The Christians in Acts were called Followers of the Way.  It was a new way of living  based on experience.  And after experiencing it, the Followers of the Way would not recant under  Roman persecution or torture ….ending in martyrdom.  They couldn’t recant.  Because their experience was more than just the “promise” of heaven.  They had not just “learned it”.   They had “lived it”.   They had seen glimpses of the power of God in their lives, they had felt His power, and they would not deny their experience of “a living God”. And they would not worship a Roman emperor as god.   

Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, was condemned to death  by the emperor Trajan. These are the words of St. Ignatius as he was taken to Rome to face the lions: 

Rather, coax the wild beasts, that they may become a tomb for me and leave no part of my body behind, that I may burden no one once I have died. Then I will truly be a disciple of Jesus Christ…” 

After the death of Ignatius and hearing of the saint’s great courage, Trajan thought well of him and stopped the persecution against the Christians. 

Their strength and courage was not of human will power, but the strength and will power of the Holy Spirit…..”who dwelt within them”.   

We have that same Holy Spirit….and that same power, strength, and courage.  But with the passing of time, we have gotten “comfortable”.  And the practice of calling on the name of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit  in our daily lives has gone unused…..hence, we have “forgotten” and have lost the “experience”.   

As we look around at our world, our nation, and our families we need  help…..and like Hilkiah and King Josiah, it’s time to remember who we are, where we come from, and what we have been given.   



Acts 9:2 

Acts 19:9 

Acts 22:4 

Acts 24:14 

Isaiah 58:9 

2 Kings 22: 8-13 

Ephesians 5:14 

2 Timothy 1:6 

PRAYER FOCUS:     Awaken me to the Holy Spirit  within me so that I might  “call on His Name” in my life and in the lives of those around me.   


THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:  Isaiah 58 was a guide for the people in 700 BC…. 

it works for today too. 

~ Written by Gene Bennett