In the days of the early church, recorded in the book of Acts, many miracles and wonders were evidenced as the work of the Holy Spirit through the apostles. However, it was not without controversy, resistance, punishment and mockery- and worse! In John 15:18, Jesus had warned His disciples that this would happen saying, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first.” And after seeing Jesus crucified, they were prepared to face His suffering as well. In fact, it was this assurance brought by witnessing Jesus’ resurrection in addition to the empowerment of the Holy Spirit that emboldened the disciples to reach the world.
Every time the disciples testified of Jesus Christ or were part of a miracle the Holy Spirit performed, the people glorified God. Even in the worst experiences the disciples encountered, somebody, somewhere was listening, watching and turning to the Lord – and that’s how the Kingdom of God advances! In Acts 4, Peter and John were before the Jewish leaders – those same men who had crucified Jesus – and they were angry because Peter and John had healed a lame man at the Temple Gate in the name of Jesus Christ who went “walking and leaping and praising God”. (Acts 3:8)
Even in the worst experiences the disciples encountered, somebody, somewhere was listening, watching and turning to the Lord – and that’s how the Kingdom of God advances!
“When they saw the boldness of Peter and John and perceived that they were illiterate and uneducated men, they marveled. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus…They conferred among themselves, saying, “What shall we do to these men?” … Then they called them and commanded 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 more than to God, you judge. For we cannot help but declare what we have seen and heard… When they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them, because of the people. For all glorified God for what was done.”
Peter and John were emboldened by what God had done for them and, in turn, were sharing that testimony with the world, everywhere they went. Was it popular? Not at all! Did it get them in trouble? Frequently! Did the Holy Spirit partner with them, doing miracles as they bore witness to what Jesus had done in them, through them and for them? Yes, every time! “For we cannot help but declare what we have seen and heard…” they said. What can you tell someone today about what Jesus has done for you?? “For all glorified God for what was done,” says Acts 4:21. True, not everyone was worshipping God and maybe they were in trouble with some, but if even one person watches, listens and believes your testimony of Christ (even if you never know who they are), you’ve been part of a miracle!
Thought for today
“For all glorified God for what was done” is a profound statement. That word, “glorified” in the Greek means, “to praise, extol, magnify, celebrate, and clothe with splendor” – What a powerful testimony of worship!! Maybe the physically lame won’t jump up when you touch them, but the spiritually lame will, the emotionally lame – the sick, the dying in heart, mind, soul and, yes, even the body – they will be healed because your testimony of Jesus Christ and they will praise God! One of the most powerful things you can do as a person of faith is inspire others to praise the Lord. Today, as you are simply living your life, speak of Jesus Christ to someone, anyone, – not to “convert” them, just to tell them of what Jesus has done for you. Someone, somewhere is watching, listening and when all is said and done, whether you ever see the fruit of that encounter or not – God will be praised!
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