“And the word of God increased;
and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly;
and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith”
This is a verse filled with things that relate only to the Kingdom of God. Three things are worthy of note here.
1. The Word of God increased (spread out, in influence and effect)
2. The Number of Disciples Multiplied Greatly
3. A Great company were Obedient to THE FAITH
This is in stark CONTRAST to what we see in our land today. The Word of God was spreading among the people like wild fire. The number of Disciples (not children of God, not attendees, not pew sitters but true DISCIPLES) multiplied GREATLY! Disciples in those days were ones who heard the call to “pick up their cross and follow” HIM. The command of Jesus was and is to go and MAKE DISCIPLES, not converts. The message is called the Gospel of the KINGDOM and it can only be ministered in the FAITH of those who have been disciplined, broken and energized by the Life of the SON. We also read here of an OBEDIENCE to the FAITH which is not an adherence to someone’s teaching, ‘statement of faith”, or doctrine of belief. This is THE FAITH that first and foremost must be obeyed within the lives of those who hold it. Any faith that does not require obedience, cross bearing and a laying down of our rights, is powerless, futile and impotent. It is because of this that we see so little of the Word of God spreading throughout our communities, our homes, and our country. FAITH without works IS DEAD.
A FAITH that costs nothing is worth nothing!
Where is that Word that is effecting change, bringing deliverance and radically transforming the lives of those who are gripped with the wonder of HIS LIFE? Let us not settle for the status quo with little change, no repentance, carnal strife and division, speaking and doing of evil to one another, and a lack of care and concern over the spiritual condition of our brothers and sisters. We should be grieved over the CONTRAST between what is today and what was in that day when the HOLY SPIRIT was present moving, birthing, and holding all things together in the bonds of HIS peace and brotherly love. It is time to turn from the ways and methods of men that have a semblance of order but are utterly devoid of the manifestations of HIS LIFE and GLORY. The church often acts much like Gideon threshing a little bit of wheat hoping that no one comes along and takes his little harvest. We see churches in the land doing everything in THEIR POWER to keep the membership steady, to hold on to the few that remain. Rather we should be breaking forth in the power and glory of HIS MIGHT, that the rulers of this world will take note that we not only HAVE BEEN WITH JESUS, but that WE ARE HIS BODY. This is not some idealistic concept; it is what JESUS PRAYED FOR. Who cannot believe that what HE prayed for MUST come to pass? Faith is the power that puts motion and fire within our hearts to see this become the reality in the earth.
THY WILL BE DONE IN EARTH AS (to the same degree) IT IS IN HEAVEN!
“The true follower of Christ will not ask,
“If I embrace this truth, what will it cost me?”
Rather he will say,
“This is truth. God help me to walk in it, let come what may!”
A. W. Tozer