Acts 4:23-24, 29–31 The Church Prays
Just prior to our selected passage for today from the Book of Acts, Peter and John are brought before the council of religious law. They are ordered to stop spreading their salvation propaganda about Jesus any further. Peter and John reply to the demands of the legal council, “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.” The council threatens them, again, but cannot stop them, because since discovering the empty tomb people are experiencing the love of God, praising him for salvation, and living in the Spirit of Truth which changes lives!
23 As soon as they were released from custody, Peter and John went to the other believers and explained all that had happened with the high priest and the elders. 24 When the believers heard their report, they raised their voices in unity and prayed, “Lord Yahweh, you are the Lord of all! You created the universe—the earth, the sky, the sea, and everything that is in them.
29 So now, Lord, listen to their (the law council) threats to harm us. Empower us, as your servants, to speak the word of God freely and courageously. 30 Stretch out your hand of power through us to heal, and to move in signs and wonders by the name of your holy Son, Jesus!”
31 As they prayed the earth shook beneath them, causing the building they were in to tremble. Each one of them was filled with the Holy Spirit, and they proclaimed the word of God with unrestrained boldness [translates freedom of speech—flowing from the heart].
The disciples choose to remain devoted to God and speak from their hearts whatever God inspires. This delivering of words is not tailored to make everyone happy, but to speak the Truth in Messiah’s Love regardless of the cost because people need to hear it. The believers pray for holy boldness to fill them and God answers their prayers. The disciples are not disrespectful or unloving to anyone, but they are purposeful and honest about sharing what they have experienced. People around them can see the Truth changing these believers; a spirit of love permeates them. May we pray for such boldness knowing God desires to answer our prayers and empower us to share the Truth in Messiah’s Love, as well.
Prayer: Lord, it is a sensitive balancing act to communicate the Truth in Love; however, you are both and, as believers, we need to become One with you. For us to speak the Truth of Your Word without Messiah’s holy love comes across legalistic and harsh. To think we are sharing holy Love without standing on the foundation of the Truth is heresy. You empowered the early disciples to speak the Truth in Messiah’s Love and I pray for myself and all believers to rise up to do the same every day. Our world needs to hear and experience both. In Jesus’ name. Amen.