|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Christian community”
Our Bible verse for today: “When they observed the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed and recognized that they had been with Jesus.” Acts 4:13 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Let’s turn the world right side up”
The context for what we just read in Acts 4:13 is this: The new church in Jerusalem was exploding with growth and power. People were coming to faith in Jesus by the hundreds, even the thousands. One day, Peter and John were about to enter the temple courtyard when they encountered a lame beggar at the temple gateway. The man was hoping to receive money from them but he received something better instead. In Acts 3:6 we read, “But Peter said, “I don’t have silver or gold, but what I do have, I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk!” Instantly the man was healed and he jumped up, walked, and praised God.
The people all around were astonished and they too praised God for the miracle. Peter then used the opportunity to preach about Jesus to the gathered crowd. That angered the Pharisees and religious leaders, so they ordered that Peter and John be arrested. When they were finally brought before the ruling council, they confidently answered the accusations made against them, and again used the occasion as an opportunity to speak about Jesus. Peter and John were so confident and so bold that we read in Acts 4:13 the leaders were amazed that these simple fishermen were so sure of themselves and were having such an impact on the city. It caused them to realize that these men had been with Jesus.
But that wasn’t true just of Peter and John. That entire Christian community was on fire for Jesus. They were all bold and confident. Not only were they together and caring for each other (Acts 2:42-47) but they were moving throughout the city caring for those in need, blessing people in the name of Jesus, and telling them the Good News of the Gospel.
It has often been said that those early Christians were turning their world upside down for Jesus, but I don’t think that’s the right way to describe it. They weren’t turning the world upside down they were turning it right side up. With the power of the Holy Spirit working through them, they were changing their city from how it was to how it was supposed to be. They were setting things right.
Can the same be said of us as a Christian community? Are we turning our city, our state, our nation right side up? Does the observing world look at us in amazement and conclude, “Those people have been with Jesus!”?
The Holy Spirit guided those early Christians to overcome persecution, prejudice, politics, social issues, cultural differences, and much more, to powerfully impact their world. The same should be true of us. Let’s focus on the things that really matter. Let’s work together to turn our world right side up.
(Join us at Oak Hill Baptist Church every Sunday at 10:00. Join us in-person if you are nearby or, if you are geographically distant or if you are a shut-in, join us online at www.YouTube.com/oakhillbaptistcrossville)
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