Passage: Acts 5
God punishes a husband and wife for lying. Church leaders perform more miracles, and wind up in prison. God breaks them out, and the church continues to grow.
The book of Acts is a direct challenge to our natural desire to play it safe. While some well-intentioned preachers say Christianity is about comfort and prosperity, the Bible paints a much different picture. Peter and John’s trial before the Sanhedrin is just the beginning.
Members of the early church endured prison, beatings, exposure to death, stoning, shipwrecks, sleeplessness, hunger, thirst, and nakedness as a result of proclaiming Jesus as Lord. Instead of quitting, they rejoiced when they suffered for Jesus.
“Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, the apostles never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah” (Acts 5:42).
Most of us have never been flogged for our faith. We shouldn’t feel guilty that we haven’t endured that kind of persecution. Rather, we should be challenged to stand up in our current circumstances. God placed us in this time and place so His name might be glorified now. Are we boldly sharing Jesus’ message in every area of our lives or are we hiding behind apathy and comfort?
The reward of a life spent living boldly for Jesus far outweighs any temporary consequences we may endure. Who knows what the repercussions of sharing Jesus in your school, workplace, or family will be. But we can be sure that whatever we face, Jesus is with us. In any situation, we can boldly share the Gospel.
- What does this passage teach us about God? How does it apply to you?
- Have you ever thought of persecution as a blessing or something you can rejoice about? How has your view of persecution changed based on what you read?
- How is God challenging you to get out of your comfort zone today?