“Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.”
We have insight through Scripture of what the early church experienced as they grew and prospered. Many times we try to create ways for our churches to prosper but the model for ministry is laid forth through the New Testament, especially in the book of Acts.
Churches today don’t need new programs or events to draw people to their church. They need the power of God intervening through the work of the Holy Spirit. We need to get back to the basics of what the Scriptures set forth as an example of how a church can prosper.
Acts 9:31 gives us 4 specific ingredients that are proven to make the power of God come alive. First, we notice that the church experienced peace. We should promote peace with one another in fellowship. People gravitate to places where there is peace and calmness. On the other hand people run away from people who are bitter towards one another.
Second, we see that the early church was edified. The word means to build up. Specifically the church was built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ. We too allow the power of God to make us prosper when we preach and teach the doctrine of Jesus’ death and resurrection. No other doctrine can withstand tribulation and persecution. The church today can only be built with the mindset that Jesus is Lord.
Thirdly, we read that the churches were walking in fear of the Lord. The new Christians reverenced God and were convicted of their sins. God can only bless what is right. If His people are not confessing sin and striving for holiness we are hindered from growing and prospering. We must reverence God through worship and praise. We must follow the example of fearing God.
Last, we see the church being comforted by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was promised by Jesus to come as our comforter. The Holy Spirit guides and directs us to the things of God so we can be purposeful. We all have a purpose and God calls us to do His will.
These 4 ingredients stand as a model for what it takes for us to grow and prosper as a church and individuals. We all play an important part in the work of God. Have you discovered what your purpose is as a follower of Christ? Are you part of a church that is purposely growing and building the kingdom of Heaven? You are part of God’s plan.
Lord, give us peace and let us be built upon the foundation of Jesus. We serve and honor you as our Lord. Let Your Spirit strengthen us to do a work that is greater than us.