1 Chronicles 17-18
When they had been released, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. And when they heard this, they lifted their voices to God… – Acts 4:23-24
We’re picking up from yesterday’s reading of Peter and John being imprisoned, and they return to the small Christian community to tell of their experience. Naturally the others were happy and relieved that their companions have returned, but in the back of their minds they must have realized that this could have turned out badly for them. They could have gotten discouraged at seeing the path of following Jesus was not an easy road to walk. Rather than be taken over by fear, they lift their voices in prayer and praise to God.
This is the compelling message of the true Christian, and this message lives on today in the stories we hear of ISIS and terrorist groups who threaten and kill those who will not denounce Christ. Peter and John left a compelling message when they left their jail cell; they would not change their story to save their life. It pointed all the more to the truth of Jesus – that He was real and for them to denounce Him, who is Truth, would be worse than death.
Let us ask for the boldness of the early Christian community to live today in a spirit of the Early Church, a spirit of trust, prayer, and confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ.
May God bless you.
1 Chronicles 7-8
“The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen.” – Acts 1:1-2
The first chapter of the Book of Acts of the Apostles, we have a brief account of the Gospels, told through the eyes of Luke (assumed to be the author), in a letter to a person named Theophilus. It mentions how ‘in the first account’ – the Gospel of Luke – he told the story of Jesus in details; he is now setting the stage for the post-Jesus era, during a time when Christians were disliked and persecuted. One purpose of the Acts is to show the unfolding of the Apostolic age, and the spreading of the Good News of Jesus from a small band of 120 believers, to make Jesus accessible to all people.
In the coming week as we unpack this book of the Bible, we have the opportunity to enter into the adventure of the early followers of The Way, and imagine if we were one of 120 Christians in a land populated by 4,000,000 Jews, a ratio of 1:30,000! We would be keenly aware of our need for the Comforter, the Holy Spirit to give us courage to live and profess our faith. Let us keep our current climate in mind, and how we are called to continue the work of the first disciples today, as we walk these days on the dusty roads of Palestine in the Scriptures. May the inspired Word of God give us hope where we are sent to be a light to the nations, today.
May God bless you.