Acts 4:29-31 NIV – Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
The two main elements of the early church’s prayer instruct us greatly. They asked the Lord to enable them to speak God’s word with great boldness, and for the Lord to stretch out his hand to heal and perform signs and wonders. What is difference between the mega-power of the early church and for our church today? There is no difference! We are part of God’s eternal church, from early history until Jesus returns. That same great power is at work in our lives and communities now.
When think about signs and wonders, we often overlook the signs and wonders that God has already done in our own lives. Have we not experienced healings, signs and wonders in our lives that have confirmed the gospel preached to us? Have we not experienced deliverance that has brought us to believe in Jesus as the risen Lord?
Today, let’s receive resurrection faith by worshiping with the song “Believe For It” by CeCe Winans (Click here).
As you do, pray: “Lord, stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders among us! In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Ephesians 1:18-23 NIV – I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
Resurrection faith begins when our hearts are opened wide to his incomparably great power for us. I always marvel at this passage. The same mighty strength – MEGA POWER – that raised Christ from the dead LIVES IN ME! It is rooted in the Gospel of Jesus’ death and resurrection, and now active in our lives through the working of the Holy Spirit. And we experience the fullness of the Lord as the body of Christ.
Prayer: “Lord, open the eyes of my heart to your resurrection mega-power in my life today. Jesus, help me see your fullness your church. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Let’s close by worshiping to the song “Resurrection Power” by Chris Tomlin (Click here).
Acts 4:32-34a NIV – All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them.
“Whether we think of Jesus putting the Sadducees straight on the subject, or Paul rebuking the Corinthians because some were saying there was no resurrection, the point is not vague speculation about ‘ the life beyond’ … but because what we believe about the future tells us something about the God we worship, what that worship should look like, and how the fact that God’s new creation has burst into the present time with Jesus’ own resurrection can and must energize and shape our work as his people.“ [N.T. Wright and M. Bird, The New Testament in Its World, pp. 294-295]
After lifting their voices together in desperation for God’s rescue, the church experienced breakthrough. Not only were they emboldened and empowered, they were given one heart and mind together – a “resurrection” mindset. They were united in message, mission and ministry.
Today, may our mindset be united with God’s heart for his church. Let’s pray: “Jesus, pour out your boldness and power in my life to testify to the resurrection in this generation. In Jesus’ name, Amen.“
Let’s close by singing, “In Christ Alone” by Passion (Click here).
Acts 4:33 NIV – With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all…
This verse is fascinating in how it describes the ministry of the apostles. The Greek word for great here is “mega.” There was mega-power and mega-grace going on. Notice that the mega-power centered on their testimony of the resurrection. What might be distinctive about this idea “great power”? This term is reminiscent of God’s great power in Exodus and Deuteronomy of delivering Israel from the hands of Egypt. Interestingly, just before this passage in 4:23-31, the church had prayed for God to stretch out his arm to heal and bring signs and wonders, which were also terms used for Israel’s experience in Egypt and in the wilderness. The Lord was now working a new exodus in the church, through the proclamation of the resurrection.
God’s mega-power is at work when we as his church testify to Christ’s resurrection. Our resurrection faith is worked out and expressed in a dying world. The mega-power of God delivers people from the power structures that enslave them. God’s mega-power is at work now delivering a new generation!
Today, let’s remember how the Lord has delivered us by worshiping to the song “Glorious Day” by Passion (Click here).
As you do, pray: “Lord, empower and equip me to testify of the Jesus’ resurrection today. Stretch out your hand of deliverance in the lives of those around me! In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Romans 10:9-10 NIV – If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
It is interesting that in Romans 10:9-10, we see that Jesus’ death on the cross is understood implicitly, but faith is expressed as believing that God raised him from the dead. The Gospel is the full story of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. The gospel we believe and proclaim must always include the resurrection, without which, as we read for our confession 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, we would have believed in vain, that is we would have believed for nothing.
Note in this passage the future tense “you will be saved”. This is where “Resurrection Faith” starts. We well remember the moment when we were saved, or for those given faith at a young age, we remember well the foundation of our lives. But salvation is past, present, and future. Resurrection faith produces hope for present and future salvation – imminent in our daily living, and also for eternity as we await Jesus’ return.
Today, may our hearts be renewed in the Easter resurrection reality. Let’s pray: “Jesus, I profess that you alone are Lord of my life. Give me resurrection faith today to live wholeheartedly for you.“
Let’s close by singing, “Christ Is Risen” by Phil Wickham (Click here).