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Friday, April 20, 2007

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Acts 5:34-42
Psalm 27
John 6:1-15

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whipped or cream?

"The Sanhedrin called in the apostles and had them whipped." —Acts 5:40

You start a Bible study at work, and people are coming to Jesus. Then the boss calls you into his office. He says your witness to Jesus is a violation of company policy, suspends you without pay for a week, and tells you the next offense will result in your termination. You've just been "whipped" and warned not to speak again about the name of Jesus (Acts 5:40). How will you respond? Are you full of joy (Acts 5:41) or are you just "whipped"?

Similarly, the apostle Peter once was accused of being a disciple by a mere "servant girl" (Lk 22:56). When he was accused of being with Jesus, Peter was "whipped." He wilted under the pressure and denied he even knew Jesus. After meeting the risen Jesus several times and receiving the Holy Spirit, Peter was accused by the Sanhedrin, the Jewish ruling body, of teaching about Jesus (Acts 5:26ff). Under this most intimidating pressure, Peter rose to the occasion. He replied: "Better for us to obey God than men!" (Acts 5:29) As punishment, he was whipped brutally. Peter responded by joyfully praising God for being judged worthy of ill-treatment for the sake of Jesus' name (Acts 5:41). Then he never stopped talking about Jesus (Acts 5:42).

Will you be like Peter the "whipped" or like Peter the cream of the crop? Will you meet the risen Jesus, receive the Holy Spirit, and never stop witnessing to Jesus?

Prayer:  Jesus, You are the Resurrection (Jn 11:25). Fill me with a fearlessness rooted in Your victory over death.

Promise:  "The Lord is my Light and my Salvation; whom should I fear?" —Ps 27:1

Praise:  When his housemates told Philip he prayed too much, he prayed more.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 16, 2006

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