Prayer Focus: Sudan

Bible Reading: Acts 1-4; Psalm 110

Scripture:
Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13)

Observation:

My last post also involved an upper room- one that held a physical Jesus and a last supper. This upper room may have held a resurrected Jesus, but certainly holds the disciples, as they wait for the promised Holy Spirit. While waiting, Peter prepares for the next phase of ministry, consulting Scripture and initiating the process to restore the Twelve. I read this as a great set of instructions. Have a decision to make? Consult God’s word. After that, obey the instructions. Not sure how to apply them? Pray. It’s the right mix of abiding and obeying. The results often, if not always, involve the Holy Spirit’s power – for the purpose of building relationship. People’s reactions to this power will vary, from surprisee to mockery. [therefore we ought not to be surprised when people’s reactions are equally varied] Scripture, contextualized, is often the hinge by which understanding swings.

Application:

But, what are we to make of this?  If this Christian life were as simple as a four step plan, we’d all be a lot more successful and our communities would be much larger. When Peter and the other disciples spoke Truth, no matter the language, people heard and responded. There was a call to action, repentance, and then sacrifice as needs were met for those who had nothing. What is our call to action? Are we as quick to ask – “what shall we do?” when our hearts are pierced? When one of our brothers or sisters are in need, are we quick to collaborate and participate in meeting that need, either jointly or individually? At the end of our tenure on this earth, will people look at our lives and marvel and say, “Surely they have been with Jesus.”

Prayer:

Father, thank you that you are so much more than a four step plan. Thank you that Your love for me does not rest on how well I follow a plan . . . thank you for Your Holy Spirit that teaches and encourages me to obedience. Help us to respond to You, to be sensitive to others, and to be devoted to relationship – both with You and with fellow believers – even as You are in fellowship with the Son and Spirit. Help us to honor You with our words and actions. Teach us to love You with all our heart, soul and strength. May it be said of us, that we have been with You.

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