#MeditationMonday – Out of the abundance of a man’s heart, his mouth speaks.
Beloved, I give thanks to God for the breath of life in you this wonderful day! May the mercies of the Lord accompany you through every trial you encounter this week. Today’s #MeditationMonday verse is: Acts 5:27-32.
So they brought them and presented them before the Council (Sanhedrin, Jewish High Court). The high priest questioned them, saying, “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you intend to bring this Man’s blood on us [by accusing us as His murderers].” Then Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than men [we have no other choice]. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross [and you are responsible]. God exalted Him to His right hand as Prince and Savior and Deliverer, in order to grant repentance to Israel, and [to grant] forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has bestowed on those who obey Him.”
We’ve been celebrating Easter; what the “woke” or “spiritual” people choose to call “resurrection sunday”
because you know, Easter is really Ishtar, who is really Eostre and bla bla bla. Well, whatever you choose to call it, you celebrated that Jesus is risen and now that’s over…or is it?
What happens after resurrection sunday? What happens on the day after Easter? Do we just go back in our homes, spend some time with our families and rest because the government declared the day after easter a public holiday, a work-free day?
The government of this world may have given us a HOLIDAY, but the Lord Jesus gave us a COMMISSION – a commandment to go out and tell people about what happened yesterday, tell them about what you were celebrating (Matthew 28:16-20).
Our world puts Easter in a colorful, comfortable box…views Easter through the lens of bunnies, eggs and Spring flowers but Easter cannot be contained in a box, Easter cannot be contained in a weekend. Easter is forever!!!
Easter means Jesus is alive, the powers of death have been conquered, and God’s people are empowered to share God’s story. God’s people who were celebrating the Risen King are not supposed to go back home; they have been commissioned as God’s witnesses: proclaiming the forgiveness of sins, repentance and reconciliation to God through Jesus Christ. Easter means that we give witness of the reality of the one “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8).
Soon after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus; the disciples in Acts 5:27-32 found themselves in hot water. Why? Because when they were told to forget that Easter happened, they refused to obey.
In Acts 4:18, Jesus’ disciples were given explicit instructions by religious folk “not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus” but they didn’t do it.
They were told to forget the reality of resurrection sunday, but they didn’t buy that message. When they got caught and arrested, instead of making excuses, or begging for forgiveness, they stood by their actions, because they knew their actions were right.
“How can we not speak about what we have seen and heard”— Acts 4:20.
The disciples were able to survive the days after easter because they remembered something we often forget: We ought to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29).
The Day(s) After Easter will come with a temptation. A temptation that says, you’ve been celebrating, you’ve been praising, Yes He is Risen, but right now just take sometime to rest. Take some time off, take a holiday, relax from your celebrations, rest from your celebrations, haven’t you praised Him enough, haven’t you worshipped Him enough, it’s high time you take some time off for yourself and relax.
The day after easter is an invitation for complacency, an invitation to compromise – an invitation by the enemy that we must reject because we the day before, on resurrection sunday, we received a higher invitation – an invitation to a great commission.
If we ignore the invitation of resurrection sunday in order to accept the invitation of the enemy on the day after easter, we are dooming ourselves to a life of compromise.
In case you were thinking it, No, beloved you cannot accept both invitations, you must choose whose party you’re going to be at and you must choose now.
Are you going to just forget the invitation He gave you moments after you were just celebrating Him? Are we really that lost? Tell yourself, I’m not lost, I won’t forget the invitation of resurrection sunday, I won’t forget the invitation of Jesus, The Risen King, I won’t forget the invitation of the great commission.
How can we make sure we don’t keep silent? How do we make sure we aren’t conned out of forgetting Easter? Well, here’s a few lessons to learn regarding The Day(s) After Easter:
- The Subject Matter Doesn’t Change
Yes, it’s a new day, but it’s not a new subject matter. The subject matter stays the same. The world may have moved on from Easter, but we haven’t. The subject matter of the disciples preaching remained Jesus Christ. They did not preach themselves, but Christ, they made it their business to advance HIS interest. It’s not only at Easter that Jesus’ interests are advanced in the Church, but IN THE DAY(s) AFTER EASTER. The message shouldn’t change!
