Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Vested interests and evidence

‘What are we going to do with these men?’ they asked. ‘Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign, and we cannot deny it. But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn them to speak no longer to anyone in this name.’ (Acts 4:16, 17 NIV)

How easily they slipped into contradiction and defensiveness in order to protect the status quo.....
How easily they were prepared to admit they couldn't deny what had happened but still stop it's effect from spreading.....
How easily they were prepared to look at a man whose life had just changed beyond belief, for the better, but then take actions to ensure no other lives would be similarly changed....,
How easily they admitted that what had happened was not just a miracle but a notable one at that, but still wanted to put a stop to what represented a threat to them... 

How easily they were prepared to take action to protect the system they were part of, to protect their part in that system, in short, their own interest and tradition far outweighed the life changing impact of people meeting with Jesus.

How easily it is to persuade ourselves that what we do and the way we do it is by far the most important issue. How easily we persuade ourselves that this is about some high and noble principle when really it is all about us, what we want and how we want it.

There are some things about human nature that never change despite 2000 years of history and huge cultural differences. We can always persuade ourselves that we are representing God, doing what He wants us to, occupying the high ground, when all the time we have simply wrapped a thin veneer of 'God culture' around the real centre of our universe - us! 

Lord, give us eyes to see and ears to hear.... and a passion to be changed.

Friday, 6 June 2014

News that's too good to be true......?

In v9 there was genuine, life saving good news...... But when the king heard it in v10' and it sounded too good to be true, he was sceptical .... And who can blame him? But news from God.... Mercy, grace, salvation, freedom always sound too good to be true...

We need the discernment of the Spirit to walk through scepticism, in faith, but also with wisdom & knowledge. 
Zeal alone would never be enough..... It generates momentum and heat, but often not focused direction or light.

This strange and unlikely turn of events, this news that was too good to be true, was also the way God fulfilled a very unlikely prophecy - see v1 & v19.....

Scepticism can blind us to prophetic activity and truth.