by Pastor Adekoya Akinbode
ANOINTED AND UNDAUNTED!
Understudying the mission as stated by Jesus before His ascension, the Eleven Apostles standing-by would know what they were in into and in for, considering the take-off point – Jerusalem!
Acts: 1. 8. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Remember, it was right there in Jerusalem that Jesus was opposed, arrested, molested and killed and the situation was still a fresh one at the time Jesus was delivering this mandate! That they were to kickstart the mission right from Jerusalem suggested that they should be ready for anything! Nonetheless, hearing Jesus first mentioned that they shall be empowered before and for the mission to take off, they either had a mixed feeling of both fear and hope, or were solidly ready and just awaiting to be empowered. Whatever was the case, we saw them waiting and immediately after the arrival of the Holy Ghost, the mission took off and they grow rather undaunted despite the oppositions, the rejections, the molestations and several confrontations. You see, there’s what keeps you going admits whatever comes your way in your Christian journey. It makes you undaunted without looking down on anyone; bold without being prideful. That thing is the anointing of the Holy Ghost! One is either bold because he’s proud or because he’s anointed. The difference will always be clear. The Apostles (Peter as a case study) demonstrated strange dimension of boldness, being baptised and are continually being filled with the Holy Ghost!
They got anointed and became undaunted!
1. And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, 2. Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3. And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide. 4. Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.
This verse 3 above is actually the headache of Satan till date, only making use of men. He’s losing and God is winning. Hallelujah!
Remember I have taken out time to in a bit expounded on how the devil has been fighting the plan of God regarding the coming of Jesus; His ministry, till he mistakenly sponsored Jesus’ crucifixion and when he could not stop Jesus’ resurrection, he tried to have the good news covered up. He knows fully well that the good news (the gospel) of Chris’s resurrection is the power of God unto salvation for all men. That’s is why he has engaged himself through human agency to keep fighting the preaching of the gospel through human and financial constraints, majorly. However, before and as Jesus sends His own, He empowers them! They are anointed to be undaunted so Satan keeps losing as the preachy of the gospel remains ever unstoppable till Jesus comes.
20. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. 21. So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done.
When the Holy Ghost is present in you, the word of God becomes like fire shut up in your bones that you cannot but share it with someone, even as you’re constantly hungry for more!
Jeremiah: 20. 9. Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.
As such, every opposition and constraint on your way as seen as mere threats (for that’s what it is!) that cannot stop you.
Have you ever encountered any form of assault or insult as you go about preaching the gospel? That’s nothing to get you discouraged or het you demoralized. Right now, I need you to know that you have been anointed by/with the Holy Ghost. Let nothing, not even the daily challenges of life take the name of Jesus away from your mouth. Not just in prayers, but in moments of sharing with others. Get up again and set up to be part of spread and sponsoring this gospel, undaunted!
In this chapter of review, we can see how the church started on the platform of unity or oneness. We see unity exemplified in two ways:
1. They were a company!
24. And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
So, before His departure, He prayed:
11. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. 21. That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22. And the glory which thou gravest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
If you will do more than saying “Amen” to that prayer prayed by Jesus Christ Himself and study closely, you will realise two things: It’s a glorious thing for the body of Christ to be united and that preaches faith in Christ to the world to the point of being conviction and conversion (Vs.21). Secondly, there’s a dimension of glory that is given to foster unity and can only be revealed in full through unity (Vs.22)
The Apostles were in one accord prior the encounter at Pentecost, and I believe that that further encouraged their unity because the Holy Spirit doesn’t divides but unites.
Since 2013, I’ve been on a mission with passion to see the body of Christ united. As led, I’d written to various top men of God in our nation to see to reinstalling and fostering unity in the Body. In the pursuit of this mission, I’ve been so abused and yet encouraged; insulted yet undaunted; looked down upon but never giving up; frustrated till I began to doubt if it is ever possible for the body to become or operate as one till Christ returns. All I see around is egocentricism, greed, self-centeredness and personal ambition taken more seriously than and above the vision of God. No thanks to the concept of “denominationalism” that has only promoted divisibility and not the unity the Deity (Christ) prayed for His body. I always imagine the body of Christ in Nigeria, for instance, become of one voice and operationally united. How fast will the gospel spread and the fear on us induced upon all adversaries that constantly rise against the church! What a dimension of glory shall be revealed with unhindered moves of the Holy Ghost in every place, through every believer. As it stands, the individual member of the body will only have to ensure he is not a party to the division in body but a promoter of unity.
