Empowered by the Holy Spirit, the new church is off to a great start. The Lord adds to their numbers daily. They are on a roll.
Despite the amazing successes, the [Christian] movement faces internal and external pressures. With explosive growth comes many new challenges. The religious establishment, finding that the movement is not in line with their expectations, threatens to shut it down. Internal conflict over unmet expectations threatens its unity. The disciples find that their improvisational techniques are no longer sufficient to manage the growing movement.
—Linda Tower Pevey, We Are the Church … Let’s Act Like It: A Study on the Book of Acts (Upper Room Books, 2019)
What do you think contributed to the growth of early Christianity? Join the conversation.
When they [the council of religious leaders, elders, legal experts, and the high priest] called Peter and John back, they demanded that they stop all speaking and teaching in the name of Jesus.
Peter and John responded, “It’s up to you to determine whether it’s right before God to obey you rather than God. As for us, we can’t stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
—Acts 4:18-20 (CEB)
Prayer for the Week
Dear God, thank you for the power you have given us through your Holy Spirit. Help us to live as faithful disciples of Christ. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
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Prayer is one of the best ways to place yourself in God’s presence and deepen your spiritual life, so we offer this free downloadable resource Prayer Practices for Disciples as a gift to you in honor of The Upper Room Chapel’s 70th Anniversary. Download and learn more about the resource here.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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