Sunday 20th October, 2019
Theme: Closed Doors
Passage: Acts 5: 12 – 25
12 Many miracles and wonders were being performed among the people by the apostles. All the believers met together in Solomon’s Porch. 13 Nobody outside the group dared join them, even though the people spoke highly of them. 14 But more and more people were added to the group—a crowd of men and women who believed in the Lord. 15 As a result of what the apostles were doing, sick people were carried out into the streets and placed on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 And crowds of people came in from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing those who were sick or who had evil spirits in them; and they were all healed.
17 Then the High Priest and all his companions, members of the local party of the Sadducees, became extremely jealous of the apostles; so they decided to take action. 18 They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. 19 But that night an angel of the Lord opened the prison gates, led the apostles out, and said to them, 20 “Go and stand in the Temple, and tell the people all about this new life.” 21 The apostles obeyed, and at dawn they entered the Temple and started teaching.
The High Priest and his companions called together all the Jewish elders for a full meeting of the Council; then they sent orders to the prison to have the apostles brought before them. 22 But when the officials arrived, they did not find the apostles in prison, so they returned to the Council and reported, 23 “When we arrived at the jail, we found it locked up tight and all the guards on watch at the gates; but when we opened the gates, we found no one inside!” 24 When the chief priests and the officer in charge of the Temple guards heard this, they wondered what had happened to the apostles. 25 Then a man came in and said to them, “Listen! The men you put in prison are in the Temple teaching the people!”
The apostles of Jesus Christ displayed great boldness in preaching. They showed God’s presence in their lives and experienced power to do miracles.
Faith in God does not make troubles disappear; it makes trouble appear less frightening because it puts them in the right perspective. Don’t expect everyone to react favorably when you share something as dynamic as your faith in Christ. Some will be jealous, afraid, or threatened. Expect some negative reactions, and remember that you must be more concerned about serving God than over the reactions of people.
Although the prison doors were closed and well secured by the guards, the angel of the Lord came at night, opened the doors of the prison, brought out the apostles and asked them to go to the temple courts and preach the gospel (vs 19,20).
In the morning, when the religious leaders sent some officers to bring the apostles, they did not find them there and went back to the religious leaders and reported their findings “We found the jail securely locked, with the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside” (vs 23).
No matter how strong the doors that have been closed against your destiny, success and breakthrough, if you can come to Jesus today in faith and cast all your burden on Him, He will open all the doors (Matt. 11: 28; I Pet. 5:7). Yet, far above earthly prosperity, doors were opened for the apostles to witness to the good news of salvation in Christ Jesus.
MEMORY VERSE: Acts 5: 19 – 20. “But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, ‘Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.”
HYMN: MHB 92 – JESUS! The name high over all
PRAYER: O God, let every door that has been closed against preaching of the Gospel of Christ, my destiny and breakthrough be opened in Jesus’ name.
READ: Day -John 6:41-71; Night -2Kgs 21-23
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