Friday, January 14, 2011

Thoughts on Acts 5-6

It just gets better and better every day. Things get more intense as we read. What stood out to me this morning was 5:12, the part that mentions Solomon's porch. This came up in chapter 3:11, and before that, we see the porch mentioned in John 10:23. Some time after telling the parable of the Good Shepherd, Jesus walks in Solomon's porch at the temple. The Jews surround him and asks him to plainly state that He's the Christ if He be so. He points out that He already told them but they didn't believe because they are not His sheep; His sheep hear his voice and follow Him. I'm not sure if it's still done today, but back then, shepherds had a special whistle or sound they would make, and their sheep recognized that sound. So, even when herds were mixed, all the shepherds had to do was make that sound, and the sheep would organize themselves behind their shepherd.

Jesus also speaks to His unity with His Father, and the fact that His sheep have eternal life through Him, that no man can pluck them out of His hand or His Father's hand.

Now, in Acts, we see once again, the gathering of believers and unbelievers--mixed sheep. The apostles were the shepherds, sounding the true signal of God, but for fear, many believing chose to hide their beliefs, "For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God" John 12:43. But as Peter and the other apostles stated, "We ought to obey God rather than men" Acts 5:29.

Boldness was what characterized those early believers. Boldness in the Lord. Not fear. How much do we allow fear of what others will say or do to control what we believe? As Jesus stated while in Solomon's porch, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand" John 10:27-29. If God promises this, what are we afraid of?

I pray that (myself included), we'll overcome our fears, and the things that hold us back, so we can be bold for God.