NOVEMBER 8, 2021 READINGS... Acts 3:1-5:42
Acts 3-5 are incredible chapters. We have read of the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise to His disciples of the coming of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit in the followers of Christ changed everything…you just need to look at Peter to see a man transformed from a fearful Christ denier, to a bold preacher standing before all of Jerusalem declaring Christ to everyone.
In today’s reading Peter continues to carry out the work of Christ among the people. The Holy Spirit works through Peter to heal a crippled beggar. Peter exalts the Name of Jesus in this healing and God uses it to touch many hearts. Peter took advantage of this great act of God to once again bring the message of Christ to the people. Peter reminded them that it was the message of every Old Testament prophet of God about Jesus being the Messiah, and the miracles they were seeing. Chapter 4 begins with Peter and John being brought before the Sanhedrin. I am sure this religious body thought that this “Jesus thing” was done with the crucifixion…but instead they are seeing it growing all around them, and about to get out of control. Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, stood before these men and boldly proclaimed that the Jesus they had crucified is the Messiah, and the only way to salvation. The council warned them to stop spreading this message, and Peter told them that they would obey God rather than an apostate religious organization. The church continues to grow, and the church ministered to the needs of each other. They studied the Apostle’s teaching, they shared meals, and they even sold their possessions in order to meet the needs of fellow believers.
With God working so mightily in the church, you can be sure that Satan would raise his ugly head…that is what happened in Acts 5. When a husband and wife, Ananias and Sapphira, saw the recognition that Barnabas received when he sold his land and gave the money to the church for the needs of others, they decided to do the same thing. But, instead of selling their land and giving all the money, as they claimed to do, they kept back part of the money for themselves. Now understand, they were not required to sell their land, nor were they required to give the money from the sale to the church. What they were required to do was be honest. Peter called them to account for what they claimed and they lied, not just to the church, but to the Holy Spirit. The result…they died immediately. The Apostles continued to heal many people, and also face opposition. Once again, the high priest and the council tried to silence them, and when the Apostles told them they would not be silent, and they would obey God and not men, the Sanhedrin threatened to kill them. A man named Gamaliel stood up and with wisdom told the council to leave them alone…for if these men were not speaking the things of God, they wouldn’t last long…but if this was all from God, the council could not stop it. This is true today also…keep speaking the things of God, don’t worry about opposition…if what we speak is of God, it cannot be stopped.
Please share your thoughts from today’s reading.
TOMORROW’S READINGS… Acts 6:1-8:1a