Saturday 06 May 2017

Bible Book:

“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness” (v. 31)

Acts 4:23-31 Saturday 6 May 2017

Psalm: Psalm147


Peter and John return to "their friends" (v. 23),meaning here those that believed in Jesus. One might assume thatthis group, this early church, had been praying for the apostles asthey appeared before the Sanhedrin. However, no assumptions areneeded as to what happened after they heard Peter and John'saccount of the courtroom: "They raised their voices together toGod" (v. 24). There was no dismay that the Sanhedrin had forbiddenthem to speak or teach in the name of Jesus (Acts4:18), but rather an added conviction that God was in controland they had an irresistible need to speak about Jesus, as Peterhad predicted in (Acts 4:20).

In the prayer that follows (verses 24-30), thefailed machinations of Herod and Pilate, concerning Jesus, areinterpreted as simply being God's will. Their faith is in theoverarching will of God which will ultimately come to pass, nomatter how hard human beings appear to do all they can to subvertGod's purposes.

The last year will be remembered for its hugepolitical surprises: great cruelty and savagery in parts of theMiddle East; the changing order for so many in parts of Europe andNorth America. In personal terms, many readers will have wonderedin their own lives if God can really be in control when one's ownlife seems to be in such disarray. The answer is that, howeverdistant you and I may feel from God, God is closer than breath tous. The free will that God has lovingly given us can lead us intoall kinds of bother as well as hurting others and ourselves morethan we ever know; but God wills better from us and for us, becauseGod loves us and wants to be close.

So our week's passages leave us on the reassuringnote that, despite trials and tribulations, the Spirit of God, theheart of Jesus, fills the disciples. Nothing can separate them fromthe love of God. So they pray, they ask for miraculous signs andwonders, "And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spokethe word of God with boldness" (v. 31).

May those of us who are believers take both comfortand courage from the example of those early disciples.

To Ponder

  • Which of the early disciples/apostles are most helpful, asexamples for you, as a witness to God's truth, justice and love?Why?
  • "And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke theword of God boldly" (v. 31). God may put you alongside someonetoday who needs both to see and hear God through you. How ready areyou?
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