Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonour for the name. - Acts 5:41
I wrote about this verse a few days ago but just can't get it out of my head. So I guess God is still trying to get something into my heart.
Earlier in the narrative of this part of the early church history we read of some amazing conversions and incredible miracles. God was on the move so much that people were dragging their sick friends on to the street to be healed. The unbelievable thing was this healing did not come about through a touch or prayer. The shadow of the apostles falling on the sick as they walked by was enough.
Our cry often in the church of today is, we would love to see more of what they had then now. What if....? It would be awesome wouldn't?
Yet I see that this revival, this demonstration of God's power in new and incredulous ways, brought something that I am not sure we are ready to welcome.
The Apostles doing God's will, performing His miracles, preaching His Gospel are arrested & tortured.
These crazy, radical, selfless followers of Jesus did not see the dichotomy of a life sold out for Jesus and temporal suffering. In fact to them they were partners. Earthly comforts were way less important than Jesus cause.
Their memory had been scared indelibly with the sight of a suffering saviour. When salvation was gained suffering was present. So now it was no impostor to this Jesus focused life.
I am sure for them seeing conversions and miracles there was great joy. But it is notable at this time of revival, from deep within joy sprang up because: "...they were counted worthy to suffer dishonour for the name."