Without all the Facebook posts, and the bumper stickers, and the yard signs, and the jewelry. Who are you without all that?
When the rubber meets the road, so to speak, and you’re out in the yard talking to a neighbor. When you’re on the phone with a loved one or when you’re helping your kid with homework. Who are you in all that?
I guess it all got started after another trip to infamous “Facebook-land”, when I swore I wouldn’t go back. At least not to scroll generally.
But when I did, I saw even more posts, from people who are quick to post their Christian-ese on a semi-daily basis, only to post other bits that are quite contrary to the heart of God, right behind it.
Yes, I thought I was being a bit judgmental myself, and maybe I am. I don’t say it in a hurtful way, other than that it hurts my heart because I was THERE once. And I know there’s a better way.
You know how it is… you wanna say something, but you can’t, because the onslaught of hate and comments would probably break the internet. But that’s how we are, isn’t it?
Well, it wasn’t long after that, that I was reading in the book of acts and a particular Scripture caught my attention:
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13).
Mind you, Peter and John had been in prison for healing a man’s withered hand, and for preaching and seeing over five thousand souls converted. Well, actually, they were in prison for preaching that the resurrection was real and that Jesus was resurrected from the dead. The Sadducees didn’t believe there was a resurrection. Of anything, let alone a human.
But they KNEW that they – Peter and John – had been with Jesus!
When they finally drew the men out and asked them, “By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?” (Acts 4:7), Peter preached for a few minutes that in no uncertain terms, it was by the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
And they KNEW that they had been with Jesus!
And you wanna know the best part?
Verse 14 says there was nothing that the priests, and those with them, could say against it because the man who had been healed was standing right there!
Everyone in Jerusalem had seen it! There was no way to deny it! So they did the only thing they could think to do to try to cap their little “problem” and that was to strictly forbid them to speak or teach in the Name of Jesus.
Fast forward to when Peter and John had made it back to “their own company” to tell them of everything that had happened. Can’t you just imagine the conversation?
The withered hand healed!
Five thousands souls converted into the Kingdom!
Jailed, threatened, and then released, because they couldn’t find a reason to punish them!
Commanded NOT to teach in or speak of the Name of Jesus!
The prayer meeting that followed, these days, would have sounded like a plea bargaining bench in the DA’s office!
Not this bunch! These were those who TURNED THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN!
Their prayer went a little something like this…
“And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thing hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.” (Acts 4:29-30)
And directly after that prayer, they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and spoke the Word of God with boldness!
I don’t know…maybe it’s just me. But this sounds like DEMONSTRATION and POWER. Paul went on to speak of it specifically some time later:
“And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” (1 Corinthians 2:4)
If I ever speak at all, I pray I’m minus the enticing words and wisdom and chock full of demonstration and power!
After all… who am I, really?