Welcome back to Time in the Word! Two weeks ago we started our 2022 Healthy Spiritual Habits adventure talking about Bible Reading and Bible Study. You can catch part 1 here and part 2 here. Last week, in part 2, we tackled learning how to be a student of the Bible. A great way to study the Bible is to use the S.O.A.P. method. We coved S, O, and A. Today we will cover P, for prayer.Continue reading
Recently, the Lord has been waking me up early and making a specific request. Sometimes to pray, sometimes to read. Today, He said read Acts 3 & 4. I wondered what God might have for me in Peter’s first sermon to the crowds and their first astounding miracles.
As you read this verse that jumped out at me today, keep in mind my ONEWORD this year is Confidence.
Now when the men of the Sanhedrin (Jewish High Court) saw the confidence and boldness of Peter and John and grasped the fact that they were uneducated and untrained [ordinary] men, they were astounded and began to recognize that they had been with Jesus.Acts 4:13, AMP
They had Confidence and Boldness
Ogilvie states that “The word boldness means lucid and daring statement. In Greek, the word is parresia, ‘telling it all’, translates as boldness or confidence”. It was very notable that the disciples had a new confidence after they were filled with the Holy Spirit.
I can relate to Peter, being a Type “A” person, I have found myself sticking my foot in my mouth more often than I care to admit. Even at times when I was trying to be encouraging, words just came out totally wrong. This in itself caused me to be less confident or bold. But God has been changing that in me. A few years ago before I was blogging, my ONEWORD was Bold.
But, oh, the change when the Holy Spirit takes over our lives. Suddenly Peter became a great preacher with so much wisdom. It wasn’t really Peter speaking, it was the Holy Spirit speaking through Peter. I have held tightly to the promise that God will give us the words to say!
“When they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”Luke 12:11–12
And later, He said,
“When they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.”Mark 13:11, Matthew 10:19
Uneducated and Untrained
The disciples were just ordinary men who loved Jesus. God loves to use people with no education or training because all the glory goes to God. I’m sure you have heard of such servants of God like Charles Spurgeon, D.L. Moody, William Carey, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Hudson Taylor.
Mind you, this does not mean God doesn’t use the educated. There is a long list of greatly educated and trained people used mightly by God; Moses, Daniel, and Paul are all Biblical examples. Augustine, Martin Luther, and Billy Graham are just a few historical examples. It’s just as wrong to think that formal education disqualifies someone for effective service as it is to think that it automatically qualifies someone for effective service. (Guzik)
But for me, I am encouraged that God can use anyone. I have a degree. But I certainly don’t count myself among the above-mentioned leaders. My point is that God can and will use me if I allow His Holy Spirit to work in my life. Since I have been blogging, I am sometimes amazed to see the words that He gives to me. And all the glory has to go to Him. I was never much of a writer, but God is astounding even me by how He inspires me.
People were Astounded and Realized they had been with Jesus
Now that’s where the Glory of God comes in… when others can see Jesus working in you. That is my desire. I want my confidence and boldness to come from the Holy Spirit within me; not from my own vain-glory.
Astounded by His Work in Me;