Would You Be a Target (Acts 12:1-5)

The first section of Acts is ending, the focus on Peter will soon shift to Paul. We won’t see much more of him, but be sure that wherever he was, he was stirring up the cities with his big mouth! A big mouth filled with the gospel!

The Tyrant

  • Terrible
  • Timely

Herod the Great and all his offspring were tormentors of the church. Herod Agrippa was no different. His devout and generous ways were not extended to the church – he seized James and killed him. The people were pleased, and Herod decided to do it again, and grabbed Peter. 

When we go through difficult situations, does it change how good we think God is? And have we been complacent in trusting God for our protection (do we presume peace)? The church’s active persecution forced them to trust him more. And surprisingly, we find them convinced more of his goodness and his power. 

The Target

  • James
  • Peter

Herod harassed some of the church. Why would got restrict it to some? And how did God choose which ones? From Herod’s perspective, he was picking off the leaders, those who were causing the most trouble. 

We don’t have a lot in scripture about James’ ministry, but we see that his testimony and witness were powerful and he is a target for the devil’s attack. 

Peter’s arrest times during the feast — and he is kept alive. This is the grace of God. God is still in control. 

The Tragedy

  • brings prayer
  • brings growth

What do you do when you’re tied and gagged? You pray! But why do we wait until then? God has been waiting for us to turn to him. Sometimes redemption comes when we realize that he is in control. The church finds itself focused in prayer!

Attacks on the church also bring growth. “When you persecute my church, you persecute me.” To those who are attacked, this brings comfort in Christ. We are not most blessed by being spoiled by good things, but by surviving the trials and learning what it is to be united with Christ. The sufferings of the people of God strengthen the faith of those who believe, and attract many to the King. 

We can trust that every attack against Christ will be turned against the foe. Satan is deceived that his attacks are destroying us, when God is miraculously using these attacks for good!

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