Sometimes things grab you by the throat and shake you til you can’t ignore them. Other times things just sit there in front of you immovable until you can’t ignore them. And sometimes things you have seen and read many times pop off the page and wave at you because now is the right time to notice them. I had one of those last moments this morning as I read Acts 4. I’ve read it recently, I’ve read it many times but this morning two parts pinged off my brain.
My passage was Acts 4:1-21. I know the story, I know the song andGod highlighted something to me that wasn’t actually new but put in a context that is hopefully heart and life changing. Verse 13 hit me first:
13 Now the leaders were surprised and confused. They looked at Peter and John and realized they were typical peasants—uneducated, utterly ordinary fellows—with extraordinary confidence. The leaders recognized them as companions of Jesus,
Uneducated utterly ordinary fellows – that means you and I have NO excuse for being unable to have that same confidence. The confidence comes from being a companion of Jesus. I think I can qualify for that by His grace. Extraordinary confidence. The kind of confidence that isn’t afraid to tell someone to get up and walk, to tell a mourning crowd a child is not dead but sleeping, to tell a boatful of sailors they are not going to drown, to walk on water, to smile at my neighbour as I offer to pray for them.
The kind of extraordinary confidence that achieves this:
4 But during these few afternoon hours between the man’s miraculous healing and their arrest, Peter and John already had convinced about 5,000 more people to believe their message about Jesus!
FIVE THOUSAND people: we are proud of ourselves when we bring one person to a church social. Five thousand people buzzing about a lame man walking and wanting to know why. God doesn’t give us a dry, theoretical Gospel. He gives us His living Word, His active Holy Spirit aflame with power to change lives, hearts and situations.
Life. Jesus said He came to give us life to the full. I think Peter and John had that life oozing out of them and it splashed on the lame man and he walked and then it splashed on those 5000 to bring them to believe in Jesus – to SHARE in that life.
It’s the same power in you and me. The very, totally, absolutely same power.
I want it, I want to ooze it. I say again I want to be change in His hand and changed by His hand.