Sometimes conflict is unavoidable, even between godly people. The Apostle Peter found himself in the middle of conflict quite often. Sometimes it was a consequence of his mistakes. At other times, conflict caught him by surprise.
In Acts 11, the Jewish Christians contended with Peter because he ate with uncircumcised Gentile converts. Peter didn’t retreat when called upon to give an answer. Instead, he rehearsed to them the sequence of events God used to lead him to embrace his convictions. He explained how his vision from God, the witness from the Spirit, and the witness of God’s Word worked together to confirm God’s will in this matter. Peter had no choice but to faithfully obey. After his response, his challengers could say nothing against him.
Peter didn’t have to say anything to answer his Christian critics. He could have smiled and kept his mouth shut, allowing the Word of God to speak for itself. But this apostle had a testimony, and he wasn’t about to let anyone intimidate him from sharing it. When Peter gave his answer, he presented a compelling, yet humble, argument which convinced his critics that he had done right to follow God. He dared to be faithful to the truth he had experienced for himself, and God blessed his efforts.
Perhaps you have recently been challenged about your Christian convictions. Your family can’t understand why your kids are well-mannered and submissive to your authority. They can’t figure out why you always seem so happy. There is something different about you, and they’re curious to find out what it is. Are you prepared to tell them? You have a testimony, and God wants you to share it. My prayer is that you will dare to be faithful today.
God grant me the courage not to give up what I think is right, even though I think it is hopeless. — Admiral Chester W. Nimitz
Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.