Acts 4:29-30- “And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word. Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
Acts 4:32-35- “All the believers were united in heart and mind, and they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all. There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need.”
What a beautiful picture of unity in the body of Christ! Peter and John have just been released after being arrested and questioned by the leaders of the Jewish law. They return to the believers and report all that has happened to them. This prompts all of them to pray for courage to preach the word more boldly (Acts 4:29-30). They could have been praying for protection and deliverance from the persecution taking place, but they chose to pray for courage even in the midst of persecution so that they could carry the gospel further. Wow! And then the Holy Spirit falls on them and answers their prayers. All of this causes them to be drawn together as one body; they begin taking care of all the believers so that no one was in need. (Acts 4:32-35) Can you imagine the body of Christ coming together in such a way where they can meet the needs of all the believers? How selfless and beautiful!
I want my life to be a reflection of Christ with the same kind of unity, courage and generosity we see in these believers in Acts 4. We can see their unity as they pray and believe together as a church, and then again as they are meeting each other’s needs. It’s so easy for us to get caught up in our own lives and our own requests to God. We can focus internally so much that we miss the pain and needs of others right in front of us. Yet, we can learn from these believers that God has called us to boldly proclaim the gospel so that everyone can know Him (even in trials and pain), and He has called us to take care of those that are in need among us. We might not be able to sell our property and homes to give the profit away, but we can all do something for someone in need. We serve a generous God who has called us to this type of generosity. He is the giver of all good things!
Father, thank you for the example you give us in your Word of how the body of Christ should live. In times of trouble, we are to seek your courage to continue to share the Gospel with those that don’t know you, even when others oppose us. Let your Holy Spirit give us courage and may we be a light in this dark world to proclaim the good news to the world, boldly… without fear. May we live our lives full of generosity, doing good for those that are in need. As you continue to provide for us, help us to always have a heart to provide for others. Thank you that you hear us and answer our prayers. We love you! Amen