Peter and John stood in front of a group of men they knew could kill them with one word and told them too bad. Peter and John told them they couldn't help talking about what they'd seen and heard. Peter and John told them they wouldn't shut up, not even if they died because of it.
In student ministry I deal with families from all walks and backgrounds. I serve families that couldn't care less that we're here, families that thrive because we are here, and everywhere in between. And I'm seeing something that truly breaks my heart.
I see a disintegration taking place in the family unit.
Parents making choices based on feelings and happiness, teens flat out ignoring what Jesus calls them to, churches that are flat and lifeless, and a gospel that is so watered down it can hardly be recognized as the "Good News".
I see in my own life a resistance to do things that are uncomfortable. Would I be willing to give up my lifestyle if Christ called me to Haiti or Africa or downtown St. Louis? Would I be willing to give up my social standing if Christ called me to a neighbor's house?
In the passage paraphrase above found in Acts 4:19-20 I see people, families willing to give up everything for His sake. And what Acts 4:19-20 really gets to is this: Am I really going to go against God's word for personal comfort? Am I willing to do what He asks even (especially) when it gets hard? Will we do the hard things when and where He needs us to? Individually? As a local body?
But I also see people living this out daily. I see and know people that have given up everything to serve and love the lowest of the low. I see the costs of living this way and how God blesses and lifts up those who follow His path.
I see how local churches are thinking outside the box and doing things differently, without agendas. I see an entire generation of young people thirsting and hungering for righteousness. And these break my hearts as well.
What would happen if His bride, all of it, acted like His bride? What would happen if we tore down walls that we've built up in the name of Jesus and were of one heart and mind? What would happen if we decided that our brothers well being was more important than our cable?
What would happen?