May 22, 2020

In God's Mission for Us, We Are Not Alone

Acts 4:23–37

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The Believers Pray for Boldness

23 When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant,1 said by the Holy Spirit,

  “‘Why did the Gentiles rage,
    and the peoples plot in vain?
26   The kings of the earth set themselves,
    and the rulers were gathered together,
    against the Lord and against his Anointed’2

27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. 29 And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

They Had Everything in Common

32 Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. 33 And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold 35 and laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. 36 Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, 37 sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet.

Footnotes

[1] 4:25 Or child; also verses 27, 30
[2] 4:26 Or Christ

In God's Mission for Us, We Are Not Alone



Key Verse | Acts 4:29

"And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness."

Bio | Matt McGann

Hey, everyone! My name is Matt McGann. When you read this devotional, I will be nearing the end of my eighth year teaching middle school band. I love getting to work with the middle-school/high-school age group, and I currently lead a group of students in Shoreline, Watermark's high school ministry. In all of these circles, I tend to be known for my love of cheesy "dad" jokes. (Why do Norwegians put barcodes on all of their warships? So they could scan the navy in!) If you don't get it, say it out loud, then consult a trusted dad or middle school teacher.

Central Truth

By God's strength and provision, we can boldly share truth no matter what the outcome may be!

Devotional | Acts 4:23–37

There is a call for every follower of Christ to share with others the hope we have. Many believers are hesitant to share God's truth, though, for fear of losing things like a relationship, job, or...

There is a call for every follower of Christ to share with others the hope we have. Many believers are hesitant to share God's truth, though, for fear of losing things like a relationship, job, or status. When we look at today's passage from Acts 4, however, we see God providing ways for Peter and John to share the gospel boldly in the face of even harsher persecution than we're likely to face today.

In Acts 4:25-26, we see that God gives us His Word. When Peter and John told their fellow believers about the resistance they had encountered from the chief priests and elders, their friends pointed to Psalm 2. The psalm speaks about the victory God will have over rulers gathering against Him and His Anointed (Psalm 2:1-2). This was just the reminder that Peter and John needed in order to continue speaking God's Word boldly. Surrounding ourselves with believers who are able to point us to truth is so important!

We also see in Acts 4:32-37 that God gives us His people. People used what God had given them to meet each other's needs. The author even proclaims that "[t]here was not a needy person among them" (Acts 4:34). Peter, John, and the other disciples were able to face significant hardship knowing that there were others who had their backs no matter what! For us today, that may look like aiding someone financially (giving our treasures), using our unique skills to help someone complete a task or reach a goal (giving our talents), or meeting with someone just to listen and encourage them during a hard season (giving our time).

Boldly sharing our faith in Jesus can seem daunting, but just like Peter and John, we have a God who is for us and who will give us everything we need to carry out His mission if we will just ask Him!

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Discussion Questions

1. Do you know the story of Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection to free you from the penalty of sin? If not, check out these verses: John 3:16; Romans 8:1-39; and Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:8, and 10:9-10. Then, ask someone who knows this story of salvation to tell you more!

2. If you are a follower of Christ, is there something that is keeping you from sharing God's truth with people you know or meet? What are you afraid to lose?

3. Are you a part of a group of people like Peter and John had that prays for each other, points each other to Scripture, and seeks to meet each other's needs? If not, ask God to provide you with people like this and considering going to Community Formation at Watermark.

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