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GOD IS IN CONTROL
Acts chapter 4
21Then when [the rulers and council members] had further threatened them, they let them go, not seeing how they could secure a conviction against them because of the people; for everybody was praising and glorifying God for what had occurred.
22For the man on whom this sign (miracle) of healing was performed was more than forty years old.
23After they were permitted to go, [the apostles] returned to their own [company] and told all that the chief priests and elders had said to them.
24And when they heard it, lifted their voices together with one united mind to God and said, O Sovereign Lord, You are He Who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything that is in them.
25Who by the mouth of our forefather David, Your servant and child, said through the Holy Spirit, Why did the heathen (Gentiles) become wanton and insolent and rage, and the people imagine and study and plan vain (fruitless) things [that will not succeed]?
26The kings of the earth took their stand in array [for attack] and the rulers were assembled and combined together against the Lord and against His Anointed (Christ, the Messiah).
27For in this city they actually met and plotted together against Your holy Child and Servant Jesus, Whom You consecrated by anointing, both Herod and Pontius Pilate with the Gentiles and peoples of Israel.
28To carry out all that Your hand and Your will and purpose had predestined (predetermined) should occur.
29And now, Lord, observe their threats and grant to Your bond servants [full freedom] to declare Your message fearlessly,
30While You stretch out Your hand to cure and to perform signs and wonders through the authority and by the power of the name of Your holy Child and Servant Jesus.
31And when they had prayed, the place in which they were assembled was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they continued to speak the Word of God with freedom and boldness and courage.
I love writing these messages and I hope you are enjoying reading them.
As I look into this passage, there are some things that the Lord has brought to my attention and I wish to share them with you.
I wonder if your church was/is going through persecution, what would it's reaction be?
Wonder what would happen if your Pastor came and said to the church, that he had been told not to preach the gospel and to water down his message?
Seems far fetched doesn't it? But in many countries in the world, this is the situation that many individual believers and churches are in. Maybe in future days, we in the so called Western world, are going to face this type of persecution. So how do we react to it?
Firstly in Verse 24, the church had an attitude of praise. They actually praised God because they were going through this season of hardship and persecution. Peter wrote later in his first letter, that we were to rejoice and give thanks for going through persecution. What is our reaction to such times? Do we complain or praise God?
Also in verse 24, their voices were lifted up in unity. God does allow His church to be persecuted.. amen. The reason He will, is to purify it, so that it becomes a stronger and more powerful witness in it's community.
They also held dear to the doctrine of the Sovereignty of God. My beloved Pastor Mark, was preaching on this subject on Sunday Evening and said that it was a great source of comfort to the church. Why is this? Well the believer and church, who knows like the early believers did that God is totally and completely in control of everything that happened to them, will not be moved or shaken by events going on around them.. Amen
Can I ask you, do you believe the Lord is in control of every circumstance of your life? Romans 8:28
They also gave the threats made by the authorities, over to the Lord. Please remember that God sees everything that happens to you and he is your avenger, it is not up to you to avenge yourself, leave it to God.
Their prayer in verse 29, should be our prayer.. amen. To declare the message without fear. I know in my case, that the primary reason, I find it so hard to share the gospel is fear. The apostles and the early church, had no such fear. Let us all pray that the barrier of fear would be removed.. Amen!
When the prayer meeting had finished, the whole house shook, with the power of God.
Let me ask you this.
When was the last time, that your life or church shook with the power of God through the Holy Spirit?
Church, we are so often shaken by things going on in the world, when the scenario should be that the church should be shaking the world.. Amen!
We need to wake up and start shaking and shaping the world.. Amen.
God bless you
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