Years ago I saw comic book ads selling lessons on muscling up. There’s a scrawny fellow on a sandy beach. A bully kicks sand in his face, and the scrawny guy can only sit there and do nothing but be afraid of the bully and be humiliated in front of his girl. But THEN — he takes the lessons, muscles up, and — OH! What glory follows!
Please give this song a listen, come back and we’ll talk about God’s muscling-up program.
Shutting down bullies
John 20 records the apostles’ frame of mind after the crucifixion: “Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.”
It is easy to relate to them being afraid. What peace the risen Jesus Christ would certainly have brought them! Yet even after this meeting, Peter didn’t run right out and start the church. No, he went back to fishing.
It was as if the devil had kicked sand at them, and they were afraid and humiliated. They were certainly not out teaching and preaching and winning souls for the Lord!
Not yet, anyway.
But in just a few days, something would happen that would change Peter from being behind closed doors for fear of the religious leaders to being in front of them teaching, preaching, confronting, and winning many for the the Lord.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ did not get rid of Peter’s fear.
The ascension of Jesus Christ did not get rid of Peter’s fear.
What changed Peter?
It was at Pentecost that the promise of the Father — holy spirit — was given. The spirit of fear was replaced with the spirit power, love and a sound mind. They had already witnessed Jesus Christ’s resurrection and ascension, and that was huge. But it all came together when they received the witness on the inside. Now they had Christ in them, the hope of glory.
The record in Acts shows that Pentecost — receiving and manifesting “Christ in you, the hope of glory” was the game changer.
When we realize what happened to Peter, we begin to understand the records in the book of Acts. Power. Love. Sound mind. Christ in you, the hope of glory! Jesus said that those who believe on him would do the works Jesus did, and greater. It was happening. WOW!!!
Acts 2 records that particular Pentecost when Peter received power from on high, holy spirit. The same power from on high is still available today. Romans 10 says, “This is the word of faith that we preach: that if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved, for with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (MEV).
What Romans is talking about is the same thing Peter and the others received on that Pentecost in Acts 2. Peter got saved, demonstrated he was saved by speaking in tongues, and continued from that point on as a dynamic apostle for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Peter and John went to pray
Today’s song, “As That Man Did” continues the story of Peter’s boldness, recorded in Acts 3 and 4. Peter and John heal a lame man at the temple, and then need to defend the healing in front of the same religious leaders who incited the crucifixion. Peter boldly reaches out to all within earshot, and wins many for the Lord that day.
These religious leaders acted like bullies and tried to silence Peter and the others. Thank God they failed! The record shows these religious leaders were working against Peter and against God — and, for that matter, against you and me. Remarkable!
The Lord has called us to work for Him, just as He called Peter and John. We are not all called to be apostles, but we are all called, and there is plenty of work to do with the power of holy spirit that was first given on that day, about two thousand years ago.
There will always be bullies out there — maybe in schools, maybe government, maybe in the entertainment and arts areas, maybe in business and finance — maybe even in religion — who need to be confronted and defeated.
Let us never forget that though they might look too big for us to take on, they are no match for our Lord. Let’s remember to speak up in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth — to rise up and walk — as the men in our song did.
God bless you lots!
LYRICS: As That Man Did
Song by Dale Reichel (2013)
1. Peter and John went to pray at the temple
A lame man asked alms at the Beautiful gate
No silver, no gold but the lame man was healed
In the name of Jesus he didn’t have to wait.
Not fear, not darkness, not sickness, not sorrow
Need keep us from blessing or silence our talk
In the name of Jesus Christ of Naz’reth
As that man did then let us rise up and walk.
2. The lame man was leaping and Peter was preaching
And all the people watching were awed.
The rulers told Peter, “You’d better stop teaching!”
He said, “Should I listen to you or to God?!?”
3. We’re blessed, we’re forgiven, we’re more than conquerors,
Able ministers, children of light
Signs and miracles and wonders will follow
Let’s walk like Jesus in God’s love and might!
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Original recording of this song posted June 13, 2019. This post features a new recording done October 26, 2022.