Acts 4:20

Verse of the Day Devotion: Act 4:20

“For we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” – Act 4:20 

Peter and John had been arrested by the Jewish leadership for teaching the people about Jesus, proclaiming that He had been raised from the dead.  This, of course, upset them because this would turn the people away from their teaching.  So Peter and John were put in jail while the leadership discussed the matter.

After a time, they were released, but with a warning, “And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.” Acts 4:18.  Here is Peter and John’s response, which we should take to heart.  “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:19-20.

When we find ourselves in a position where we are told to stop speaking the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, it is important that we show the absolute truth of our message.  The idea that we cannot stop speaking because the eternal lives of all depends on this message.  I want to encourage us all to be bold in reference to God’s message to this world.  Jesus, the Son of God, gave His life for us so we could receive the salvation that comes through believing the message and receiving His grace.  Are we willing to give our lives for this purpose?

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.

Matthew 6:5

Verse of the Day Devotion: Matthew 6:5

“When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.” – Matthew 6:5  

It is very important that when we pray, we do it because we wish to truly communicate with God, not to impress those around us. Notice the word used to describe the people who pray to be seen, hypocrites.  The idea is that we would be acting like we are praying, putting on a show, so that others around us will be impressed.  This is what many of the Jewish leadership would do, going out where the people were so that they would be seen by many in the streets.  They are speaking to no-one except to the ears of the watchers.  And the only reward they will receive will be from those who are listening, not God.

But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”  Matthew 6:6 Back in the time of Christ, practically every home had a place for secret devotion.  It could be on the roof, a small room on one of the roof corners, or a place somewhere inside.  The idea was to spend quiet time with God, in a secret place where no one could see and interrupt the one praying.  Thus, because they are not pretending to pray, the Father who sees and hears them will reward them.

Prayer is a very intimate time we can spend with God.  We can go to a quiet place, bow ourselves before Him and spend time with Him.  Paul wrote to the Philippians, “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6. It is a time where we can go to Him, baring our heart and soul, and receiving the comfort and peace we often need from Him.

Lastly, Paul wrote to the Thessalonians the following, “pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18.  Prayer is a two-way conversation.  It is not just us talking, but us listening as well.  We must be open to hear when He speaks to us.  God loves us, He wants to spend quality time with us.  When we speak to a friend or family member, one person speaks, then the other.  However, it is also one person listening, then the other.  Prayer is the same way.

So, make time every day to spend quiet time alone, in a secret place, with God.  Tell Him everything you need, He wants to listen to you, but also, listen to Him because He wants to speak to you as well.  Don’t just go through the motions, make it an intimate and loving time with Him.  You will find it to be one of the most important and enjoyable times of your day.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.

1 Peter 1:8

Verse of the Day Devotion: 1 Peter 1:8 

“And though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,” – 1 Peter 1:8       

This Epistle from Peter was addressed to those who were scattered abroad throughout the land.  They were scattered throughout, based on 1 Peter 1:1, “Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.  They were not around where Jesus had been, and therefore they never had the opportunity to see Him directly.  Peter blessed the God and Father of Jesus, who by His great mercy caused them all whom he was speaking to be saved by the sacrifice of His Son and His resurrection from the dead.  He continues, “to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:4-7.

They were told of this great salvation that was provided to them by the death, burial and resurrection of someone they had never seen or probably heard of as well.  However, their hearts were open to the words spoken to them and they accepted this is reality and became followers of Christ through the disciples that brought them the message.  This reminds us of what Jesus spoke to Thomas after revealing Himself to him.  “After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said,  Peace be with you. Then He *said to Thomas, Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing. Thomas answered and said to Him, My Lord and my God!  Jesus said to him, Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” John 20:26-29  Notice what Jesus said.  ‘Blessed are those who do not see, and yet believed.”  Those that Peter was speaking to had not seen Him, yet they believed because they knew He was with them, inside.  They loved Him because they believed.  Note what Peter specified. “and though you do not see Him now”.  He was telling them they would one day see Him, and they ‘greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.

This is our testimony as well.  We have not seen Him with our eyes, but we have seen Him with our heart and our faith.  He has revealed Himself to us in ways this world does not understand, because they choose not to.  But we know He is real.  And we will one day see Him, with our eyes in all His glory.  I will say that I look forward to this time more than anything else. 

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.