“Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles… But the high priest rose up, and all who were with him, and filled with jealousy they arrested the apostles and put them in prison. But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, ‘Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.’ And… they entered the temple at daybreak and began to teach.
“Now when the high priest came, and those who were with him, they called together the council, all the senate of the people of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. But when the officers came, they did not find them in the prison, so they returned and reported, ‘We found the prison securely locked and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them we found no one inside.’ They were greatly perplexed… Someone came and told them, ‘Look! The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people…’
“And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. The high priest questioned them, ‘We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching…’ But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him…’
“When they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus.” Acts 5:12a,17-25,27-32,40-42
The activities and wonders of the early apostles wondrously displayed the Lord’s supernatural power, but God compelled them to speak for Him with words of life as well. And boldly speak they did.
Neither unjust imprisonment fueled by jealousy, nor government charge not to teach about Jesus, nor cruel beating, could keep them from talking about their Savior. They counted it an honor to proclaim what He had done to forgive sinners, and a privilege to suffer for it. Are we so compelled? (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)
How passionate am I to tell all the words of this Life, eternal abundant life bound up in Christ that includes prison and marvelous deliverance, chaos and opposition and unfettered joy? What opportunities will I seize to do so? In discussions and chatter, are my words full of me and my deeds, or my Savior and His life-giving accomplishments? (1 Samuel 25:29; John 10:10)
Lord, infuse me with You. May I be a bold and faithful ambassador for You and all the words of Life everywhere, every day. (2 Corinthians 5:20)