Focus Your Efforts On Your Role; Trust God To Do His

For those with ears to hear Him, God calls each of us to a purpose for His kingdom. As we develop and grow in wisdom and discernment and learn to listen more closely to God through prayer, we are able to understand our role and what He calls us for more clearly. This is an important principle as it should guide us in how we deal with difficult circumstances as well as guide us when things are going well.

Let us take a closer look at the early church. Herod was persecuting them. He killed James and arrested Peter with intent to do the same, though the fervent prayer of the followers of Christ led to God freeing Peter from Herod’s wicked plans. The persecution scattered the early believers to a number of different cities and they continued to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ boldly.

They remained focused on what God called them to do, despite persecution. They were not in a position to overthrow the government by force or even protect themselves by force of arms. They had to trust God and they chose to keep doing what He called them to do… proclaim Jesus boldly. The results were to the glory of God’s kingdom and many converted to follow Jesus.

But what of one of those in power who persecuted God’s people… what of Herod? The believers rightly left that up to God to handle given their situation at the time.

Acts 12:20-25

Death of Herod

      20Now he was very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon; and with one accord they came to him, and having won over Blastus the king’s chamberlain, they were asking for peace, because their country was fed by the king’s country. 21On an appointed day Herod, having put on his royal apparel, took his seat on the rostrum and began delivering an address to them. 22The people kept crying out, “The voice of a god and not of a man!” 23And immediately an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and died.

      24But the word of the Lord continued to grow and to be multiplied.

      25And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had fulfilled their mission, taking along with them John, who was also called Mark.

Herod understood the Jewish faith and history of God with His people. He had no excuse for accepting from others the claims that he was a god. He should have rebuked them, but he did not.

Proverbs 16:18  18Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.

Herod was accountable before God, as are we all. We do not always understand how and when God deals with the wicked, but all face judgment before God. All are held accountable for their actions and attitudes toward God and others.

2 Corinthians 5:10  10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

Our role as followers of Christ is to go about the business He has commanded us to do and trust in Him for the rest. We see in Acts 12 that the followers of Christ did that and did that well. The result?

24But the word of the Lord continued to grow and to be multiplied.

Let us go and do likewise.

What areas of your life do you feel overwhelmed or distracted in facing big problems or challenges? Are you trusting God to help you with the part you can not do yourself or are you trying to figure out how to do it all yourself? Are you focusing on doing the specific things that God has called you to do, either in His word for all believers, or specific to your own life and talents? What changes can you make in your attitudes and actions to help align with the approach that the early believers demonstrated in Acts 12?

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

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