Acts 5:17-20 (TPT) The Apostles Persecuted
17 The high priest and his officials, who formed the party of the Sadducees, became extremely jealous over all that was happening, 18 so they had the apostles arrested, placed in chains, and thrown into jail. 19 But during the night, the Lord[Yahweh] sent an angel who appeared before them. He supernaturally opened their prison doors and brought the apostles outside. 20 “Go,” the angel told them. “Stand in the temple courts and preach the words that bring life!”
When the Spirit of the Lord is released in the lives of believers and they speak the simple Truth of God’s extravagant love, forgiveness, and grace found in Christ, opposition will come. The enemy always endeavors to silence and snuff out the message that actually witnesses to life with God—Immanuel. In our passage today, the apostles face persecution while sharing the Word of God. This persecution does not come from unbelievers; rather, this persecution comes from legalistic religious spirits who are jealous of the anointing—the healing and restorative power of God outflowing the apostles. Jesus had prepared his followers for this very moment when he taught them about the cost of righteousness on the Mount of Beatitudes. “Blessed [Happy in life with God] are those who are persecuted for righteousness [demonstrating the attributes of God], because the kingdom of heaven is theirs. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of Me. Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven” (Mat. 5:10-12). So, as we follow Christ, don’t allow evil to hinder you or snuff out your passion. Be an example of life with God!
Prayer: Lord, I want to thank you for surrounding me with such a loving congregation who desire to walk out your righteousness in the life of Christ. As I am persecuted for living right with you, please let me be like the apostles and immediately return to preaching the words of life and modeling my devotion and appreciation for your unfailing love and grace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.