Acts 4 – Facing Persecution…

Good afternoon y’all. Today we are studying chapter 4 of Acts.

In this chapter we see the apostles face persecution because of the gospel of Christ.

Below are a few points I picked out from today’s chapter.

Be blessed 🙂

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– There will always be opposition when doing God’s work especially when boldly professing and preaching about Jesus. Peter and John knew who had called them and they didn’t allow the opposition derail them or cause them to deny God. Do you know who called you and why you were called? Knowing this will help you stay on course even when challenges are all around.

– Peter was full of the Holy Ghost and not himself, and that’s why He could defend the gospel. If you are full of yourself your words will have no power…it will be like noise in the ears of those listening and won’t have any effect on them. But because Peter was full of the Holy Spirit, who is the POWER of God, when he spoke, his words had power backing it and as a result it had impact on the audience. People repented and accepted Jesus as their Lord. He didn’t go there bragging about himself, but kept the focus on Jesus. What are you doing with the opportunities to preach Jesus? Are you making it about yourself or about Jesus?  Peter gave all credit and glory back to Jesus. There was no trace of pride in his response. See v 10-11

– Salvation can only be found in Jesus. Everything else is fake. Jesus is the way the truth and life.

– What makes more sense: to obey God or man? Often times we find ourselves in a position where we are torn between pleasing God or man. It’s seems much easier to obey man and escape the consequences, however Peter and the apostles chose to obey God and live with the consequence of their decision. In verse 19 we see Peter’s response.
” But Peter and John replied, “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.” (V 19-20 NLT)
Perhaps it’s because Peter had denied Jesus once before and he knew the pain and sorrow that brought him, hence why he didn’t make the same mistake again but chose to stand up for Jesus despite the persecution. I pray God gives us the boldness and courage to stand up for Him even in the face of persecution.

– As opposed to panicking, the apostles went back to God in prayer. They could have started worrying about what will happen if they continued preaching….but these guys went back to the One who gave them the commission to preach in the first place. They tabled their fears before Him. Friends, do we panic or turn our panic into sincere prayers to God? I’m guilty of this I would have panicked before remembering God can take care of the situation. ( I’m still work in progress 🙂 lol)

As soon as they were freed, Peter and John returned to the other believers and told them what the leading priests and elders had said. When they heard the report, all the believers lifted their voices together in prayer to God…” V23 – 24 NLT)

– I was challenged by their prayer in verse 29 and 30.
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” (NLT).

I noticed it wasn’t for God to remove the persecution but for BOLDNESS in the midst of it! I know what I’d be praying for if I were in their shoes 🙂 . We can’t run away from persecution. Jesus never promised us an easy ride but one thing He promised is the assurance of His presence and victory in the midst of it. In John 16:33 Jesus says “…Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” am with you…’).

-The intensity and sincerity of their prayer also challenged me. They didn’t use big grammar or go round the bush. They went straight to the point. They told God exactly what it was that was bugging them and what they needed Him to do. I believe it was the sincerity of the prayer that got them immediate response to their request. Verse 31 says:
“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” (NLT)

– They were unified in purpose, spirit and even in the flesh (see v32 -36). No one lacked anything. It was one big happy family. I’m sure they had issues but the love they had for each other was stronger than the issues.  They all shared what they had. I ask myself why it is so difficult for us to attain this level of unity and bond (like the early church) in our generation today?

Prayer:
Dear Lord we thank you for today. Please help us to be bold and courageous even in the face of persecution, in Jesus’ Name Amen.

Thanks for joining today. Pls feel free to share your thots on the chapter.

I’m blogging through the book of Acts a chapter a day with Good Morning Girls. Check us out at http://www.goodmorninggirls.org

Have a blessed day 🙂

***With God all things are possible***

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