Duration: 365 days
THE HELP THE SPIRIT GIVES (ACTS 9:31)
The success of the early church was due to the Holy Spirit. In the book of Acts, we see how the Holy Spirit worked within the apostles of Jesus Christ, inspiring them to share the good news of Christ’s resurrection with the whole world. But this “good news” wasn’t always easy to share. Though there were brief moments of peace, many people didn’t want to hear about the God of the Christians, and so they often persecuted—or even murdered—them. Even Emperor Nero participated in these horrific acts, sentencing hundreds of Christians to death in the gladiatorial arenas of the day!
But Christ’s followers never lost hope. Rather, their faith became stronger than ever. The Holy Spirit gave these brave men and women strength to face death and to do the right thing, even in the most trying times. By obeying Christ’s command in Matthew 28:18–20, the early Christians were able to find the words to help and encourage each other—and to inspire non-Christians to learn more about this wonderful Jesus Christ, who gave them such strength.
Still today, the Holy Spirit gives us courage in our lives. While we may not face imprisonment or martyrdom, there are other challenges that require constant faith and strength. Whether it is remaining strong for our friends and families during a period of financial distress, supporting a neighbor in need or counseling a troubled child in search of guidance, today’s challenges require us to trust the Holy Spirit to work in and through us. The Holy Spirit living within us helps us meet these challenges.
Taken from NIV, Essentials of the Christian Faith©2017 HarperCollins Christian Publishing