August 5, 2020
This week's devotional was provided by Dorothy Kurlander.
"While Peter and John were speaking to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came to them, much annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming that in Jesus there is the resurrection of the dead. So they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who heard the word believed; and they numbered about five thousand. The next day their rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. When they had made the prisoners stand in their midst they inquired, "By what power or by what name did you do this?" Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers of the People and elders, if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. This Jesus is 'the stone that was rejected by you, the builders; it has become the cornerstone.' There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved."" (Acts 4:1-12).
When Jesus singled out the men he wanted to be his apostles and deliver the news of Christ, he picked ordinary men and later, even women, instructing them to. In the present world, He has done the same, choosing ordinary people like us to carry on his mission. But somehow, some of us have failed to respond. Oh, we are good church goers, we attend studies to grow in knowledge, we pray daily and we lead Christian lives, but that might be called our "boot camp". We have accepted the Holy Spirit, we are strong and faithful as a congregation But Jesus called his men to do more than learn and receive the Holy Spirit. He sent them out into the world to share Jesus' gift with them. Us too. I am not a door-knocker or button-holer. In recent years, my conversations with the Holy Spirit have become longer and I have received nudges to do more in whatever way I am equipped to. I know God has me in His heart and I am certain I carry Him in mine, as witnessed by the many chats that have become part of every day.
I'm in the super market and I purchase some flowers for my PEO sister's memorial service. A woman admires their beauty and I explain their purpose. Her eyes fill and she tells me she has lost her sister and is worried about her mother's grief, her sense she is without support once her daughter leaves, alone in her sadness. Suddenly there's that voice in my head: the Holy Spirit telling me this is my chance--offer her your support and phone number to pray with her. I don't argue--I give the woman my name and phone number for her mother. We hug; bot of us with tears in our eyes and go on our ways.
My prayer circle is praying in the park. An older man walks near with his beautiful husky. He wonders what we are doing and I explain we are praying for one another, and admire his dog. I ask him if we can pray for him. He says he'd like that, and to pray for his happiness and his dog, Lucky. And we have.
In our lives there are many times we come in contact with someone we sense needs support. Once you get into the pattern of listening to that inner voice urging you to respond, much like Jesus did, it becomes second nature to respond with words like "God bless you", instead of, "Have a good day". Be open to asking if you can pray for them when someone does something nice for you, or you see a need and get the nudge. Your shyness at mention of God or Jesus will fade, and you will be going out into the world around you as Christ asked (Acts 1:8) to tell the world about the Good News He offers anyone who asks.