pentecost promises and easter commands
"Through all this, the congregations grew stronger in faith and daily increased in numbers." —Acts 16:5
Could you say that through this Easter season "the congregations grew stronger in faith, and daily increased in numbers"? If we don't see Jesus adding to the Church's number daily (Acts 2:47), it's not that His promises are not true but that we are not receiving them.
Jesus said: "I — once I am lifted up from earth — will draw all men to Myself" (Jn 12:32). Jesus has been lifted up in His death, resurrection, and ascension. Therefore, we should see people being drawn to Him and to His body, the Church.
The fulfillment of God's promises is often conditional on obeying His commands. For example, the Lord will daily increase our numbers if we serve as His witnesses. He will give us victory if we obey Him and enter the battle. The Spirit will miraculously give us the right words to say if we expose ourselves to persecution (Mt 10:19-20). We will work signs and wonders if we profess our faith (Mk 16:17). We will rise from the dead into glory if we die in Christ (2 Tm 2:11). Easter will lead to a new Pentecost if we "let it be done" unto us according to God's word (Lk 1:38).
Obey God's commands and inherit His promises of "growth, victory, signs, wonders, glory, and a new Pentecost."
Prayer: Father, may my delight be to obey Your will (Ps 40:9).
Promise: "If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own; the reason it hates you is that you do not belong to the world. But I chose you out of the world. Remember what I told you: no slave is greater than his master." —Jn 15:19-20
Praise: Linda did not worry about how many were attending the youth meetings. Instead, she focused on spreading God's love, knowing the Holy Spirit would take care of the rest.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our leaflet Obedience School or our tape titled Obeying God on audio AV 62-3 or video V-62.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 9, 2009
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