We are still in the beginning stages of studying the Book of Acts, but one thing is already certain: If you and I are going to do something great for God, it will attract opposition from the enemy. Whatever opposition you may be facing today, prioritize prayer, continue with purpose and receive the boldness that comes from His presence. Then you will be able to say like King David, a man well acquainted with opposition: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all” (Psalm 34:19 ESV).
A snowball effect by definition is a process that starts from an initial state of small significance and builds upon itself gaining momentum and impacting everything around it. One step of faith in your life can build to greater and greater steps of faith. One person in our community who chooses to step out and do what God has called them to inspires us all to go and do likewise.
God is very likely to set you up in a place around people that have rejected faith in order to perform His miracle. This could be in your home, your workplace, your school, and your city. And just as Peter and John were prepared to offer hope to those that have rejected Jesus, so must we be ready to pray for God’s blessings to those around us that would repent as a result.
God wants to perform miracles in your life because He wants those around you to receive the blessing that faith in Jesus brings as well!
Repentance relieves the burden of our sin, guilt, and shame. When we repent and believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we receive peace with God and the peace of God. Our relationship with God is reconciled. We have been justified by faith in the person and saving work of Jesus Christ on the cross and His resurrection.
From as early as I can remember, I learned that Jesus loved me and that I wanted to love Him with my whole heart. But despite my best efforts, I would find myself in negative thought patterns, having moments of anger, being tempted to hide the truth, feeling shame or fear, the list goes on. My walk with Jesus felt close at times and at other times, it felt so far away. I didn’t know much about the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, until later in my adolescent years. I didn’t know that there was a power from God available to me, to help me live for Him every day.
You’ll notice that the key to us thriving as Christians and growing in our faith is that we’re planted in God’s house. Of all the environments we find ourselves in during our daily or weekly routine, the healthiest and most nourishing place to be for ourselves and our families is God’s house – with God’s people!
There is no better place to begin than in prayer when fulfilling the Great Commission.
The disciples returned to Jerusalem and obeyed what Jesus commanded them to do. They went to the upper room and prayed in one accord for 10 days, along with 120 believers. What is notable is that after they prayed, and received the Holy Spirit, they did not stay in the upper room. They all went out in His power and were busy discipling and teaching others as Jesus commanded.
Let’s learn from the early church and disciples – PRAY and GO! Apply the pattern of prayer and action to herald the Good News that Jesus is alive and here to set the captives free, and adding to His church.
The call to “GO!” is not a passive suggestion; it is a mandate for the church to actively be salt and light in the world. By flavoring the world with God’s love, preserving moral standards, and shining the light of Christ in the darkest corners, believers fulfill the purpose of the church – to bring the message of God’s love to a world in desperate need of hope and redemption.
Without the love and grace of God, there would be no incarnation. Without the cradle, there would be no saving cross; without the cross, there would be no payment for our sins. Without this sufficient payment, there would be no resurrection from the dead and no promise of eternal life. But praise God that He so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
At Christmas, we often sing the song, “Joy to the World”, a song that announces the good news about the birth of Jesus, who is Lord and King over all the world. A key lyric in the song includes this: “Let every heart prepare Him room and Heaven and nature sing.” We sing this phrase with excitement and often times casually, but what does it mean to prepare Him (Jesus) room in our hearts?