~by Waylon Bailey
Luke wrote two volumes about Jesus and the work of the church. His second volume known as “The Acts of the Apostles” chronicles the work of the Holy Spirit in the church.
Luke’s special contribution is a series of summaries which show the blessings for the church and its growth all over the world.
“So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up; and, going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase” (Acts 9:31).
God blessed His church as they followed Him in obedience. Notice the special blessings which God gave to His church.
First, God gave them peace during difficult times. After the martyrdom of Stephen and James, Saul ravaged the church. That changed when the Lord appeared to Saul and Saul acknowledged Him as Lord. Saul journeyed to Jerusalem to meet the apostles and to give witness that Jesus was the Messiah who had been raised from the dead.
To protect him from hostile Jews, the believers sent him to Tarsus.
At that point Luke gives one of his summaries of growth. The church had peace in Judea, Galilee, and Samaria (apparently the extent of the growth of the church, excluding the churches started by those saved on the day of Pentecost).
Second, God strengthened the church. As they grew in knowledge and wisdom, the church became better prepared for the difficult days that lay ahead.
Third, the church continued in the fear of the Lord and the comfort of the Holy Spirit. Their obedience and faith resulted in the encouragement of the Holy Spirit. They were comforted in His presence as they lived in community and followed His guidance.
Fourth, the church increased. Notice the extent to which the church had grown. It extended not only to Judea but to Galilee and even Samaria. The Holy Spirit broke seemingly impenetrable barriers and the church increased.
These are all special blessings which come from the Lord. He protects and guides.
When we are obedient and constantly seeking Him, we experience His special blessings.
Have a great week!