Summary: Believers courageously speak the truth.
WE HAVE TO SAY IT!
Th: Walk with Spiritual Courage
Pr: BELIEVERS COURAGEOUSLY SPEAK THE TRUTH.
TS: We will find in our study of Acts 4:1-22 three parts that show how the disciples react to adversity.
The _____ part is the…
I. TRIAL (1-12)
II. THREAT (13-18)
III. TRUST (19-22)
RMBC 21 Sep 03 AM
ILL Notebook: Fear (Zoo Mime)
One day an out-of-work mime is visiting the zoo and attempts to earn some money as a street performer. Unfortunately, as soon as he starts to draw a crowd, a zookeeper grabs him and drags him into his office.
The zookeeper explains to the mime that the zoo’s most popular attraction, a gorilla, has died suddenly, and the keeper fears that attendance at the zoo will fall off. He offers the mime a job to dress up as the gorilla until they can get another one. The mime accepts.
The next morning the mime puts on the gorilla suit and enters the cage before the crowd comes. He discovers it’s a great job. He can sleep all he wants, play and make fun of people, and he draws bigger crowds than he ever did as a mime.
However, eventually the crowds tire of him. He begins to notice that the people are paying more attention to the lion in the cage next to his. Not wanting to lose the attention of his audience, he climbs to the top of his cage, crawls across a partition and dangles from the top to the lion’s cage. Of course, this makes the lion furious, but the crowd loves it.
At the end of the day the zookeeper comes and gives the mime a raise for being such a good attraction.
This goes on for some time. The crowds grow larger, and the mime’s salary keeps going up. Then one terrible day, while dangling over the furious lion, the mime slips and falls. The mime is terrified. The lion gathers itself and prepares to pounce.
The mime starts screaming and yelling, "Help! Help me!" but the lion is quick and pounces.
The mime soon finds himself flat on his back looking up at the angry lion, and the lion says, "Quiet! Do you want to get us both fired?"
1. Have you ever been afraid for your life?
For the apostles, this was no joke.
We have been studying the book of Acts for the last few weeks.
And as we come to today’s passage, we will observe that they had reason to be afraid.
But, as we will see, they met the challenge.
And in turn, it is an example to us.
2. Our challenge is to “Walk with Spiritual Courage.”
As Christians, our lives are to be characterized by courage.
This is because, at times, there are things that will make us afraid.
Being a Christian is not easy.
Or at least it is not supposed to be!
It is natural for the Christian to be counter-cultural.
And as a result, we will face opposition, even when we are doing what is right and what is good.
Two weeks ago, when we started this study in Acts, we observed Peter and John approach a lame man.
The man was looking for some money.
But money was not what Peter and John offered.
Instead, they offered something better.
“I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!”
They set a wonderful example to us, because they show us that…
3. Believers reach out to the hurting.
In the name of Jesus, Peter took hold of the man and brought him up to a standing position.
This was something the man had never done before.
And needless to say, it was an attention-getter.
The crowd started to gather as the former lame man was walking and leaping and praising God.
It is at this point that Peter gives us another example, and it is this…
4. Believers talk about Jesus.
Peter and John will take no credit for themselves.
Their interest in the lame man came directly from Jesus Himself.
But that is not all Peter says.
He takes the opportunity to testify about Jesus.
It had been just a few months before that Jerusalem had overseen the death of Jesus.
But this was not the end of the story, for God had raised Him from the dead.
Though they were ignorant of what they were doing, they were guilty of killing Jesus.
But it was sin that could be overcome by repentance and a turning to Jesus.
This message was strong and effective.
It reached to those that were listening.
But not all that heard the message were happy with it.