Open your bibles or read with me below – Acts 4:13-22 (I LOVE this scripture!!)
Subtitle in my bible “The Name of Jesus Forbidden”
Now when they saw the boldness of peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, saying, “What shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But so that it spreads no further among the people, let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in his name.”
So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all not reach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” So when they had further threatened them, the let them go, finding no way of punishing them, because of the people, since they all glorified God for what had been done. For the man was over forty years old on whom this miracle of healing had been performed.
Lessons from Today’s Scipture:
- Oh how I love verse 13! Knowing that Peter and John were untrained, ordinary men, the council was amazed at what being with Jesus had done for them. I always say – “You can’t argue with a changed life!” A changed life displays Christ’s power. One of your greatest testimonies is the difference others see in your life – and your new attitudes toward things – since you have believed in Jesus Christ.
- The golden nugget here is “And they realized, they had been with Jesus.” We have to spend time with Jesus if we are going to share him with others. There is a difference in knowing about him, and knowing him. Knowing him comes from reading the bible and spending time in prayer and being aware of the Holy Spirit at work in your life. As you seek him you learn the heart and character of God. Do you know about him – like a story you read in a history book – or do you KNOW him as your Savior? Do you understand the depths of his love for you and the price he paid so that you can live with him in eternity? Did he free you from addiction, depression, immorality? We should never forget where Jesus brought us from. It keeps us humble and compassionate to the lost and hurting.
- Although the evidence was there – and powerful – (changed lives and a healed man), the religious leaders refused to believe in Christ and continued to try and suppress the truth by threatening to harm them if they continued to speak the name of Jesus. Don’t be surprised if some people reject you and your positive witness for Christ. When minds are closed, even the clearest presentation of the facts can’t open them. But don’t give up either! Pray for those people – ask God to touch their hearts and open them to receiving him – and continue to spread the gospel!
- Sometimes we don’t speak up out of fear that we will be rejected if we speak about Jesus. Peter and John’s zeal for the Lord was so strong that they could not keep quiet, even when threatened. If your courage to witness and share the gospel has weakened, pray that your boldness may increase. I recall a time that I could not pray with people in public or talk to them about Jesus because I was listening to all the lies of the enemy that I wasn’t smart enough, pretty enough, etc. etc. But as I grew in my relations with the Lord, and realized just how “free” my life was now that I was living for Jesus – I wanted others to experience this freedom more than I feared staying quiet. I found a book where my mom had written the prayer “Lord, give my daughter a holy boldness” – He answered her prayer because it was only through the power of the Holy Spirit I was able to overcome my fear of sharing and speaking of Jesus.
- Jesus made us a promise in Matthew 10:32 “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.” I don’t know about you, but I definitely want Jesus introducing me to God when my time here is up. 🙂
Have a great day and be blessed!!