After a lengthy sabbatical from blogging my quiet times, I’m compelled to blog this morning’s. I’m in Acts now, taking a break from my Old Testament study and journeying through the New Testament once again for the past few months. This morning I’m in Chapter 5, I was so stirred by the familiar words of verse 41, that I couldn’t resist the urge to blog them.
“The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.” Acts 5:41
Prior to this verse the apostles had been flogged for proclaiming the name of Jesus, now we find them rejoicing over the hardship they’ve just endured. In previous years this verse hasn’t resonated in quite the way it does presently. Watching the political and cultural shifts in our nation is understatedly alarming. While we’re not yet at the point of being flogged for our faith (by officials), we are very much at the point of being told not to speak of our Savior. I’ve watched the unfolding decline of our nation with a heavy heart. But, in recent days, I’ve become very convicted that these are the days our testimony speaks. When it costs something to stand up for Jesus, people will listen. When we pay a price to stand up for Jesus our faith is forged as we experience His sustaining grace through the trial. The days ahead will be days of refining, lukewarm will no longer be an option. In preparation, we must heed the words of Joshua:
14 “Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:14-15.
If we are truly His, when ordered not to speak of Him, like the apostles we must proclaim :
18Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19But Peter and John replied, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. 20For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:18-20
May my soul pant for him, that I may be fully committed to Him, surrendered in spirit that I may act in obedience, without delay, doing whatever He calls me to do. When I have obeyed, may I have a spirit that rejoices over having had the opportunity to serve no matter the cost. May I be counted worthy.
13″Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.” 15But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.” 1 Peter 3:13-17