Key Verse: Acts 5:41, 6:7
So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name…Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.
“Believers were increasingly added” (5:14). “You have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine” (5:28). “The number of disciples was multiplying” (6:1). “The disciples multiplied greatly” (6:7). Here is a theme repeated over and over. This is the way God intends His Church to grow. We should ask ourselves the question, “Are we seeing growth in our Churches?” Here we find the growth came because new believers were added. There are many local churches, but only one Church. Transferring believers from one congregation to another does not constitute growth for the whole Church. The gate pictured above is the traditional site where Stephen was stoned to death. We can expect strong opposition when large numbers are being converted to Christ. We may want to take our spiritual temperature. If we are content to remain as a handful of believers who just bless each other in a local church, we may be almost dead and not know it.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord Jesus, please grant me the great privilege of bringing new people to You today. May I never be content with just maintaining the numbers of believers as it is presently. Show me in a heart-wrenching way that people are lost eternally without You. Give me a passion to win souls to Yourself and to eternal life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
As a teen, I read “Passion for Souls,” a book by Oswald J. Smith. I was never content after that to lavish the blessings of Christ on myself, forgetting about lost people. I felt that I was a most selfish person if I would keep the Good News of Jesus and eternal life to myself. Sharing Christ became an absolute essential. If that was not happening in my personal contacts and eventually in the churches I pastored, I became desperate in my prayers, arising earlier and earlier in the mornings to pray. I knew that I could not do this on my own, and that the power of God came upon me directly in proportion to the way I prayed in my private times with God. If you should ever read my biographical sketch on the internet, please read between the lines and know that everything of eternal value that may be there has been born and has thrived out of a “passion for souls.” [NOTE: After David’s passing on September 25, 2017, a memorial website was created, which includes a brief biography. You can visit it HERE].
Yours to help us become believers like those in today’s reading,