Faith Matters - Current Posts

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Turning the Subject

Late one night as I flipped through the channels, I started watching a training session on C-SPAN for new members of Congress on how to deal with the press. I found it intriguing and stayed up far too late! They talked about such things as the difference between being on-the-record and off-the-record, what to wear on television and how to check out press credentials. One of the most memorable parts was the explanation of what to do when you are asked a question that you don’t want to answer. The instructor said, “In that circumstance, answer the question that you wish that you had been asked.” In other words, totally change the subject.
In a way, that’s what the apostles did during an interrogation by the religious leaders. When they were accused of continuing to talk about Jesus after they had been commanded to stop, the apostles said, “We must obey God rather than men.” But then they changed the subject and said, “The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead – whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”
Although the authorities intended to entrap them with their hostile interrogation, the apostles used the opportunity to talk about Jesus. Turning the subject to Jesus is a good strategy for us, as well.

Related Scripture: Acts 5:29-32

© 2007 Leith Anderson

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

God Intervenes in Persecution

In the first century the apostle Peter was persecuted and thrown in prison for his faith in Jesus. Then one night an angel came and set him free. Now the apostles definitely believed in miracles, but they weren’t expecting a “GET OUT OF JAIL FREE” card from God!
So, what about when we are persecuted? What should we expect? God doesn’t always send angels. Sometimes the outcome is not what we expect; but, God is always there and always involved.
Hawa Ahmed was a university student in North Africa. She decided to become a Christian after reading a Christian tract. Her father was an Emir whom she expected to disinherit her, but she never dreamed her brothers would do what they did. They stripped her naked, tied her to a chair, attached a metal plate and plugged it into an electric outlet, intending to torture and kill her. But the electricity malfunctioned – four times.
Finally they untied her and threw her into the street, completely naked. She ran as fast as she could, eventually arriving at the doorstep of a friend, shaking with fear and humiliation. Her friend pulled her inside and clothed her. The next day neighbors asked Ahmad’s friend why the young woman was running through the streets the previous night wearing a beautiful white dress. God had intervened, not only in saving her life, but in covering her nakedness.
Today Ahmed goes by the name Faith and serves as a full time Christian evangelist. She learned, firsthand, that when a Christian is persecuted, God intervenes.

Related Scripture: Acts 12:1-11

© 2007 Leith Anderson