No Other Name: Acts 4 (7)
Pray Psalm 122.5-9.
For thrones are set there for judgment,
The thrones of the house of David.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May they prosper who love you.
Peace be within your walls,
Prosperity within your palaces.”
For the sake of my brethren and companions,
I will now say, “Peace be within you.”
Because of the house of the LORD our God
I will seek your good.
Sing Psalm 122.5-9.
(Nettleton: Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing)
On the throne of David, Jesus sits to judge the nations all.
As our holy peace increases we are safe who on You call.
Grant us peace, Lord, by Your favor, for Your people’s sake we pray.
For the Church’s sake, O Savior, we will seek Your good today.
Read Acts 4.1-37; meditate on verses 32-35.
1. What actions are described in these verses?
2. How were these actions possible (v. 32)?
It’s important in our study of Acts that we maintain focus on the idea of the ongoing work of Christ. This, after all, is what Luke intends us to learn from his book (1.1-4). It might be helpful to summarize what we’ve seen thus far in terms of the kinds of action entailed in the coming of the Kingdom of God. Hence, the following summary:
Acts 1: Waiting on the Lord and His promises
Acts 2: Bearing witness in the Spirit
Acts 3: Doing good, speaking truth
We are the heirs of what began in the book of Acts. Thus, we need to make sure there’s plenty of the same action as these first chapters indicate as we begin our day and go forth into our Personal Mission Field.
Acts 4 expands the remit of Kingdom actions for our consideration. Prepare to suffer: Not everyone will be thrilled to hear the Good News of Jesus, and some may even respond angrily, with hostility, or worse. Make up your mind, and reinforce that mindset every day, that just as the suffering of Jesus led to our being saved, so our suffering will further the ongoing work of Christ in our lives and the world.
Hang together: We need fellow believers to help us persevere in the ongoing work of Christ in our Personal Mission Fields. Do you have a prayer partner? A mission partner? A small group of believing friends who pray with and for you? We must work hard to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph. 4.3). But what blessings of great goodness will flow to and through us as we do (v. 33)!
Stay in the Word: Let Scripture be your constant and ultimate guide in all things, including how you pray.
Attend to the details: The ongoing work of Christ unfolds in words and deeds devoted to loving God and our neighbors. We must make the most of every opportunity and redeem all the time God gives us for attending to the details of a life of love (Eph. 5.15-17). Make sure your Personal Mission Field abounds with the fragrance of Christ and His love (2 Cor. 2.15-17).
Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
How did they do it? How did ordinary people carry on the work of Jesus with such boldness?
How did they do it so obediently and with one heart, one soul, and one accord?
How did they manage to set their own egos and possessions aside?
How did they make their lives all about Jesus, and we, and not about me and mine?
How was it that there was no one among them who lacked anything?
The people of the early Church based all their beliefs, hopes, and dreams on the risen Jesus! They had read about Him, they experienced Him, they believed in Him, and they loved Him. And they wanted to serve Him exclusively, and share Him with others. And they knew they could do it because they were now filled with Jesus’ Spirit.
They had confidence that God would strengthen them to do His will. “I will run the course of Your commandments, for You shall enlarge my heart” (Ps. 119. 32).
They experienced the adoring and comforting love of God: “The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing” (Zeph. 3.17).
They knew the guiding, freeing, and constraining power of the Law: “…all the words of the law (Ex. 20.1-17). For it is not a futile thing for you, because it is your life, and by this word you shall prolong your days…” (Deut. 32.46, 47).
They lived in courage because they believed every word of God to be true “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you” (Deut. 31.6).
What could we do if we experienced that same confidence, comfort, constraint, and courage?
We have all the same resources available to us.
If we belong to Christ, and are filled with His Spirit, our Kingdom actions will look like theirs.
One heart, one soul. Not mine, but ours.
“And with great power [we will give witness in our Personal Mission Field] to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace [will be] upon [us] all”! (Acts 4.33)
1. How does your work in your Personal Mission Field reflect the Kingdom actions described here?
2. Confidence, comfort, constraint, courage: Write one sentence, using all these words, to describe your desire for your own experience of the Kingdom of God?
3. In what areas are you primarily pursuing the ongoing work of Christ at this time?
There were evident fruits of Christ’s grace in all they said and did. They were dead to this world. This was a great evidence of the grace of God in them. They did not take away others’ property, but they were indifferent to it. They did not call it their own; because they had, in affection, forsaken all for Christ, and were expecting to be stripped of all for cleaving to him. No marvel that they were of one heart and soul, when they sat so loose to the wealth of this world. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Acts 4.32-37
Pray Psalm 122.1-4.
Thank God for your church. Pray that your church may take its proper and full place in the ongoing work of King Jesus. Ask the Lord to show you today how you can seek and advance His rule of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14.17, 18) in your own Personal Mission Field. Go forth for Kingdom action!
Sing Psalm 122.1-4.
(Nettleton: Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing)
I was glad when they said to me, “To the Lord’s house let us go!”
Holy City, let our feet be firmly planted in your soil.
Jesus builds His Church forever, where His people sing His praise!
As Your Word decrees forever, we will thank You all our days.
T. M. and Susie Moore
Check out our newest feature, Readings from the Celtic Revival (click here).
You can listen to a summary of last week’s Scriptorium study by going to our website, www.ailbe.org, and clicking theScriptorium tab for last Sunday. For more about what Jesus is doing at the right hand of God, order a free copy of our book, What in Heaven Is Jesus Doing on Earth? (click here).
You can download any or all of the studies in this series on Acts by clicking here.
If you find Scriptorium helpful in your walk with the Lord, please seek the Lord, asking Him whether you should contribute to the support of this daily ministry with your financial gifts. As the Lord leads, you can use the Contribute button at the website to give with a credit card or through PayPal or Anedot, or you can send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.
Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.