Father, thank you for your goodness and faithfulness always in our lives. Thank you for the salvation we so richly enjoy. Remind us, Father, it is for the whole world.
In this chapter, Peter and John find themselves arrested and standing before officials of the highest Jewish court in the land. They had angered the religious leaders by proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ: his death, burial, and resurrection. And, they had healed a man who had been crippled from birth. Now they were being asked, “By what power and in whose name have you done this?” (v 7b).
I am sure while they were standing there Jesus’ words were ringing in their ears. “…because of me you will have to stand before rulers and kings to tell about your faith… When you are arrested, don’t worry about what you will say. You will be given the right words when the time comes. But you will not really be the ones speaking. Your words will come from the Holy Spirit” (Mark 13.9, 11).
What a great reminder for us today. We are called to be witnesses of the good news of Jesus Christ. When we are doing what God has called us to do, our words and actions will draw attention. When asked, “By what power and in whose name have you done this?” – don’t beat around the bush, just tell them. Then be ready for the Holy Spirit to give your words a voice.
We live in a world that desperately needs to know the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Don’t be fearful to speak or doubtful that the Holy Spirit will help you speak. As the Holy Spirit gave Peter a voice, he will do the same for us. Peter’s words rang loud and clear. “This man is standing here completely well because of the power of Jesus Christ from Nazareth…” (v 10b). In addition, Peter, emboldened by the Holy Spirit, went on to say, “Only Jesus has the power to save! His name is the only one in all the world that can save anyone” (v 12).
As you witness for Christ many may oppose you, but the ones who believe will be eternally grateful that you were not afraid to speak. Just think, as a result of Peter and John’s boldness, the believers in the Lord grew to about 5,000.
Have you found yourself being challenged about believing in Jesus? Have others tried to intimidate you into remaining silent?
As you continue your journey through the book of Acts, highlight or underline each verse where God helped his people to stand in the face of opposition. You will find encouragement from those that have gone before us.
Father, always remind me that I was lost, but now I am found. Give me the love, compassion, and boldness to let others know that they, too, are welcome in the kingdom of God.