- Acts 5
- Matthew 5:10-12
- 1 Peter 3:13-17
Pray… for boldness. Again! This prayer time isn’t something to idle away 30 seconds of your day. Spend time in prayer for boldness when sharing God’s word.
Day 324 – Peter – Rearrested, tried, & beaten for preaching
Peter & John’s bold message
- The main subject of today’s readings, clearly, is that of boldness in proclaiming the gospel and – more radically! – the honour of suffering for the gospel too. We’ve thought about that a little over the last day or so already, but there is some interesting stuff to read today to build us up for this job.
- Before that, look at the story of Ananias and Sapphira. This story may well have shocked you, or provoked some sort of similar reaction. If it didn’t, read again and think about what’s happening.
- What had all the members of the early church been doing (at the end of Acts 4)? What did Ananias and his wife do instead? Why do you think they weren’t as generous?
- What happened to them both? Why would the people around have been so afraid?
- Why do you think God exacted such swift punishment on these two, but hasn’t for other sinners, such as ourselves? Do you think it was fair? What was God saying through His actions? You’ll be encouraged to know that such swift punishment is very rare, even in the Scriptures.
- The apostles were arrested in Acts 5. What happened to them? Could the officials stop them preaching the good news about Jesus?
- Look at the conversation amongst the religious leaders. What did they say? What wise words were added by Gamaliel, especially in verses 38-39?
- Do you find anything amazing in Acts 5:41? How does this link in with Jesus’ teachings in the sermon on the mount, in Matthew 5?
- We’ve read the words in 1 Peter before, especially verse 15, which has been my hope for you since we began this reading plan. Suffering for the gospel will bring many blessings – be comforted about that in the hard moments. In the end, the words of verse 16 will come true. If you stand for good, the people who revile you will ultimately be put to shame, just like the Pharisees in Acts. Stand firm in the tough waters of life, and God will bring you safely through.
Yesterday in my closing notes I challenged you to consider whether you are being brave for Jesus in your life. It might have been hard to read words which ask whether you truly are prepared to put Jesus number One in places where you know that you really don’t want to.
Let’s turn that on its head for a second. In what ways have you already stood up for Jesus? What can you look back on your life and be pleased with the decisions you made? I bet there are lots: the times you talked about Jesus with a friend, or stood up for him in RE class, or told a friend why you went to a church event instead of something else. These are all great things, and show bravery! Well done!