Monday, October 19, 2020

The Precedent Set Before Us

 Monday, October 19, 2020

And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness. Acts 4:31

The Precedent Set Before Us

This year has certainly seemed unprecedented in many ways, but is it really? Or is it just unprecedented for our lifetime? This year may have been unprecedented to us, but not to our God who knows all things and has already been in 2020, as He has been in all of our tomorrows. Although He doesn’t like to see us separated physically and divided spiritually, He is not surprised. 

There have definitely been things happening that we have never seen before, nor did we ever dream they could happen. It feels to us like everything is out of control, but if we believe what we say we believe, then we know it is not. Satan loves it when we panic at the news, or when tempers flare at the protests, or when we lock ourselves away and do not come together for worship. He truly does work hard to silence God’s people and he will stop at nothing. We are his greatest threat. If he can silence the people of God, he can win over all those souls who will not hear the Gospel from us - not a political view or a social platform. 

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is still our mission, even in the midst of a pandemic, an intense election, and a rioting society.

Satan thinks he has won this year, because he thinks he has completely averted the eyes of the world and caused us to focus on everything but God. We need to get our focus back on God, back on our mission, and off all of Satan’s distractions. 

Our world is hurting and needing the love of God more than ever right now. On top of everything else this year, Christians are experiencing persecution in our country for gathering together. This is not unprecedented. In Acts, the church had been driven into hiding because of persecution. Peter and John were jailed for healing a lame man in Jesus’ name, and proclaiming the Gospel, yet already about 5000 people were saved because of their witness! They were brought to trial, and when asked on whose authority they said these things, Peter, full of the Holy Spirit, let loose: Rulers and leaders of the people, if we have been brought to trial today for helping a sick man, put under investigation regarding this healing, I’ll be completely frank with you—we have nothing to hide. By the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the One you killed on a cross, the One God raised from the dead, by means of his name this man stands before you healthy and whole. Jesus is ‘the stone you masons threw out, which is now the cornerstone.’ Salvation comes no other way; no other name has been or will be given to us by which we can be saved, only this one. Acts 4:8-12 The Message

Their response was the best in this Message translation: They couldn’t take their eyes off them—Peter and John standing there so confident, so sure of themselves! Their fascination deepened when they realized these two were laymen with no training in Scripture or formal education. They recognized them as companions of Jesus, but with the man right before them, seeing him standing there so upright—so healed!—what could they say against that?  Acts 4:13-14 The Message

Are you so full of the Holy Spirit that others cannot take their eyes off you and recognize you as a companion of Jesus? Peter received the greatest compliment of all time and set a precedent for all Christians. 

This year, today, right now, is the perfect time to pray for boldness and use the power of the Holy Spirit you have within you to proclaim the Gospel and be recognized as a companion of Jesus Christ. This lame year and this hurting world need the people of God to have Holy boldness to spread the healing balm to everyone we can. They need the healing power of Jesus Christ. 

Though this year seems unprecedented, it is not. We have the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the example of those in the early church. We can have this same boldness the Holy Spirit provides to get back on mission and proclaim the Gospel if we pray and ask God.

Lara Cook


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