READING: Ruth 3-4, Psalm 37, Acts 4
The religious leaders didn’t like what the apostles were doing in Jerusalem. The apostles were apparently stirring up trouble as they preached about Jesus and resurrection of the dead. They were bold. They were clear. They were focused. And, they stressed out the religious elite who sought to quiet them.
Here’s what the religious leaders didn’t account for, though. First, there was nothing they could do about the lame man now standing in front of them. He had never walked in over 40 years, but now he stood in their presence. They could have tried to deny what happened, or they could have made up some explanation—but the proof was undeniable. Something quite unusual had happened when Peter told the man to get up and walk. No matter how hard others tried to discount or disprove his experience, nobody could adequately explain a man completely changed under God’s power.
Second, the religious leaders failed to recognize the boldness of believers filled with the Holy Spirit. They warned the disciples not to teach again in Jesus’ name, but they couldn’t stop them. The disciples instead said, “We are unable to stop speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). That’s what happens when God’s Spirit overwhelms you. And, in fact, the followers of Christ just kept praying for more boldness, for even the further threats of their opponents could not stop them.
Undeniable life change + Holy Spirit-boldness stands in the face of any opposition.
PRAYER: “God, grant me boldness to speak.”
TOMORROW’S READING: 1 Samuel 1-2, Psalm 120, Acts 5