But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. Acts 4:19, 20.
On the day following the healing of the cripple [Acts 3], Annas and Caiaphas, with the other dignitaries of the temple, met together for the trial, and the prisoners [Peter and John] were brought before them. In that very room and before some of those very men, Peter had shamefully denied his Lord. This came distinctly to his mind as he appeared for his own trial. He now had an opportunity of redeeming his cowardice….
But the Peter who denied Christ in the hour of His greatest need was impulsive and self-confident, differing widely from the Peter who was brought before the Sanhedrin for examination. Since his fall he had been converted. He was no longer proud and boastful, but modest and self-distrustful. He was filled with the Holy Spirit, and by the help of this power he was resolved to remove the stain of his apostasy by honoring the name he had once disowned.
The principle for which the disciples stood so fearlessly when, in answer to the command not to speak any more in the name of Jesus, they declared, “Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye,” is the same that the adherents of the gospel struggled to maintain in the days of the Reformation….
This principle we in our day are firmly to maintain. The banner of truth and religious liberty held aloft by the founders of the gospel church and by God’s witnesses during the centuries that have passed since then, has, in this last conflict, been committed to our hands…. We are to recognize human government as an ordinance of divine appointment, and teach obedience to it as a sacred duty, within its legitimate sphere. But when its claims conflict with the claims of God, we must obey God rather than men. God’s word must be recognized as above all human legislation. A “Thus saith the Lord” is not to be set aside for a “Thus saith the church” or a “Thus saith the state.” The crown of Christ is to be lifted above the diadems of earthly potentates.
Conflict and Courage p. 329
Prayer Requests
—–Please Pray for my family as we work today writing out letters to caseworker, supervisors & state government level individuals asking for proper intervention for Mazie & Malychi. The situation remains critical and worsening. Mazie has made a 6 suicide attempt. The system remains casual about the seriousness of her cries for help. Heidi
—–Please pray for Rafael who is surgery today at ____ University. The tumor they are trying to remove is near his heart. Clayton
—–update—Please pray for Ronnie whose body is rejecting his newly transplanted kidney. Lorrie
—–Please say a prayer for Farrell and me when you read this. Farrell fell and is in the hospital. He is in serious condition. Dee
Dear Friends,
Yesterday, Esther and I were talking about our old church hymnal and how we missed some of the songs that they left out of the new one. One such song illustrates the importance of giving more to Jesus than a mere material gift. While offerings are important to maintain the house of God, there is one gift that our Dear Saviour cherishes above all others. This gift is akin to His “unspeakable gift.” 2 Cor 9:15
They Brought Their Gifts to Jesus by Eben E Rexford
They brought their gifts to Jesus,And laid them at His feet, And love for this dear Saviour,
Made every offering sweet;
Good deeds and words of kindness,
Help for the poor of earth,
And not a gift among them
Was thought of little worth
Wouldst bring a gift to Jesus,
That He will count most sweet?
Say, “Lord, my heart I give Thee,”
And lay it at His feet.
Apart from other givers
A poor wayfarer stood;
He saw the gifts they offered,
The poorest counted good;
And he was filled with longing,
A gift, though poor, to bring;
Alas! all empty-handed
He stood before the King.
Wouldst bring a gift to Jesus,
That He will count most sweet?
Say, “Lord, my heart I give Thee,”
And lay it at His feet.
“Dear Lord,” he cried in sorrow,”
I know how kind Thou art,
Take all I have to give Thee,
My sinful wayward heart.”
Then Jesus answered softly,
“Count not the gift as small,
Though all of them are precious,
Thine is the best of all.”
Wouldst bring a gift to Jesus,
That He will count most sweet?
Say, “Lord, my heart I give Thee,”
And lay it at His feet.
How our Great Redeemer yearns for us to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. (Mark 12:30) Think of it! He, the Creator of the Universe, the One Whom all Heaven adores, left the glories of Heaven, came to this dark and sinful world to suffer all the evil that wicked men goaded on by evil angels could heap upon Him, finally laying down His Own Life to ransom us from the clutches of the evil one. How our hearts should thrill at the thought! How we should keep all of our attention, all of our affections on Him Who loved us so. Yet how many times we draw near Him with our mouth, and with our lips do honour Him, but our heart is far from Him, filled with our own plans, our own desires, or just the mundane things of life.
How often we give Him of our abundance or occasionally give up some little want to bring an offering to Him and feel pretty good about ourselves. Yet we have so little of which to boast. The words of Samuel to Saul ring in our ears, “Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” 1 Sam 15:22,23 With tears in His voice, the Lord Jesus pleads, “give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways” “forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.” “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.” Prov 23:26; 3:1, 2 ; Matt 11:28-30; Isa 1:18,19
“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith” answering our Loving Redeemer, “With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments” “create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Ps 119:10; 51:10 Let us daily give our entire heart to our Dear Saviour for it is the gift that He most desires. “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering” that we may make glad our Saviour’s Great Heart of Love.” Heb 10:22,23

Religious Liberty