What’s The Hill You’re Not Willing To Die On For Your Faith?

Peter and John heal the crippled beggar and they are being questioned by the Sanhedrin because they are talking to the people about Jesus, the risen Savior.

8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: ”Rulers and elders of the people? 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 Jesus is ”’the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ 12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

Acts 4:8-12

Peter and John were ordinary people, but it was evident that they’d been with Jesus. But the name of Jesus had been rejected and He is the only way to heaven.

13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. 15 So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together. 16 ”What are we goin to do with these men?” they asked.

“Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign and we cannot deny it. 17 But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn them to speak no longer to anyone in this name.”

Acts 4:13-17

The Sanhedrin knew the people had seen the miracles done in Jesus’ name, but they didn’t want this to go any farther.

But we all start as sinners. We all need His grace. We have to keep working to share the truth of Jesus to others. God still rules and it’s our place to carry that word to others who don’t know him yet.

The resurrection is the final show of rule and grace. It completes everything. It is done!

We need courageous people to carry on. We are all fallen people. Church people are no different. We all fall short.

It takes courage to claim our sins. We may feel pride because of what we’ve learned, but we’ve fallen short if we think that makes us any better than anyone else. Looking at the true state of our own heart takes courage. This is where we start. It’s the beginning. We must live as evidence of the Resurrection.

Even though there is much evil in the world, God still rules this world. No matter how badly we mess things up, we are never beyond salvage.

The church is often seen as judgmental and unforgiving, but that’s not what Jesus taught. He was all about love and grace and that’s how we need to be as the church. Loving and accepting of all who come to us hurting and rejected, down-trodden and sick. All deserve the love that Jesus offered. We are the hands and feet of God now. We must do all we can to carry the message of grace forward to those who haven’t heard it yet.

The Sanhedrin really had no choice but to let Peter and John go. They told them not to speak further of the name of Jesus. But if we’re quiet, the rocks will cry out!

Despite being ridiculed, marginalized, stereotyped and criticized, we must be courageous to live a live that declares God as our creator.

What’s the hill? Do people see by the way you live your life that you’ve been with Jesus? The abundant life that God promises is just beyond that hill that you won’t die on for your faith is the abundant life that comes from Christ for those who die to self and become new creations in Christ.

God’s kingdom simply needs the proclamation from a life that has been with Jesus. And that takes courage…

Is that you? It could be…

The sermon this blog post reviews can be found here. Thanks to Jon Porter for always challenging us to be more like Christ.

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