17 January 2014

Five Minute Friday ~ Encouragement

I've been reading through the book of Acts again...

Seems like I always forget just how amazing those pages are... until I read through them, again. And I'm just four chapters into the book... again!

Something has really leaped off the pages, though, this time. People, lots of people were believing based off of the actions of Jesus-followers... In these first chapters, two key players are Peter and John. Yet Peter is the one who gets all the press. It is his words that are recorded. He seems to be the real talker. He's the one that is described as "doing." Although John's name is included, it would be easy to assume that he was nothing more than a tag-along - not the one up garnering the headlines. I think that assumption would be a mistake. If I understand Mark 3 correctly, Jesus gave him and his brother a name that meant "sons of thunder." Thunder is usually pretty noticeable. There are places where it seems clear that both men spoke up, but not before the crowds and not speaking to the authorities. Only Peter's words were written. Yet the courage and boldness of both men is affirmed, on more than one occasion, in these chapters. Does that mean that John's words were overlooked? I don't think so ~

Because I've also been studying through the book of John. And I'm coming to the conclusion that he was not just a son of thunder, but also a mighty encourager. And I've been wondering if John's words were mostly for Peter's ears... If his presence and spirit helped keep Peter focused and brave... I wonder what it meant to Peter to have a friend enter into that mission with him, risking everything Peter risked, supporting while never receiving the same level of recognition. So neat to see two completely different individuals bravely serving God even when their "doing the same thing... being in the same situation" looked so very different and individual, and to know that their different contributions made a difference. God more than noticed - see how He had Luke record it:
When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they TOOK NOTE that these men had been with Jesus. (NIV)
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  1. Hi Richelle! I'm your #FMF neighbor & enjoy your insights. Wow, wow, this really lifts up the humble power of an encouraging soul. How championing this gift is! Thank you for bringing new perspective to God's word. Your faith is beautiful!

  2. I've never thought of that. I am reading through the Bible again at the start of the new year. But right now I'm flying through it. Later, I'll slow and sink into some books. Maybe I'll go to Acts as well.

    1. I'm still loving it. Can't believe things that I'm seeing that have never stood out before... and then I wonder is it because I've always just read to fast or is it because I'm growing and changing and ready to see more... see deeper!

  3. Richelle,

    Fun to be here again. That's an intriguing thought, wondering if John's words were for his partner's benefit very often too. Hmm, how cool that God sets us up in families and partnerships.

    Have a great week,
    Jennifer Dougan

    1. It certainly fits with the idea that God causes all things to work together for good... been thinking much on that verse this year and wondering why we only tend to apply it to the bad and the hard... and not ALL things!

  4. Thanks for this wonderful post, I really enjoy reading it. God Bless!
    tfi the family international


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