The Inherent Power of The Word of The Lord
But the word of the Lord continued to grow and to be multiplied. (Acts 12:24)
The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith. (Acts 6:7)
Many also of those who had believed kept coming, confessing and disclosing their practices. And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing. (Acts 19:18-20)
The early church is our guide. These first century believers modeled for us the way church is to be and I’m so thankful for this recorded history of a church that moved in power and saw God-initiated results.
All along the way, (as one of our pastors said Sunday) God gives us “progress reports” about the growth and multiplication of the church. But this morning, I noticed that in Acts 12 there is a slightly different wording about this report. This is also found in two other reports in Acts 6 and 19.
“The Word of the Lord” is what is mentioned. God speaks in His Word with perfect precision, so there is intent in this wording. There’s something for us to see. I believe He is reminding us of the inherent power of the Word. God’s Word was being shared and growing in its use and application and, as a result, the church was exploding.
When God finds a people who are willing to surrender their agendas and live for His purposes, and they look to His word and trust its simple truth, His Word is unleashed through us to do its powerful work. The writer of Hebrews says that the Word of God is a “sharp-two-edged sword” (it cuts going and coming) and it divides between what is soulish and spiritual and discerns the very thoughts and intents of men’s hearts. (Heb. 4:12)
…OF THE LORD
It is not just words on a page, of course. But God’s Word is God speaking as literally and powerfully as if He were standing right in the room. That’s because…He is! He is unseen, but not unreal. His presence attends His Word when it is read, spoken, preached, shared in a parking lot, read in our families.
It would bring incredible good to our lives to remember this. His Word is powerfully helpful to our families. One of our elders recently, in a moment of his young son’s greatest need simply read Romans 8 over him. The power of the passage combined with the work the Spirit of God was doing in his life shattered years of rebellion and brought him to full surrender.
So, what is the application? We can live as Acts Christians and have an Acts church if we are willing to pay the price. We must turn from our silly, ineffective practices and trust the inherent power of God’s Word and Spirit. We should study it to know what He is saying. We should not despise or quench the Spirit as He speaks to us. We should obey God’s every Word as it comes to us and we should share it with unashamed boldness, turning from every attempt to add to its truth.
The world is waiting right now for a people who will trust and live out the Word of God in the power of His mighty Spirit. Will you be that person and your church become that church?
©2013 Bill Elliff. Originally posted by Bill Elliff on The Summit Blog.