This morning for my devotion I read Acts Chapter 4 and I could not help but notice, how the scenes and environment changed from joyfulness and rejoicing to … threats…Everyone in the vicinity of the temple called “Beautiful” had just witnessed the amazing adventure of a lifetime! A man who was lame from his mother’s womb was now leaping, walking and praising God for his blessing – a Super-Duper blessing direct from the throne of God!
From Acts 3:6 we read:
6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God:
10 And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.
11 And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering.
12 And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?
13 The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go.
14 But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you;
15 And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.
16 And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.
17 And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.
18 But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.
19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.
20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
24 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.
25 Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.
26 Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.
But suddenly things change… despite the good news that God has made provision for men and women to embrace His Son and be blessed as the lame man was blessed…and to claim the new hope so lovingly lavished on us by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, threats have begun to surface!!! Chapter 4 goes on to relate the “threaten”, the “threatened“, and the “threatenings”.
1 And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them,
2 Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
3 And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide.
4 Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.
5 And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes,
6 And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem.
7 And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel,
9 If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole;
10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
14 And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.
15 But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves,
16 Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it.
17 But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name.
18 And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.
19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.
20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
21 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done.
22 For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was shewed.
23 And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them.
24 And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:
25 Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?
26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.
27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,
28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.
29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,
30 By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.
31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
Threats! Threats!! Threats!!! – our world is full of them. Even when something good, great and beneficial has just happened there are some who read and visualise the happiness of others as a poison to their soul. Just this week I tried to do a substantial amount of my work with just one hand and wow…did I miss the other hand…you bet I did! I ironed with one hand: set the clothes on the ironing board with that same hand, put on the ironing board cover with that one hand…put each item of clothing in a place where each piece would be safe from being soiled or requiring re-ironing. The lame man of Acts 3 had to be elated with his new ability to leap, jump, walk, swim, kick, drive….it was just happening all at once for him!
Peter and John had just presented in word and action the power that is available through the blood of Jesus Christ – the Awesomeness of Jesus’ sacrifice and the availability of cleansing – the opportunity to have clean hands and a pure heart – the opportunity to have our souls reject vanity and deception, yet there was a problem! And as we see in our world today when certain people feel too much praise is going in the direction of Jesus Christ they try to stop it. They begin to give out -Threats!
The “threaten”, the “threatened“, and the “threatenings” become Lame when JESUS is in the house!
The “threaten”, the “threatened“, and the “threatenings” become Lame when JESUS is in your car!
The “threaten”, the “threatened“, and the “threatenings” become Lame when JESUS is in your mind!
The “threaten”, the “threatened“, and the “threatenings” become Lame when JESUS is in your prayer!
The “threaten”, the “threatened“, and the “threatenings” become Lame when JESUS is in your contract!
The “threaten”, the “threatened“, and the “threatenings” become Lame when JESUS is in your marriage!
The “threaten”, the “threatened“, and the “threatenings” become Lame when JESUS is in your neighborhood!
The “threaten”, the “threatened“, and the “threatenings” become Lame when JESUS is Saturating everything you Do, Feel, Smell, Hear, Eat, See, Say or Touch!
Try Jesus Christ today!
*** All Bible texts quoted above are from the King James Version.
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