Sermon in a nutshell: “The word of God continued to spread and flourish” (Acts 12:18-25)
When we spread the Good News among all the nations, it is God who initiates and prepares for all the works. Then what is our job? Our job is to believe in God and to praise Him when He is doing all the works to save lives! We will see that principle in the Bible so that we can apply that principle to our own works.
- Those who do not believe in God’s power try to find humanly understandable answers.
When the angel brought Peter out of prison, Herod did not believe it. He thought that the soldiers and prison guards released Peter without his permission. So Herod executed the guards.
Compare this position with the attitude of Joseph. When Joseph forgave his brothers, he did not see the brothers as the main characters in the drama of life. He understood that God used the brothers’ wicked scheme to save people and to allow Joseph to go through his ordeal.
When we do not believe in God, we blame others. We blame our parents, our brothers and sisters, our partners, and friends for all the things gone wrong in our lives. Sometimes we kill them as Herod did. However, when we believe in God, we pray to find out God’s will, purpose, and direction in all that is happening in our lives. We do not need to blame others, not to mention killing them.
- Those who do not believe in God’s power try to give all the credit to themselves.
When people do not believe in God, they depend on their wisdom, power, and plans in handling the challenges of life. When the people of Tyre and Sidon challenged Herod, he tried to show off his dignity and power. He wore his royal robes, sat on his throne, and delivered a public address to the people. Then they shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.”
The Bible says that because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died. Compare this with the attitude and confession of the apostles.
Peter: As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence. But Peter made him get up. “Stand up,” he said, “I am only a man myself.” (Acts 10:25-26)
Paul and Barnabas: When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!” ……But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: “Friends, why are you doing this? We, too, are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them (Acts 14:11-15).
- When we praise God, the word of God continues to spread and flourish (Acts 12:24). So, that is what we are doing and that is what we continue doing.
- When have you shared what God has done in your life with others?
- In what way do you give credit to God for all the things in your life?