Acts 5: 12-16
As God’s people, we need to take hold of this window of opportunity while it is still open to us.
Following Jesus’ death and resurrection, the believers were under tremendous pressure to practice their faith in private lest they face persecution from the religious Jews. The apostles were obviously asking for trouble when they practised their faith in public. In this passage, we read that the believers met at a public place, Solomon Portico, which was in the temple area. It was there that they witnessed openly, fearlessly, without limits!
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. (John 14:12)
Set against this backdrop of fearless witnessing is a poignant moment in verse 13, where unbelievers were afraid to attach themselves to the early church lest they face persecution themselves. Yet ironically, the Lord made the faith community grow larger. Pause for a moment and sense the tension now- imagine the crowd being irresistibly drawn to the new community of faith even though they were afraid of the power at work in them. That’s the beauty of God’s signs and wonders. Afraid yet attracted to the miraculously gracious work of the mighty God! Three things I’d like to submit to you following this passage:
1. Miracles, signs and wonders still exist today. 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 (and women’s) lives are changed.” People in our church have been healed spiritually, physically and emotionally. More importantly lives are being transformed. Jesus says we will do greater works than Him. All we need is to have faith in Him (John 14:12). Do you have faith in Jesus?
2. Faith needs to be practised in public. The church must be without walls and disciples must operate without limits in the Lord. Expect the Lord to orchestrate divine appointments as you hop into a taxi or bus, eat at a coffee shop or restaurant, go on a business trip or while taking a walk, a cruise or a vacation.
3. Pre-believers may be afraid and reject what you say to them. But when you take the bold step of sharing the good news and your testimony, do not be surprised that the Lord will add them to His number!
Brothers and sisters in Christ, we are truly blessed with a nation that allows us the freedom to practise religion. As God’s people, we need to take hold of this window of opportunity while it is still open to us. I’d like for us to ask ourselves, “What’s stopping me from witnessing for Jesus?” Then ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten and help you. God bless you!
By Ps Simon Say