Tuesday, February 22 – Acts 4:5-12
On the next day, their rulers and elders and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem; and Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and all who were of high-priestly descent. When they had placed them in the center, they began to inquire, “By what power, or in what name, have you done this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people, if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health. He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among mankind by which we must be saved.”
Have you ever had a moment where you responded differently than you might have expected or planned because you were put on the spot? Even beliefs we claim to hold dear can change quickly when we are put under pressure. Whether our words get scrambled, or we just don’t want to face conflict, we may be pressured to back down from things that are important to us. This reality makes this passage striking. After a night in prison, Peter and John came back to the religious officials with the same amount of clarity and confidence in the gospel as before. Even with all eyes on them, knowing the cost of their actions, they spoke the same truth. They even went as far as to remind the religious leaders of their fault in the matter.
What could make a person so bold in that moment? Where did that confidence and clarity come from? It was not only from Bible study or time spent in church, before we read Peter’s response, we learn an important aspect of this situation, he was filled with the Holy Spirit. God, alive at work in Peter, gave him the confidence and clarity of speech he needed. This is the same Holy Spirit who is alive and at work in you and me today. Do you know the gospel well enough to share it with someone else? Are you abiding in the Spirit inside of you through time in the Word, fellowship, and prayer? Do you trust His power at work in your life, even when you are put on the spot? There are so many reasons to be scared in the world, but through Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit, we have confidence like no other. Our God goes before us and equips us for every good work!
- Have you ever backed down on sharing your faith because you were put on the spot?
- How does it make you feel to remember you have the power of the Holy Spirit inside you?
- Pray and thank God for being at work in your life and empowering you even when you feel like you have nothing left.