The word of God must be preached in season and out of season.
The priests were willing that the apostles preached anything they wanted, as long as it wasn’t Christ. If you’ve come because you’ve got to display your skills, then you’ll for this trap of the enemy. The disciples; they would not alter their subject to please them – they were here for Christ, not because they were skilled, but because of Christ.
Our business on the day after Easter should stay the same. We are not to stop saying He is Risen and go from posting cute pictures and memes about Jesus to gossiping and backbiting about our church leaders and fellow members. Our job on the day after easter is to continue what we were doing, continue letting people know that He is risen — Don’t lose focus.
How do we make sure we aren’t conned into being silent about Easter? How do we make sure we survive the day(s) after Easter? Here are some lessons regarding, The Day(s) After Easter:
- Determination And Diligence
The disciples were able to survive the day after easter because they had determination. They were determined not to obey the authorities. They were diligent in preaching that repentance and forgiveness are available in Jesus name (Acts 5:41).
Peter’s diligence and determination to represent Christ did not end because he was before the authorities! and neither should ours.
Our diligence should not evaporate because of the fear of men or circumstances!!!
The apostles didn’t lose their zeal. Peter emphasised over and over that God had commanded them to teach in the name of Christ, and therefore they HAD to do it, even though the chief priests forbade them, they were going to keep on doing it — they had no other choice.
Beloved, you have no other choice. Refuse to recognise enemy’s invitation to compromise as a choice. The only choice you should recognise is the right choice, which is to obey the invitation of our Lord Jesus unto the great commission.
- Prayer: Boldness & Courage
The disciples refused to be deterred by this troubling development, instead they gathered together prayed for MORE BOLDNESS, to speak God’s word.
They didn’t pray for deliverance from persecution or a more comfortable accommodating existence. They didn’t pray, Lord change your mind so we don’t have to preach in Christ’s name or Lord, change the hearts of the authorities.
They prayed that WHEN the time came, they would be courageous in the face of adversity, empowered by God’s Spirit to teach and preach in the name of Jesus. The disciples did not confine themselves to comfortable pulpits in their own houses, but ventured into the post of danger.
We must pray for boldness to be God’s battle axes; cutting down false doctrine and speaking repentance and reconciliation in the name of Jesus to all the earth, even unto the ends of the earth where the authorities have said: you can’t say Jesus’ name here.
Can “The Almighty” be silenced? – I don’t think so. His voice roars like thunder. Thunder is bold. We ought to be a bold move of God on the day after easter.
The celebration on sunday was God supercharging you for the work on monday; the devil will come to make it seem like the celebration made you tired, when really, the celebration was there to equip you, to light up your faith, to push and propel you – don’t be fooled, pray for boldness.
What the Jewish Authorities who wanted Jesus dead tried to do by hanging Jesus on a tree (Luke 23:21) is to place Jesus under God’s curse. Deuteronomy 21:23 tells us that “anyone who is hung on a tree is under God’s curse”. That’s why they had asked the Roman Authorities for a death that would place Jesus under God’s curse, to discredit His works and His message; that’s why they said free Barnabas, but crucify Jesus. That’s how far the enemy will go to make you forget Jesus but through the resurrection-ascension, God exalted Jesus to His own right hand, and vindicated Jesus Christ — this is the only truth we must hold fast to and constantly meditate upon.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I thank you that the day after easter is not a day of rest for me but a day of continued celebration. I will hold fast to the truth of your word that you are risen. I will not compromise and forget all the marvelous works you have done, rather I will sing of your praise and tell the world of your good deeds. I receive courage and boldness to carry out the work of your great commission. Lord Jesus, please lead me to a soul that I can witness your word to today. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.