You Have More Power Than You Think You Have–Acts 12:11-17

God Running is a place for anyone who wants to (or even anyone who wants to want to) love Jesus more deeply, follow Jesus more closely, and love people the way Jesus wants us to.

In our last post from the book of Acts we explored how Peter took action when he got up and went with the angel who rescued him from prison. Peter got up and did what the angel told him to do, even though Peter thought what he was experiencing wasn’t real but a vision. That’s a great example for us, because sometimes we wonder whether or not some thought or idea or situation is really from God. When we think that way, the best thing to do is to get up and go, the way Peter did. If you’re interested, you can read more here: Was That Really from God?– Acts 12:6-11.

In today’s post we’ll see how the early believers had more power than they thought they had. And what that means for you and for me.

Acts 12:11-17

When Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.”

When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying. And when he knocked at the door of the gateway, a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer. Recognizing Peter’s voice, in her joy she did not open the gate but ran in and reported that Peter was standing at the gate. They said to her, “You are out of your mind.” But she kept insisting that it was so, and they kept saying, “It is his angel!” But Peter continued knocking, and when they opened, they saw him and were amazed. But motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, “Tell these things to James and to the brothers.” Then he departed and went to another place.

Acts 12:11-17

After realizing everything that had happened to him was true, Peter went to the house of Mary, the mother of John, where the early believers were gathered. Having just seen James executed, they were praying for Peter’s life. Peter knocks on the door of the gateway and a servant girl named Rhoda comes to answer. But when she recognizes Peter’s voice, she becomes so excited she runs into the house and tells all the believers — without opening the gate to let Peter in. Those praying inside tell Rhoda she’s crazy. “It’s his angel,” they say. (Some Jewish traditions held that after a righteous person died they became like an angel.) But Peter continues to knock. Eventually they open the gate and there he is.

“They saw him and were amazed.”

Peter bids them to quiet down and then he tells them the whole story, and he asks that they pass this along to James and to the brothers. (James was a common name and this isn’t the same James we read about earlier in this chapter but it’s Jesus’ younger brother. James, Jesus’ younger brother, is mentioned in Acts 15:13, 1 Corinthians 15:7, and Galatians 2:9.)

Then Peter went to another place.

They Had More Power Than They Thought They Had

Here’s what I love about this story. These believers who were praying for Peter’s life, when they saw him, they were amazed! So the faith with which they prayed was marginal. And yet, God answered their prayers. They had more power than they thought they had.

You Have More Power Than You Think You Have

I think the same is true for a lot of us. We don’t feel strong so we don’t do things God wants us to do. But if you’ve given your life to Jesus, if you’ve decided to connect yourself with him, if you’re leaning on Jesus, depending on him, surrendered to him, then, like those early believers in our text, you have more power than you think you have.

Because you have Christ, you have power.

Use whatever power you have to love God and to love the people He puts in front of you.

“For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

Matthew 17:20

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Love Like Jesus begins with the story of how after a life of regular church attendance and Bible study, Bennett was challenged by a pastor to study Jesus. That led to an obsessive seven year deep dive. After pouring over Jesus’ every interaction with another human being, he realized he was doing a much better job of studying Jesus’ words than he was following Jesus’ words and example. The honest and fearless revelations of Bennett’s own moral failures affirm he wrote this book for himself as much as for others.

Love Like Jesus examines a variety of stories, examples, and research, including:

  • Specific examples of how Jesus communicated God’s love to others.
  • How Jesus demonstrated all five of Gary Chapman’s love languages (and how you can too).
  • The story of how Billy Graham extended Christ’s extraordinary love and grace toward a man who misrepresented Jesus to millions.
  • How to respond to critics the way Jesus did.
  • How to love unlovable people the way Jesus did.
  • How to survive a life of loving like Jesus (or how not to become a Christian doormat).
  • How Jesus didn’t love everyone the same (and why you shouldn’t either).
  • How Jesus guarded his heart by taking care of himself–he even napped–and why you should do the same.
  • How Jesus loved his betrayer Judas, even to the very end.

With genuine unfiltered honesty, Love Like Jesus, shows you how to live a life according to God’s definition of success: A life of loving God well, and loving the people around you well too.

A life of loving like Jesus.

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5 Comments on “You Have More Power Than You Think You Have–Acts 12:11-17

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