[b]Excitement in the Early Church[/b][i]by Harold Vaughan[/i]Evangelist D.L. Moody was preaching in England when his songleader told him things weren't going well. Moody replied, "Before you can have a big fire, you must have a little fire." We should never despise the day of small things because big things can result from modest beginnings. If we fan the spark, it can become a flame!The early church was pregnant with joy. We read they ate their "meat with gladness and singleness of heart" (Acts 2:46b). Those who were saved "gladly received his [God's] word" (v. 41). The healed lame man walked, leaped, and praised God (3:8). Those early days were jampacked with excitement!In Acts 12, when Peter was thrown into prison for preaching the Gospel, "prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him" (v. 5b). The angel of the Lord led Peter through the prison doors, which miraculously opened, and Peter walked out a free man. Immediately, he headed for the house where believers were praying. When Peter knocked at the door, a girl named Rhoda became so excited when she heard his voice that she forgot to let him in. She "opened not. . .for gladness" (v. 14). God answered the believers' prayers, and they were thrilled.God had mercy on the Gentiles (non-Jews), and there was great persecution. How did God's people respond? "And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost" (Acts 13:52). Some of them were even put to death for Christ's sake.Two signs of God's immediate presence are conviction and celebration. An overwhelming sense of the fear of the Lord fell on them when Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead for lying. Yet they had unspeakable joy because "in thy [His] presence is fulness of joy" (Ps. 16:11b).People are attracted to fire. When we see fire trucks, we will always find a crowd. Fire breeds excitement, and the fire of God is the most electrifying thing on earth.Prayer Time: Read these verses about joy in the Book of Acts (2:28; 8:8; 13:52; 15:3). Ask the Lord to send revival fire to your home and church.
_________________SI Moderator - Greg Gordon