Together (Week 2)
“By what power, or in whose name, have you done this?” (Acts 4:7b NLT).
“Let me clearly state to all of you and to all the people of Israel that he was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the man you crucified but whom God raised from the dead . . . There is salvation in no one else!
God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:10, 12 NLT).
“Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:19-20 NLT).
The feeling of having someone beside you can be one of the best feelings in the world.
We tend to think that we’re on our own when it comes to one area that matters most: our faith.
The truth is, we all have a natural tendency to keep our faith journey to ourselves. We know every other area of life is better with others beside us. Why are we doing faith alone?
We’re going to look at some accounts from the book of Acts,which tells about the things that Jesus’ followers did as they began to tell the world about Him. The story we’re going to look at starts in Acts 4. The disciples were now scattering into isolation, afraid for their lives.
Three days pass, then a rumor starts going around that the tomb Jesus had been placed in—that none of the disciples stuck around to see Him placed in—is empty.
Then one day, while a bunch of the disciples are gathered behind locked doors, Jesus shows up.
In the beginning of Acts, Jesus ascends to heaven and leaves the disciples to figure out this faith thing on their own. Although they’re still afraid for their lives, the disciples now have more boldness than they ever could’ve imagined! Peter and John are preaching before a crowd. They’re confronted by priests of the temple and arrested on the spot.
The passage goes on to say how amazed the leaders were as they heard this, because it was obvious that Peter and John were just normal guys.
So what did they do? They let Peter and John go. They had the power of Jesus’ Spirit for one. But that wasn’t all. They also had each other.
When John and Peter are freed, they go back to the group of believers that had been forming as a sort of church, and they told them what had just happened. They prayed togetherfor courage. They understood something that is just as true for us today when it comes to following Jesus: together, we are braver.
Living out your faith in a real way will always require some measure of bravery.
As you head out, think about one area of your faith that makes you a little nervous—an area where you need to be brave.
Start asking God for the courage now to invite them in to pray with you and encourage you to live more boldly and bravely together!