Merritt Seventh-day Adventist Church

Expansion XXXI

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The church, soon after Christ's ascent, was experiencing real growth. But, with growth comes issues. People lost jobs and means because they accepted the truth of Jesus' love and sacrifice. The Spirit of God was also at work and among those who became part of the church were people of means. When the need arose they sold properties and gave the money to the apostles to help the needy and keep the work going. They did this because they loved Jesus for what He had done and that love prompted them to help others.
One day, Peter and John were going into the temple to pray when a man about 40 years of age, a cripple from birth laid at the door of the temple and asked them for money.
Peter said, “Look at us. Silver and gold have I none but such as I have I give to you. In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”
Peter took him by the hand and He got up, walked and jumped. He probably felt like a kid, able to jump. People looked at this in wonder. They came together to see this miracle. Peter assured them it was not by their power but strictly Jesus' doing.
The temple rulers and priests came on the scene and were not pleased with what had taken place. They had Jesus crucified and put to death. That should have put an end to all this healing and miracles. But, instead of that, now there were 12 men working miracles instead of just one. They were doing this all in the name of the crucified One. The One who had risen from the dead.
It was evening so they arrested Peter and John and put them in prison for the night. Next morning the priests and rulers got together and called the prisoners to ask them by what power they had done this. Peter told them boldly, “By the power of the One they had put to death. In the name of the One who rose again and went back to Heaven we have done this.”
The priests were not happy to be blamed for Jesus' death. Then they threatened the two with beatings if they continued to teach and heal in the name of Jesus.
Peter and John said, “Which is right in the sight of God to listen to you or to God? You be the judge for we must speak of the thing we have seen and heard.”
Some time ago a Korean Seventh Day Adventist Christian who owned a big business, sold it for a large sum of money then wondered what he should do. He felt called by God to do something for others. As he looked around he heard of a fairly large group of pygmies in the jungle of the Congo in Africa. Even though it was a long way from his comfortable home, he went. They found this tribe in very poor, primitive conditions. They had suffered greatly in the trouble of the Congo years before. He decided to do something for these people. With other volunteers, they made friends with this shy, forgotten tribe by providing them clothes and food. Then they dug a well so the people could have fresh, clean water. They taught them how to grow their food as well as some basic health principles, and how to look after themselves and their children. They erected a school building where both old and young could learn to read and write. They were doing the same thing the apostles did.
Teaching by example shows these poor people the love Jesus has for all. By wanting to improve their lives and the lives of others (to be happy, healthy people with a home) these people are working in the name of the same Jesus as the apostles of old.
When Jesus told the apostles to start in Jerusalem then expand to the world He was giving them a BIG assignment. Jesus provided the means to accomplish the task by giving them power to speak in different languages and the listeners to hear in their own languages what was said.
When God commissions, He provides the means to carry out His wishes. In Revelation 14:6 the prophet saw an angel fly in the midst of Heaven. Angels are messengers,  this message is the everlasting gospel. The “good news” is what the apostles preached. This good news is to go to every nation, tribe, tongue and people. In our day God is providing the means to do this and the people who love Jesus are called for this work.
Next week: Jesus Teaching His Apostles