Worth More than Life

October 30th, 2007 • Category: Book of Acts
by David Zier

Today’s scripture: Acts 12:6-19 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (David Zier):

In my Christian Discipleship class, I recently presented a discussion on several of Dietrech Bonhoeffer’s sermons. Bonhoeffer was 39 when he was executed in a Nazi concentration camp in 1945 because of his commitment to Christ and not to Nazi Germany. In one of the sermons, Bonhoeffer indicates that the world after death is life in the highest degree, where we go to meet undreamed events.

Those who kept faith, cling to Jesus up to the last hour, even amidst sufferings. Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord. Dying in Christ means that our last hour will not be weak. We die confessors in Christ — pray that our last word might be only Christ.

I’m sure you are thinking, “David, Peter didn’t die! The angel showed him his way to freedom!” Peter never flinched from his faith — he was an apostle to the end, or what he thought would be the end. Peter knew that God would cause this trial to end in the way that would bring the most glory to God — but he had no assurances, going in, that it would not mean his death.

Even though Peter was the one freed from prison and who escaped death this night, this act of the angel provided the church some much-needed spiritual energy. The angel’s actions reveal that God was with them, God was hearing their prayer, and that God is present during the difficult times of our lives.

For us in our day, are we willing to be confessors of Christ? When we seek justice for others, are we willing to risk anything? When we seek Christ and God’s reign on earth, are we willing to risk it all?

Thought for the day: What do you love enough to die for?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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