Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2
So that you may discern the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect, renew your mind through Christ by abiding in His Presence. Sometimes we all have pain and sorrow, fear and negativity, anxious moments, and hopeless thoughts– Jesus rescues you from these. In His living Presence He resets your mind to a faith view.
Jesus is the best thing to ever happen to you. Rely on His compassion with your faith. Your assurance that Christ is powerfully moving to align your mind in God’s best gives you spiritual maturity. Trust Christ. Expect Him to transform your mind– it is His anointing, again and again, of the Holy Spirit. Discern Jesus’ holiness.
People who gathered around Jesus were ready to get on with right living. Roman government was violently overbearing and Yahweh had seemed far off and silent. Yet with Jesus, the living presence of God personalized, near Him those yearning people found their hearts cleansed and their minds cleared. In Jesus’ Presence, while listening to His teachings and seeing the miracles, life was right and good again. Let us enjoy His living Presence in our midst, together, too.
There was a Levite, a native of Cyprus, Joseph, to whom the apostles gave the name Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”). He sold a field that belonged to him, then brought the money, and laid it at the apostles feet. Acts 4:36-37
The Holy Spirit guides you with confidence, encouragement, and is your Advocate. Joseph of Cyprus has been filled with the Holy Spirit and the apostles rename him Barnabas due to the fact that his personality has been transformed by the Holy Spirit into encouragement toward others. He is Spirit led to sell a piece of land which belonged to him and then his hands lay all the money before the apostles. This is Barnabas’ hands and heart responding to the needs of others in their believer’s community, and also it is his way of encouraging others to stand fast in the faith in Christ Resurrected.
To us, the most significant fact about Jesus is His happy, radiant, loving personality. The apostles have first-hand experience of Jesus. The apostles pattern their outreach from Jesus’ own ways. They are filled with joy and love that seeks to benefit others with our Resurrected Christ within the power of the Holy Spirit. Barnabas catches The Spirit through giving, joy of living, and free expression of his faith. The apostles are teaching this community of believers to share everything– goods, money, and faith.
Giving is a hand out and a hand up. When your hands and heart are sharing with generosity and encouragement you are doing more than meeting others needs. You are actively showing others that you have an intentional interest in their faith life because you are mirroring Christ’s light of compassionate love which is grounded in your being through the Holy Spirit. Your hands and heart reach out to help, to bless, and to heal.
With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. Acts 4:33-35
The Resurrection of our Lord unites us in a Kingdom Principle– we share with our brothers and sisters so that needs are taken care of not only in the Spirit’s showers of blessings, but also in our generous giving. The blessings that the Spirit gives to you are the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and the gifts of the Spirit (Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, and 1 Peter 4:11) prominent in Scriptures.
All of the Holy Spirit comes to us through Jesus Christ’s Resurrection. This is your central belief upon which all of your faith centers. And then this poses the question. 1 Peter 3:8-9 answers the question: How am I to act? … have unity of Spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called– that you might inherit a blessing.
The blessing of the Holy Spirit is extended to others through you when you have spend large amounts of time in prayer with the Lord Jesus resulting in your heart being tenderized and your mind/soul becoming humbled. Like Christ humbled Himself and was Servant to the Heavenly Father for His Grand Plan, so too you are the Heavenly Father’s servant as all of you and everything you possess belongs to Christ.
Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. With great power the Apostles gave their testimony to the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus and great Grace was upon them all. Acts 4:32-33
Church is the place where we are of one heart and soul in Jesus Christ. There are Bible Scholars who say that this tremendous unison is impossible to achieve again in our present day and they may be right. Some who profess believing no longer go to gather with other believers with the goal of joining hearts and souls but rather to go to gather to get fast spiritual food. These folks are allowing society to seep into spirituality as the variety store Church replaces the believer’s unison in Jesus Resurrected.
When Church is convinced and convicted by the Holy Spirit then the unity Spirit gives is an understandable given– we cannot help but be absolutely convinced that all that we have belongs to our Heavenly Father and Christ’s Peace will come on earth as in Heaven when we are unified in our Resurrected Christ. The Lord shakes the very ground of our being to make it so.
