Summary: The church is a place for saints...spiders are a problem...but sometimes a useful tool in God’s hands.
Bible Teaching Ministry of
CEDAR LODGE BAPTIST CHURCH
November 14, 2004
12Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” 13When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. 15So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together. 16“What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. “Everybody living in Jerusalem knows they have done an outstanding miracle, and we cannot deny it. 17But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn these men to speak no longer to anyone in this name.”
18Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19But Peter and John replied, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. 20For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
21After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened. 22For the man who was miraculously healed was over forty years old.
23On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. 24When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. 25You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: “‘Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? 26The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One. 27Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. 29Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.’”
31After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. 32All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. 33With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. 34There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need. 36Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), 37sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.
Acts 4:12-37 (NIV)
In our family I was always the "designated hitter" when it came to anything crawling, flying or slithering. My girls were especially terrified of crawling things. Spiders were the worst! I have seen my wife and girls run from spiders, shriek and squeal when threatened by spiders (usually because our son, Jason was wielding one like a weapon); I have seen them walk three blocks out of the way to avoid the last place they saw a spider. My girls do not like spiders.
When we moved into one church parsonage the carpeting was well past its prime. The church folks graciously allowed us to pick out new floor coverings for the entire home. My wife likes white...all white. So she picked white carpeting for 2400 square feet! We lived in a snow palace!
Early one morning, shortly after moving into this winter wonderland I heard a piercing cry coming from the bedrooms. Carrie was pinned to the wall, cowering near her door; the expression on her face was as if Attila and the Huns were on the doorstep. I looked left and right for the bad guys and saw nothing.
Then, looking back to Carrie, I saw her pointing to the hallway floor near where I was standing. There, highlighted against the snow-white carpet, center-hallway was one of the biggest, blackest, hairiest spiders I’d ever seen. I felt like David the shepherd boy facing Goliath the spider. The creature was glaring at me with that, "I’m the new big cheese on the block -- come on, big fella, let’s see what’cha got" kind of defiant look.