Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Mar 20: Acts 4

Today's reading in our daily plan is Acts 4. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • After healing the crippled beggar and preaching about Jesus, Peter and John are arrested. When questioned by the religious rulers about their preaching, Peter, “filled with the Holy Spirit,” boldly proclaims their message. This is exactly what Jesus said would happen in Mark 13:11. And their accusers couldn’t respond because the man they healed stood with them.
  • After being let go from the Sanhedrin (the supreme Jewish council; kind of like the Supreme Court for Jewish people back then -- except meaner), the apostles gather with other Christians to pray. They pray that God would give them the boldness to teach the truth and heal through the name of Jesus. Then we hear about how the disciples shared everything they had with each other so that nobody was in need; those who owned property would liquidate it and give to the leaders of the group. This money was then used to take care of anyone who had need.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Peter and John were bold about what they knew to be true. They understood that they must obey God rather than men. They could not help speaking about what they had seen and heard.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • This example of generosity is very challenging for our culture because we see our earnings and property as belonging to ourselves. But truthfully, everything belongs to God and he wants us to use what we have to take care of those in need.
  • What events or threats silence your proclamation of the truth? Fear of rejection? Physical abuse or death? God’s enemy wants us to stay silent about what we’ve seen and heard. If telling others about Jesus is petrifying for you, consider echoing the disciples' prayer in this chapter. Ask God to enable you to speak the truth with great boldness and to help people in the name of Jesus.