After Jesus had risen from the dead and "was taken up into Heaven" (Luke 24:51), those who believed in Him "joined together constantly in prayer" (Acts 1:14), "devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching" (Acts 2:42), and "ate together with glad and sincere hearts" (Acts 2:46). The first believers did naturally what we try to implement in our churches today - they prayed, studied, and fellowshipped. But they had an additional characteristic of their gathering that no amount of programming will ever be able to produce.
"Everyone was filled with awe..."
Being "filled with awe" means to have an overwhelming sense of reverent fear, wonder and amazement. This is the same meaning used by Solomon when he wrote: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Proverbs 9:10). Our understanding of God begins with a reverent fear - an amazed and holy awe - which compels us to our knees in worship.
The early believers knew they were in the midst of God's Hand and were amazed; but today we often become complacent with His wonders. We forget the miracle of, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1); the marvel of, "So God created man in His own image...male and female He created them" (Genesis 1:27), and the incredible wonder of His love: "But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).
These verses alone should inspire a lifetime of praise - but God has given us much more. He has given His Spirit to guide and comfort; and the entirety of His Word to reveal the fullness of His character and the grandness of His majesty. About sixty years after Jesus returned to Heaven, the Apostle John was given a vision of God's throne room in order to encourage us about the future glory we will one day see.
"And there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it... A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne.... Around the throne, were four living creatures.... Day and night they never stop saying: 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.'"
Understanding the wondrous glory of Heaven can make our daily trials seem much less of a burden!
Let's reflect on the miracles of God's creation, His plan of redemption through Jesus, and the true majesty of His Kingdom. We will begin to experience all God has planned for our life, and the life of our local church, when we return to a true reverence and wonder of our Lord. Our lives can be made whole and our worship complete only as we approach our Heavenly Father with hearts filled with awe.
-God's Daily Word Ministries