God’s Word of Spiritual Renewal
Acts 4:23-37: Peter and John return to the other followers and report what the Council had said. The believers join together and pray for boldness to speak the Lord’s message. They continue to meet and pray and share their possessions so that no one would be in need.
They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to proclaim God’s message with boldness.
The Believers Pray for Boldness
23As soon as Peter and John were set free, they returned to their group and told them what the chief priests and the elders had said. 24 When the believers heard it, they all joined together in prayer to God: “Master and Creator of heaven, earth, and sea, and all that is in them! 25 By means of the Holy Spirit you spoke through our ancestor David, your servant, when he said,
‘Why were the Gentiles furious;
why did people make their useless plots?
26The kings of the earth prepared themselves,
and the rulers met together
against the Lord and his Messiah.’
27 For indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together in this city with the Gentiles and the people of Israel against Jesus, your holy Servant, whom you made Messiah. 28They gathered to do everything that you by your power and will had already decided would happen. 29And now, Lord, take notice of the threats they have made, and allow us, your servants, to speak your message with all boldness. 30Reach out your hand to heal, and grant that wonders and miracles may be performed through the name of your holy Servant Jesus.”
31When they finished praying, the place where they were meeting was shaken. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to proclaim God's message with boldness.
The Believers Share Their Possessions
32 The group of believers was one in mind and heart. None of them said that any of their belongings were their own, but they all shared with one another everything they had. 33With great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God poured rich blessings on them all. 34There was no one in the group who was in need. Those who owned fields or houses would sell them, bring the money received from the sale, 35and turn it over to the apostles; and the money was distributed according to the needs of the people.
36And so it was that Joseph, a Levite born in Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “One who Encourages”), 37sold a field he owned, brought the money, and turned it over to the apostles.
Describe the believers’ prayer (verses 24-30). What happened immediately after they prayed? Have you ever experienced the power of the Holy Spirit while praying? In verses 32-37 we learn that, from the beginning, the believers met to pray and share their possessions. Can you envision what it would be like if people everywhere followed this example?
Almighty God, you are master and creator of heaven, earth, and sea and all that is in them. Empower me to speak your message with boldness and to share what I have with those in need. God of wonder and miracles, I pray in the name of your Son Jesus. Amen.
Faith communities with limited financial resources
Acts 7:1-22: Stephen defends himself before the Council.