Friday, February 01, 2013



The disciples of Jesus waited in Jerusalem as they were directed to do. They were waiting for the Spirit to come upon them to give them power for bearing witness of Jesus throughout the world. Well, the Spirit showed up alright with an undeniable presence! He showed up with a loud, rushing wind and tongues of fire appeared to them and the disciples began speaking in other languages. It caused such a stir that a great crowd gathered to see what was going on. Then, they not only saw, but they heard the disciples speaking in the many languages of the people gathered there. You see, this was the first world-wide witnessing event, all set up by God to bear witness to the business "executives" of the world. From that event the message of Jesus spread naturally through these business leaders of the world.

When the disciples were accused of being drunk so early in the morning, Peter stood up and articulately presented the message of Jesus to the crowd. He said, 22"Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know" Peter points out the miracles Jesus performed that authenticated Him as from God and notes that his audience were eye-witnesses of these works.
23"this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. 24"But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power." He tells them, "You effectively put Jesus to death, BUT GOD RAISED HIM UP AGAIN, putting an end to the stress of death."

Peter then sums up his message with: 36"Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ-this Jesus whom you crucified." 37Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brethren, what shall we do?" Their response was amazing. They were persuaded by Peter's explanation of the day's event and asked, "What shall we do?"

Now NOTE the results of this powerful event and Peter's message: 41So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls.

NOTE the 12 evidences of their faith in Jesus: 42They were continually devoting themselves to the (1) apostles' teaching and to (2) fellowship, to the (3) breaking of bread and to (4) prayer. 43Everyone kept (5) feeling a sense of awe (feeling the presence of God among them); and (6) many wonders and signs (there was evidence of things that only God could do among them and they noticed the "God-things" among them) were taking place through the apostles. 44And (7) all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; 45and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need (they were sensitive to the needs of one another and operated as a family, taking care of each other). 46 (8) Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple (they were doing life together, day-in and day-out), and (9)breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart (they enjoyed themselves thoroughly as they learned to hang out together for dinners and parties in their homes), 47 (10) praising God (they were careful to give God the credit for what was going on and were grateful to Him) and (11) having favor with all the people (this was a remarkable effect where the masses of people were attracted to the light and the love of the fellowship they observed) (12) and the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Now, NOTE that the Lord added others to their fellowship daily. But that's not the insight here. Here's the key. How were these people added to the fellowship daily?

FIRST-There was no evangelistic program within the fellowship with training sessions and a variety of witnessing tools.

SECOND-The only thing that was done by the believers was to practice being together, learning to love one another.

THIRD-It was the Lord Who added others to the fellowship and only the Lord is able to do so. Any other "addition" is filled with hype and is, at best, man-made.

Again, we are faced with the most basic truth of all. ONLY GOD CHANGES LIVES AND BRINGS PEOPLE INTO HIS FELLOWSHIP. This is why we must continue to hang out with Jesus and His people!