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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
Devotional: October 27th
“We ought to obey God rather than men.”
Acts 5:17-36 , Acts 5:38-42
Acts 5:17 , Acts 5:18
The Sadducees were the Broad Churchmen of their day, yet their liberal views did not prevent their persecuting the lovers of the truth. Men of no religion are frequently the greatest bigots in the world.
Staggered but not converted, they went madly on with their persecution. Truly, when a sinner is set on mischief nothing will stop him but the grace of God.
As in Æsop’s fable, the sheep of Jesus are charged by the wolf with troubling the water.
Acts 5:29 , Acts 5:30
Peter does not flinch; he lays the great crime of Jesus death at their door.
Acts 5:31-36 , Acts 5:38 , Acts 5:39
Bad but prudent men have frequently, for policy’s sake, advocated toleration, and so have been in the hands of God the means of delivering his people from persecution. We should admire the great Head of the church who can find a protector for her, even in the enemy’s camp.
Acts 5:41 , Acts 5:42
Those who had been scourged rejoiced, but their enemies went home envious and wretched. We ought to rejoice if we bear reproach for Christ; and we should persevere in serving the Lord, however furiously we may be opposed.
“Lay not this sin to their charge.”
Grecians or Christian Jews who had lived in foreign parts
Hebrews or Palestine Jews
Perhaps, being strangers, they were not well known, and so were overlooked; we have no reason to believe that the neglect was intentional. Mistakes will occur, and if not rectified they may create ill-will and division.
Others can do such work; ministers have enough to do to mind their own business.
Acts 6:3 , Acts 6:4
Prayer and preaching make up the entire life of a minister; by prayer he receives the word from God, and by preaching he communicates it to his people. Other church officers should take care that the minister’s mind is not burdened with temporal anxieties.
His holy and glad heart beamed forth in his countenance, a flash of coming glory lit up his face, and even his foes were forced to see it; yet neither this sight nor his eloquent address could touch their cruel hearts, for they thirsted for his blood, and would have it.
Acts 7:55 , Acts 7:56
Jesus was seen standing to receive the martyrs soul. What a vision! It removed the bitterness of death.
Asleep amid the falling stones! He slept not till he had left the church the legacy of his prayers. Augustine says, “If Stephen had not thus prayed, the church had not received that young man named Saul.” We have no other description of martyrdom in the New Testament, the Holy Spirit foreseeing that the church would have an abundance of such records in after times.
the First Week of Advent
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