Open your bibles with me to Acts, Chapter 4 vs. 23-31 or read below:
And being let go, the went to their own companions and reported all the chief priests and elders said to them (This is on the heels of yesterday where the chief priests and elders realized there was power in being with Jesus and threatened them with harm if they kept speaking the name of Jesus.) So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, who by the mouth of your servant David have said:
‘Why did the nations rage, And the people do vain things? The kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the Lord and against His Christ.’
For truly against Your holy Servant gathered together to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done. Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and taht signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.”
And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.
Lessons from today’s scripture:
- Notice how the believers prayed. First, they praised God; then they told God their specific problem and asked for his help. They did not ask God to remove the problem, but to help them deal with it. We can follow their model when we pray. We may ask God to remove our problems, and he may choose to do so. But we must recognize that often he will leave a problem but give us the strength and courage to deal with it. In dealing with it – and seeing his faithfulness – we often gain wisdom and strength. If God removed every obstacle, we’d never learn how to overcome them or trust Him.
- I noticed how they raised their voice to God “With one accord” – there is so much power in the unity of Christians! This is why the devil fights so hard to divide. When a group is divided, they are more easily conquered. My plea, my cry, is for all Christians to keep their eyes focused on Jesus and to stand united, as one, against the enemy by lifting our voices against evil and praying for our country, our children, our families.
- God is the sovereign Lord of all events, who rules history to fulfill his purposes. What his will determines, his power carries out. No leader, army, government, or council can stand in God’s way. I believe we are in a space for repentance. We see all the “dark” continuously thrown at us on social media – but I also believe there is a spirit of last days revival in the land and those moments are not what you’ll see in your news feed. Keep standing united in prayer and don’t give up. The bible clearly says, “When my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, and pray, and turn from their wicked ways – THEN will I hear from heaven and heal their land!” We have to humble ourselves (quit taking sides on every single issue that comes up and staying divided. Maybe we ought to keep our opinions to ourselves and if we speak, only speak Jesus. Only point people toward Jesus.) And then pray – in one accord – asking God to intervene. How awesome would it be if we started seeing prayer meetings in homes again where people gathered specifically to pray for their community and for this country? What if we started walking the streets, covering them in prayer and taking back the territory the enemy has stolen?
- Boldness is not reckless impulsiveness. Boldness requires courage to press on through our fears and do what we know is right. How can we be more bold? Like the disciples, we need to pray with others. to gain boldness you can (1) pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to give you courage (2) look for opportunities in your family and neighborhood to talk about Christ (3) realize taht rejection, social discomfort, and embarrassment are not necessarily persecution, and (4) start where you are being bolder in small ways.
- Today it’s honestly pretty easy to share the gospel. What happens when we’re told we can’t and if we do, we will be put in jail – or can’t buy, sell or trade? You need to get grounded in the Word and in your Faith now so you can walk in a holy boldness like Peter and John and those early disciples when that time comes. Think about it – the early church was persecuted and that’s how the gospel spread! Unfortunately, human nature is often such that no one wants to hear until their plush, comfy lives are challenged. Look at the pandemic the last couple of years. Bibles flew off the shelves and suddenly, people wanted to hear what we had to say. The threat diminishes, and so do those who want to grow in the Faith. People are inclined to go back to their “comfortable” ways.
There’s a lost and hurting world that needs you to be bold today! 🙂