To awake Christians, the writer narrates the unusual courage exhibited by the disciples of Jesus Christ. He cautions the Christians about the powerful enemy and his tactics to play havoc in the life of born again Christians, who especially desire to serve the Lord.[--split--]
Those who were astonished by the courage of Peter and John when they preached the gospel were not ordinary men, but rulers, elders and teachers of the Law. By contrast, Acts 4:13 (NKJV) says, "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus."
Can the same be said of us who are redeemed by the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ? If not, it is good to examine ourselves in the light of these words. Are our lives and actions like those who had been with Jesus? If not, then others might see us as the enemies of God or as those under Satan. Let's not forget that "friendship with the world is hatred toward God" (James 4:4).
Today there is a great temptation to love the world and the things of the world. It is obvious that many Christians have a superficial brotherly love. Have we not become selfish, boasters, self-willed, not displaying unity of heart and mind? Satan takes advantage of such tendencies. The main reason for our failure is that we have forgotten that ".. Your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8). If we kept this thought in mind, we would be more alert in our lives, Satan would have less success.
We must remember that the devil wants to create havoc in the lives of born again Christians who desire to serve the Lord. He is on the lookout for our weak areas. Many of God's servants have fallen for Satan's tactics and have ruined their testimony. Their failure should be a warning to us. If we seriously consider this and take care, we will be better able to "stand against the devil's schemes" (Ephesians 6:11), the one who even tried to deceive our Lord (Matthew 4:1-11).
If we live lives that are pleasing to the Lord, others will notice and testify that these men and women were with Jesus. As we see increasing evidence for the soon-coming of our Lord, may we live lives which are pleasing to our LORD.
Confident Living Magazine, Secunderabad - First appeared in this Bi-monthlyHarvest Times Monthly Magasine, Mumbai
It's about the blessed hope which the Christians are enjoying in Christ Jesus. He encourages the reader to share their heavenly blessings with others which they are possessing through Christ Jesus. He says, the blessings are for sharing not for their selfish interests.
These days everything seems unsafe. A crime blitz has hit the country.
On one side innocent people are being caught in the merciless radar of terrorism. People are being attacked and killed in the name of politics and religion. Recent incidents show many fall victims to this evil. On the other big and small business establishments lace their products (food stuffs, medicines etc...) with spurious materials which lead innocent people to different kinds of ailments to a slow process of death. Yet another fear grips the people's mind is that the recent findings in the age old noble and traditional system of ayurvedic medicines. Ayurveda the widely accepted medicines too are laced with toxic dangerous materials. Latest findings reveal that manufactures of these medicines are using human parts in their medicines. Lastly the recent outbreak of bird flu which hit the country made people panic all over the nation.
In every sphere a certain kind of uncertainty and panic prevails. People don't want to believe each other. Trust is lost among all spheres. Everywhere a kind of fear and unbelief is taking place. Even in such situation God's people need not fear because we are under the great control and cover of the creator of the universe. We are safe and secure under the wings of the almighty one. Yes, we are under the protection of the mighty and unchanging God. He never changes nor forsakes those who put trust in Him. When we are on this earth we too have to undergo such panic situation or to face trails and persecutions and even death. But believers need not get panic in such situation, because we are in the palms of the Lord almighty.
have a blessed hope in Christ. When we finish our course on this earth
we will meet our Savior and we will be with him for ever and ever. What a
blessed hope we believers have in Jesus Christ. Whereas, others (those
who are without Christ) should get panic that they do not know where
they are going. We are a blessed people Eph.1:3; 2:6 makes it very clear
that we are rich in Christ, we are raised up together with him and made
us sit down together giving us joint seating with Him in heavenly
sphere in Christ Jesus, the Messiah, the Anointed one. (Amplified Bible)
The Scripture is filled with comforting words for the believers, if we trust Him fully; we need not fear anything or anybody on this earth. Circumstances may frighten us, things may go against us, rulers and leaders may rise up against us, but you need not worry, you are in the safe hands of the Lord Almighty. The recent incidents proclaim that our Lord's coming is very close. Dearly beloved of God, we are so blessed people, as mentioned in Ephesians we are rich in Christ. What are you going to do with these riches? Or what are you going to do with the other fellow brethren who are perishing without these riches? Are you making any efforts to share this richness to them? Let us make note that these blessed privileges and positions He has given us not to keep it for ourselves but to share with others. Many a times we hold these blessings for ourselves for our selfish interests.
Let us share it for the glory of our Lord. May God help us.