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Bold Witness

After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. Acts 4:31 NIV

Soon after the day of Pentecost, Peter and John head to the temple to pray. At its gate, they encounter a lame beggar. Instead of giving the man what he requested, they did the unexpected–by the Holy Spirit, they healed him.

Those assembled recognized the man and the miracle that had happened and were "filled with wonder and amazement." As the word spread, a crowd quickly gathered. "How was it possible that the man who had lain at the temple gates for years could now walk?" Peter boldly proclaims that the Jesus they had crucified was the long-awaited Messiah. By the power of the resurrected Jesus, the man was healed, and this same Jesus had come to bring spiritual healing to all.

Peter and John, filled with the Holy Spirit, are brought before the religious elite, and again Peter repeats the message. The rulers, who had hoped Jesus' death would squash this new movement, are angered not only by the continued proclamation that Jesus is the Christ but that his followers were growing! Upon further threats to stop, they are released.

Next, Peter and John return to the expanding group of believers, reporting what had happened, and those gathered begin to pray. Then, after giving thanks to God, they come with this request.

Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus. "(v.29‭-‬30)

Notice their prayer is to enable them to continue what they already started. By the power of the Spirit, they had performed a miracle, witnessed, and received threats. For many, a night in jail and intimidation would have been enough; they would have packed their bags and gone home quietly. But, here, they are praying for the strength to continue.

God answered their request by shaking the place they were praying. I don't know if this was an isolated earth tremor or a powerful spiritual experience that left them stunned by God's awesomeness. It doesn't matter; what matters is that their prayer was answered. Filled with the Holy Spirit, they continue to share the gospel–the Good News–of Jesus Christ.

Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your Son who brings salvation to those who believe and for the power of the Holy Spirit. Fill once more with the Holy Spirit. Help us to stand in the face of opposition and boldly proclaim the life-saving message of Jesus Christ. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.


Pastor Tim

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