Monday, March 28 – Acts 5:12-14
At the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were taking place among the people; and they were all together in Solomon’s portico. But none of the rest dared to associate with them; however, the people held them in high esteem. And increasingly believers in the Lord, large numbers of men and women, were being added to their number.
Early in human development, we become cognizant of our surroundings. Where we used to be able to play and explore things freely, we become aware of ourselves and how our actions affect others and the way others react to our actions. Whether this leads to becoming a people-pleaser or a rebel, the awareness of other people can easily lead us astray, even as adults. We see this lived out in the people in Acts 5, with many choosing not to associate with the apostles while others chose to believe in the Lord and be added to the number of believers.
As we read about many people who made completely different decisions based on the same evidence, we are reminded to test our own motivation in all things. We need to look for our tendencies to people-please or avoid confrontation and surrender that to the Lord. The gospel will certainly keep moving forward, and we are challenged to join the Holy Spirit’s work instead of living in fear of others’ opinions or settling for the status quo. This passage also reminds us of the tension that while caring about what other people think is not our primary concern, we should also treat others with respect and love, honoring God’s image in them, even if they do not follow Him. Praise God that His way, His Word, and His Holy Spirit lead us to live for Him in such a way that we can still respect and love people who may be scared to join us, desiring to show the work of Christ through us. Next time you hesitate about doing something God is calling you to, ask yourself, “Do I trust that the Holy Spirit is equipping me through this, or am I living in fear of what other people think?” He who has called you is able and will not leave you alone.
- When have you been nervous to share your faith because you feared what someone might think?
- How can we love others even when they are not ready to follow Jesus?
- Pray for those in your circle who are not followers of Jesus. Ask God to show you how to love and respect them even when they are not ready to follow Him.