Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Acts 4 Devotions by Stephen Taylor

Acts 4:12

”Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” 


Last night, I was praying about my upcoming trip, and I realized something: I’m gonna miss my guys here at the Jeremiah Tree!!! It’s amazing to me just how much we have grown together in the Lord and how much I consider them family now!!! One of the greatest gifts in my life is watching chains being broken off of those around me. Seeds getting planted and watered. Watching these men exchange condemnation for salvation, shame for hope, guilt for a clearer conscience, and death for life!!! Only Jesus could make this happen, and I’m so blessed He is taking me along for the ride!!! These men are growing daily, and it’s not because of me or anyone else, but rather the power, love, and forgiveness they are finding in Jesus!!! It’s such a blessing to watch and be a part of!!!


Yesterday, I was able to do my testimony again, and I love being able to share all that God has and is doing in my life! It’s so comforting to look back on the good times and the bad and know that Jesus was always right there and I can count on Him!!! Now, I’m blessed to be able to share that journey with these men, and I’m so thankful for that!!!


Jesus is alive and well and moving in our midst. If you don’t believe me, come to the Jeremiah Tree and hang out for a few; you will see what I mean! I say this to encourage you that you’re not too far gone, you’re not too dirty, your sins aren’t too great, and your salvation is not lost!!! Jesus saved a wretch like me, and He did it with a smile on His face and love in His eyes!!! Our beautiful Savior poured Himself out for all of us, and He did it out of love, not out of obligation. I say to you, surrender your old life to Christ and accept your new life in Him!!!


Be encouraged and be encouraging!!! I love you all, God bless, and glory to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit!!!



Acts 4:13

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. 


As I was praying this morning, God brought to mind the verse in Matthew where Jesus says that He is going to build His Church on Peter. My question is, are we a Church built on Peter in the courtyard, cursing, denying, scared, and cold??? Or are we a Church built on Peter in Acts where he is filled with the Holy Spirit and his fire and boldness astonishes the same men that had Jesus killed?


There wasn’t a lot of time that elapsed between these two versions of Peter, but there was something that happened on the shore that changed him forever. Peter jumped in the water and ran to Jesus, and I’m sure he expected to be shamed, guilted, rebuked, and cast out. Surely after his denial and actions in the courtyard, he would be considered an enemy of Jesus!!!


Then, the heart of Jesus did what it does best; He said, “Let’s eat!!! No condemnation, no “I told you so,” nothing but love from our Savior!!! Jesus doesn’t bring up Peter’s past, but rather heals his heart by lovingly forgiving him and reinstating him.


I think the difference between cold Peter in the courtyard and bold Peter in the Sanhedrin is the love, mercy, and grace found around the fire that day. Peter went from running from a slave girl to preaching to the murderous mob that just killed our Lord!!! That could only come from the Holy Spirit and the love of our Savior!!! It’s impossible to experience the heart of our Savior and stay the same. Your coldness or your boldness will say more about you than 10,000 words can. So, I have to ask: what is your coldness or boldness saying today???


Be encouraged and be encouraging!!! I love you all, God bless, and glory to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit!!!





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