As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.
My thoughts (Steve Adams):
When reading about these spectacular events, do you wonder why? I mean, how could all of these great things have happened at that particular time? A word jumps out at me from verse 42: those three thousand people who were baptized in response to Peter’s stirring sermon were devoted! Specifically, they devoted themselves to 1) the apostles’ teaching, 2) fellowship, 3) breaking of bread, and 4) prayers.
In verse 43 we see the apostles were “on fire,” doing many signs and wonders. But the movement didn’t include only the apostles. ALL who believed shared what they didn’t need with others who had need. So their minds were directed at God (as #1 and #4 above suggest), and helping others. It sounds like the most fun and satisfying way to live — eating their food with glad and generous hearts and praising God! And what was the result of this? They had favor with the other people.
And they grew! Their QUANTITY grew after the QUALITY of their relationships with God and other believers grew! I can imagine they were enthusiastically and spontaneously sharing what God was teaching them, what they were doing to help someone else in need, and what it was like telling someone “new” about God.
And it was a time of miracles! Miracles of healing seem quite rare these days, but I think God has allowed me to see at least one. Thirty years ago my father was in the hospital with a bleeding ulcer, confirmed by an endoscopy. My sister-in-law initiated a big prayer chain for healing. A second endoscopy the next day showed absolutely no signs of an ulcer, and no bleeding. The doctor said he wouldn’t have believed it if he hadn’t seen it himself!
Why do many devoted prayers for healing not get answered? That would be another discussion for another time. However, how great to know that God does sometimes grant us the miraculous, perhaps as a preview of what heaven will be like!
Thought for the day: Focusing on good teaching, fellowshipping with other Christians, and prayer helped the early Christians’ spiritual lives’ soar. Am I doing these things?
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.