Experience - Day 22

Acts of the Apostles 4: 1-4, NLT

1 While Peter and John were speaking to the people, they were confronted by the priests, the captain of the Temple guard, and some of the Sadducees. 2 These leaders were very disturbed that Peter and John were teaching the people that through Jesus there is a resurrection of the dead. 3 They arrested them and, since it was already evening, put them in jail until morning. 4 But many of the people who heard their message believed it, so the number of men who believed now totaled about 5,000.

Our story from last week continues. Peter and John healed the crippled beggar, and then started to speak to preach to all those in the temple about Jesus as the fulfillment of all Scripture and Prophecy, and as our path to salvation.

In those temple courts, among others, were Sadducees, a sect of Jews who did not believe in a resurrection from the dead.  But they weren’t the only ones that were “very disturbed” by the message of Peter and John.  The Greek word for “very disturbed” is diaponeomai, which can mean troubled, displeased, offended, or pained.  It’s a feeling that would have been hard to hide.  I’m sure their faces were contorted and even filled with a rush of blood making them red with anger and frustration.

So what were they so worked up about?  Yes, the Sadducees didn’t like the talk of resurrection, but the other leaders were upset because there attempts to stop the message of Jesus hadn’t worked. They had tried to rid themselves of Jesus, but His message was spreading even more though He was gone. And even if they wanted to, the disciples couldn’t stop sharing the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  For them, it was just like what the prophet Jeremiah wrote about God’s message given to him, “But if I say I’ll never mention the Lord, or speak in his name, his word burns in my heart like a fire. It’s like a fire in my bones! I am worn out trying to hold it in! I can’t do it.” (Jeremiah 20: 9, NLT) In fact, Peter and John will say something similar in just a few verses, “We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4: 19, NLT)

So have you ever felt that kind of conviction?  Something you were so sure about that you knew you couldn’t keep it to yourself even if you wanted too?  Something you were so excited about, believed in so much, that you had to share it with others?  Sure, we see this when someone finds an exercise routine that worked for them and changed their lives, or an investment opportunity that got someone out of debt.  But for the disciples, they had not only seen Jesus go from death to life, they had experienced it themselves.  They had a firm hope not just in a better life now, but in eternity to come, and they had to share it with others.  This, friends, is the experience of unwavering conviction, and it continues throughout the book of Acts.

  1. Have you ever been so convicted of something that you had to share it with other people?
  2. Are there certain beliefs that you cling to, that you know you couldn’t let go of even if someone tried to force you to do so?
  3. What questions or concerns do you have, if any, about Jesus that you think might be holding you back from the experience of unwavering conviction?

By Pastor Paddy McCoy

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