Monday 1, July 2013
Bible Passage(s): Acts 5: 22 - 39
Memory Verse: '' Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.\" NIV' Acts 5: 38 - 39
Many a times we face oppositions to our faith, our way of life and even our very person.
Oppositions or conflicts may arise from our superiors, friends, colleagues at work, partners in business or even our parents. The disciples of Jesus Christ faced such oppositions after Jesus Christ ascended into heaven and the Holy Spirit fell upon them. When they (uneducated and untrained men, who hitherto were timid and afraid) received the Holy Spirit, they received power and began to do things which they could not do before. And the people marvelled, having realised that the disciples had been with Jesus (Acts 4:13). The Apostles thus began to publicly confess and profess Jesus Christ as the Son of God and many miracles, signs and wonders were performed through and by them, and many of those who heard them believed and a great number (5000 people) came to Jesus Christ in one day alone! (Acts 4:4). This alarmed the powers that be - the priests, the captain of the temple and the Sadducees were greatly disturbed and caused them to be arrested and put in prison. But God, by a mighty hand delivered them and set them free.
They continued to preach the gospel and on a certain occasion, as a result of their exploits, Peter and the other Apostles were arrested again and brought before the high priest and the Sanhedrin, who strictly forbade them not to preach in the name of Jesus Christ again. However Peter and the other apostles replied that they will obey God rather than men. The consequence of this boldness is that the high priest and his men were furious and plotted to kill them. But, Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was greatly respected by all the people came to their defence, giving that famous quote in verses 38 and 39, which is our memory verse and reference material for this message, warning them to ''... keep away from this men and let them alone; for if the plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing, but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it - lest you even be found to fight against God.''
Whenever you face oppositions and conflicts against your work, person, godly character and attributes, do not be afraid, but take solace in the fact that the Lord God is in control, He will fight your battles and defend you. He will raise up help for you, even as he raised Gamaliel to defend the apostles before the Sanhedrin. Keep the faith, stay focused and be not afraid, for He who is with you is more than He who is with them. Your only responsibility is to be sure and certain that what you are doing is of God and not just for yourself (the work of men).
It is well with you.
The Lord bless you and keep you. May He make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace, now and forevermore. Amen.
Have a glorious and great month.
Prayers for the Month
1. Thank the Lord for this message and ask that you will imbibe it and that He will take away all timidity and fear. That He will imbue you with courage to do the work He assigned to you and live the true life of a disciple.
2. Pray that your work and life will be for the propagation of the gospel of Jesus Christ and not just for your monetary and personal gains.
3. Ask that the Lord imbue you with power, wisdom, courage and anointing to be able to run your course with joy, throughout this month and that your testimony will be sure.