The prayer for boldness was certainly granted (4:29). However, it seems like praying for boldness is much like praying for patience… God just might bring circumstances into your life where you have to be bold. He certainly did this with the Apostles and the others there. I wonder do we pray for boldness today or are our prayers tempered with more requests for security and safety?
Gamaliel offered some wise advice to the council (5:38-39). If it’s of God it will stand, if it’s not it will fall away. I think many churches face a similar kind of conflict today. They argue or dispute over evangelistic initiatives, discipleship processes, etc. Be careful what you resist. To be sure, we all want to resist the influences of Satan on the church, but we want to be careful not to resist our LORD if he is calling to spread the word in a bold and different direction. Many great moves of God were begun in opposition to those who thought they had a lock on what God wanted.
Even the first church in Jerusalem had some tension and strife. Annanias and Saphira were jockeying for attention by lying about how much they gave (5:1-11) and widows were feeling neglected (6:1-7). Sadly the experience is much the same in many churches today. There will always be those who seek to meet a personal need through undue recognition as well as those who haven’t learned to be content in whatever circumstances they find themselves. There are legitimate needs and concerns that arise in any church and I am thankful for deacons that God has called to serve the church along side of the pastor and free him up for the ministry of the Word.
FATHER, I pray for boldness in sharing our faith today. May you give us great courage in our conversations with others to make sure we discuss matters of eternal significance. We ask for wisdom and discernment to know what things come from you and what things are “man-made.” We thank you for those you have called to be deacons. We are grateful for their ministry both to the church and to the pastor. Thank you for the grace to lead your people as an under-shepherd. IN JESUS NAME, AMEN.
What did you take away from today’s reading? What are your thoughts or questions? Feel free to comment below and enter the discussion.