Today's Foundations Devotional: Impact upon the whole community

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Memory verse:

And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of

the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.

(Acts 4:33)

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With Pentecost, the believers received supernatural power. The evidence and outworking of this new, supernatural power are conspicuous in the ensuing chapters of the book of Acts.

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness (4:31).

And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resur- rection of the Lord Jesus (4:33).

The high priest complained to the apostles:

And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine (5:28).

The same city-shaking impact continued to make itself felt thereafter in every place where the early Christians presented the testimony of the risen Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.

For instance, we read concerning Samaria: “And there was great joy in that city (8:8).”

Concerning the city of Antioch in Pisidia, it says: “And the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the Word of God.” (13:44)

In the city of Philippi the opponents of the gospel complained concerning Paul and Silas: “These men, being Jews, exceedingly trouble our city.” (16:20)

In Thessalonica the opponents of the gospel said of Paul and Silas: ”These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.” (17:6)

As a result of the opposition to Paul’s preaching in Ephesus: ”The whole city was filled with confusion.” (19:29)

One common feature marked the advent of these early Christian witnesses in every place: a mighty spiritual impact upon the whole community. In some places there was a revival, in some there was a riot; quite often there were both together. But there were two things that could not survive this impact: ignorance and indifference.

Today, in many places, the conduct and experience of professing Christians are very different. This applies even to many groups of Christians who have a genuine experience of the new birth. They meet regularly in a church building for worship; they lead decent, respectable lives; they cause no trouble; they provoke no riots; they arouse no opposition. But, alas! They make no impact. In the community all around them, ignorance and indifference concerning spiritual things prevail, unchanged and unchallenged.

The vast majority of their neighbours neither know nor care what these Christians believe or why they attend church.

What is lacking? The answer lies in one word: power. The explosive dynamite of the Holy Spirit has been left out of these Christians’ lives. And nothing else can take its place.

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Prayer:

Lord Jesus, how I long for that dynamite power from on high,

that set thousands of Your children on fire in the first Church ...

Do this work also in my life, Lord, so that my life is a visible

witness to Your greatness! Amen.

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