Acts 14:19-22 ”And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead. Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe. And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, Confirming the souls of the disciples and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.”
Acts 5:27-29 “And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, Saying, Did not we straightly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.”
I Samuel 17:32-33 “And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; they servant will go and fight with this Philistine. And Saul said to David, thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.”
In last week’s opener to this 3-part mini-series, we honored those whose service caused them to pay the ultimate price on 9/11 on the behalf of their communities and all of us. In doing so, we described heroes such as Police Officer John Perry, Fire Chief Orio Palmer, and EMT Yamel Merino. Each of them ran towards danger to serve others. Their stories reflect the bravery and courage of the 415 first responders who paid the ultimate sacrifice on that day.
They are not alone. Heroes of the faith have similarly sprinted forward into imminent danger.
Among those was Paul. Though he had been stoned and left for dead by those in Lystra who had been enraged by his preaching, he was undeterred. He returned back to that city the same day, and continued preaching throughout the region. Tribulation did not stop him.
Also among those were Peter and the other disciples. They had been given clear direction from the authorities to “not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.” (Acts 4:18). They did so anyways, boldly proclaiming the preeminence of their Ultimate Authority.
Additional among those was David. Though young, he was willing to take a bold stand for the Lord that dwarfed the courage of the most seasoned soldiers in Saul’s army. His heart did not fail because he understood the righteousness of their cause.
PLEASE PRAY FOR AMERICAN CHRISTIANS TO USE THE BRAVE ACTIONS OF OUR FOREFATHERS IN THE FAITH TO MOTIVATE US TO COURAGEOUSLY SERVE TODAY. After all, there is a cause!