Then, if you are one of the few believers in a gathering of believers who has been shaken by Holy Spirit unity the question before you is this; what is one person made completely holy by the Holy Spirit’s power to do? Like John, Peter, and believers in the early Church you are to speak boldly, act generously and compassionately, and continue to stand firm in your New Birth. Be the one to represent Christ Resurrected, living in great Grace.Lead the way to Christ’s Way.
“And now, Lord, look at their threats, and grant to your servants to speak Your Word with all boldness, while You stretch out Your Hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the Name of Your Holy Servant Jesus.” When they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the Word of God with boldness. Acts 4:29-31
John and Peter are released and they return to the Church to tell what happened before the authorities. The believers continue to meet head-on the threats and direct persecution of believers in Christ Resurrected. Gathering together, this Scripture is a portion of their prayer. While they do not pray that the persecution cease, they ask that they will be strengthened to endure and will be empowered to speak with boldness.
Beginning their prayer with, “Sovereign Lord who made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them, it is You who said by the Holy Spirit… ,” then using the words in Psalm 2 they launch into glorious praise and rejoicing that the threats against them are already targeted by our overcoming God. They pray for boldness to speak His Word, for the Lord Jesus Christ to heal, and that the Lord perform signs and wonders as they call on His Name.
Then the earth shakes as they are filled with the Holy Spirit! What we glean from this Scriptural witness is that we are to do the same. Our pattern of prayer may be the same with similar results. What they did then, we do now. Pray for boldness to speak His Word using the Name of Jesus Christ resulting in healing, signs and wonders, and be Spirit filled!
So they called them and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the Name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in God’s sight to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge for we cannot keep from speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:19-20
So they let Peter and John go because there were hundreds of people praising God and thanking Him for His Son Jesus Christ Resurrected. Christ’s alive Holy Presence had filled those who were praising and by the power of the Holy Spirit they experienced Jesus’ Presence powerfully firsthand. It was glorious and it still is glorious today!
We would hope that the council of the Sanhedrin would have hearts softened by this but they refused Christ’s Presence, the Holy Spirit. Their hearts were so hard and their necks so stiff. Peter and John and those praising God were not to be silenced because as Peter says, “… we cannot keep from speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
As you are witness to the alive Presence of Christ in your life, have you the same statement– that you cannot help but talk about Christ, praise Christ, and share Christ with others around you? Christianity is contagious. We cannot help ourselves. We have to talk about what we are seeing and hearing. Miracles and awesome Holy Spirit events surround us and we cannot be quiet about how Christ is blessing and giving!
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, let it be know to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God Raised from the dead. Acts 4:8-10
Peter speaks to those who have put Jesus on the Cross of crucifixion and first advises them that Jesus Christ Resurrected is alive and in the business of healing and more importantly redemption. Peter has said his prayers for those who rejected Jesus. Like Jesus on the Cross who said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do,” Peter has prayed this prayer too. How do we know this?
Because Peter is compassionately speaking at this Divine Appointment to offer the Good News to these wicked people; he delivers this important message to save souls by clarifying the Grand Plan of God in Jesus Christ Resurrected; and Peter is USING the Holy Spirit’s tremendously great compassion to bring all the people of the world to know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord!
My friend, let Peter’s Spirit-filled words be your words. Peter says, “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other Name under Heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.” (v. 12) Then these wicked people realize that they are uneducated and ordinary people, they are amazed, and they do nothing in opposition because their hearts are convicted. Peter, and John, are committed to Christ with confidence!! This is how we live each day committed to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
While Peter and John were speaking to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came to them, much annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming that in Jesus there is the Resurrection of the dead. So they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who heard the Word believed; and they numbered about five thousand. Acts 4:1-4
Peter has seen Jesus Christ Resurrected, he is a first-hand witness, and every sermon he preaches now points to His Resurrection. The huge numbers of Jews that accept Christ into their lives and are Baptized occurs because they hear him preach this Good News (the Messiah has come to us) and the living Presence of Christ embraces the hearts of those who give their whole selves to Him.
Through the words of Peter, the Holy Spirit introduces Jesus Christ’s Presence to non-believers and they readily accept Him. There is joy, peace, hope, and spiritual cleansing occurring within all of these new believers. These 5000 go home to tell their families at the dinner table and their families become believers. Again, here we see the Church come alive because of the Holy Spirit’s activity!
