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(Part 38)


April 12, 2013

Today’s readings:
Acts 5:34-42
Psalm 27:1-14
John 6:1-15

Gamaliel told the Sanhedrin about the apostles, “if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves fighting against God.” (Acts 5:39). IF it comes from God? You MAY be fighting God? Gamaliel had a good insight. But we KNOW that our work comes from God, and that it is He Himself acting in and through us. Thus our fight is His fight.

If we know these realities, then they determine how we are to work and act. First, we should evangelize with a passion, persistently and insistently. “And all day long, both at the temple and in their homes, they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the Messiah, Jesus.” (Acts 5:42).

Second, we should never be afraid. “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear?” (Ps 27:1a). We have been saved. We live under the Lord’s protection, care and guidance. “The Lord is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid?” (Ps 27:1b). We can always turn to the Lord in our troubles. “When evildoers come at me to devour my flesh, these my enemies and foes themselves stumble and fall.” (Ps 27:2). God fights for us and defends us. God has already won the victory, in which we share.

Third, whatever afflictions we suffer at the hands of our opponents, we rejoice. “So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name.” (Acts 5:41). We wear suffering and persecution as badges of honor!

God is about a might work. God has given us the privilege of being instruments of this work. Are we still afraid? Are we discouraged? Do we not see? God knows what He wants to happen. Do we see it as well? Can we pass the test? Jesus asked Philip how they could feed the large crowd, an impossible task given the situation. “He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do.” (Jn 6:6). But Philip was thinking in human terms, answering that 200 days’ wages would not be enough (Jn 6:7). Andrew also thought in the same way. “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?” (Jn 6:9).

Jesus then worked his miracle, feeding 5,000 and even having more leftovers than they started with. Only then did the people see (Jn 6:14a). We need to look beyond our own physical and material resources. We do God’s work and He provides. In fact, as those who believe in him, we are to do his very works, and even greater ones (Jn 14:12). God Himself is the One acting in and through us.

So how is it with us? We need to BE.LI.EV.E! As we go off to evangelize, which automatically involves us in spiritual warfare, we need to trust in God’s word, God’s commission and God’s anointing. “Though war be waged against me, even then do I trust.” (Ps 27:3b). Even as we face impossible odds due to the powerful forces against us, we are not daunted, but rather we stand even taller. “Even now my head is held high above my enemies on every side!” (Ps 27:6a).

God both protects us but also projects us. “He will conceal me in the cover of his tent; and set me high upon a rock.” (Ps 27:5b). We have defense and offense. We are covered on all sides.

So what else do we not see?

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