“Could you use some high-octane boldness? If you want to outlive your life, you could. As long as you are stationary, no one will complain. Dogs don’t bark at parked cars. But as soon as you accelerate . . . expect the yapping to begin.”- Max Lucado
Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands before you whole.”- Acts 4:8-19 (NKJV)
In Chapter 8 (“Persecution: Prepare for It, Resist It”) of Outlive Your Life, Max Lucado notes that in the first three chapters of Acts, the church enjoyed smooth sailing. For example, Pentecost harvested three thousand followers. And, the church grew.
However, in Acts 4 the town bullies — the priests, the captain of the temple guard, and the Sadducees — confront Peter and John. So, one minute they heal the cripple. Then, the next minute they face harassment.
Consequently, up until now Peter’s failed every test of persecution. In Gethsemane, he and the other disciples fled, leaving Jesus all lone. After that, Peter denied Jesus three times. Yet, on this occasion Peter and John go chin to chin with the town bullies. Thus, Max asks, what’s gotten into them?
Answer: Peter and John lingered long and delightfully in the presence of the resurrected King. Because of this, silence was no longer an option. Therefore, Pastor Lucado exhorts, to prepare ourselves for the yapping to begin, imitate the disciples:
- linger long and hard in Christ’s presence
- meditate on His grace
- ponder His love
- memorize Christ’s words
- gaze into His face
- talk to Jesus
Finally, as you meditate on Christ’s life, in the process you find strength for your own!
Today’s question: What Scriptures fuel high-octane boldness in your life? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Hypocrisy turns people away from God”