Before reading this post I would recommend you to read Acts chapter four and answer the following questions!
Have you ever been in a situation where you felt like you couldn’t talk about Jesus?
How bold do you feel like your faith is?
Has there been a time in your life that someone from the church or a believer blessed you financially or other ways like a place to say or food? Write that down and praise the Lord for that person or group.
The beginning of chapter four is a continuation of chapter three of Acts. In chapter three we read about Peter and John healing the man who couldn’t walk. There was a big crowd that gathered and heard Peter speak. In chapter four we pick up the story where Peter and John get arrested because the Sadducees were “greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead (Acts 4:2 ESV)”. The next day, they set Peter and John in front of all the religious leaders and asked them “by what power or by what name did you do this (Acts 4:8 ESV)”. They were asking Peter and John how they were able to heal the lame man. These were some of the same religious leaders that Jesus stood before during his illegitimate trial. Peter stands up and says that it is by the power and the name of Jesus that they crucified and that rose from the dead that they were able to do this miracle. When I look at their boldness it really empowers me. If Peter can look the men, that hung Jesus on a cross, in the eye, and preach His name, is there really any situation that I could be in that I can’t preach the name of Jesus? If Peter can, so can I! I can talk to people that I work with about Jesus. I can talk to my family about what Jesus is doing in my life. I can teach and preach in front of whoever God puts before me and have the confidence to share His name!
Who in your life does it seem scary to talk to about Jesus? Pray for an opportunity to talk to the person about Him this week!
Peter and John were released but were told not to talk about Jesus anymore. They said, “we cannot but speak what we have seen and heard (Acts 4:20 ESV)”. The leaders couldn’t punish them more because the people were all praising God for the miracle of healing the lame man. So Peter and John went back to the group of believers and they prayed. They first praised the Lord for who He is and how awesome He is in their lives. Then they prayed for the leaders and asked the Lord that no matter what happens for His will to be done. They knew that the persecution that they were facing was hard but that it had a purpose because they were seeing more and more people come to know salvation through Jesus. Then they prayed for boldness. They wanted to do the work of the Holy Spirit and see the Kingdom come. They prayed for people to be healed and for signs and wonders to happen. They prayed for the name of Jesus to be shared. We read that “the place was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness (Acts 4: 31 ESV)”. These are the kinds of prayers that we should be praying every day! We should be praying for boldness and for people to be healed and signs and wonders to happen. We should be praying for those that might be coming against us. The Holy Spirit is alive in us today and does miracles. We are called to pray for them to happen!
Pray that the Holy Spirit would use you and give you boldness in your faith today!
We finish up the chapter by getting a glimpse of what life was like for the early church. They were so generous and giving. I love it when it says “those who believed were of one heart and soul (Acts 4:32 ESV)”. They shared everything they had with one another. People that had a lot of things and money gave to those who had less. People that had land, sold it and gave the money to the apostles. No one had needs, and everyone was welcomed in and taken care of. I think this is beautiful. I think people today have a tight grip on things that they own but God can do so much if you open your hands up to Him. Not everyone is called to sell their house and give the money to the church, but if God asked you to do that, could you? We are blessed to be a blessing.
Brainstorm how you can pour out blessings to people this month.