Early this morning I woke up unable to sleep and the Holy Spirit led me to begin reading in Acts. I’ve felt the need to do some study in Acts for the past few days but this morning it just seemed as if I couldn’t put off that tug to get started.
Amazing! The power of God flowed so freely through those who unashamedly proclaimed the Gospel. But it was interesting to read how they approached evangelism. Granted, the main thrust of their ministry at the beginning was to the Jews, but it’s interesting to me how they began from the beginning, gaining the confidence of their listeners, and then led them right to God fulfilling His promises to Israel to send a Redeemer even greater than Moses. They spoke the irrefutable Word of God and there was no basis for debate or argument. Either the hearers believed it or they didn’t.
While I was reading, I was thinking in context of our trip to India in March, listening closely to the Holy Spirit’s voice. I can’t say that I’m real clear yet, but I sense a plan developing that He will reveal more fully as time goes on. I’m excited to think that in these days when there are so many voices in the world claiming to have truth, that the Holy Spirit Himself will reveal the TRUE TRUTH through yielded and submitted vessels who will speak forth with boldness the Word of God.
Acts 4:31 says, “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.” (KJV)
Prayer first – establishing our dependency on God and standing in the flow of His power, being filled again with the Holy Spirit. Then, and only then, will the Word of God come forth with boldness.
For most of my life, I’ve struggled with boldness. In my youth, I feared people so much that standing in front of them literally knocked the breath out of me. Even now there are times when I stand before a group or congregation that it is difficult to catch my breath. Boldness! I long to speak with boldness…being convinced in my heart that it is God speaking through me to bring conviction to the lost and encouragement to those who are of the household of faith.
It’s not the power I seek … it’s the Source of the power. I long to know the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob more than ever before. I long to stand in His presence and anointing and open my mouth as He fills it with words from His heart to the hearts of the hearers.
The book of Acts is full of mass-conversions—large numbers of people quickly responding to the truth of the Gospel, the plan of salvation. Why don’t we see this response here in the States or more developed countries? Why must we travel to third-world countries to find people who are actually hungry for the Word and who will eagerly respond when presented with the Truth? Why have we become so unmoved by the Gospel? And, why do so many in our churches lack a true relationship with Jesus Christ?
There is such a burden in my heart this morning (even before I’ve had my first cup of coffee) to see the book of Acts come alive in our country as well as in India and Africa and Europe—the whole world!
If you’re reading this, pray that God will give you a burden to read Acts and begin to pray about how you can make a difference—how you can be used like the apostles to lead the religious and faithful church-goers to a living and growing relationship with Jesus Christ … not just on Sunday morning but every minute of every day for the rest of their lives.
Lord, let the Book of Acts come alive in our own hearts, in our homes, our communities, and our churches. And, give those of us who are willing to be used the boldness to open our mouths and speak as You give us the words to lead those dead in religion into a true and abiding relationship with Jesus Christ through His shed blood and atoning sacrifice on Calvary. Amen!
© 2009 Jan Ross
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