|Acts 4:29-31 (GNT)|
| 29 And now, Lord, take notice of the threats they have made, and allow us, your servants, to speak your message with all boldness. 30 Reach out your hand to heal, and grant that wonders and miracles may be performed through the name of your holy Servant Jesus.”
31 When they finished praying, the place where they were meeting was shaken. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to proclaim God’s message with boldness.
|Peter and John were caught in the trap of being verbally attacked by the Sanhedrin, and instead of asking for power from on high to attack them, the disciples instead asked for boldness to declare the Word of God, and for God’s power to become evident in and around them, so that the Sanhedrin may know that God is in control. I believe that this is a model for us to follow even today. Let’s have a closer look….
|I would like for us to look at two different approaches to these verses today. One is to look at them from a standpoint of supporting them with other such actions by God, and the second is to look at them from an observation of people today:
From a ‘God’ perspective: The disciples were asking God to bless those that were persecuting them. Let’s remember that God went to the cross willingly for the sin of those that were persecuting Him. Let’s remember that he reached out and healed the ear of the man that Peter attacked in the garden, even though the man was part of the group that came to arrest Him. In other words, this was just like God, to honor the request of His disciples to do things that would encourage the Jews to come to Jesus, rather than to totally destroy the Jews and get the trouble out of their way.
From the perspective of most humans: I believe it is true to say that our first instinct would be to fire back at the ridicule, and find nasty things to say about the leaders of the attackers, or possibly about their messed up belief system, and to point them to look at the sad state of affairs, because of their earthly leaders. Even to Christians, I doubt if many would automatically assume the position of wondering what would Jesus do in the scenario being considered. Let’s remember friends, we might be the only Bible they will ever read! What do you suppose they would gather about our ‘Jesus’, based on our first reaction to their abusive words or actions?
I believe that from the above, it is evident that as Christians, we should be following the example of Jesus Christ. We’re not perfect, so why should we expect it of others. We would prefer that others give us a second chance, so why shouldn’t we? Jesus says in His Word that we should forgive 70 times 7. That’s intended to be an indefinite number of times, so don’t bother to start the count now, or at the beginning of a New Year! Friends, as long as God allows us to be here on earth, I believe He wants us to always strive to be like Him. Reach out for the heart of our fellow man and ignore the daggers as we head in that direction. Like Peter and John, seek God’s help to speak Truth boldly into their lives and to see the soul that so badly needs Jesus, while ignoring the evil that Satan will encourage them to use against us.
|Father God, we are so influenced by the evil in this world that it becomes more of the norm for us to follow the ways of the world, instead of humbly seeking Your will and Your strength and wisdom in all things. Please forgive us Lord and help us to be better representatives of Yours and to do Your perfect will in all things. Please help us to be imitators of all that You have shown us and exampled before us, no matter who the opposition is or the challenge that we face. We’ll be careful to praise You for all that You accomplish in and through us for Your ultimate glory, AMEN!
|There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!|
December 25, 2017