Today’s Bible Reading: Acts 4
I am amazed by the changes Jesus and the Holy Spirit made in the disciple Peter. I always respected Peter because he wasn’t afraid to step out of his comfort zone. Once, when he saw Jesus walking on water, he asked Jesus to let him walk on water, too. Peter got out of his boat and walked on water, until he let his fears take over. Once he took his focus off Jesus, he began to sink pretty quickly. Peter was known to act impulsively and recklessly at times. I picture him being a bit arrogant and loud. Peter really loved Jesus, but he is often remembered as the disciple who denied knowing Jesus, not once, but three times. I am convinced Peter felt great guilt that he had denied Jesus. Understandably, he was afraid of what would have happen to him, had he admitted being a follower of Jesus.
I love how Acts 4 depicts the changes in Peter. John and Peter were thrown in jail for preaching about the Good News after healing a lame man. The next morning, they were brought before the leaders and asked how they had healed the lame man. Peter spoke so eloquently and boldly, with so much knowledge, that the religious leaders were amazed. (This is the same Peter who was known for constantly putting his foot in his mouth.) Peter was changed; he was a new man. The leaders commanded Peter and John to speak never again of Jesus.
19 But Peter and John replied, “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? 20 We cannot stop telling about everything we had heard and seen.”
Peter continued to spread the Gospel, and thousands of people were saved. Peter believed so strongly in Jesus and his teachings, he continued to preach even though it put his life in jeopardy. Eventually, Peter would be sentenced to be crucified for spreading the Gospel message. Peter requested to be crucified upside down, because he was not worthy of being crucified in the same way as Jesus.
I am amazed by the changes in Peter! If Jesus can change Peter, he can change you and me. I am so thankful for the peace and hope Jesus has given me. I used to really struggle with worry and anxiety. I have learned to trust Jesus and cast my worries and cares on him. I believe he is in control and has a wonderful plan for my life. I know people can see huge changes in me. When I have the opportunity, I bring glory to God by explaining how he changed me.
How has Jesus changed you? Are you willing to step out of your comfort zone for Jesus? When is the last time you shared what God is doing in your life?
Make a list of the ways Jesus has changed you. Pray for Jesus to help you realize what he wants you to do next. Make a list of his answers. Step out and obey.
Tell someone how Jesus has changed you and remember that sharing our struggles helps others’ faith grow.
Jesus, I am so thankful for all you have done for me. I am so grateful for your precious Word. It gives me so much hope to realize how much you changed Peter. Please change me and work through me to accomplish mighty things for your Kingdom. Amen.
This post was written by Marsha Raymond. Marsha has been happily married to her husband, Jeff, for 30 years. They have two grown sassy and fearless daughters. She loves spending time with God, her family and friends, reading, riding bicycles, yoga and walking.
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