Daily Devotionals

Stages of the Cross: Week 4 - Saturday

There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12

As believers, we are on a rescue mission to bring as many people to faith in Christ as we possibly can. After all, how can we live any other way knowing that the lives of those around us are desperate for Him? People all around us are lost. They are stuck in their sin. They are looking for hope, but are searching for hope in all of the wrong places. Friends, we have the hope that they are looking for. Sharing that hope with those who are lost is the single greatest thing that we can do with our lives.

Acts chapter 4 begins with the arrest of Peter and John for healing a man who could not walk and preaching in the name of Jesus. The man whom they healed had been unable to walk for 40 years. After they healed him, many people were amazed by this miracle. Peter looked to the shocked crowd and then preached to them about having faith in Christ. As a result of their healing and preaching, Peter and John were arrested. This is where the story picks up in Acts chapter four. You see, although they had been arrested, they still boldly shared their faith and continued to share the message of Jesus. While talking about Jesus, Peter proclaimed that "there is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved" (verse 12). Even when they were commanded not to preach again in the name of Jesus, they refused. "Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than Him?" (verse 19). "We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard" (verse 20). As a result of the boldness of Peter and John's faith, those listening were amazed, and eventually, Peter and John were released from prison. They confidently and boldly shared their faith in Christ, even when their lives were threatened. They determined to never stop teaching and preaching about Him.

Just like Peter and John, you and I are also called to share our faith boldly. Has Christ radically transformed your life? Has he saved you from a life of sin apart from Him? His death on the cross and resurrection results in salvation for everyone who believes. Once we place our faith in Him, our mission is to tell the world about Him. Are you dedicating your life to making Christ known throughout the world?

Moving Toward Action

Are you telling those in your life about Christ and what He has done for you? How are you making Him known to your friends and family members? One of the things you can do is ask them to watch church online with you this weekend. Commit this week to invite one of your lost friends or family members to watch one of our services this weekend. Then, after the service, talk about the service, what you learned about God, and the Bible.

Going Deeper

Read Acts 4:1-37 (NLT)

While Peter and John were speaking to the people, they were confronted by the priests, the captain of the Temple guard, and some of the Sadducees. These leaders were very disturbed that Peter and John were teaching the people that through Jesus there is a resurrection of the dead. They arrested them and, since it was already evening, put them in jail until morning. But many of the people who heard their message believed it, so the number of men who believed now totaled about 5,000.

The next day the council of all the rulers and elders and teachers of religious law met in Jerusalem. Annas the high priest was there, along with Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and other relatives of the high priest. They brought in the two disciples and demanded, “By what power, or in whose name, have you done this?”

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of our people, are we being questioned today because we’ve done a good deed for a crippled man? Do you want to know how he was healed? Let me clearly state to all of you and to all the people of Israel that he was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the man you crucified but whom God raised from the dead. For Jesus is the one referred to in the Scriptures, where it says,

‘The stone that you builders rejected
    has now become the cornerstone.’

There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”

The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus. But since they could see the man who had been healed standing right there among them, there was nothing the council could say. So they ordered Peter and John out of the council chamber and conferred among themselves.

“What should we do with these men?” they asked each other. “We can’t deny that they have performed a miraculous sign, and everybody in Jerusalem knows about it. But to keep them from spreading their propaganda any further, we must warn them not to speak to anyone in Jesus’ name again.” So they called the apostles back in and commanded them never again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus.

But Peter and John replied, “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.”

The council then threatened them further, but they finally let them go because they didn’t know how to punish them without starting a riot. For everyone was praising God for this miraculous sign—the healing of a man who had been lame for more than forty years.

As soon as they were freed, Peter and John returned to the other believers and told them what the leading priests and elders had said. When they heard the report, all the believers lifted their voices together in prayer to God: “O Sovereign Lord, Creator of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them— you spoke long ago by the Holy Spirit through our ancestor David, your servant, saying,

‘Why were the nations so angry?
    Why did they waste their time with futile plans?
The kings of the earth prepared for battle;
    the rulers gathered together
against the Lord
    and against his Messiah.’

“In fact, this has happened here in this very city! For Herod Antipas, Pontius Pilate the governor, the Gentiles, and the people of Israel were all united against Jesus, your holy servant, whom you anointed. But everything they did was determined beforehand according to your will. And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word. Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness.

All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all. There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need.

For instance, there was Joseph, the one the apostles nicknamed Barnabas (which means “Son of Encouragement”). He was from the tribe of Levi and came from the island of Cyprus. He sold a field he owned and brought the money to the apostles.