Spirit activity continues throughout generations so that one day every knee will bow to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Through Peter’s preaching the understanding of God’s Grand Plan is revealed and people see with their hearts and now listen to the Spirit to direct their lives. This is monumental as the family of Christ grows today too. For, it is vital that you are fed Spiritually with your Scriptures, the life experiences you have with Spirit, listening to Bible based preaching that includes Resurrection Good News, and Spirit led reasoning to make righteous choices in your life which influence others for Christ.
Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, so that times of refreshing may come from the Presence of the Lord, and that He may send the Messiah appointed for you, that is, Jesus, who must remain in heaven until the time of universal restoration that God announced long ago through His Holy prophets. Acts 3:19
Through Spirit you have dawns of understanding, refreshment of Spirit’s blessings, and inwardly are strengthened by Christ’s total love for you. Let me offer you one example which matches up with our Scripture. I had a weak man in one of my early Churches who would often turn to alcohol when life threw challenges his direction.
During these times he was still coming to Church, supporting his wife and children in their Christian beliefs, and encouraging others to use faith in Christ yet he refused and rejected faith for himself as more and more he relied on alcohol as his friend. But alcohol was enemy. Each time he turned to alcohol it took him into darkness and desperation.
Then Holy Spirit grabbed him by the collar of his mind and shook him awake one afternoon. He fell on his knees with regret and repentance in his messy kitchen to recommit his life to Jesus. Picking up the phone he called me and explained, rejoiced, and never turned to alcohol again because he now had an aversion to anything that was not Spirit blessed. Jesus’ love filled him to overflowing and kept refreshing him.
You see, Spirit directs you to Jesus’ loving best as your heart is aligned to Jesus’ love through faith in Him. Use faith.Through repentance we acknowledge our ignorance of sins before our Heavenly Father, and through Jesus Resurrected are cleansed of all unrighteousness– then come our times of refreshing! Your refreshment is found when you align your heart’s desires with Christ and the Holy Spirit.
And by faith in His Name, His Name itself has made this man strong, whom you see and know’ and the faith that is through Jesus has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you. Acts 3:16
Peter is asking you if you see the man lame from birth who has been completely healed by Jesus Christ? As you see him, do you want to receive Christ and be a part of His Kingdom? Kingdom health occurs from the inside out. When your soul is cleansed by Jesus then the outward result is health. Does this mean that should we be born with any disease or infirmity that we can achieve perfect health in Jesus Christ? Yes it does.
While the lame man’s healing occurs instantly you also learn from Scriptures that there are some healings that occur over a matter of time. Peter had a healing that occurred over time. This miracle of healing is shown to you so that you may understand that using the Holy Name of Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior out-loud every time as you pray prompts the Holy Spirit’s delight to shower blessings upon ones in need.
The Salvation Kingdom Principal is at work here. Jesus died on the Cross bearing your sin and disease so that you are free to enter abundant healthy life with Him. Faith and full trust in Jesus Christ is your operating mode for life. Jesus’ Resurrection gives you vitality, joyful demeanor, inner strength, and a healthy mind when you use your faith. Your faith in action is needed in His Kingdom, for your ministry is vital to other’s health.
When Peter saw it, he addressed the people, “You Israelites, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk? The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate, though He had decided to release Him. But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you, and you killed the Author of Life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. Acts 3:12-15
Peter gives credit and praise to Jesus Christ, who healed the man born lame, then calls them to repent for killing the Son of God. Who killed Jesus? Those who have wholly rejected the One who God sent to save us. Similarly and sadly, when you choose to align yourself with the evil one then you have rejected God’s Son too and are in need of repentance.
Repentance is to be sorry for our sin then turn our whole selves unto Christ– Who willingly forgives, He accepts us just as we are, and He gives us unmerited love (grace). Jesus Christ is love. He then takes us to be His loved ones, marks us within with the sign of His cross, and fills us with Holy Spirit life. We experience new birth and from that moment on are committed to doing the work of the Kingdom of God.
God our Heavenly Father is so pleased by our new birth in Christ. To this I am witness.