ACTS – The Acts of God
I would assume that many of us have had the same experience in the work place, church or secular. A tremendous plan has been executed after many months of preparation and problem solving with potential to impact the world. Then those in leadership over you feel a need to “call a meeting” to discuss the implications of your actions and of those who worked with you. I still cringe at those words, usually delivered in a memo, not in person, “there will be meeting first thing Monday morning.”
It happens a lot to those who step out in faith, out of the world’s comfort zones, to do what God asks us to do. When God leads and you are dedicated to follow, you don’t think about the implications of what others might think at the time. Your only desire is that God is glorified and His salvation through His Son is brought into the Light of day, open and honest, so that others may see Him as He really is…Savior and Lord. Our intention is not to hurt anyone but to help.
Here is Peter, led by the Spirit, to change the life of a man at the gate of the Temple. God then uses this miracle to glorify His Son, giving Peter a platform to testify Truth. The Holy Spirit lets loose in Peter so that he brings God’s plan of salvation for all out into the open meeting called by the religious leaders who ordered Jesus to be killed a few months earlier. So, we think we have it bad? Not so much. There will always be people to question our moves and motives. Be ready, like Peter, to shift the attention from you to Jesus Christ. Use all as a platform to tell the Truth.
Key: Whatever we do must be led by the Holy Spirit. Will we ruffle feathers? Yes. Every time. The world prefers to live under the covers of darkness, all snuggled up in their self made comfort.
With the evidence of a healed man right in front of them, they could not make their charges stick. “We have nothing to hide. By the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the One you killed on a cross, the one God raised from the dead, by means of his name this man stands before you healthy and whole.”
Peter and John get a stern talking to and then return to their mission given to them by Jesus Christ. “Jesus is the stone you masons threw out, which is now the cornerstone. Salvation come no other way; no other name has been or will be given to us by which we can be saved, ONLY this one.”
“We cannot keep quiet about what we have seen and heard.”
Will there be other “meetings” called? Yes.
Acts 4, The Message
Nothing to Hide
1-4 While Peter and John were addressing the people, the priests, the chief of the Temple police, and some Sadducees came up, indignant that these upstart apostles were instructing the people and proclaiming that the resurrection from the dead had taken place in Jesus. They arrested them and threw them in jail until morning, for by now it was late in the evening. But many of those who listened had already believed the Message—in round numbers about five thousand!
5-7 The next day a meeting was called in Jerusalem. The rulers, religious leaders, religion scholars, Annas the Chief Priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander—everybody who was anybody was there. They stood Peter and John in the middle of the room and grilled them: “Who put you in charge here? What business do you have doing this?”
8-12 With that, Peter, full of the Holy Spirit, let loose: “Rulers and leaders of the people, if we have been brought to trial today for helping a sick man, put under investigation regarding this healing, I’ll be completely frank with you—we have nothing to hide. By the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the One you killed on a cross, the One God raised from the dead, by means of his name this man stands before you healthy and whole. Jesus is ‘the stone you masons threw out, which is now the cornerstone.’ Salvation comes no other way; no other name has been or will be given to us by which we can be saved, only this one.”
13-14 They couldn’t take their eyes off them—Peter and John standing there so confident, so sure of themselves! Their fascination deepened when they realized these two were laymen with no training in Scripture or formal education. They recognized them as companions of Jesus, but with the man right before them, seeing him standing there so upright—so healed!—what could they say against that?
15-17 They sent them out of the room so they could work out a plan. They talked it over: “What can we do with these men? By now it’s known all over town that a miracle has occurred, and that they are behind it. There is no way we can refute that. But so that it doesn’t go any further, let’s silence them with threats so they won’t dare to use Jesus’ name ever again with anyone.”
18-20 They called them back and warned them that they were on no account ever again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John spoke right back, “Whether it’s right in God’s eyes to listen to you rather than to God, you decide. As for us, there’s no question—we can’t keep quiet about what we’ve seen and heard.”
21-22 The religious leaders renewed their threats, but then released them. They couldn’t come up with a charge that would stick, that would keep them in jail. The people wouldn’t have stood for it—they were all praising God over what had happened. The man who had been miraculously healed was over forty years old.
What do we learn?
–Tell the Truth of Jesus Christ.
–Be led by His Holy Spirit who lives in You.
–Focus on God with motivation to please Him.
–Be ready for opposition.
–Present the evidence. (God’s Word)
–Proceed with fearless confidence…from Christ.
–Let God do the rest.
Dear Heavenly Father,
If there was fear in Peter and John for being called into “the meeting” for reprimand, it is not indicated. They knew the facts and were not afraid to tell Your Story of salvation for all. Their confidence came from you. That is evident. May Your Holy Spirit lead us and develop the same confidence and boldness in us to speak when You give us the platform to speak.
In Jesus Name, Amen