And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard."

One thing I know dear friends, it is true what Peter declared to Annas, the priest and all those who were of the priestly descent; when you have been with Jesus you will not be able to stop speaking of Him. He enters deeply within our hearts, and out of the abundance of the heart the mouth will speak.
Matthew 12:34-40 declares:

"For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil."

When you go into the presence of Almighty God, our Father you will not remain the same. When we allow Him to reveal His love to us personally and intimately, we will not be able to hold it within as the disciples expressed.

These religious leaders were furious with them for healing a man who had been lame and begging at the temple for alms for forty years. When he asked for alms they told him they had no silver or gold, but they would give Him what they did have. In the name of Jesus, the Nazarene, they commanded him to walk! They seized him by the right hand, immediately his ankle and feet were strengthened, and he began walking and leaping, and praising God!

We know this occurred just after Pentccost when the Holy Spirit fell upon the church like a mighty wind filling them all, and they began speaking in tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Remember the curtain had been torn into, from the top to the bottom that separated man from entering into the presence of God!

Have we forgotten what this meant? We not only are no longer separated from God, but He has sent the Holy Spirit to live inside us. If we choose we will never be separated from God’s love ever again throughout eternity!!
Jesus’ final instructions to the disciples is found in Acts 1:48:

Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised,
"Which, He said, "You heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."
So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying,
"Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?"
He said to them, "It is not for you to know times, or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.

So what are we missing? Have we received this power in our lives who have the Holy Spirit in us? Are we allowing Him to teach, guide, and lead us into all truth as we were promised? I think not. We do not seem to know how to tap into this realm, and yet it is clear if we read Jesus’ instructions, and the teaching of the disciples as they taught not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but with power and demonstration through the Holy Spirit in Jesus name. Remember the prophecy in Zechariah 4:6 to Zerubbabel as he was called to do what seemed impossible?

Then He said to me, "This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit’ says the Lord of Hosts."

Our devotion today is very much like our present time in history. The people didn’t agree with the Savior God sent or His plan. They wanted their political problems solved much more than their eternal state dealt with. It wasn’t as important to them as the Son of Man, the promised Messiah, walking among them during their present time. Look at the question the disciples asked even after being fully informed of God’s plan:
"Is it at this time you are going to restore the kingdom to Israel? Look at the inferiority of man’s small mind in comparison to God! God restored mankind through His Son to be delivered from His wrath of the evil in themselves, to be reconciled unto Himself. God was about loving us. We are about saving a nation or kingdom that is only temporal.

This question seemed so irrelevant considering the context it appears in! We are still allowing ourselves to be consumed with the temporal over the eternal. That is because we have not been with Him more than each other. We are still missing the heart of God and His purposes. He wants us! He wants us to be with Him and to read His letters He has written to us in His Word.

If we read on, we know the disciples were arrested for performing miracles in the name of Jesus and preaching the true gospel to the Jews and all who would listen. What would be our response if we are told what they were by their religious leaders? Is offending God more important to you than offending man? Do we love our brethren enough to speak the truth when it cost us something as the disciples did. I can answer an emphatic no if we have not been in His Presence more than each other’s presence.

Peter, while preaching to the Jews quotes a prophecy from David in Acts 2:28:

"You have made known to me the ways of Life. You will make me full of gladness with Your Presence.

Peter knew this was true. He had lived it. He had experienced it. We can’t effectively teach what we don’t live. In Acts 3:19 we read his instructions to them as he reveals to them their past sin:

"Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord."

Finally I would like to share the conclusion of the Jews concerning the disciples. Act 4:13 proclaims:

"Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus. "

I pray my life will reveal the same thing as the true disciples of Christ who had been with Him, and were now filled with the Holy Spirit and revelation of the Word taught by Him. They knew they had been with Him which gave them their boldness and courage.

If we fulfill our purpose in life which is to love Him with all our heart, mind, body, soul, and strength as He does us we will do the same. I would much rather for people to recognize the Lord in me than all the education and degrees the world has to offer. Seminary has never produced what comes from spending time in the presence of God alone. It is no longer about us, but about the God we know and love.

He revealed His will for every one of us in His Word. He told us the most important purpose we have in life is to love Him with all our heart, mind, body, soul and strength as He loves us. I also recognize the ones who have allowed Him to empty themselves out that they might be filled with His Spirit leading, teaching, and guiding them into all truth. They glorify God rather than themselves, always! Our adequacy doesn’t come from man, but from God Himself through the power of the Holy Spirit. It is not from our strong will we must battle daily as our flesh wars against the Spirit.

It is easy to be confident when you know you carry the truth within you. It burns within you and must be shared from a heart of love as He is love. There is no fear because the Bible tells us perfect love casts out fear. A true disciple of Christ gets their value from Him alone.

May we all realize the gift we have been given through Jesus to be able come into His Presence with boldness and confidence knowing all our righteousness is found in the cross of Christ. It exemplifies the greatest love in existence begging to be spilled upon mankind through those who allow Him to be their all in all. I encourage you to seek the things above. Allow the Teacher to help you prioritize your life according to His purpose for you. It will be said of us that they know we have been with our Lord! What greater compliment could be made about our lives?
In His love.

Teresa Roberts

Masterpiece Fitness


Always a beautiful place to pause on a bike ride, and drink in the beautiful view on New River Trail between Allisonia and Draper.