St. Barnabas

While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said … . (Acts 13:2)

You almost can’t help being in awe of stories from the days of the early church. Power from heaven comes down to earth. Amazing mir­acles happen. Heroes and heroines of faith overcome major obstacles as people flock to the church by the hundreds or even thousands. God’s glory seemed to shine so brightly back then.

But what about us? Most of the time, our experiences don’t match up with what we see in the Book of Acts. We go to the same job every day, take care of our family every day, and deal with a host of problems every day. Where are the miracles? The conversions? The prophetic callings? It’s not that we doubt the authenticity of the stories in Acts, it’s just that we don’t expect those kind of things to happen in our lives. We’re too ordinary, and the apostles were too extraordinary.

Stop right there and think again. The characters in these stories were everyday people just like us. Paul was into manufacturing—he was a tentmaker. And Peter was into wholesale food supply—he was a fisherman. The Spirit who orches­trated the building of the early church is the same Spirit who lives in you. He still wants to bring people to Christ. And he still wants to use you to make that happen. And, even more amazing, he wants to work miraculously through you, just as he did through Peter and Paul in the first century A.D.

Does this sound too far-fetched? Probably no more than it sounded to Peter when Jesus told him to put out into the deep and let down his fishing nets (Luke 5:4). Probably no more than it sounded to Saul of Tarsus when he was blinded by a heavenly light (Acts 9:3-4). We may not see miracles overnight, but with prayer and practice, we can learn to seize small opportunities to show the power of Jesus in our lives. And small successes usually lead to big­ger opportunities, until we too see miracles unfolding in our midst!

“Lord, help me to keep reaching out to you in faith today, because I want you to receive glory through my life.”

Psalm 98:1-6; Matthew 5:1-12