December 22, 2020 CAC Living Water Devotional : Topic – THE CHURCH IS BORN
LIVING WATER CAC DAILY DEVOTIONAL GUIDE
Tuesday, December 22, 2020
THE CHURCH IS BORN
Read: Acts 2:14, 37-47
Acts 2:14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: You Jews and all you residents of Jerusalem, let this be [explained] to you so that you will know and understand; listen closely to what I have to say.
Acts 2:37-47 Now when they heard this they were stung (cut) to the heart, and they said to Peter and the rest of the apostles (special messengers), Brethren, what shall we do?
And Peter answered them, Repent (change your views and purpose to accept the will of God in your inner selves instead of rejecting it) and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of and release from your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
For the promise [of the Holy Spirit] is to and for you and your children, and to and for all that are far away, [even] to and for as many as the Lord our God invites and bids to come to Himself.
And [Peter] solemnly and earnestly witnessed (testified) and admonished (exhorted) with much more continuous speaking and warned (reproved, advised, encouraged) them, saying, Be saved from this crooked (perverse, wicked, unjust) generation.
Therefore those who accepted and welcomed his message were baptized, and there were added that day about 3,000 souls.
And they steadfastly persevered, devoting themselves constantly to the instruction and fellowship of the apostles, to the breaking of bread [including the Lord’s Supper] and prayers.
And a sense of awe (reverential fear) came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were performed through the apostles (the special messengers).
And all who believed (who adhered to and trusted in and relied on Jesus Christ) were united and [together] they had everything in common;
And they sold their possessions (both their landed property and their movable goods) and distributed the price among all, according as any had need.
And day after day they regularly assembled in the temple with united purpose, and in their homes they broke bread [including the Lord’s Supper]. They partook of their food with gladness and simplicity and generous hearts,
Constantly praising God and being in favor and goodwill with all the people; and the Lord kept adding [to their number] daily those who were being saved [from spiritual death].
And I tell you, you are Peter [Greek, Petros—a large piece of rock], and on this rock [Greek, petra—a huge rock like Gibraltar] I will build My church, and the gates of Hades (the powers of the infernal region) shall not overpower it [or be strong to its detriment or hold out against it]. (Matthew 16:18).
A large crowd gathered around the house where the Holy Spirit had come down in an amazing way and filled the Apostles with power. Peter, who was filled with the Holy Spirit, boldly started preaching to the crowd, telling them what prophet Joel said: God will pour out His Spirit on everyone (Joel 2:28). When the people heard Peter’s words, they felt guilty about their sin and asked, And Peter answered them, Repent (change your views and purpose to accept the will of God in your inner selves instead of rejecting it) and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of and release from your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (v.38). Many believed and were baptised, and about three thousand people were added to the church that day. They started to meet in groups; they shared whatever they owned, and they worshipped in the Temple area everyday.
While the disciples were gathered in a room, not knowing what would happen next, it was as though the Lord was busy forming the Church; preparing it to be born. On the day the Holy Spirit came down, the disciples burst into the streets with the message of Jesus. Immediately, the Church started to grow as thousands came to know Jesus. Suddenly, the new-born Church became active, grew, and had a purpose. They met for worship, prayer, and breaking of bread (communion). They eagerly listened to the apostle’s teaching. They shared what they owned and gave money to the poor. They used third spiritual gifts, and miracles happened. As they preached the Word of God, many turned from their sin and were saved. Those who were saved joined the group of believers, and the living Church grew.
1. Dear Father, give us the grace and endowment to continually increase the membership of the militant church.
2. Preserve Your Church, O Lord, from the defilement that seek to stain her.
3. O Lord, help the Church to remain focus on her divine mandate and to remain heaven-bound.
EXTRA READING FOR TODAY: Nahum 1-3; Habakkuk 1