One of the most powerful phrases in the New Testament is found in Acts chapter 12… “but prayer was made.” James was martyred, killed with the sword, and Peter was thrown in prison, “but prayer was made without ceasing by the church of God for him.”
I love being a Pastor. I’m passionate about preaching. I am humbled that God has called me to shepherd a flock of His choosing. And I especially love the fuel that fires me up – the Word of God and what it has to say about whom I am.
I shared this message in revival last night and wanted to pass it along here…
Acts chapter 2 is a controversial chapter. Christians like to go there to argue about when the Holy Spirit arrived, whether we can duplicate the miracle of speaking in tongues, and whether this was the “baptism” Jesus talked about. But I think God’s focus is on the end of the chapter, in verses 41 and 47, where thousands of souls were being saved and lives changed.
I know this is a strange assertion, but I’ve been studying the book of Acts all morning and the thought hit me that Pentecost plus persecution produced the mightiest change agent in all of history – the local church empowered by the Holy Spirit. We are never commanded to purposely try to duplicate either, but we certainly ought to live in the warmth and glow of that early New Testament flame.
My friend David sent me a link to a Fox News article about an ad campaign launching on Washington D.C. buses that asks “Why Believe in a God? Just Be Good for Goodness’ Sake.” The ads have certainly sparked controversy, but I’m not as bothered as you might think. For me, it would be tragic if someone saw the ads and decided that rationalism excluded the possibility of God, but I actually think the opposite may be true, and it causes me to wonder if the humanist group that sponsored the ads really thought their branding through.
“Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me.” -Acts 27:25
Do you believe God? Notice carefully the wording. I didn’t ask, “Do you believe in God?” but “Do you believe God?” It’s one thing to believe He exists, even this is true of the demonic world. In fact most people believe in God for very few people are true atheists. But do you believe God? When He makes a promise, do you take Him at His word?
Have you ever read Acts 15? Many people find themselves skipping the chapter, or at best, lazily dozing their way through it to get to the excitement of chapter 16 where Paul received his great “Macedonian Call.” But I believe that there are thousands of churches in America that need to hear and heed the message of Acts 15.
“Then had the churches rest throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.” -Acts 9:31
Most men love “action” movies. I remember my Dad sitting in the recliner watching old Westerns (i.e. – primitive action movies) and counting the bullets coming out of the guns. He shouted with glee when he caught seven bullets coming out of the six-shooter. There’s something about action that thrills us.