Week of Monday, August 14 – Sunday, August 20
Standing together for Christ – Man as Battle Buddy

“This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Now when [the religious leaders] saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. But seeing the man who was healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition. Acts 4:11-14 ESV
The hymn “Take My Life and Let It Be” contains the line, “Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.” The author, Frances B. Havergal, died in her early forties, but not before proving the legitimacy of this stanza in her song. She wrote to a friend in 1878, “The Lord has shown me another little step, and, of course, I have taken it with extreme delight. ‘Take my silver and my gold’ now means shipping off all my ornaments [jewelry] to the church Missionary House…. I don’t think I ever packed a box with such pleasure.”[i] We are called to truly live out what we believe!

Peter and John were Battle Buddies, for sure! They were brought under accusation for the results of their obedience to God. On their way to the temple to pray, a lame man reached out to them for alms and received a miraculous healing! In an amazing turn of events, the gospel was proclaimed to the very ones responsible for conspiring Jesus’ death. Standing strong with a Battle Buddy not only accomplishes God’s design for our lives as men of God but also lifts up and glorifies Jesus in the process.
 One of the strongest testimonies to the world is when men of God stand together. The apostle John records, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35 ESV). What a testimony for Jesus as men of God stand together.
 What’s remarkable in this account is not so much what Peter and John said to the religious leaders but what those leaders saw in them. They saw boldness! Boldness is defined as… Courage; bravery; intrepidity; spirit; fearlessness.[ii] Boldness is not arrogance or presumption. Boldness is having the courage to stand for the Lord Jesus Christ in the face of opposition. When Peter and John did it, the religious leaders couldn’t help but see a resemblance—Peter and John reminded them of Jesus! Talk about a testimony! Men, may we resemble Jesus as well!
 Finally, there was observed in these men of God… proof! “But seeing the man who was healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition.” There it was, the undeniable evidence that left them speechless. As C.H. Spurgeon once said, “A man's life is always more forcible than his speech; when men take stock of him they reckon his deeds as pounds and his words as pence [pennies]. If his life and his doctrines disagree, the mass of lookers-on accept his practice and reject his preaching.”[iii] When Battle Buddies stand together for the cause of Christ, the world observes boldness, resemblance, and most importantly, undeniable evidence that Jesus is the Christ!

- Can you identify any ways that the world sees courage in your life and testimony? 
- What do your life and testimony resemble most? The things of the world or the principles of God’s Word?
- Is there enough evidence in your life as a man of God to convince those you influence that Jesus is Lord…your Lord?

[i] Kenneth W. Osbeck, 101 Hymn Stories: The Inspiring True Stories Behind 101 Favorite Hymns.
[ii] Websters Dictionary 1828, s.v. “Boldness,” accessed August 18, 2023, https://webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/boldness.
[iii] C. H. Spurgeon, “The Need of Decision for the Truth,” The Sword & Trowel, March 1874, available at https://archive.spurgeon.org/s_and_t/truth.php.