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God Uses Weak Things Acts 4:1-22

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Acts 4:1–22 NKJV
1 Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, 2 being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3 And they laid hands on them, and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. 4 However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand. 5 And it came to pass, on the next day, that their rulers, elders, and scribes, 6 as well as Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the family of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. 7 And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, “By what power or by what name have you done this?” 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: 9 If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, 10 let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11 This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ 12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” 13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. 14 And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. 15 But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, 16 saying, “What shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. 17 But so that it spreads no further among the people, let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in this name.” 18 So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. 20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” 21 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way of punishing them, because of the people, since they all glorified God for what had been done. 22 For the man was over forty years old on whom this miracle of healing had been performed.
Focus verse:
Acts 4:13 NKJV
13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.
The words “uneducated” and “untrained” may indicate that they “lacked the sophisiticated rhetorical training to which the elite had access” (NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible).
As the far as the natural order of things goes, the apostles were at a disadvange in this respect.
I don't know how you feel about yourself right now. How you feel about your outlook for lifem how you feel about you capabilities or prospects. But I want to tell you today, that God uses those thing that appear weak to overcome those things that appear strong. And this verse in front of us reminds us of that very thing.
Throughout Scripture, God has used things that appear weak to do great things....

A rod

Exodus 4:2 NKJV
2 So the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A rod.”
Exodus 14:16 NKJV
16 But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.

Gideon’s 300 men

Judges 7:2 NKJV
2 And the Lord said to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’
Judges 7:7 NKJV
7 Then the Lord said to Gideon, “By the three hundred men who lapped I will save you, and deliver the Midianites into your hand. Let all the other people go, every man to his place.”
Judges 7:12 NKJV
12 Now the Midianites and Amalekites, all the people of the East, were lying in the valley as numerous as locusts; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the seashore in multitude.
Judges 7:22 NKJV
22 When the three hundred blew the trumpets, the Lord set every man’s sword against his companion throughout the whole camp; and the army fled to Beth Acacia, toward Zererah, as far as the border of Abel Meholah, by Tabbath.

A jawbone

Judges 15:15 NKJV
15 He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, reached out his hand and took it, and killed a thousand men with it.
A Jawbone wasn't known as a weapon of war. But it is what was available. God uses those who make themselves available to Him. But unfortunately, not everyone makes themselves available to Him...
Luke 9:57–59 NKJV
57 Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.” 58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” 59 Then He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”
When he said “let me first go and bury my father”, his father had probably already been dead for about a year. In those days, when someone died,they were put in a tomb, and then a year later, after the flesh had rotted from the body, there was a second burial, in which the dead persons’ bones were put in a special box, and placed in another part of the tomb. It was this second burial that the man is referring to.
Luke 9:60 NKJV
60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.”
What does this mean?
“Let the dead [i.e. those who had already been reburied] bury their own dead [i.e. those who were awaiting reburial]”.
Jesus’ comment was intentionally tongue in cheek. He was in effect saying, “Let the dead people in the tomb look after themselves, you focus on the living who are on their way to hell and go and preach the kingdom to them”.
Luke 9:61–62 NKJV
61 And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.” 62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Notice that both these persons siad “let me first go and do such and such a thing”.
Being available to God is not merely a matter of just asking Him to use you. It is about being willing to sacrifice the things you want to do so that you are truly available to Him.

A stone

When the boy David, who had no armour, and no expeirence in war, went to fight the giant and experience warrior Golliath, who was well-armoured and had proper weapons, we read...
1 Samuel 17:40 NKJV
40 Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine.
1 Samuel 17:49–50 NKJV
49 Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth. 50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. But there was no sword in the hand of David.

A jar of oil

2 Kings 4:1–7 NKJV
1 A certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord. And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves.” 2 So Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil.” 3 Then he said, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors—empty vessels; do not gather just a few. 4 And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones.” 5 So she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured it out. 6 Now it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “There is not another vessel.” So the oil ceased. 7 Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt; and you and your sons live on the rest.”

Bethlehem

Micah 5:2 NKJV
2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.”

Five loaves and two fish

When the multitudes needed food...
John 6:8–11 NKJV
8 One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, 9 “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?” 10 Then Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11 And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted.

God’s power made perfect though weakness

Therefore, if our circumstances, background, and prospects look weak, we should not be discouraged:
2 Corinthians 12:9–10 NIV
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
It is easy to wish that we had a better background, better opportunities when we were growing up. But Paul said;
Philippians 3:4–7 NKJV
4 though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; 6 concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. 7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.
Philippians 3:13 NKJV
13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
Paul did not trust in his previous accomplishments, and neither should we...
1 Corinthians 1:27–29 NKJV
27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence.

Summary

Throughout Scripture, God has used things that appear weak to do great things
God uses those who make themselves available to Him
Being available to God is not merely a matter of just asking Him to use you. It is about being willing to sacrifice the things you want to do so that you are truly available to Him.
God wants us to completely depend on Him, so that He alone will get the glory
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