Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 26, 2016
By Tripp Prince
Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. Acts 4:32-33
The resurrection of Jesus changes the way we see the world and our place within it. Through the power of the resurrection we learn that death does not have the last word but is gloriously overcome through Christ’s triumph. And as we encounter the Lord daily and are filled with his life giving Spirit, we are invited to reorient our entire lives around this new reality. Yet at times, we find it quite difficult to let go of our selfish desires and trust that the way of resurrection is truly the way of hope and freedom.
In Acts 4 we encounter a community that had been radically changed as a result of the resurrection of Jesus. As this passage shows us, these early believers were filled with “great grace” and empowered to boldly share their testimony. Have you ever been invited to share your testimony? Have you heard this phrase before but never quite known what it means? I find Acts 4 to be a model passage for a life lived as a testimony to the power of the resurrection.
A faithful testimony points others to Jesus through our words and through our actions. At times we are invited to articulate the hope of the gospel through teaching, preaching, or conversation with friends and co-workers. At other times we show forth the power of the resurrection when we turn away from the empty promises of the world and live according to the values of God’s kingdom. Yet rarely is this an “either/or” way of living! As we see in Acts 4, these believers boldly spoke of the resurrection hope of Jesus, yet also sacrificially gave money and possessions so the needs of the entire community were met. This is gospel living in word and in deed, and it is what each of us is called to today.
Whether we are powerfully professing Christ with our lips or beautifully embodying the way of Jesus with our lives, we must remember that our ability to do either is entirely a gift of God’s unmerited grace. He alone gives us the words to say, and he alone can turn us away from love of self and towards love of God and neighbor. The radical witness to Christ that we see in Acts would have been impossible without the Spirit’s presence and grace. No amount of good will or kindness could result in this kind of living. This way of life only comes when we submit to the Spirit of God and allow him to bring the hope of the resurrection in us and through us. This is the great grace that we see in Acts, and it is the great grace that the Lord still offers to each of us today!
PrayerFather, fill us with your grace that we may live in word and deed as faithful witnesses to the power of the resurrection.
ApplicationDoes your life bear witness to the gospel in both word and deed?
Related Reading1 Corinthians 15:20-28; 2 Corinthians 4:7; Romans 1:16; 2 Timothy 1:8-10
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