By Toni Ford
In Acts Chapter 4, we once again see a crowd of people gathering around Peter and John, as they talk about this man named Jesus who walked among them for 33 years, was crucified by the people but resurrected from the dead by God, His Father. Since His resurrection, the disciples, along with others, have seen Him, eaten with Him and had numerous conversations with Him. During this time, before Jesus’ ascension to heaven to be with His Father, He gives his disciples an assignment, which was to continue to tell people about the things they had seen and experienced with Jesus firsthand. Jesus instructed them to tell all people about the death and resurrection of Jesus and continue to perform miracles and heal others all in His name and power!
While Peter and John were talking, a group of religious leaders, the Sadducees, became very disturbed with their teaching. The Sadducees did not believe in the Christ’s resurrection and especially did not like the fact that thousands gathered around Peter and John each time they started talking about this “Jesus.” Therefore, the only way to make the disciples stop talking was to have Peter and John arrested and put in prison. The next day, they brought the men before the council of rulers and religious laws and asked, “By what power, or in whose name have you done this?” Scripture tells us that Peter stood up, and filled with the Holy Spirit, spoke without hesitation about the powerful name of Jesus Christ. In his speech and the reactions of the council, the Lord reminded me of three powerful truths.
God alone is my salvation. Acts 4:12, says “There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” This verse is a reminder that there is no other name, religion, philosophy, or method by which a person can receive eternal life except by Jesus Christ alone! He is the only one that can save someone and He does so through His grace and not by any work of our own. We can’t work for His salvation, and we definitely don’t deserve it. Our only responsibility is to surrender, believe and receive Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior. What an amazing gift!
God can use anyone. Acts 4:13, “The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in Scripture.” Peter and John were ordinary fishermen, not professional scribes or even authorized ministers of the Jewish religion. They simply were two men who loved and followed Jesus of Nazareth. The Lord can and will use anyone who is willing to follow Him. It is not about one’s profession or one’s knowledge or one’s title. Instead, it is all about one’s willing heart to follow Him.
God is my recognition. Acts 4:13b, “They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.” This reminds me of the phrase, “He/she is rubbing off on you.” When we spend so much time with another person, that person begins to “rub off” on us. That is what happened with Peter and John as a result of their time with Jesus. They were around Jesus so much that His character, His peace, His boldness, His power and His mindset all became a part of them and their lifestyle, so much so that even the religious leaders, “recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.”
This is one of my greatest desires, that when I walk into a room others would immediately recognize that I have been with Jesus and not for my own glory but for His alone!
It is my prayer that as you read this today, you would take the time to ponder and pray over each one of these truths and let the Lord speak to you as you seek Him. May the Lord bless you as you seek to follow Him!
If you would like me to join you in prayer please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to pray for you!