Friday, February 5

Who is in control?

Scripture: Exodus 21-22, Acts 12

Acts 12:23–24 23 Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died. 24 But the word of God continued to spread and flourish.

Observation

Acts 12 opens with King Herod on a murderous rampage against the church, killing James and imprisoning Peter with the intent of killing him too.  It looks like Herod is in control.  But the chapter ends with Herod dead, Peter free and the word of God spreading and flourishing!  The whole chapter is a reminder of who is really in control!

In between, God answered the believers’ prayers and miraculously delivered Peter from Herod’s clutches.  Then God struck Herod dead when he received worship as a god.

Application

We need to remember who is in control—and it’s not us!  Nor is it our politicians!

The church was born and raised in persecution.  It was not politically powerful and didn’t seek to be.  It was focused on its mission: spreading the good news of God’s love in Jesus, helping people find and follow Jesus.  Notice that when the church prayed in Acts 12, it was for Peter, not against Herod.  Compare this prayer to Acts 4 where the believers were facing persecution and didn’t ask for safety, but for boldness to share the gospel.  They were all about Jesus and their mission.

Much of the church in America has gotten swept up in politics and lost sight of Jesus and the mission He gave us: to make disciples of Jesus.  We’ve substituted American nationalism for the Kingdom of God and lost sight of who we’re serving and what we’re doing.  And we’ve forgotten who is really in control: God! 

I pray for our nation…but even more, I pray for the church, that we’ll be the salt of the earth and light of the world, that we’ll be focused on our mission and not distracted by politics, that we’ll be actively seeking God’s kingdom and not our own.  And that we’ll remember that ultimately God is in control and we’ll trust Him and not our own devices.

Prayer: Lord, hear my prayer (above) and help me to trust You completely and be all about what You’ve called me to do.