Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers. —Acts 9:31

            I am encouraged that the church can grow and be strengthened during “a time of peace.”  It is true in the context above that the church at this time had just gone through a season of persecution led by Saul, but when our Lord Jesus saved him the persecution stopped for a time.  Yes, it was through that “time of peace” that the church “grew and was strengthened.”  The church “increased in numbers.”  This growth and new strength was both maturity of those saved and salvation of those who heard the gospel.  Why did this happen?  We are told they were “Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit.” 

  • ” (Proverbs 1:7). 
  • ” (Proverbs 14:27)
  • ” (II Corinthians 5:11).

This is what it is to “fear the Lord” and this is what was happening in the early church as God’s Holy Spirit was encouraging them.  Are we allowing God’s Holy Spirit to encourage us?  Are we fearing the Lord which will cause us to live like the early church which had a right focus on the right things as they were living rightly for our Lord Jesus?

Dear Father may I not fear man, but fear You.  May I seek to be faithful to Your desires and not man’s desires.  May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Son.  Yes, so be it.

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