Bible Reading: Acts 4:1-20
We must obey God rather than men! Acts 5:29, NIV
HAVE YOU EVER been …
• thrown into jail for talking about God?
• hauled into court for being a Christian?
• whipped and beaten for telling others about Jesus?
• threatened for saying that Jesus rose from the dead?
Maybe you’ve never had any of those experiences. But Peter and John did.
Peter and John were two of Jesus’ disciples. After Jesus died, rose from the dead, and went up to heaven, Peter and John started talking about what had happened. They told people that Jesus had come to save them from their sins and give them forgiveness and eternal life. But a lot of important people in Jerusalem (where Peter and John lived) didn’t like what they were saying. So they arrested them and took them to court. They even had them whipped, then told them to stop talking about Jesus.
What would you do if someone said, “If you say another word about Jesus, we’ll beat you up”? What would you do if people threatened to put you in jail—or even kill you—for telling others about Jesus?
Well, Peter and John just kept doing exactly what they had always done. They kept preaching about Jesus. They kept talking about how Jesus had died and risen from the dead. They kept telling people how to find salvation by trusting in Christ. They persevered even when other people threatened them and caused them a lot of trouble.
That’s a great example for us to follow. Peter and John explained their actions by saying, “We must obey God rather than men!” (Acts 5:29, NIV). That’s exactly what we should do, too. Even if our friends tease us and call us names, we should obey God. Even if doing the right thing might make us look silly, we should obey God. Even if doing what is right might get us—or a friend—in trouble, we should obey God. And we should keep obeying him, no matter what others say or do. That’s perseverance. And that kind of perseverance is right.
REFLECT: Maybe you’ve never been in a situation exactly like Peter and John’s, but you may have been tempted to give up or give in to pressure from other people. If so, what did you do? Did you persevere in spite of the pressure, or did you give in? What will you do the next time you face pressure to stop doing right (or to start doing wrong)?
PRAY: “Dear God, help me to be more like Peter and John when people try to get me to give up or to give in to pressure.”