The Jerusalem church has survived Satan’s attack through the corruption of Ananias and Sapphira. As others in the community hear of their sudden, miraculous deaths, they also are afraid (Acts 5:11). “Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico. None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem”(Acts 5:12-13). The Jews in the temple continue to monitor these believers and find that despite persecution and corruption, they continue to serve Jesus and perform miracles. Implied in this statement is that the Christians are living lives that give no opportunity for the community to reproach them.
While the greater part of the community holds them at arm’s length, some are willing to come to faith and join them. “And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitude of both men and women, so that they even carried out the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them”(Acts 5:14-15). Miracles play a large role in this. It is plain that God is with them because they are able to heal, but their amazing unity and boldness of speech also make a convincing case. The message keeps spreading.
We can control very little about what others say about us, yet the early Christians seem to do their utmost to preserve a good reputation. While we cannot bow to the culture around us, we can live in a way that even unbelievers acknowledge is wise. Others may reject what we believe, but it shouldn’t be because we fail to really live it.
One thing to think about: How does my reputation affect how others listen to me about Jesus?
One thing to pray for: Doors to be opened through righteous living
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Fairview Park church of Christ, 11820 Fairview Road, Little Rock, AR 72212
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