NT Fire Starters – Day 164: Acts 4:1-31
READ: Acts 4:1-31
THINK: Are you willing to pay the price? If you want to have an impact for God, you’ve probably dreamed of powerful results from your ministry. It’s not necessarily a pride issue. You simply want to influence as many people as possible for Jesus. But great pains precede great gains, and rejection usually comes before results. If you’re willing to take risks for God and suffer for the cause of Christ, the returns on your investment can be extraordinary. Even when the effects of your efforts aren’t apparent to anyone but God, your earthly pains won’t compare to your eternal gains.
RESPOND: What “risks” and consequences can come from speaking boldly about Jesus? What positive results can come when people are persecuted for proclaiming Christ (cf. v. 4)? What enabled Peter to respond so boldly to the religious leaders? (See 4:8 note.) What do Peter’s Holy Spirit–inspired remarks indicate about the nature of spiritual salvation and why Jesus is the only One who can provide it? ( See 4:12 note.) What did the leaders notice about Peter and John and the inspiration behind their boldness and insight (v. 13, 17)? How does this challenge and inspire you personally? What does Peter’s and John’s response tell you about their commitment to Christ and His message? (See 4:20 note.) How did the other believers respond to Peter’s and John’s report (v. 23ff)? What did they ask God to do for them, and why is this so remarkable under the circumstances? (See 4:29 note.) What did the believers expect would happen to confirm the message of Jesus as they boldly delivered it? (See 4:30 note.) Should we expect the same things today? Why or why not? How did God respond to their prayer? (See 4:31 note.) What does this indicate about the ongoing work, purpose and effect of the Holy Spirit in believers’ lives? (See 4:31 notes.)
PRAY: Ask for boldness from the Holy Spirit so you can speak about Jesus and respond effectively to those who confront you about your faith. Pray that God confirms His message and His work through you in supernatural ways.
ACT: If you’ve been challenged or confronted regarding your faith in Christ, ask God for the opportunity to address the situation again, trusting Him for wisdom and boldness to meet the challenge. If appropriate, you may choose to write a note or email in response to the situation. Be gracious, not combative, speaking from the perspective of what Jesus and your faith mean to you personally. It’s hard for anyone to challenge or deny your personal experience.