TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH – WEEK

by Jun 10, 2024

Reading Time: 3 Minutes
Acts 4; 5:1-11

Today we continue with our series To the Ends of the Earth in our third week, and today we will see how as the Kingdom of God advances, how the Church advances, there will be external and internal challenges within it.

  1. Under the power of the Holy Spirit, we must preach and pray for healings and miraclesAs the disciples continue to preach the gospel and perform miracles, Satan quickly launches his counterattack. Persecution from the outside begins to occur. Peter and John are imprisoned for preaching (4:1–4). However, the two apostles take advantage of the situation to proclaim Jesus to the religious leaders (4:8–20). The leaders don’t know how to punish them, so they simply warn them to stop preaching and release them (4:21-22).
  2. You must expect opposition and persecution when you decide to serve GodAfter their release, Peter and John return to the other believers, report everything that had happened, and worship God (4:23–24). The fear of persecution did not stop the church. Instead, they gathered and prayed. What they prayed is very interesting. Despite the threats of more persecution, these followers of Jesus did not pray for safety, but asked God for the grace and power to continue speaking His Word with great boldness (4:29–30). When you decide to serve God, the enemy may try to disrupt your service, but trust that God is with you and will help you overcome.
  3. The devil attacks us with fearsAlthough the threat of persecution is minimal in the United States, the devil attacks us with many other fears. We cannot allow these fears to stop us. As those whom God has called to be His witnesses and continue His mission, we must overcome our fears and live courageously for God. We must overcome our fears to experience the life of Jesus and the joy of His kingdom.Acts 5:1–10 describes a tragic event that takes place in the early church. A couple, Ananias and Sapphira, sold some of their property. They kept part of the money and gave the rest to the church. The problem was the deception. It was not wrong to keep part of the money from the sale. Their sin was lying to the apostles, saying that the money they gave was all from the sale. Verse 2 says they “kept back” part of the money. “Kept back” (from the Greek nosphizō) means “to set aside for oneself, to keep back” in a secret and dishonest way. It is an uncommon word, also used in the Septuagint in the story of Achan (Joshua 7:1), who was sentenced to death for keeping part of the plunder from Ai that was dedicated to God.Satan was the instigator behind the couple’s deceitful act. Instead of being marked by the fullness of the Holy Spirit that we see throughout Acts, their hearts were filled with the devil to lie to the Holy Spirit (5:3). Similarly, Satan is the tempter (Matthew 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 3:5) who comes against us to induce us to sin against God and against each other. But we can overcome if we submit to God and resist the devil (James 4:7). With every temptation that Satan seeks to sabotage us with, God limits it and provides a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13).
  4. Submit to God and resist the devilJames 4:7 gives us a way to overcome the temptation and fears that Satan wants to place on us, and it says: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Resisting the devil and overcoming temptation is not just about saying no but also about saying yes to the life that God desires for us to live. But you will not have authority if you do not first submit to God. Submitting means placing yourself under the orders of the King, yielding to His direction, even though it may not be the most comfortable and pleasant, obeying His Word, and walking in His ways, aligning your heart with God’s.

So remember that when you decide to serve, to preach, to pray for miracles and wonders, Satan will try to sabotage the determination you have made. He will try to instill fears, doubts, and make you think that you are unworthy or incapable. He can only use deception and lies, but submit to God, resist the enemy, and he will flee from your life.

Sincerely, Pastor Guillermo Ayala.

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