The Boldness and Comfort of Revering the Lord
So Paul went in and out among them at Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord. And he spoke and disputed against the Hellenists. But they were seeking to kill him.
And when the brothers learned this, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.
So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.
Remember what happened to Isaiah when he saw the Lord seated on His throne, surrounded by angels? Once God took his sin away, Isaiah was like “Here I am! Send me!”
In this section of Acts, Paul has become an evangelist for the Lord. He went to Jerusalem to meet the other Christians, but they were afraid of him. Once Barnabas vouched for him, though, there was no stopping him. Paul went and told everyone that would listen about the Lord, even people that wanted to kill him.
In 2 Corinthians Paul talks about how his suffering and God’s comfort went hand in hand. He was passionate to share with people the joy and peace of the Gospel, but he suffered for it in a lot of places. That suffering was answered with God’s comfort, which made it even more worthwhile!
A recent survey said that 80% of people in the Tri-State area consider themselves Christians. Let that soak in for a little bit. If they consider themselves that, then what do we have to fear about telling them things that they claim to believe?
If there were any fear left in us to share the Gospel, we can let it ooze away. God wants to know our neighbors and our co-workers more than we could ever imagine!
What bad thing could possibly happen? Don’t think about that. We think about that too often. What if we daydreamed about people responding to the Gospel like they did in Antioch, or in the Great Awakening? What if we daydreamed about the person we casually share God’s love with becoming the next Billy Graham?
Those are God’s kind of daydreams. He desires to build up a church of great people that have a reputation for holiness and peace in His name.
As the early church walked in the fear and reverence of the Lord, the Holy Spirit comforted them and the church multiplied. They needed all of that. They needed reverence. They needed comfort. They needed the growing numbers of new believers to encourage and build them up.
We need all of those things today. God still works through our reverence, His comfort, and new believers. We have nothing at all to be afraid of.