Paul had just been converted to Christianity and was in Jerusalem, debating (and arguing) with the Hellenistic Jews.
The Jews were going to kill Paul, so the apostles put Paul on a boat and shipped him out of the country. There is an interesting sentence in the scriptures at that point:
ACTS 9:31 (KJV)
Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.
In the Greek the emboldened words have the following added meanings in our language:
Rest – peace ….(no longer arguing)
Edified – built up and emboldened
Fear of the Lord – reverential awe
Comfort – solace in times of trouble and exhortation
Multiplied – increase and abound
When we replace the words in scripture with their additional meanings we get the following:
ACTS 9:31 (KJV w/ meanings)
Then had the churches peace ….(no longer arguing) throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were built up and emboldened; and walking in the reverential awe of the Lord, and with solace in times of trouble and exhortation of the Holy Ghost, they increased and abound.
Then it becomes clear what the Holy Spirit did in the church and how the church responded:
Season of Peace
Church is built up
Members are emboldened, they speak up
Daily, lives change, walking in reverential awe of the Lord
Receive comfort and solace in times of trouble from the Holy Spirit
Receive exhortation and encouragement from the Holy Spirit
The Church increases in numbers and abounds in love and spiritual gifts
I see a similarity to where we are as a church today. As a church we have taken the first step…..the arguing (with the Methodist church) has stopped and we are at peace. The remaining steps lay before us,… walking in reverential awe of the Lord, we welcome the Holy Spirit. It is a good path to follow….it’s scriptural….and it’s the right road….it’s the road less traveled. We will be about the work of the Lord ……it’s exciting…..it’s joyful……you will want to bring others along…..it’s The Great Commission.
SCRIPTURES: ACTS 9: 26-31
ISAIAH 35: 8-10
JEREMIAH 6: 16
MATTHEW 7: 13-14
PSALM 51: 10-17
PRAYER FOCUS: Create in me a clean heart, and restore a right spirit within me.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Edifying and Multiplying….they go hand in hand. (Alistair Begg)
~ Written by Gene Bennett