There are times when we have to face a difficult challenge. My most recent one happened when I walked into my kitchen and saw on the wall - a spider! It was very small and it wasn’t doing anything, but just the fact that it was there caused me to freeze. It took a moment before I could do anything. Why? Because I am afraid of spiders. But, unlike when I was a kid and I would literally not be able to walk into the room, I have learned to not let my fear control me.
Everyone has a fear about something, some of the most common ones are:
Take a moment and talk with your family about how you handle being afraid? What are some things you can do to help you not be afraid?
Today’s Bible Passage: Acts 4:1-14
Activity: Paper, pencils, Bible
Read Acts 4:1-7
In this story, we are focusing again on the two disciples, Peter and John, and continuing the previous devotional about the healing of the crippled man. Peter and John are in the temple area fulfilling the work that Jesus had given them; sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. As a result, they were causing a big commotion. We read in verse two that many people were disturbed by hearing of Jesus’ resurrection but we also read, in verse four, that many more came to believe and accept Jesus as Lord.
Since what was happening was causing a commotion, the religious leaders met together to discuss it. They arrested Peter and John, and brought them forward to be questioned. Keep in mind, this meant that Peter and John were now going to have to explain themselves and their actions to the most powerful people in Jerusalem.
If you were brought before a group of people in charge, and had to explain your actions even if you hadn’t done anything wrong, how would you feel? Talk about it as a family.
An important question: Why were people so upset about the news of Jesus? Isn’t the gospel called the good news?
The Bible is indeed the good news, but for some people, hearing what the Bible has to say and learning about Jesus is so different from what they know, that it is hard for some to accept it, even though it is the truth. Jesus told the disciples to go into all the world and share about everything He had said and done (Matthew 28:18-20). When we do that, we must tell the truth, but just as in this situation, we must understand that different people may react differently to hearing it. Whenever I am about to share my faith, I remember this verse:
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.
But do this with gentleness and respect.
As a family read Acts 4:8-14
The first thing we read here is that Peter was “filled” with the Holy Spirit. Jesus told His disciples that He would not leave us, and that the Holy Spirit would come to live in us (John 14:16-18). He also reminded us that we must be obedient, and that the Holy Spirit will teach us and remind us of the things that Jesus said (John 14:23-26). This means that when Peter spoke, God was with him and reminded him of the things he needed to say. We don’t know for sure whether Peter was afraid or not, but we know that he spoke so well and with such courage, that the leaders were surprised. They knew that Peter and John were not professional speakers, but were “ordinary men,” meaning that they did not have the education or training that the religious leaders had. We know that Peter and John were fishermen (Matt 4:18-22), but as disciples of Jesus who were faithful in obedience, they had nothing to be afraid of, because God was with them!
The Bible tells us 66 times not to be afraid! So while some things might seem scary, with God we have nothing to fear. Being obedient to God means we have to share our faith with others. That might seem a little scary at first, especially if we have never done it before. But as we have read, if we remain focused on sharing God’s Word, we can be confident that He will be with us.
Pencils, Paper, Bible
Your activity for today is to work together as a family to summarize your faith in one paragraph (5-6 sentences). This way, the next time someone asks you what you believe, you will have already thought of what to say.
If you need some help, here are some verses that you might find helpful:
Matt 22:37-40; Matt 28:19-20; John 3:16-17; John 14:6; 1 Corinthians 8:6
Have a blessed week!