WEEK OF LENT REFLECTIONS
FLASHES OF GOD'S GLORY...TURBULENT WATERS
WAVES - WALKING WITH GOD THROUGH THE THINGS THAT SCARE YOU
Read Exodus 14: 10-31
Read Acts 4: 1-31
4:1 The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. 2 They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. 3 They seized Peter and John, and because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day. 4 But many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand.
5 The next day the rulers, elders and teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. 6 Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and the other men of the high priest’s family. 7 They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?”
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 He is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.’ 12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. 15 So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together. 16 “What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. “Everybody living in Jerusalem knows they have done an outstanding miracle, and we cannot deny it. 17 But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn these men to speak no longer to anyone in this name.”
18 Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John replied, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. 20 For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
21 After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened. 22 For the man who was miraculously healed was over forty years old.
23 On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. 24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. 25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: “‘Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? 26 The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One.’ 27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. 29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
1) Where do Peter and John find their courage in Acts 4?
2) Read the prayer again in verses 24-30. What can we learn about standing with God in scary times from this prayer? What can we learn from this prayer to help grow in our own prayer life?
Recent studies have shown that people are more afraid today in the United States than a generation ago. And yet, we have less to be afraid of. We’ve got security systems, advanced medicine, lower crime rates, and endless information on our smart phones. Why are we more afraid? Are Christians in the United States today missing something that Peter and John had?
Check out the song, “Born Again,” from the Newsboys- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ow1WcyCFnvM
I found myself looking into the mirror
Knew I wasn't who I wanted to be
I was living like the way that I wanted
But my eyes reminded me, I'm not free
Believed a lie so everything that I know
Says I got to go, tired of going solo
But I'm never gonna go there again
This is what it is
This is who I am
This is where I finally take my stand
I didn't wanna fall
But I don't have to crawl
I met the One with two scarred hands
Giving Him the best of everything that's left of
The life inside this man
I've been born again (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
I see you walking like you're living in fear
Having trouble even looking at me
Wishin' they would give you more than words
Sick of people telling how it should be (how it should be)
What's your download, where'd you get your info?
You saw that I'm show, now you're in the in load
Gonna tell you what I believe, oh
We are the ones they call by name
(I'm never gonna look back)
Let go, let go the guilt, the shame
(Said, "I'm never gonna look back")