Day 48 - the Spirit empowers us to boldly make disciples
In your own words ask God to help you hear and understand what He’s saying through His Word, and give thanks for the Holy Spirit that is empowering you to walk with Him after this devotional is done. Then read these verses (out loud if you are able).
Acts 4:29-31 (NLT)
29 And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word. 30 Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness.
This is the prayer of the newly formed church after persecution. In the chapter before Peter and John healed a beggar at the temple gate who was unable to walk by the power of Jesus’ name. This opened a door for them to declare the good news of Jesus to many there. The religious leaders did not like this and had them arrested for preaching that there was a resurrection available after death. Peter and John were then threatened not to speak any more about Jesus, but even in the face of persecution they declared that salvation could come from Jesus alone, and they were recognized as men who had been with Jesus.
When they came back to their community of faith and told everyone what happened, this prayer is part of what they were all praying together. They prayed for boldness to preach the word of God! After they had prayed the whole place shook, and they were all filled with the Spirit. Now the Holy Spirit had already been poured out on the church in Chapter 2 of Acts, but this points to the reality of being continually filled with the Spirit like we are commanded to do in Ephesians 5.
Empowered with the Holy Spirit these Jesus followers then went out and preached the word of God with boldness in the face of persecution. And it wasn’t just Peter and John. No, it was all of them. They all knew something about what God’s Word said about Jesus, and they all went out and told others. Declaring the truth of Jesus isn’t just reserved for pastors or for platforms. It’s the everyday work of normal everyday people that love Jesus.
This passage paints a picture of the whole church preaching God’s Word to those who don’t know it. Is it hard or easy for you to think of yourself as someone who should “preach” or declare the truth of Jesus to others? How has culture or fear impacted the way you think about that?
Bring your burdens to your heavenly Father with thanksgiving, specifically thanking Him for the gift of the person of the Holy Spirit in and with you. Ask God for boldness to tell others about Jesus, even in the face of ridicule or persecution of any type.