my doublemindedness, I repent of my lukewarm cowardess attitude. And I call on the parts of the church that are asleep to wake up and repent as well.
Why doesn’t the current church look like the Book of Acts?
“Moreover, understand this: in the acharit-hayamim (last days) will come trying times. People will be self-loving, money-loving, proud, arrogant, insulting, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, uncontrolled, brutal, hateful of good, traitorous, headstrong, swollen with conceit, loving pleasure rather than God, as they retain the outer form of religion but deny its power.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5 CJB
I think we would all agree that the majority of the church, atleast the western church, looks like this. We don’t look much different then the world. & Most of us have the “outer form of religion but deny its power.”
What power has the church, atleast parts of it, denied?
“Now when he went to Natzeret, where he had been brought up, on Shabbat he went to the synagogue as usual. He stood up to read, and he was given the scroll of the prophet Yesha‘yahu. Unrolling the scroll, he found the place where it was written,
“The Spirit of Adonai is upon me;
therefore he has anointed me
to announce Good News to the poor;
he has sent me to proclaim freedom for the imprisoned
and renewed sight for the blind,
to release those who have been crushed,
to proclaim a year of the favor of Adonai.”
After closing the scroll and returning it to the shammash, he sat down; and the eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on him. He started to speak to them: “Today, as you heard it read, this passage of the Tanakh was fulfilled!” Luke 4:16-21 CJB
Jesus has fulfilled the prophecy in Isaiah 61. The Spirit of the Lord is upon Him and is the Annointed One to announce Good News to the poor, proclaim freedom for the imprisoned and renewed sight for the blind, to release those who have been crushed and to proclaim a year of the favor of the Lord!
Do we believe this? Do we trust in Him wholeheartedly? The early believers in the Book of Acts did! Just after a man, that was crippled since birth, was healed the crowd was amazed! Peter said this…
“…But God raised him from the dead! Of this we are witnesses. And it is through putting our trust in his name that his name has given strength to this man whom you see and know. Yes, it is the trust that comes through Yeshua (Jesus) which has given him this perfect healing in the presence of you all.” Acts 3:15-16 CJB
Let us repent of our attitudes mentioned in 2 Timothy 3. Let us devote ourselves to God the way the early church did once again!
So far, I have learned the following key points from the first few chapters of the Book of Acts:
- Repent. Turn from our sins and return to God.
- Each of us be immersed on the authority of Jesus the Messiah into forgiveness of our sins and we will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For this was promised to us, our children and those far away– as many as the Lord our God may call!
- May we wait to receive power from the Holy Spirit.
- Be witnesses of Jesus to the ends of the earth.
- Devote ourselves single-mindedly to prayer.
- Gather together with believers.
- Pray to God for instruction and guidance in everything then trust that He will show us.
- Continue faithfully in this teaching in fellowship, in breaking bread and in prayers.
- Be filled with awe. For in accordance with the Father’s will many miracles and signs will take place.
- Stay together with those who trust in Jesus.
- Continue faithfully in singleness of purpose to meet in the courts daily.
- Share food in joy and simplicity of heart.
- Praise God and have respect.
Now, these were just a few points from the first couple chapters of the Book of Acts and this is just as much to me as it is for all. Let us not shrink back anymore. Let us trust that God will lead us by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and speak with courage and boldness!
Let us trust in His Name, Jesus the Messiah wholeheartedly!
My purpose in writing this is not to seek merely the signs and miracles of the early church.
My purpose in writing this and praying about this and seeking the Father’s heart in this is to have the zeal, passion, resilience and singleness of purpose as the early church.
Better yet, be filled with Christ and walk in His perfect will.
We have been warned and see with our own eyes the trying times we’re in. We look outside our comfort to a world that desperately needs Hope. They desperately need to hear the Good News of shalom! Let us share Jesus, the Living Hope, with them! May the world finally know us by our love! May we be a city on a hill shining His light; unashamed, unafraid, unwavering and truly standing firm united in the Messiah!
I leave you with this as we confess our sins, repent, turn to God and are immersed in His Holy Spirit all while abiding in Him. To have understanding of what immersion in the Holy Spirit will empower us to do in accordance with the Father’s will, read 1 Corinthians 12 and 13:
“But, brothers, I do not want you to go on being ignorant about the things of the Spirit. You know that when you were pagans, no matter how you felt you were being led, you were being led astray to idols, which can’t speak at all. Therefore, I want to make it clear to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says, “Yeshua is cursed!” and no one can say, “Yeshua is Lord,” except by the Ruach HaKodesh. Now there are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit gives them. Also there are different ways of serving, but it is the same Lord being served. And there are different modes of working, but it is the same God working them all in everyone. Moreover, to each person is given the particular manifestation of the Spirit that will be for the common good. To one, through the Spirit, is given a word of wisdom; to another, a word of knowledge, in accordance with the same Spirit; to another, faith, by the same Spirit; and to another, gifts of healing, by the one Spirit; to another, the working of miracles; to another, prophecy; to another, the ability to judge between spirits; to another, the ability to speak in different kinds of tongues; and to yet another, the ability to interpret tongues. One and the same Spirit is at work in all these things, distributing to each person as he chooses. For just as the body is one but has many parts; and all the parts of the body, though many, constitute one body; so it is with the Messiah. For it was by one Spirit that we were all immersed into one body, whether Jews or Gentiles, slaves or free; and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. For indeed the body is not one part but many. If the foot says, “I’m not a hand, so I’m not part of the body,” that doesn’t make it stop being part of the body. And if the ear says, “I’m not an eye, so I’m not part of the body,” that doesn’t make it stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, how could it hear? If it were all hearing, how could it smell? But as it is, God arranged each of the parts in the body exactly as he wanted them. Now if they were all just one part, where would the body be? But as it is, there are indeed many parts, yet just one body. So the eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you”; or the head to the feet, “I don’t need you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be less important turn out to be all the more necessary; and upon body parts which we consider less dignified we bestow greater dignity; and the parts that aren’t attractive are the ones we make as attractive as we can, while our attractive parts have no need for such treatment. Indeed, God has put the body together in such a way that he gives greater dignity to the parts that lack it, So that there will be no disagreements within the body, but rather all the parts will be equally concerned for all the others. Thus if one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; and if one part is honored, all the parts share its happiness. Now you together constitute the body of the Messiah, and individually you are parts of it. And God has placed in the Messianic Community first, emissaries; second, prophets; third, teachers; then those who work miracles; then those with gifts of healing; those with ability to help; those skilled in administration; and those who speak in various tongues. Not all are emissaries, are they? Not all are prophets, are they? or teachers? or miracle-workers? Not all have gifts of healing, not all speak in tongues, not all interpret, do they? Eagerly seek the better gifts. But now I will show you the best way of all. I may speak in the tongues of men, even angels; but if I lack love, I have become merely blaring brass or a cymbal clanging. I may have the gift of prophecy, I may fathom all mysteries, know all things, have all faith – enough to move mountains; but if I lack love, I am nothing. I may give away everything that I own, I may even hand over my body to be burned; but if I lack love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind, not jealous, not boastful, not proud, rude or selfish, not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not gloat over other people’s sins but takes its delight in the truth. Love always bears up, always trusts, always hopes, always endures. Love never ends; but prophecies will pass, tongues will cease, knowledge will pass. For our knowledge is partial, and our prophecy partial; but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, thought like a child, argued like a child; now that I have become a man, I have finished with childish ways. For now we see obscurely in a mirror, but then it will be face to face. Now I know partly; then I will know fully, just as God has fully known me. But for now, three things last trust, hope, love; and the greatest of these is love.”
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