Monday Five (Feb. 24)
“Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord.” Acts 9:31
What a beautiful passage in the Bible. It even contains five elements!
- A church at peace.
- A church strengthened.
- A church encouraged.
- A church full of the Holy Spirit.
- A church growing.
Prior to this verse, the fledgling Jesus movement had experienced the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Miraculous occurrences were happening regularly. The team of spiritual leaders headed by people like Peter and Paul was being established. Crowds by the thousands were hearing and responding to the message of Jesus.
If ever there was a description of what “arrived” looks like, wouldn’t this be it? If people got together to assess the health of Lakeside Church, and if they came to this five-fold description, wouldn’t that be fantastic?
But wait. Let’s go back. It was “a time” of peace. It was a season, before another season. And there’s a lesson here.
Following this time of peace, something new, something unforeseen, and something radical happened. God’s plan to extend the gospel to the Gentile (non-Jewish) people started to be revealed in the very next chapter of Acts. Although the Jewish people had hints and promises that God was for “all nations,” no one saw this coming. It was one of those you-wouldn’t-believe-me-even-if-I-told-you moments.
There are times for rest, and consolidation, and growth. They are good, and they are needed. And then there are next steps. I feel like that’s where Lakeside is right now. We’ve been through a season of transition. We’re seeing the Lord strengthen us. We’re seeing a team of leaders that the Lord is assembling.
And yet, I have the sense that there are new and unexpected things the Lord wants to do among and through us. Can you relate to that Lakesiders?
As we move into new seasons at Lakeside, let this ancient wisdom guide us:
“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all.” Proverbs 3:5-7
By Jeff Groenewald, Executive Pastor