Summary: This message focuses on how our responses to circumstances can have a lasting affect on the lives of those around us.
A Life Saved
Last week I spoke to you about the ongoing situation in Ferguson, MO. I shared with you in that message that Rev. Dr. Martin L. King said “Riots are the language of the unheard.” In other words, people riot when their voices have been silenced and they are seeking a way in which to be heard. The same happens today but not everyone who participates in a riot does so because they are trying to get their voices heard. Some people participate because it gives them an opportunity to destroy the property of and steal from others. Think about it, what does breaking in a store and getting caught running down the street with a stolen TV have to do with a policeman shooting a child? Some people call that “Getting Back at the man” while I call it stealing for personal benefit. People who feel justified in burning down businesses and stealing from others is really hurting the very cause in which they are supposed to be fighting for. Their actions, in some people minds, actually justify the actions of the police. As a Christian we should always, always carry ourselves as a Christian. We might participate in protests and marches, but always with a mindset of abiding by the righteous laws that are in place to protect all, not some. Our actions in the most trying of situations can sometime lead others to think differently about Christianity and what it means to be a child of God.
This morning we are going to examine a story found in the book of Acts where two Christians had the opportunity to do something that could potentially save their own lives but chose instead to remain in their situation and thus lead someone else to Christ. We’re going to examine their attitude during the situation as well as what follows after their opportunity for freedom was presented to them. At the close we will consider what we should do today when we find ourselves in situations where justice is not always present or working in our favor. Please turn with me to Acts chapter five.
I. Jailhouse Break In Order To Teach
I want to read a couple of incidences of where the disciples were placed in prison but were delivered by an angel prior to our getting to the story which is at the heart of this message. In chapter five we find a situation where the apostles were arrested because they were doing many signs and wonders before the people. Please note that these are the same men who just a short time earlier was in hiding and fearing for their lives. Verses twelve through seventeen describes some of the signs and wonders that they were doing which made the religious leaders jealous (verse seventeen says the high priest and some of the Sadducees were jealous.) Don’t you find it amazing that the very people who were supposed to be representing God and teaching others to walk with Him were the very ones who were jealous of those actually doing the works of God? Things have not changed as it is the same today.