5 – 11 December 2016

Read Acts 5.

What an amazing God we have indeed!  Our God – this God we are dealing with – freed and guided the apostles out of prison, unseen by anybody! The officers came to get the prisoners, as they were meant to bring them to stand before the Council. They found the doors shut and the guards still standing there… If that does not blow our minds – what would? PRAY that we all continue to grow in our faith and trust unconditionally in this amazing God.

You see, an Angel of the Lord had opened the prison doors at night and led the apostles to the temple, where they continued to teach. They continued to do what put them into prison in the first place. To top it off, Peter and the apostles proclaimed that they ought to obey God rather than men. I wonder, how would we act? PRAY for courage, to be a strong witness for God.

Prison? We read about a ‘physical prison’ but there are ‘emotional and circumstanced prisons’ in our lives as well. Situations we are caught in and sometimes can’t change. No job, sickness, recovery from an operation, depression, grief, unforgiveness – just to name a few. Yes, we possibly can’t change them but surely this big God can? What do you think? Look for a quiet and private place and PRAY. Invite God afresh/again into a difficult situation you are facing/feeling at this moment and expect HIM to act!!

These emotional and circumstanced prisons have very thick walls, which prevent us to be set free. Do we really expect God to help us, or do we put it into the ‘too hard’ basket? If we trust Him and He helps us, what would our walk with Him look like afterwards? I hope we are not like Ananias and Sapphira were. But look, the great thing is that the people who witnessed what had happened, had such a big faith that they “brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches that at least the shadow of Peter passing by, might fall on some of them” (Acts 5:15).

Read Acts 5:16 again.

May we be encouraged by this week’s stories. Encouraged to wait on the Lord and to deeply believe that HE can and will open the doors of ‘our prisons’. This God, which is the same mighty God, who sent this Angel to free the apostles. BUT in the waiting time let’s do the same as the Apostles did:

  • To proclaim that Jesus is alive.
  • To do what we are called to do.
  • To obey God rather than man.

PRAY and ask the Holy Spirit to show you any possible areas in your life where you could be more obedient.

A few weeks ago, we heard from Annie Hilton about Jesus’ ‘upside down Kingdom’. Jesus has a big heart for the poor and the lost. He always did what God called Him to do and didn’t do what people expected Him to do. He is our powerful example, to show us what it looks like to ‘obey God more than man’!

Look at the miracles He performed and how He set people free from ‘all sorts of prisons’ in their lives.

Not long and it will be Christmas again. A highly special and festive season for all Christian believers. Are you prepared to look out for somebody in the circles you move? Somebody  who is ‘caught in a prison’ – lonely, hurting or even desperate? How about planning to invite this person to join ‘your celebration time’? Invite them for a meal or write them a note and surprise them with a small gift. These actions help ‘to shake the foundations of the prison walls’. ☺