Asking for Trouble
Gracious Lord, may Your Word speak to me in a bold and clear way today and may I boldly obey it.
Read ACTS 5:12-16
 The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade.  No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people.  Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.  As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by.  Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and all of them were healed. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat was the result of the disciples’ bold witness?
If you practice your faith in public today, you are asking for trouble. If the apostles felt any similar pressure, they clearly ignored it. The believers met in a very public location. It was the very place where they had gotten into trouble with the authorities just days before.
There’s a lovely contradiction at the heart of this passage. “No one else dared join them …” and yet more and more people were added to their number. We can picture the crowds being irresistibly drawn to the new community, even though they were scared by the power at work in them.
Miraculous signs and wonders may be somewhat less common today than they were in the first weeks of the Church’s life. But as William Barclay puts it, “The church still exists … that through it miracles of God’s grace should happen. People will always throng to a church wherein men’s lives are changed” (The Acts of the Apostles, St. Andrew Press). Faith needs to be practiced in public. Church doors should be permanently propped open. If that’s asking for trouble, so be it.
Pray for Christians who feel pressure to keep their faith to themselves. Ask God to give them wisdom and courage.
Lord, I pray for the courage and boldness I need to practice my faith in public wisely and well.