Read - Acts 6v7
Message - Scott Woodburn
The late Noel Agnew used to tell me stories about people who he met on his travels who had experienced days of revival in the church. I would sit and listen as he spoke about old ladies who as young girls remembered seeing local alcoholics converted, abusive husbands radically changed and thousands gathering to hear the Gospel and to call upon the Lord in prayer.
I have yet to see such days but by the grace of God I may see them yet. In today's passage we note that the church was continuing to grow. Every single day men and women were receiving Christ as their Saviour. How could this be so? Because the word of God continued to increase. This phrase says much about what days of revival look like.
During such days the Word wasn't an optional extra. The Word was preached consistently at home and abroad. The Word was studied in private homes and preached faithfully in the public square. The Word was at the front and centre of each service of worship and the people during days of revival would receive the Word gladly and believe it passionately.
The church in Thailand is a tiny minority in that great nation and yet it exists and grows slowly but surely. I was there many years ago when our team was asked to lead a service of worship in a small Christian village. We all took part and our team leader preached in the Thai language. When he had finished, the congregation looked at one another as if to say "Is that all?". It wasn't a comment about the quality of the sermon, just that they were used to spending the entire afternoon in the Word. May the Lord give us such a hunger for His Word!
When the Word goes forward there are no doors which can keep it out. Luke records for us that in those days even a great many priests were receiving Christ as their Saviour. The significance of this shouldn't be understated. We have already seen in Acts the opposition of the Jewish leaders to the Gospel. They wanted it silenced and yet here were some of their own number who had turned to Christ.
The Gospel can soften the hardest heart. The Gospel can loosen the stiffest neck. The Gospel can convert even the most powerful. The Gospel is the power of God unto the salvation for all who will believe. So today may we delight in the Word of God and may we pray for the salvation of many. Pray for politicians, popes, kings and queens, the rich and the famous. Pray for Biden and Boris and Nicola and Arlene and Michelle. Ask that if the hearts of the powerful and famous are not yet receptive to the Gospel then may they soon be. In one mighty verse Luke brings a world of encouragement. The Word increased and many were saved.
Q90 How is the Word to be read and heard, that it may become effectual to salvation? That the Word may become effectual to salvation, we must attend thereunto with diligence, preparation, and prayer; receive it with faith and love, lay it up in our hearts, and practice it in our lives.