Bible Reference: Acts 5:17-21
Translation: GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)
Bible Text: 17 The chief priest and the whole party of the Sadducees who were with him were extremely jealous. So they took action 18 by arresting the apostles and putting them in the city jail. 19 But at night an angel from the Lord opened the doors to their cell and led them out of the prison. 20 The angel told them, “Stand in the temple courtyard, and tell the people everything about life in Christ.” 21 Early in the morning, after they had listened to the angel, the apostles went into the temple courtyard and began to teach….
OBSERVATION: In most translations, the angels’ first words to the apostles were ‘Go, stand in the temple courtyard and tell…’. I believe these are awesome words for us to remember as we usher in a New Year – Go, tell the good News of Jesus Christ. As we meditate on this Scripture today, let us be reminded that we still serve the same miraculous God who sent the angles to the apostles!
APPLICATION: I believe that one of the biggest obstacles to current day Christians sharing the joy of knowing Christ, is rejection, coupled with our fear of intruding in someone else’s space. But notice in our Scripture that the angels first approached the disciples in prison, then miraculously released them from prison, without the authorities actually opening the gates to let them out. Do you suppose that there have been any doubt by the apostles that God would be with them as they carried out the instructions given to them? But before you come back at me about the differences between the help given the apostles and what we might expect today, let me remind you that the Bible is clear on how God assures us: How He will be with us until the very end; How He will direct our paths; How He will fill our hearts with joy; and How He will give us the words to say, if only we will surrender ourselves over to Him completely, and allow Him full access to our lips and our heart. Friends, I believe where we mess things up, is that we quickly assume full responsibility for our words and our actions, and only call on God for direction when we run into trouble. I am hoping that God will send me, and use me for His glory. When He does, the ministry will only be successful if HE uses me as a means for His ministry, not the other way around. My thoughts about the ministry will be limited to what is impacting me. In most cases, that will be irrelevant to what is troubling my Brother. Trusting Jesus to fulfill His awesome work through a usable vessel like me, or you, will achieve His work in each of us.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, I am trusting You today to accomplish Your work in Your people today, and I make myself available for You to use me to accomplish that work in accordance with Your perfect will. People need the Lord, not more of broken mankind. Please complete your work in me. I believe that many of my readers will submit to a similar commitment today. Please touch their hearts and make them Your usable vessels dear Lord. AMEN!