E100 Devotion – Day 72July 16, 2012
Reading: Acts 3:1-4:37
It’s important to see that when the church (or individual Christian) is rightly positioned, it is functioning in the offensive, not the defensive. The corrupt religious system was not on the offensive against the Church. The Church was on the offensive against them. The Church knew their purpose, and it was the same as God’s purpose.
“…For this purpose was the Son of God manifest, to destroy the works of the devil.
1 John 3:8
The early church advanced when it was on the offensive against the works of the devil. They advanced when they were led by the Spirit to heal a lame man who had begged at the gate Beautiful most of his life.
This man wasn’t quiet about it either. After 40 years of being disabled now he was not only walking, but also leaping and praising God! This immediately got attention and drew a crowd. Peter tells them that this man was healed not by any virtue of their own but by the authority and power of the name of Jesus Christ, whom they had crucified! He preaches boldly and warns them of the consequences they’ll face if they don’t repent.
The corrupt religious leaders and rulers go on the defensive; but how do you defend against a miracle healing? The best they can do is to threaten them not to teach in the name of Jesus. Their response was again aggressive – not reactive or self-protective. They ask who should they listen to, the God who just performed this great miracle, or them.
If that wasn’t enough, they gather together and celebrate their persecution and ask God to do what? Not protect them, but give them more boldness to preach the Word and to heal and do wonders and signs in the name of Jesus Christ. When they prayed the place was literally shaken and they were all filled with the Spirit and went out preaching. They also went out giving, and sharing with those who had been converted.
Boldness + Generosity = Revival Breakthrough.
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