23. And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. 24. And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord…
Aside the gift and the operations of the Holy Ghost in and through the Apostles, another great source of strength they continually draw from was their company. They were united: having same purpose, same mission and same target_ to preach Christ and Him crucified towards ensuring the salvation of all men. No wonder the accounts of the Acts of the Apostles was worth recording and canonized in the Holy Book. As commonly said, the Acts of the Apostles continue, as we learn individually and corporately become united in mind and purpose, letting the Holy Ghost use us for the purpose of Christ.
UNITY EXEMPLIFIED! (2)
The first proof of unity amongst the Apostles is that, they were a company!
Note: I didn’t say they have a company or they were in a company, but that they were a company in one accord!
2. They had everything on common.
Love is not perfected until it can freely share what it has in possession.
34. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, 35. And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. 36. And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, the son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, 37. Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
A true believer is known by having his/her faith put in the Lord Jesus Christ and having love for all the saints across denominational barriers.
Colossians: 1. 4. Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,
As such, expressing love to one another as one body of Christ should not be limited to a particular reaching out to a member of the same assembly with you. Remember, the church at Jerusalem was the first and the prototype of the body of Christ worldwide. However large or enlarged the church have become today is no excuse for schism. Too much sense of belonging that us even severing the relationship between one member of a church and that of another is neither as inspired nor as motivated by the Holy Ghost.
A sense of oneness as a body is vital to the overall health of the entire body.
1 Corinthians: 12.
12. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 14. For the body is not one member, but many. 15. If the foot shall say, because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 20. But now are they many members, yet but one body. 25. That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. 26. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it. 27. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
All the above were been practicalised and exemplified in the early church as it is possible today given to selflessness!
Acts: 4. 32. And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
The starters of first New Testament church were in one accord and had all things in common!
It is clear we are in a state globally that we need to express the love we profess one towards another, in words and in deeds. I’ve had to shed tears within me a number of times this period, receiving a bulk of requests from faces I’d not even ever met before. Like Paul would say ” Romans: 9. 1. I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,“ I have received requests this season from not less than Twenty individuals and families in dare need of assistance. That’s aside requests from immediate family members, putting my family needs aside. Some so carefully composed their message in such a way that you’ll rather feel like conjuring something from the thin air or borrow just to assist. The love of Christ constrains us and that is why we cannot close our eyes against the needy when we have. So, I had to let go until I personally had to start looking up to Jesus. Yet, more requests with critical cases keep coming in even till when I’m writing this. This is where am going: if the same dimension of love we read here in Acts 4 exists today, I’m persuaded that no one will have lack of anything, however had is the time.
Imagine if all that have billions and millions in the bank bring them out. Those with unused properties put them for sale just to be able to reach out to the members of body of Christ wherein they belong, who will lack anything?
Acts: 4. 34. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
How easy it is today, except the love of Christ constrains us!
35. And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. 36. And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, the son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, 37. Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
While the Lord Jesus Christ remains our Sufficiency in this world (and we must learn to trust Him wholly and strongly enough to come through for us at all times), we need to continue to make ourselves available as vessels with which He can reach out to others particularly in times of need. It is by doing that consistently according to the level of His blessings on our lives per time that He can entrust us with true riches, making us commanders of Kingdom Wealth.
No one is left behind in this love-expression mission to all believers. Every believer (calling, position or titles are irrelevant) is being enabled by God at one time or the other to reach out to another. Not necessarily another believer in the same place of worship with you (as many today have shut their bowels of mercy against those who do not belong in the same denomination/assembly/parish with them) but to any believer in Christ to whom you’re enabled to reach out.
When we get on this dimension of love expression, the world will reckon with us as of God in Christ. Such an expression of love will preach and get more convinced and converted than the deepest revelations we have to share!
GOGO is a great example of this dimension of love displayed here in Acts 4. I personally have received love gifts from this ministry time over again without making requests. Besides, I know the good-shepherd-heart of His servant Pastor Dammy to reach out to those who are in need. Definitely, I know that is made possible with the kind gestures of true believers here who are given wholly to the gospel of Christ not only in words but also in deeds (giving willingly, cheerfully and tirelessly).
You are examples of true believers and I see God making you all commanders of kingdom wealth!
This prayer of Paul is for you,
Philippians: 4. 19… My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
When your needs are supplied by God according to His riches in glory, then that’s far and much more than you will ever need alone!
That’s your portion, in Jesus name.