5-5-5 Daily Devotions

Dangerous Prayers, Part 4 "Make Me Bold"
May 9-10, 2020

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S.O.A.P. – “Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer”

Conversation Starter

Do you feel powerful? Why or why not?

 

Scripture Observation (5 minutes)

Scripture:

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. Acts 4:1-13 NLT (Bible.com)

 

Sermon Insights:

DOING should flow from our BEING. What we DO should flow out of who we ARE. God always wants to do something in us (that’s the being part). Then God wants to do something through us (that’s the doing part).

 

Peter is talking to the very ones who only a few weeks earlier orchestrated Jesus’ death. Peter was saying, “You killed him, but God raised him from the dead!”

 

Have you asked God to take you out of your comfort zone, beyond your natural ability, to something greater? You are encouraged to pray a dangerous prayer, “Lord, make me bold!”

 

Application (5 minutes)

What is God doing IN you through praying dangerous prayers (speak to me, search me, break me, make me bold)?

 

What do you anticipate God wants to do THROUGH you?


Prayer (5 minutes)

One of the most powerful prayers you can pray is to simply give God permission to make you bold. If you are not naturally excited about being bold, perhaps you can pray this, “Father, I am not naturally bold. Sometimes I’m even scared. But I am willing for you to make me willing. I give you permission to remove the fear and replace it with faith. Lord, make me bold!”

S.O.A.P. – “Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer”

Conversation Starter

What is your favorite movie scene of courage?

 

Scripture Observation (5 minutes)

Scripture:

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. Acts 4:13-22 NLT (Bible.com)

 

Sermon Insights:   

The council “threatened them further.” The threat was real, it was ominous. They had shown their willingness to kill Jesus. Peter and John, in the face of potential torture and death, did NOT pray, “Oh God, protect us.” Instead they prayed a dangerous prayer that we are going to pray as a church. You are encouraged to incorporate this prayer into your life: “God, give us boldness, in spite of their threats, in spite of the danger. Give us the faith and the courage to obey you no matter the personal cost! Even though it may be painful God, make me bold!”

 

Application (5 minutes)

What were the primary qualifications of Peter and John?

How far are you willing to go to follow Jesus?

Put yourself in Peter and John’s shoes; what would your prayer have been?

 

Prayer (5 minutes)

As you spend a few minutes praying, ask God to give you the strength to do what your faith prompts you to do. Remember, faith only exists in the face of uncertainty. And obedience simply requires a choice to follow God despite the outcome. Ask God to make you bold!

S.O.A.P. – “Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer”

Conversation Starter

In the present moment, are you most aware of the past, present, or future? Is that the way you desire it to be?

 

Scripture Observation (5 minutes)

Scripture:

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. Acts 4:23-31 NLT (Bible.com)

 

Sermon Insights:  

Take note: after the prayer, they were filled with the Holy Spirit, and they preached the word of God with boldness.

From a Biblical perspective, boldness is NOT a personality trait—it is the work of God’s Spirit!

They prayed, the Holy Spirit empowered, and they were bold.

Boldness is powerful and strong. Obnoxious is annoying and unpleasant.

 

Application (5 minutes)

Are you asking God to make you bold?

How do you come across to people when you are bold—attractive or obnoxious?

Do you see God as playing a minor role in your life plan, or do you see yourself playing a God-given servant role in His plan? What’s the difference?

 

Prayer (5 minutes)

What situation is God bringing to mind that you need to ask for His wisdom and healthy boldness? If God did everything you asked in prayer, what would happen? Consider praying the dangerous prayer, “Lord, make me bold!”

S.O.A.P. – “Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer”

Conversation Starter

Have you ever been jealous? Of whom and why?

 

Scripture Observation (5 minutes)

Scripture:

The apostles were performing many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers were meeting regularly at the Temple in the area known as Solomon’s Colonnade. But no one else dared to join them, even though all the people had high regard for them.

 

Yet more and more people believed and were brought to the Lord—crowds of both men and women. As a result of the apostles’ work, sick people were brought out into the streets on beds and mats so that Peter’s shadow might fall across some of them as he went by. Crowds came from the villages around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those possessed by evil spirits, and they were all healed.

