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Recap: Acts of the Apostles II

Updated: Jul 28, 2023

Identifying my ultimate authority

Twice in two chapters, the apostles are faced with a choice of who to obey. After Peter healed the crippled man in chapter 3, the rulers et al released them from the called meeting and warned them not to speak or teach in Jesus name (4:18-20). Peter challenged them, saying “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”

Peter and the apostles were clear on who their ultimate authority was. I noted that because it caused me to think critically about the matter. Yes, I know my ultimate authority is God, but who do I choose when push comes to shove? Do I cancel plans with my heavenly father for my earthly master? Do I do whatever it takes to make money or get ahead because my earthly master requires it? While I'm not a slave, I read Ephesians 6:5 in the context of my role as an employee to my masters on earth and the bible asks me to serve in obedience, fear, trembling, sincerity of heart as I would Christ. That's major. That being said, the word says "as I would Christ", not more than, not in lieu of etc. So I was reminded to check where I place God in comparison to my earthly masters, rulers, parents, and anyone in a position of authority. If what they are asking of me is contradictory to what God has already asked in his word, I must choose the instruction of the ultimate authority, boldly.

A Holy Community is important

When Peter and John were let go, they went to report to their friends all that had happened. Their friends' responded in prayer (4:23-30). It made me wonder about the kind of people I share my dilemmas with? Are they people who pray, are they people whose response would be aligned with the word of God, so that they may give me the encouragement I need when I am met with obstacles? Are they people who intercede for me? Who are the people I report things to?

Distractions are Futile

Multiple times in Acts, it is clear to me that I could be the cause of some of my troubles, because I pay attention to distractions. The fact that I give gossip - what he or she is saying - or I take matters I'm dealing with to my friends to opine definitely causes me to waste time in decision making or worse get distracted from the task at hand.

Taking Saul for example, he didn't worry or waste time on those who were suspicious of him (with good reason), he focused on the task at hand, similar to Stephen (7:54-56).

How to wait

Acts makes it abundantly clear to me that kingdom is not easy, and how I respond matters.

While Paul and Silas were in prison, after being beaten in the name of Christ, they "were at prayer and singing a robust hymn to God".(16:25-34). There are many things they could have done. I for one would have been made that Christ, in my obedience, allowed me to be humiliated in such a way and then even if I believed he would come to my rescue, I likely would have just sat there stuck on the humiliation that God allowed to happen. Not Paul and Silas though, they prayed and sang hymns to God. That is how to wait. Praise and pray until something happens. God responded to their praise and prayer by setting them free, but of course they were not in jail in vain. In their time, they shared the gospel with the jailer and his family who they baptised.

The congregation in Antioch were waiting for guidance(13). As they waited, they worshipped and were also fasting when the guidance came. Cornelius who led everyone to worship, had a habit of prayer and helped people in need gained God's attention (10:1-6). I'm not saying there's a formula, but there's one consistent thing in just these three examples in 1 of 66 books. That's all I'm saying.

Until next time, keep us a secret x

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