February 08, 2009

Control Freaks


Yesterday, I spent some time with a friend who is struggling with letting go and trusting God for her family. Most of us battle this now and again, wouldn't you agree? We plainly see their problem and have the perfect solution. So why don't they listen to us??

Then this morning while reading through Acts, I found this interesting. After Peter heals a crippled man in Jerusalem and tells folks it was done in the name of Jesus Christ through faith in his name, he and John were taken by the local religious control freaks (Jewish priests, the captain of the temple and the Sadducees) and held overnight.

The next day when brought before the Jewish rulers, elders, scribes, Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander and the relatives of the high priest, Peter and John were asked, "By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?"

I love this next part! Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said, "Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

Stunned, the religious leaders said in private, "What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name."

So they commanded Peter and John not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. Amazing!

So what did Peter and John do? They said to them, "Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard."

And so, thankfully, Peter and John and all the other disciples have proclaimed the TRUTH of the Lord Jesus Christ no matter how they were threatened nor how they were treated even unto death. And for this, we all need to be very grateful!

Hebrews 13 says, "So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me" and I John 3 says, "Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren".

A really great book about the early Christian martyrs is Foxes Book of Martyrs which can be read online here.

As hard as they try, no control freak will stop the message of the cross and the resurrection of Christ.

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