Posted by Mark Labuschagne on Sunday, March 13, 2011
The Power of the Holy Spirit
Jesus promised the disciples that after he left, the Holy Spirit would bring them power. Little did they know just what kind of power! As they learned firsthand, the Holy Spirit and his power are real. When we compare Peter in the Gospels with Peter in the book of Acts, we see that his life was changed. When we look at Saul doing his utmost to destroy the early church and then see his dedicated missionary service, we can tell that he was radically transformed by God. The power of God changed their hearts and gave them confidence to tell the truth about him. In our powerlessness, God makes his power available to us through the Holy Spirit. With his help, no problem is too great to overcome; no life is so far gone that it cannot be made new.
Commitment that Overcomes Opposition
Luke did not idealize the people of the early church. They did not have an easy task that swiftly and smoothly moved to its objective. Instead they struggled with controversy, opposition, and discouragement. They were misunderstood by religious and irreligious people alike (Nothing much has changed). But their common bond was a commitment to God at any cost. As we commit our life to God, we can expect to face obstacles, but we can also expect to overcome any problems or opposing forces with God's power.
Living beyond Circumstances
When we read about the early Christians and how they shared what they had and took care of each other, it is easy to think that somehow they did not experience the kind of problems we do. This was not the case. They learnt how to live above their circumstances. They weren't in denial; they were more conscious of God that they were of their problems. When we focus on our problems, we lose sight of our source of power. We try to generate the power from within, only to fail and become discouraged. It does not good to deny or ignore our circumstances, but it does a world of good to trust God and turn our life and our circumstances over to him.
Sharing the Message
As the disciples and others came to faith in Jesus Christ, they shared the good news with others. God's healing power is good news! As we share the message of our own spiritual awakening with others in need, we share the good news of God's healing power, as did those early disciples. In doing so, we become stronger in our own faith in God.