Bible Reference: Acts 4:18-20
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)
Bible Text: 18 The leaders brought the prisoners back in and prohibited them from doing any more speaking or teaching in the name of Jesus. 19 Peter and John listened quietly and then replied: You are the judges here, so we’ll leave it up to you to judge whether it is right in the sight of God to obey your commands or God’s. 20 But one thing we can tell you: we cannot possibly restrain ourselves from speaking about what we have seen and heard with our own eyes and ears.
OBSERVATION: Gossip is one of those evils that many of us become involved in, and we just can’t help ourselves from sharing the juicy news that we just heard from a friend! But think about it, when something miraculous or disastrous happens in our lives, we openly share that with family and friends also. Peter and John was much like us, in that they didn’t feel like anything, or anyone, could stop them from sharing the outstanding miracles they witnessed while in the presence of Jesus. As we meditate, let me encourage you to think of the miracles in your life, and whether you were as prone to share that news as our brothers (disciples) did in this story.
APPLICATION: Is there anything more beautiful than a newborn baby? Is there anything that will prevent that mother, father or grandparents from bragging about the new addition to their family? What about that young man who was given his death sentence by an attending physician, but later found that God had intervened, healed his body, and restored him to perfect health? Would you ever imagine him staying silent about his miracle, and the God who ordained it all? But as for our Christian friends, isn’t it amazing how we tend to listen to those leaders mentioned in verse 18, and try to avoid being offensive to anyone, or hurting the feelings of the criminal down the street, and we stay in our little corner and keep very quiet, or we try to avoid the subject of our faith while speaking in the presence of that individual. Why, in the United States, Christians sat back and allowed Satan and his followers to take God out of our school system – no prayer in schools – much like the leaders were telling Peter and John to do. At work; in the restaurants and around our business places, often you will find that patrons listen very carefully to Satan’s leaders and do their best to avoid hurting the feelings of every one else. Or is that really what Christians are afraid of (hurting the feelings of others)? Peter said that the leaders could draw whatever conclusions they wanted and/or demanded them to do, but nothing, or no one could stop them from sharing the love expressed to them, the miracles that took place right before their eyes, the intimate times of praise and worship they enjoyed with the Master, and the promises that He shared with them. In fact, it was so embedded in their minds and in their hearts, that NOTHING or NO ONE could stop them from sharing it with others. So why are we not like our Brothers (Peter and John)? Do we have something to share? If so, why would we ever allow anyone to stop us from sharing that exciting news with someone else? May I challenge you dear Christian believer, that we find it very easy to share with others what we fill our hearts and lives with? A good baseball game the night before, will result in an exciting discussion the next morning at work. A graduation party will result in a lot of bragging about our precious kids the following morning. But what about a church service where kids surrendered their sinful hearts to a holy God – the Creator and Master of this universe? They turned from the wickedness and sin of this challenging world, and decided to follow Jesus! Why listen to worldly leaders and hide that exciting news? Surely we would not opt to see them die and go eternally to Hell with Satan and his demons, while we know from experience how we might help them avoid that pitfall? What’s your stance today dear friend? What do you do in these situations? What would you prefer doing when these situations arise again?
PRAYER: For all that You are, all that You do for us, and for all that You have promised us for eternity, we give You eternal thanks oh God. You are our hope today and throughout eternity. Please continue to prompt us towards holiness and righteousness because of Jesus. Please remove every selfish desire, and give us boldness to share the love extended to us by Your Son, so that others may know You and want to serve You while still remaining on earth. We have everything to share, and nothing to fear, and with Your strength, wisdom and boldness I am convinced that we could assume the same stance as our Brothers Peter and John – nothing can stop us from sharing the love and power of our Lord that we have experienced ourselves. May You be glorified through everything we say or do oh Lord. AMEN!