Insights on Today's Reading
Acts 4 - The Jewish authorities were getting more and more concerned as they heard the preaching of Peter, John, and the other apostles. They finally arrested Peter and John and confronted them. Note that in verse 13 they recognized that these two were among those who had "been with Jesus." They asked them by what authority they had healed the lame man from chapter 3. Peter made it abundantly clear that it was in the name of Jesus, verses 10-12, that they could see healing for this man and they also made it clear that it was only in the name of Jesus that anybody can be saved, verse 12! They were ordered not to preach in His name, but they went back to their church and asked all to unite in prayer asking God to give them the boldness to keep on preaching in spite of the threats, verse 29. The chapter ends with the early Church practicing the ministry of selling excess property and giving the money to help meet the needs of the poor. Barnabas is introduced in this chapter as a "son of encouragement" verse 36.
Acts 5 - In the early Church God was very strict with their testimony being above reproach. When Ananias and his wife, Sapphira gave an offering to the church but claimed they were giving a complete sacrifice of all the money they collected on the sale of a personal piece of property, Peter confronted them separately. They both had claimed a "total gift" when they were keeping a portion for themselves, verse 3. They both died within hours of each other. God was making clear that He would not tolerate deception among His followers. Peter and John continued to preach in Jesus' name and they were arrested and throne in prison. God sent an angel to release them and gave them orders to keep on preaching. When they were brought before the Jewish council, they boldy admitted to preaching and they were beaten for it. They left the council, "...rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name..." verse 41.
Acts 6 - The early church grew and the needs of the people grew as well. When certain widows were being neglected in the distribution of food, the disciples were confronted with this issue. They said they had a more important work of praying and teaching the Word that they didn't have time to "serve tables" verse 2. So they gave the practical instruction to the disciples to look for godly men they could appoint to be deacons, literally "servants" who would take on this ministry. Seven men were selected, among them Stephen and Philip who will be prominent among the disciples. Stephen began boldly preaching and he was arrested and brought before the council.
Daily commentary and insight from Pastor Eckardt.
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Mt Ephraim Baptist Church | 25 S. Black Horse Pike | Mt Ephraim, NJ 08059
Senior Pastor, Stephen A. Eckardt | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: 856.981.7288