Sound Advice for the Season

The apostles were commanded not to teach.  They had been put in prison and an angel released them.  When the Sanhedrin heard they were out preaching, they looked in the prison and found the doors still locked.  Don’t let any threat or confinement keep you from the Lord.  We let too much stop us from being a Christian.  The book of Romans tells us we are without excuse.

The Sanhedrin asked what they were doing but the apostles didn’t let it stop them.  We should be a Christian by the Bible definition no matter what.

Acts 5: 32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. 33 When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them. 34 Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space; 35 And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men. 36 For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought. 37 After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed. 38 And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: 39 But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God. 40 And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. 42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

Don’t blame your backsliding on other Christians.  Don’t blame the devil.  We have responsibility for our Christian life.  It’s a privilege to be a child of God and a believer in him.  We have enough faith.  If God had enough power to save you, don’t you think that whatever you’re going through he can deliver you from.  Don’t get in your own way.  As many days as we have left, the devil will be there to keep us out of church, to keep us from praying, and to keep us from reading the Bible.  We don’t have an excuse no matter what we come up with.  The Bible says but seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

This is good advice.  America has quit praying and started meditating.  Forget yoga.  Repentance of sin is needed.  Don’t forget that Christmas is about Jesus.  Gamaliel advice to the others was that if it be of God, don’t get in the way.  They took the apostles and beat them and commanded that they not speak in Jesus’ name.  Don’t get in a fit worrying about all you have to do for Christmas.  Concentrate on Jesus.  The disciples didn’t cry or whine around about it.  Don’t fret about witnessing.  Witness anyway, anywhere.  Make Walmart a mission field.  Some say they can’t stand up for God at work or at the store or in the neighborhood because somebody might get mad or be offended.  The disciples didn’t care what ill will came their way.  They knew the Savior and realized he was the Son of God.

Only one group could have stopped the disciples:  themselves.  They could have scaled things back.  They knew they served the only God who ever existed.  Gamaliel said not to stand in the way.  If the apostles were not of God their work would fall apart just like the work of other’s had.  Religions have come and gone.  Gods have been made out of all sorts of things.  No one made a God of God Almighty.  He did it all.  Man made those religions.  No one made Jesus.  He is from time everlasting.  No one can stop God.  The devil can’t stop you.  Legislation can’t stop you.  The media and Hollywood can’t stop you.  Nothing can stop us from being a Christian who lets others know the truth from lies.  No one can stop you from reflecting the living Savior.  Even Job said if the skin worms eat his body that he would see God.  Never quit believing the Bible.  Never think it’s in vain or that God won’t get you through.  He will.  If you lose your power to speak and hear you can still speak to God from your heart and thank him for saving you.

What did the apostles do after being beaten and commanded not to speak in Jesus’ name?  They went to the temple.  Verse 42 says and daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.  That’s the best advice.  God won’t stop.  Why should you?  Don’t stop here until your last breath.  Your first breath in the next life will allow you to see Jesus face to face.  Don’t let anything hinder you.  Don’t let anything keep you from God.  There is a saying that if every day were just like Christmas, what a wonderful world this would be.  If we as Christians would be a Christian each day, what a better world this would be!

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