READING: Acts 4-6
TEXTS AND APPLICATION: Some days I wonder how much passion I really have for Jesus. Just when I think it’s strong, I read texts like some that I read today — texts that talk about the early church leaders who proclaimed Jesus regardless of the cost.
When Peter and John were told not to preach in the name of Jesus any more, they responded, “we are unable to stop speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). Jesus was so real to them that they simply could not keep the story to themselves.
The church gathered around them and prayed not for God to protect them, but for God to give them boldness to keep preaching. The result? “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak God’s message with boldness” (Acts 4:31). Jail sentences led only to increased fervor for the gospel.
Again, they were ordered not to preach, but the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 4:29). That they did, and it cost them a flogging. Nevertheless, look at their response: “Then they went out from the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to be dishonored on behalf of the Name” (Acts 4:41). Every day, they kept on teaching and preaching even though it cost them.
They paid a price for their faith — and they rejoiced that God found them worthy to suffer for Jesus’ name. Do I have that kind of passion for Jesus? I hope so . . . .
ACTION STEPS: Choose today to tell somebody about Jesus, even if doing so might cost you something.
PRAYER: “Thank You, Lord, for Your Word that shows us the faith of the early believers. I face nothing like they faced, but still I don’t tell your story enough. Give me faith to proclaim Your Word to someone today.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Acts 7-8