Every day we face decisions, small and large, that affect the integrity of our witness and testimony to Christ in us. For example, do we go along with the company’s stand to cheat the customer by adding a few hours not worked on the clock? Do we lay aside all that is right and moral just to get ahead and find favor with the boss? Do we say yes when we mean no? Do we manipulate so we look good and our coworkers on our team look bad or less than worthy to the boss? Do we work for power, position and the paycheck at the end as our only motivation? Then we are working to obey men, not God.
Peter and the work of the apostles are mightily led by God, working to please Him, not themselves or some earthy “boss”, so that the world may know the Truth. God consistently provides where He guides them. If God is in it, Truth cannot be stopped! Read this…! What an encouragement today!
Acts 5, The Message
To Obey God Rather than Men
17-20 Provoked mightily by all this, the Chief Priest and those on his side, mainly the sect of Sadducees, went into action, arrested the apostles and put them in the town jail. But during the night an angel of God opened the jailhouse door and led them out. He said, “Go to the Temple and take your stand. Tell the people everything there is to say about this Life.”
Promptly obedient, they entered the Temple at daybreak and went on with their teaching.
21-23 Meanwhile, the Chief Priest and his cronies convened the High Council, Israel’s senate, and sent to the jail to have the prisoners brought in. When the police got there, they couldn’t find them anywhere in the jail. They went back and reported, “We found the jail locked tight as a drum and the guards posted at the doors, but when we went inside we didn’t find a soul.”
24 The chief of the Temple police and the high priests were puzzled. “What’s going on here anyway?”
25-26 Just then someone showed up and said, “Did you know that the men you put in jail are back in the Temple teaching the people?” The chief and his police went and got them, but they handled them gently, fearful that the people would riot and turn on them.
27-28 Bringing them back, they stood them before the High Council. The Chief Priest said, “Didn’t we give you strict orders not to teach in Jesus’ name? And here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are trying your best to blame us for the death of this man.”
29-32 Peter and the apostles answered, “It’s necessary to obey God rather than men.
The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, the One you killed by hanging him on a cross. God set him on high at his side, Prince and Savior, to give Israel the gift of a changed life and sins forgiven. And we are witnesses to these things. The Holy Spirit, whom God gives to those who obey him, corroborates every detail.”
33-37 When they heard that, they were furious and wanted to kill them on the spot. But one of the council members stood up, a Pharisee by the name of Gamaliel, a teacher of God’s Law who was honored by everyone. He ordered the men taken out of the room for a short time, then said, “Fellow Israelites, be careful what you do to these men. Not long ago Theudas made something of a splash, claiming to be somebody, and got about four hundred men to join him. He was killed, his followers dispersed, and nothing came of it. A little later, at the time of the census, Judas the Galilean appeared and acquired a following. He also fizzled out and the people following him were scattered to the four winds.
38-39 “So I am telling you: Hands off these men! Let them alone. If this program or this work is merely human, it will fall apart, but if it is of God, there is nothing you can do about it—and you better not be found fighting against God!”
40-42 That convinced them. They called the apostles back in. After giving them a thorough whipping, they warned them not to speak in Jesus’ name and sent them off. The apostles went out of the High Council overjoyed because they had been given the honor of being dishonored on account of the Name. Every day they were in the Temple and homes, teaching and preaching Christ Jesus, not letting up for a minute.
What do we learn for today?
Yes, it is getting harder to be a witness without criticism and your character maligned, but never, give up. We work for God, not man. God will provide right opportunities to tell His Story in the right way, in the right Spirit…and sometimes without words…by our integrity displayed as we work, serve in our church or raise our family.
Reflection? WHO do we work for? Seriously. WHO guides our Life?
Dear Heavenly Father, The fervor of your apostles got your church off to a miraculous start! Thank you for your Truth. Thank you for guiding and providing as we work to please You in everything we are and do here until we see you there. In Jesus Name, Continue to be with us, Amen.