Online Christian Daily Devotion - The Word Among Us Magazine Mediations:
Today’s reading is a good example. Luke tells us that the Holy Spirit filled the disciples, and that they spoke the word of God “with boldness” (Acts 4:31). But wait a minute! Earlier in the same chapter, a Spirit-filled Peter was already witnessing boldly about Christ (4:8). And weren’t Peter and the other disciples all filled with the Holy Spirit back in Acts 2:4? Later in Acts, the Holy Spirit falls on Cornelius and everyone who was with Peter (10:44). And again, the Spirit filled the disciples at Ephesus when Paul laid hands on them (19:6).One Bread, One Body:
Evidently, being filled with the Spirit can happen more than once! If you sift through Acts and other places in Scripture, you’ll find that being filled with the Holy Spirit happens again and again. The only logical conclusion is that it’s central to the gospel message. And that’s just the point God wants to teach us: If we but ask, Jesus is willing to give us this precious gift in greater and greater depth, time and time again!
These stories show us that we need to continually drink of the Spirit, recognizing our constant need for God and not relying on our past experiences. They show us that we need to yield every area of our lives to him so that he can sanctify us and equip us to build up the body of Christ.
A persecution was beginning to rage that would ultimately result in the brutal murder-martyrdom of several believers. How was the early Church to come out of the darkness of fear and violence? They gathered together for prayer, and the Lord gave them a prophecy to reassure them (Acts 4:25, 26; Ps 2). Then they were given a specific intercessory prayer: "Grant to Your servants, even as they speak Your words, complete assurance by stretching forth Your hand in cures and signs and wonders to be worked in the name of Jesus, Your holy Servant" (Acts 4:29-30). They had obviously received divine enlightenment, for "the place where they were gathered shook as they prayed. They were filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak God's word with confidence" (Acts 4:31)."Pray to God, row to shore" the saying goes.
How often do we do one or the other?
Today's reading shows that the Apostles led the infant Church in doing both. Peter and John had acted; they had preached Christ crucified in the temple. The Sanhedrin imprisoned them for it. When they were released, Peter and John returned to the community, and together, they prayed. What thanksgiving they offered up! What intercession they made! What profound Grace they received!
We do not need to depend on our own strength. We need not rely on our past commitments to determine our present course. At every moment, the Holy Spirit stands with us, ready to overshadow us anew. All we need to do is ask. And let him!