SUNDAY, JANUARY 23
Scripture: Acts 12:1-3
Acts 12:1-3 states, “Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread.” Whenever political leaders enter into this level of persecution of the church double-death is available to be prayed. Persecution is happening around the world, it happens routinely in Muslim countries. It happens in China, it happens in Korea, but how have we taught the church to respond? The church right now prays Priestly prayers for their persecutors. That is not always the way to pray. There is a different way to pray. There is a covenantal demand that God come and remove the persecutor so the church can thrive and grow. Perhaps the greatest demonstrations of the authority of God have to come through judgment. That is the testimony of the entire book of Revelation. Yet much of the church steadfastly refuses to embrace the Jesus of Revelation. That has to stop and has to stop now! We need to understand something about the God we worship and represent! Paul finds himself in the middle of Peter’s arrest and the killing of James, the brother of John. Acts 20:16 shows us a pattern that Paul had. It says that Paul decided to sail past Ephesus so he would not have to spend time in Asia. He was hurrying to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost. Passover to Paul was like Christmas to us. Paul had a habit of celebrating the specific feast days and the major one for the early church was Passover and Pentecost. There was a seven day spring feast following Passover and Pentecost was fifty days later. We know from Acts 12:25 that Barnabas and Saul were in Jerusalem for this feast period. The question is, what did they pray?