READING: 1 Samuel 1-2, Psalm 120, Acts 5
I love the Word of God. It’s rich. It’s powerful. It’s convicting. It’s exciting. It’s challenging.
Acts 5 is filled with a lot of stuff. Hidden sin brought to light. Strong judgment of God on rebellious believers. Apostolic miracles, even through the shadow of Peter. Healed sicknesses and defeated demons. Religious and political jealousy. Imprisonment followed by miraculous release. Orders not to preach. Then, these words:
“After they called in the apostles and had them flogged, they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus and released them. Then they went out from the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to be treated shamefully on behalf of the Name. Every day in the temple, and in various homes, they continued teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.” (Acts 5:40-42)
It’s all amazing to me. The apostles paid a physical price for their faithfulness. Nevertheless, they rejoiced because they were worthy of suffering for Christ. That response catches me off guard, probably because I doubt my heart would naturally go in that direction. And, the apostles not only rejoiced in their suffering, but they also kept doing what led to their suffering in the first place: teaching that Jesus is the Messiah. They may have once been a rebellious, arrogant bunch, but now they were faithful, obedient, risk-taking proclaimers of the Word. That’s what the Spirit of God does in and through us!
PRAYER: “God, please keep teaching me how to follow You with abandon.”
TOMORROW’S READING: 1 Samuel 3-5, Psalm 23, Acts 6