Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Tuesday, 12 February 19:
Acts 4:18-20 – “So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.’”
Romans 13:1 is clear – “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” However, Jesus was also clear in Matthew 28 — “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” The ultimate Authority had commanded the Apostles to preach the Gospel, and no human authority could stop them; and today’s readings point out that the Apostles were astonishingly “bold” before the “rulers and elders and scribes,” despite being “uneducated, common men.” Why? Because Jesus was with them through the power of the Holy Spirit. And note that the Apostle’s message didn’t change whether they were speaking to the receptive or the resistant. The Apostles had the responsibility to proclaim the Gospel, but the responsibility to respond rested with the hearer.
Are you boldly “preaching the kingdom of God and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered”? (Acts 28:31) Or is something holding you back from fulfilling your primary calling — laws, policy, social pressure, insecurity? You have been given full authority by Jesus, and He is with you. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)
Romans 1:16 — For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
Ephesians 6:18-20 — To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 12 Feb 19: Pray that God will give you the courage to proclaim the Gospel unhindered.