S174P6 – The early Church: challenging the world 

Acts 4:13-15

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.  But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say.  So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together.

She shared her faith with her fellow classmates because she just wanted to love and bless them.  It started out with one or two girls who just needed to talk and confide in someone.  It turned into a lot more than that, and before she knew it, she was praying for many each week.  Whether someone had a problem at home or in the classroom, they asked her to pray that her God would help.  School administration pulled her aside because that was a school and not a church.  She said she would continue to pray for any who asked, and they wanted to exact some punishment, but there was one big problem.  Her prayers bore real fruit, and her work was changing the student body for the better.

We might live in the world, but we do not live according to it.  We follow a different code of conduct.  Our minds do not think the way the world would like us to think, and our goals have a much different end in mind.   Peter and John were focused on bringing people to the Lord and changing their eternal lives.  They knew the work that Jesus had laid out for them, and that was the work they would complete.  The Sanhedrin, which should have operated according to faith and not the flesh, only saw that the people were changing what they thought and believed, which meant that they were changing their allegiance.  The issue here was one of control.  The problem was that the people’s awakening of faith was founded in something real that the religious authorities could neither discredit nor eliminate.

The early Church was challenging the world around them even when the world infiltrated their very houses of faith.  Likewise, the world we must battle as Christians will not always look the way we expect it to look.  A clear sign that we have encountered a worldly person or institution will be their resistance to the truth, and we might encounter that where we least expect it.  When we face that resistance, the hope is that we have a clear track record that supports our position.   We challenge the world by speaking the truth, but it is our fruit that proves the point.  Father, let us operate before the doubters and the world in a way that makes them consider that they have encountered the truth because they have seen it in us.