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Peter and John went back to their own people and told them all about what the religious leaders had said to them. When everyone heard this, they raised their voices as one, together, in prayer to God.
“Sovereign Lord,” they said, “You made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. We remember what King David said long ago by the Holy Spirit. He said, ‘Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot and plan for nothing? The kings and the rulers gang up together against the Lord and His Anointed One.’
“David said that. And God, that is exactly what has happened! Our religious leaders, government leaders, the Jews, the not-Jews have all ganged up together to plot against Your Holy Jesus, the One You anointed. But even so, they just ended up doing what Your power and will had decided should happen long ago, just like our King David said. To the world it was looking like You’d lost the fight, but really it was Your plan all along.
“Now, Lord, as far their threats against us… give us that supernatural courage to speak Your Good News and Truth with great boldness. Stretch out Your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of Jesus.”
When all the followers of God joined themselves as one in asking God these things, the place where they were meeting started shaking. And they were all overflowing with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly, just like they’d asked!
Did you notice how even though Peter and John and the other apostles had a special assignment from God, the others didn’t just stand on the sidelines and clap for Peter and John and say, “Good job, guys. Keep it up.”
They could see that this Holy Spirit boldness and courage was what God wanted for ALL His children — every single person who wears His name is part of His Family. From the least to the greatest, the youngest to the oldest.
All the believers were one in heart and mind, joined close, close, close together every day. No one said or acted like any of their stuff was their own, but they shared everything they had.
With great power the apostles continued to courageously say what they’d seen of Jesus coming back to life.
And God’s grace, His undeserved kindness, was so powerfully working in all God’s Family, that there were no needy persons among them. There wasn’t anyone who went hungry or needed clothes or a place to sleep.
Did you know that for people just to get along with each other is a miracle — a miracle not so different from a person being raised from the dead. It’s just that powerful. King David, in one of his songs, sang:
“How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together as one! It’s like expensive oil on the head, running down on the beard. It’s like dew on the mountains of Zion. It’s where the Lord’s Blessing — LIFE FOREVER — will be available.”
So there’s something special about the nature of God’s Church. Their Oneness, their daily Together-Life is very special and very unique. It was true at the beginning of God’s New Covenant, and it’s still true now. Wanna see?
I know these people! I’m not making this up. It’s for Real. For people from different backgrounds, and experiences, and personalities to be able to understand each other, and like each other, and get along with each other, is a miracle.
To turn around from our own opinions and ways of doing things and to be able to walk in harmony with others — one heart, one mind, one purpose — that can only happen by the Holy Spirit’s Work and Pleasure. And this is what Daily Church Life always looks like when the Risen Jesus is ALIVE in His Family! So, Look for it! Even now! And don’t let anyone tell you it’s not for today.
Remember, many of these people hadn’t lived in Jerusalem before. They’d thought they were just coming for a short party. So they didn’t have houses or land or possessions or jobs in Jerusalem at all. They only had whatever they’d packed in their suitcases for the trip. So there were probably a lot of needs!
So from time to time people who owned land or houses just sold them. They brought the money they made from the sale, and gave it the apostles. And that money was given to anyone who had need.
This is how life as followers of Jesus is meant to be. Can you picture it? From the least to the greatest, all of the Christians joined together with One heart. Worshiping together with one spirit. Praying together with one mind. Sharing life together every day. Sharing all they owned with each other. They didn’t call any of they’re stuff “mine,” but instead they looked out for others’ needs before their own.
They lived as a Family. That’s how it was meant to be. That’s always what God wanted. And it’s still what He wants. This is what Church is — God’s Children daily living in Oneness. Remember that protecting wall in Nehemiah’s time? Well, now the Real Protecting Wall is going up! God’s Children walking in Oneness together and being built together by His Holy Spirit. It was happening! For Real. And still is. Don’t let anyone tell you any differently.