Apples of Gold

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We cannot but speak

'We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.'

Acts 4:20

Wherever the Gospel is preached there will be opposition. If you are an effective witness for your Lord and Saviour then you may be sure that the forces of Hell will do their utmost to prevail against you. Peter and John, having preached boldly were now threatened by the local council.

Peter's reply against their threats was clear. 'We cannot but speak of the things which we have seen and heard.' It is impossible for you to shut us up! We have a story to tell and neither you nor any other council will prevent us from telling it.

I love Peter's boldness! True, it had not been long since he had let His Saviour down by denying Him, now he made it absolutely clear that no man was going to stop him from proclaiming the truth.

We may accept opposition from various quarters but being wounded by our own brethren is hard to accept. Many wound through jealousy, envy, pride but primarily because their own faith and witness is stagnant.

It is the easiest thing in the world to find fault in our fellow brethren, but what good is that doing for the church of Christ?

We have enough to cope with in this world without hypocritical brethren spouting forth. If we have nothing good to say about our fellow man then it is better if we keep our mouths shut. It is simple. The Lord gave us two ears and only one mouth for a reason!

Thankfully there are only a few in this sad condition. I am most grateful to the Lord for the love and kindness that my brothers and sisters across the world have shown me. I fail them and my Lord daily, yet they do not hold it against me, nor criticise my feeble attempts to encourage.

We all need encouragement. It is vital and let us learn to do good when it is in our hand to do so. Let us encourage one another in the faith, and let us strive to love one another fervently out of a pure heart. Then will Christ be reflected in our lives.

Having faced the threats they do not pray for deliverance, they pray for a greater measure of boldness! Being assembled together in one mind and spirit, they received the answer to their prayers. These same men were about to turn the world upside down through the preaching of the Gospel.

We may also ask for such boldness. May the Lord open our mouths that we may speak the truth in love. The fear of man is often a snare to our witness.

The day will soon come when we will all have to give an account of the things that we have done in the body. Often I have been silent when I should have spoken, and spoken when I should have kept my mouth shut!

I yearn to serve my Lord with a more effective and lasting witness. Will I ever see anything but weakness and failure in this department? To have boldness to declare His riches, to speak of amazing grace and to tell those who are fast heading to a lost eternity that there is a way of escape.

We have a wonderful story to tell. A story of power, of love, of grace and of a Saviour who laid down His life for sinners. He came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. They that are whole need not a physician, but they who are sick. We are all sick. Sick with and through sin. For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

It is the Word of God that we seek to declare. Our words are vain at best. His Word is life! Speak the word, in season, out of season. Throw your loved one, your son, your daughter, your friends and your enemies a lifeline. Tell them today about Jesus. Tell them what He has done for your soul.

May we pray the prayer in verse 29. 'And now Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word.'