 

The high priest and his officials, who were Sadducees, were filled with jealousy. They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail.

 

But an angel of the Lord came at night, opened the gates of the jail, and brought them out. Then he told them, “Go to the Temple and give the people this message of life!” So at daybreak the apostles entered the Temple, as they were told, and immediately began teaching.

 

When the high priest and his officials arrived, they convened the high council —the full assembly of the elders of Israel. Then they sent for the apostles to be brought from the jail for trial. But when the Temple guards went to the jail, the men were gone. So they returned to the council and reported, “The jail was securely locked, with the guards standing outside, but when we opened the gates, no one was there!” Acts 5:12-23 NLT (Bible.com)

 

Sermon Insights:

First, boldness almost always triggers spiritual opposition.


Second, boldness often releases God’s miracle.


Third, boldness always requires living by faith!

 

If you are not ready to face opposition for your obedience to God, then you are not ready to be used by God!

 

Application (5 minutes)

Why do you think the high priest and his officials were so opposed to the “message of life”?


Use your imagination: how might God move in a special way if you pray for him to make you bold?


Do you require a guaranteed outcome before you step out in faith? Is that faith?


Are you opposed to facing opposition for obedience? How far are you willing to go to serve Jesus?

 

Prayer (5 minutes)

Today, we consider the outcomes of boldness—both the power and the cost. Consider praying a prayer of trust, asking God to move mightily through you!

S.O.A.P. – “Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer”

Conversation Starter

What is an example of something that simply cannot be stopped no matter what?

 

Scripture Observation (5 minutes)

Scripture:

When the captain of the Temple guard and the leading priests heard this, they were perplexed, wondering where it would all end. Then someone arrived with startling news: “The men you put in jail are standing in the Temple, teaching the people!”

 

The captain went with his Temple guards and arrested the apostles, but without violence, for they were afraid the people would stone them. Then they brought the apostles before the high council, where the high priest confronted them. “We gave you strict orders never again to teach in this man’s name!” he said. “Instead, you have filled all Jerusalem with your teaching about him, and you want to make us responsible for his death!”

 

But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than any human authority. The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead after you killed him by hanging him on a cross. Then God put him in the place of honor at his right hand as Prince and Savior. He did this so the people of Israel would repent of their sins and be forgiven. We are witnesses of these things and so is the Holy Spirit, who is given by God to those who obey him.”

 

When they heard this, the high council was furious and decided to kill them. But one member, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, who was an expert in religious law and respected by all the people, stood up and ordered that the men be sent outside the council chamber for a while. Then he said to his colleagues, “Men of Israel, take care what you are planning to do to these men! Some time ago there was that fellow Theudas, who pretended to be someone great. About 400 others joined him, but he was killed, and all his followers went their various ways. The whole movement came to nothing. After him, at the time of the census, there was Judas of Galilee. He got people to follow him, but he was killed, too, and all his followers were scattered. So my advice is, leave these men alone. Let them go. If they are planning and doing these things merely on their own, it will soon be overthrown. But if it is from God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You may even find yourselves fighting against God!”

 

The others accepted his advice. They called in the apostles and had them flogged. Then they ordered them never again to speak in the name of Jesus, and they let them go. The apostles left the high council rejoicing that God had counted them worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus. And every day, in the Temple and from house to house, they continued to teach and preach this message: “Jesus is the Messiah.” Acts 5:24-42 NLT (Bible.com)

 

Sermon Insights:

First, boldness almost always triggers spiritual opposition.


Second, boldness often releases God’s miracle.


Third, boldness always requires living by faith!

 

Application (5 minutes)

Had you been among the elders of Israel, how do you think you would have responded to Gamaliel’s advice?

Did you notice who the apostles gave credit for counting them worthy to “suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus”? What do you think about that?

How do you feel about the apostles’ choice to suffer for Jesus? Were they unhappy about it?

 

Prayer (5 minutes)

Consider asking God to strengthen your focus on the truth, and ask Him for courage to pursue obedience to Jesus at all costs.

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