Google+ 04/17/13 Deal Me In!

Acts 4:29-33

 

And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word.  Stretch out your hand with healing power;

May miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.

Then they preached the word of God with boldness.

All the believers were united in heart and mind.

And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had.

The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus,

And God’s great blessing was upon them all.   

 

As you read the Scripture for today, hear and know there is great power in the name of the Jesus through His resurrection.  Acts 4 finds Peter and John being thrown in jail for preaching Jesus and healing in His name.  They are brought before Annas and Caiaphas to be interrogated about their actions and activities.  Instead of being frightened by the chief priest, Peter and John testify that they have healed in Christ's name, and they would do it again!  They finish by delivering the salvation message of Jesus to the entire body that is present.  Because they had performed a miracle that could not be denied, they were questioned and released.  Peter and John were told to stop doing what they were doing, and not to allow anyone else to hear or see the resurrection story and saving grace message of Jesus through them.  When Peter and John returned to the disciples and testified as to what had happened, all the people present lifted up their voices to proclaim the sovereignty of God.  They praised His name in one accord.  Peter and John brought these threatenings directly to the throne room of God and asked for boldness to continue to proclaim the message of Jesus, their Lord and Savior.  Is anybody but me impressed with these guys?  Yes, Peter denied Jesus three times.  Remember, that Christ gave Peter a chance to repent for each of those denials, and Peter repented.  Peter and John are leading Christ's movement and will, several days from now, be joined by James, the half-brother of Jesus in this quest.  Peter and John have been in prison.  The chief priests have threatened their lives if they continue to preach Jesus.  What do they do?  They gather the people together and pray for boldness of tongue to preach the gospel throughout the land!  Might the same be said of us!!!  Now, look what happened in our Scripture.  After their prayer, the room shook and they spoke with boldness.  Prayer answered, case closed!  Our Scripture tells us that all were in one accord and that no one wanted for anything.   There were no minions yelling "Mine, Mine, Mine!"  Finally, the apostles testify  powerfully about the resurrection, and God's blessings fall upon them.  Is it really this easy?  Yes and no.  Yes, all we have to do is call on the name of Jesus and we will receive His power and boldness and God's blessing.  No, it is not easy to stand up to the "chief priests" in our lives and proclaim the name of Jesus when we are being threatened.  I recently preached a sermon at one of our worship services.  You could feel the power of God in the room, moving among His people and using me as a vessel for the great salvation message.  Someone actually said to me, following the message, in an angry tone and as a direct quote said, "You played the Jesus card pretty hard today!"  I was stunned for a moment.  Then, like Peter and John, I took the "threatening" to God and asked for boldness.  Jesus answered my prayer and I continue to "play the Jesus card" as often and as boldly as God allows!  So, when someone "threatens" you in the name of Jesus, take it to God.  He will answer your prayer.  It will not be easy to stand for Jesus.  Remember what they did to Him and so many others who preached the gospel.  There is no higher calling than standing up for Jesus.  "Deal Me In!" so I can "play the Jesus card" boldly and often!!!