Does the Cat Got Your Tongue?

The other week in church, we were asked to turn to Acts 4 to read some verses. Now one of the things I do, is I scan the rest of the verses of the page we were on just to see what the rest of the story is talking about or to see if any verses jump off the page at me. Well, this time a verse jumped off the page and I haven’t stopped thinking about it.

The verse that I have been thinking about is this, “For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:20

I found this verse interesting. The story is about Peter and John. They had just finished preaching and performing miracles in Jerusalem. They were used in such a great way that the Bible estimates that about 5,000 men believed. God did a great work that day and He used these two men to do it.

The high priest and his buddies heard what had happened and they found Peter and John and asked what they had done and whose name they had done it in!

And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?” Acts 4:6-7

Peter stood up when he heard the questions and answered it in the form of a mini-message that had the Holy Spirit all over it!

‘Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.” Acts 4:8-12

The high priest and his men heard this message. It did not change their perception of Peter and John as they thought they were unlearned and ignorant men. It did make them marvel at the fact that they spoke with such boldness. Because the high priest was trying to get people to not talk about Jesus, he ended up threatening them. The interesting thing about these verses is that they knew that a miracle had been done, they just didn’t want other people to find out about it.

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.” Acts 4:13-18

Peter and John heard this threat, but they were unfazed by it.

“But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:19-20

The point I want to come to after reading all these verses is that they couldn’t help but speak of the great things they had seen and heard in their service for and with Christ.

Hey Christian, why are you so quiet? Have you lost your voice? Does the cat got your tongue?

Has God not done something in your life in such a long time that you have nothing to praise God about? Have you forgot the joy you had when you first accepted Christ? Have you not realized everything that God has blessed you with?

The world’s message is growing stronger everyday! Part of the reason is because more and more Christians become quieter and quieter and don’t tell the story of Christ and His goodness to them.

No matter how loud the world gets, no matter how much the world threatens you, you shouldn’t be quiet, you shouldn’t shut up, you shouldn’t retreat! Let your voice be heard! Tell others about the saving grace of Jesus Christ! Tell others about God’s goodness in your life!

If you have lost your shout, ask God to give it back to you! Think about what God saved you from! Think about His goodness in your life!

You, as a Christian, have nothing to be quiet about! Go ahead and speak about what you have seen and heard in your own life!

Don’t let the cat get your tongue!

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3 Things To Do For God Everyday (Part 1)

You can listen to the podcast version of this here.

 

As a Christian, we should live everyday to magnify and honour Christ. We should live in such a way that the people around us know that we are a Christian. Your lifestyle should set yo apart from the world. Your walk and talk should let people know that there is something different about you.

As a Christian, you should not fit in with the worldly crowd. We should always be good examples of Christ everyday, everywhere we go.

I was thinking about this and I thought of three things that we can do to help us in standing out from the world.

  1. GLORIFY GOD
  • “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 KJV
  • “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:20 KJV
  • “Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.” 1 Peter 4:16 KJV
  • We need to give God the glory for everything. It is that simple. Glorify means to to make glorious by bestowing honor, praise, or admiration. We can praise God for so much in our lives. If He allowed you to wake up this morning, give Him the glory! If He provides your needs, give Him the glory! If He has done anything in you life (which He has) just give Him the glory!
  • When you glorify God, you will stick out from those around you. We live in a selfish society, where everything we say and do is based on what we have done for ourselves and not what God has done for us. We rather bring glory to ourselves for what we have done, instead of giving God the glory for the great things He has done in our life.

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Clear Focus

The Scripture used is from Matthew 14:20-33

The disciples had just watched Jesus feed 5,000 people with just five loaves of bread of two fishes.  Not only did Jesus feed them with such little food, but the Bible says that there were twelve baskets of food left over! This was truly a miracle of God!  After this great miracle, Jesus gave his disciples one simple command… “get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.” (Matthew 14:22b)

The next time we hear about the disciples, they are in the midst of the sea being tossed around by the wind and waves! The storm was getting worse and the disciples weren’t sure what to do. When all hope seemed lost (“fourth watch of the night” vs 25), Jesus came walking on the water toward the boat.

At first, the disciples weren’t sure who it is, so Jesus tries to calm them by saying, “Be of good cheer; it is I.”  This is when Peter steps up and tells Jesus, “Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.” (vs 28) Peter then steps out by faith and walks on water toward Jesus!

This is yet another great miracle of God! The faith that Peter had in order to step off the boat in the middle of the storm is truly amazing! He had to put aside all his doubt and fully trust in Jesus’ ability to allow him to walk on water! With the waves crashing against the boat and wind pounding the sails, Peter took that first step onto the water and became the only person (other than Jesus) in history to walk on water!

What Peter was able to accomplish through the power of God was truly amazing!  We need more Peters, we need more “Water Walkers”!

But that’s not what I want us to focus on here….

What Peter did on that lake was very special. So special that it was never done again!  But look… let’s make sure we don’t spend so much time looking for “water walkers,” that we miss the other disciples in the boat!

Did you catch that? Peter wasn’t alone! At the beginning of this story, Jesus told his disciples to get in a boat and sail across the lake. It’s easy to focus on Peter, but let’s not forget… the other disciples were doing exactly what Jesus told them to do!

Jesus told them to get in a boat and sail across to the other side and that’s exactly what they were doing! Don’t get so caught up looking for “water walkers” that you miss the other disciples in the boat!  Most people look at a Youth Group and only focus on the ones that are called to preach or surrendered to the mission field… but don’t get so caught up focusing on them that you miss the other teenagers! It just may be, that they are doing exactly what God wants them to be doing!

It’s natural to focus on “water walkers,” they are loud, outspoken, fun to be around, and tend to draw attention toward themselves. And you know what?  We need them! Our churches and Youth Groups need someone who will be a strong leader and cut off an ear every now and then!  But let’s not forget, out of the twelve disciples, there was only one Peter.

It’s easy to focus on the “water walkers,” but I want to encourage you to not miss the disciples that simply obeyed Jesus, got in the boat, and sailed to the other side. Those disciples went on to do some pretty amazing things for God as well!

Written by Ty Campbell, Assistant Pastor/Youth Pastor at Hillcrest Bible Baptist Church, Arkansas City, KS