Episode #93. Today we’ll read the 4th chapter of Acts together. Now it’s getting real…Peter and John are arrested, the apostles take a stand, and believers sell their possessions to take care of each other.
Joy: You’re listening to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Episode #93. Today we’ll read the 4th chapter of Acts together. Now it’s getting real…Peter and John are arrested, the apostles take a stand, and believers sell their possessions to take care of each other.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast. I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me as we simply read God’s word together. Some things require discipline and sometimes that’s just not easy to muster by yourself, no matter how badly you want to do it or how much you know you should. It’s just easier to do it with a friend. So refill your coffee or tea, get comfortable in your favorite chair and follow along as I read aloud. I’m so glad you’re here!
I listened to Episode #134 of the Next Right Thing Podcast last week and I can’t get it out of my head. She titled it, “How to Pray When You’re Sad.” The content totally surprised me. It was about suffering. It was about how you and I will go to great lengths to avoid suffering. How when suffering comes, the only thing you and I want to think about is how to get as far away from the suffering as possible. But suffering has purpose. It refines. She mentions a book called, “This Too Shall Last,” by K.J. Ramsey. I was so taken by the numerous truisms that I heard in the short quote Emily shares, I ordered the book immediately. Jesus told us to deny ourselves, pick up our crosses, and follow Him. In many other places in the Bible, it says that we will have tribulation in this world, and yet we act as if trials and suffering are the result of some cosmic error to be quickly covered up. I have no conclusions to offer to you except that I believe strongly this is something important to contemplate. I’ve put a link to the book on the Marketplace page at liftinghervoice.com. If you do decide to purchase the book, I would really appreciate it if you would use that link. It just helps to offset some of the costs of the podcast. Don’t forget to let me know your thoughts after listening to the podcast and/or reading the book.
Acts Chapter 4: 1 While they were speaking to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple police, and the Sadducees confronted them, 2 because they were annoyed that they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3 So they seized them and took them in custody until the next day, since it was already evening. 4 But many of those who heard the message believed, and the number of the men came to about 5,000. 5 The next day, their rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem 6 with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and all the members of the high-priestly family. 7 After they had Peter and John stand before them, they they began to question them: “By what power or in what name have you done this?” 8 Then Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders: 9 If we are being examined today about a good deed done to a disabled man-by what means he was healed- 10 let it be known to all of you and to the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth-whom you crucified and whom God raised from the dead-by Him this man is standing here before you healthy. 11 This [Jesus] is The stone despised by you builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved.” 13 When they observed the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed and recognized that they had been with Jesus. 14 And since they saw the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say in opposition. 15 After they had ordered them to leave the Sanhedrin, they conferred among themselves, 16 saying, “What should we do with these men? For an obvious sign has been done through them, clear to everyone living in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it! 17 But so that this does not spread any further among the people, let’s threaten them against speaking to anyone in this name again.” 18 So they called for them and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 Peter and John answered them, “Whether it’s right in the sight of God [for us] to listen to you rather than to God, you decide; 20 for we are unable to stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” 21 After threatening them further, they released them. They found no way to punish them, because the people were all giving glory to God over what had been done; 22 for this sign of healing had been performed on a man over 40 years old. 23 After they were released, they went to their own people and reported everything that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together to God and said, “Master, You are the One who made the heaven, the earth, and the sea, and everything in them. 25 You said through the Holy Spirit, by the mouth of our father David Your servant: Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot futile things? 26 The kings of the earth take their stand, and the rulers assembled together against the Lord and against His Messiah. 27 “For, in fact, in this city both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, assembled together against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your will had predestined to take place. 29 And now, Lord, consider their threats, and grant that Your servants may speak Your word with all boldness, 30 while You stretch out Your hand for healing, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.” 31 When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God boldly. 32 Now the entire group of those who believed were of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but instead they held everything in common. 33 With great power, the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was on all of them. 34 For there was not a needy person among them, because all those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the proceeds of what was sold, 35 and laid them at the apostles’ feet. This was then distributed to each person as any had a need. 36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus by birth, the one the apostles called Barnabas, which is translated Son of Encouragement, 37 sold a field he owned, brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
Wow! Things really are getting real. I think this is why Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved Him. He needed to know that he was all in. And now here are these two fishermen-turned-church-builders getting arrested and standing before the Sanhedrin. Did you recognize the questions? They were some of the same questions that were asked of Jesus! And when the religious leaders saw that 5000 people believed; when they saw the evidence of the power of God right in front of them, even they were amazed. If we are Christ followers, the same Holy Spirit resides in us that set the Church in motion over 2000 years ago. Why is the church today so fragmented? Why is attendance down? Why aren’t people reading their Bibles every day? The Harvest is great…there are so many who need Hope today; so many that need Jesus. Is there one person in your life right now you can tell about Jesus? Invite to church? Be a neighbor? Let’s pray. Dear Lord, I pray You will help us to remember that the harvest is great and the workers are few. I pray You would help us begin where we are, remind us that we have the Holy Spirit residing in us, and give us Your compassion for a world that needs You so badly. Amen.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray God will grow in you what has been planted and watered here. In this time of unprecedented struggle worldwide, we can look to God for guidance and comfort. Be sensitive to those in your circle of influence who need a word of encouragement and invite them to join us. If you like this show, it would be great if you give it a five-star review. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you right here tomorrow. Be well!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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