Together in Christ: 'We Choose to Obey God!' — Acts 5:29

Saturday, August 17, 2024

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Then [the Temple guards] 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."

— Acts 5:29 NLT

Key Thought

Jesus promised His disciples the Spirit's help when rulers intent on harming them brought them to trial:

When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say. [1]

As these apostles stood before the same group that condemned Jesus to death and had the Romans crucify Christ Jesus, the Spirit strengthened them with might and gave them the power to speak the truth and not back down. [2] Their words proclaimed a truth that the members of the high council believed as well: We must obey God and not human authorities:

Like the nations the Lord destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the Lord your God. [3]

As we seek to honor the Lord Jesus in a world increasingly hostile to faith and especially hostile to Christians, we must speak the truth in love. [4] As we seek to share our hope, we speak with gentleness and respect [5], yet also with boldness as we refuse to back down from our allegiance to Jesus and our obedience to God. [6].

[1] Luke 12:11-12.
[2] Ephesians 3:14-16.
[3] Deuteronomy 8:20.
[4] Ephesians 4:15.
[5] 1 Peter 3:15-16.
[6] Acts 4:8-13, 8:1-8.

Today's Prayer

Almighty Father, I want to be faithful to Jesus and obedient to You as the Holy Spirit empowers me to speak to people who do not believe. I want to speak with gentleness and respect for those needing to know Jesus, but with courage, conviction, and boldness when unbelievers pressure me to renounce my faith. I need Your help to have the words, right emotions, and holy intentions that You want me to display. Thank you, dear God, for Your answer to my prayer offered in the authority of Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Matthew 7:12-29
  • Deuteronomy 6:1-13

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Illustration

Illustration of Acts 5:29 NLT — Then [the Temple guards] 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."

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.