July 8, 2020
Acts 5:27-29, 42, “The apostles were brought in … to be questioned by the high priest. ‘We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,’ he said. ‘Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.’ Peter and the other apostles replied: ‘We must obey God rather than human beings!’ … Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.”
Arrested 29 times for acts of civil disobedience — often on trumped-up charges — Martin Luther King, Jr., endured several violent attacks. He received threatening phone calls, his home was bombed and set on fire — yet he, and numerous others, were undeterred. They believed in their God-given mission to secure fundamental rights and equality for all people.
Similarly, in today’s reading, Peter and the apostles had just been released from prison — yet again! Did they keep a low profile after that? No! They continued to teach and heal in Jesus’ name, and people were listening! This infuriated the religious leaders who deemed them a “threat” to civil obedience, the status quo. Yet despite the apostle’s persecution and death threats, they, too, were undeterred. Nothing could stop their God-given mission to further the gospel. They feared God far more than anything man might do to them.
Have you ever been too afraid of what others might think to stand up for what’s right or share what Jesus has done in your life? Then be encouraged by the brave men and women who’ve gone before you! Defending your faith and telling others about Christ is part of your walk with God. He wants to use you to reach others, to make a difference in His name!
No matter the opposition, Jesus is present. So, keep sharing your story! Don’t allow temporary discomfort to keep you from your God-given mission!
Write the phrase “Can’t Stop! Won’t Stop!” on a post-it note and place it wherever you’ll see it often — your desk, refrigerator, daily planner, bathroom mirror, or car — as an encouraging reminder to share what Jesus is doing in your life with others!
Jesus, Thank You for reminding me that, no matter how uncomfortable I may feel, I must share my faith and take a stand for what’s right. I praise You for Your constant presence and willingness to equip me for every situation. Amen!