The Daily Fountain Daily Devotional of the Church Of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) 25 July 2020 – He Is Always In Control
TOPIC: He Is Always In Control
READ: Acts 12:1-18 (NKJV)
- 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.
- So when he had arrested him, he put [him] in prison, and delivered [him] to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover.
- Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.
- And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were keeping the prison.
- Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by [him,] and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off [his] hands.
- Then the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and tie on your sandals”; and so he did. And he said to him, “Put on your garment and follow me.”
- So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision.
- When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.
- And when Peter had come to himself, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and [from] all the expectation of the Jewish people.”
- So, when he had considered [this,] he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying.
- And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a girl named Rhoda came to answer.
- When she recognized Peter’s voice, because of [her] gladness she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter stood before the gate.
- But they said to her, “You are beside yourself!” Yet she kept insisting that it was so. So they said, “It is his angel.”
- Now Peter continued knocking; and when they opened [the door] and saw him, they were astonished.
- But motioning to them with his hand to keep silent, he declared to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, “Go, tell these things to James and to the brethren.” And he departed and went to another place.
- Then, as soon as it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers about what had become of Peter.
Today the Church of God celebrates St. James, one of the first apostles of Christ and an icon of faith. Herod, in this passage, represents satanic forces unleashed against the Church and all believers. With the arrest and killing of Apostle James, it would seem as if Satan was winning the battle against God. However, God only allowed that to happen for His own purposes. Christians ought to be people like James, who have resolved to live for the glory of Christ and, if need be, die for that same reason. Are you like James – determined to glorify Christ with your life at all costs?
There is a greater glory that awaits anyone who lives and dies in Christ, far more than anything this world can ever offer. However, the killing of James does not mean that the power of God has been overshadowed by evil. God allowed James to be murdered, but in the following verses, He went on to deliver Peter by His mighty power. The earnest prayers of believers can change things (James 5:16). We should always pray in all things. But when we pray, we should also demonstrate faith in God and let Him decide the outcome of our prayers. God cares for us; He knows what is best for us. Let us trust Him in all things. He is always in control!
PRAYER: Lord, I entrust my life to You today.