Rhoda, A Youth With Outstanding Faith
Early Church History in Brief
The church of Christ was given birth to after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. After his ascension (around AD 1-300) with the outpouring of the Holy Ghost on the disciples in the upper room, they started ministering in the power of the Holy Spirit contrary to their earlier form of ministrations that had been enveloped in fear.
The received power backing up their ministrations wrought undeniable miracles among the people dwelling in Jerusalem. Those undeniable proofs arouse the curiosity of many such that they decided to join them, and some really became converted to Christ.
Everyday the numbers of the saved people joining the church keep increasing until the religious leaders of their day became afraid of their multiplication and they started intimidating them.
When they couldn’t be moved by their intimidation, they started tormenting them. As such on different occasions the leadership of the followers of Jesus Christ, the apostles have been arrested and imprisoned, but instead of the church to diminish, neither stop evangelism, they kept on evangelizing and the associated signs and wonders keep following with the number of people coming into their fold increasing.
One of the followers of Christ, Evangelist Stephen talked about Jesus Christ to his audience, but the religious leaders instigate people against him such that he was stoned to death.
“And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.
“And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
“And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” (Act 7:58-60)
When other disciples saw what happened, they fled Jerusalem and became scattered all over the world speaking the word of the Lord wherever they go.
“And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.
“And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.
“As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.
“Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word” (Act 8:1-4 (Emphasis Mine))
The 12 Apostles (because they have appointed a replacement for Judas Iscariot, the man called Matthias) remained in Jerusalem preaching and testifying to the gospel there.
“Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey.
“And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.
“These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.
“And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)
“Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.
“For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.
“Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.
“For it is written in the book of Psalms, let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.
“Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
“Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
“And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
“And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,
“That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
“And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.” (Act 1:12-18 & 20-26)
The remnants and the Apostles in Jerusalem kept talking about Jesus to people. But the devil entered the heart of Herod the Jewish king and he started persecuting the church again. Herod is the title of the name of the four Jewish kings. Herod in Greek word is “Ἡρώδης”, called hay-ro'-dace and it means heroic.
As he mounts pressure of persecution on the church, he arrested, imprisoned and had James killed. James was one of the apostles.
“Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church.
“And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.” (Act 12:1-2)
This James was supposedly one of the sons of Zebedee who were part of the twelve disciples of Jesus.
“And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder:” (Mk 3:17)
The bible says when this king saw that the Jews were pleased with what he did, he sent and get arrested the leader of the apostles, who was Peter and imprisoned him. He did this because he wants to satisfy the Jews, he was following what the people called “vox populi” listening to the voice of the people, satisfying the people.
“And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.)” (Act 12:3)
What was satisfying to the people sometimes may not be pleasing unto God. It is not always that the Vox populi represents the mind and plans of God for the people and this is one of them.
As leaders in the church, we cannot lead the church as the leaders of the world are leading and governing the world, we need to allow for Holy Spirit’s leading, it is through the leading of the Spirit of God in us that we shall be able to lead the people of God aright in our various churches.
May I add that, those Christians who are occupying some political offices, or leaders in some worldly establishments, chief executive officers of companies yea in the various establishments that we find ourselves, God expects us to leave a distinctive mark wherever we are, and we can only achieve this by allowing for the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Therefore, this question, “have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?” (Act 19:2b) would repeatedly be asked believers as long as we are still in the world. It would always be asked because this is what Jesus promises us that would not make us walk without blemish in the world and assist us to lead people aright wherever we are. We are living with unbelievers in the world, and we are expected to set a standard for them not to be a part of their misdeeds neither wrong leaderships. Parents, husbands, wives, children, servants and indeed everyone called Christian needs this Holy Spirit.
“The church saw their folly after Apostle Peter was arrested and imprisoned and they started praying that God would perform miracle and he will be released”.
“Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.” (Act 12:5)
The church woke up from her deep sleep of prayerlessness for her leaders as she started talking to God about their leader and importantly the arrested person, Apostle Peter. It is high time the church waves up and starts praying for her leaders, those leading in homes, offices and other parastatals should be committed into the hands of God.
God indeed hearkened unto their cries and he sent his angel to go and deliver the man from the innermost room within the prison where he has been detained. After his release, and the angel has left him, he thought of where to go to, and he decided that he will go to Mary’s house, the mother of John (Mark).
“And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison.
“And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.
“And the angel said unto him, gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.
“And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision.
“When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him.
“And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.
“And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.” (Acts 12:6-12)
The young lady, Rhoda, under discuss here was among those who were in the house praying for the release of Apostle Peter, however while they were gathered praying, some of the things in her heart as well as in the hearts of others gathered praying were not revealed, but when the man was delivered by the angel and he was at the door knocking, what was in their hearts were revealed by their disposition to what has happened.
Rhoda in Greek is “Ῥόδη” Romanized form is Rhodē, (pronounced as hrod'-ay) which means rose. She was probably a servant girl to one of the believers.
“And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda.” (Act 12: 13)
The Greek word for damsel here is “παιδίσκη”, the Romanized form is paidiskē (phonetic spelling is pahee-dis'-kay) which is a girl, a female slave or servant.
I want us to see some of the characters in the heart of this lady, Rhoda, which reveals her outstanding faith.
1. Her Position Not An Excuse
She does not use her position as an excuse for misbehaving neither using the position as an excuse for not being saved. Many servants because of their position of servant-ship in the house, offices, farms and other places would consider salvation to be meant for those who have made it, those who have achieved what they wanted in life, those who are on their chosen profession, but as for them, because they are yet to be sure of their moves, their careers, they usually would not give this much consideration, needless to add that they would not think about it at all let alone giving their lives to Jesus Christ.
I want you to know if you are in such position that Rhoda too could have chosen such path as a servant, do you remember Gehazi one of the servants of prophet Elisha in the bible? (2 Kings 5) but she chose not to choose the path, she chose to accept Jesus Christ as an individual entity not by compulsion but willfully.
I want to encourage you that your position should not prevent you from giving your heart to Jesus Christ. Please toe this path today, accept Jesus into your life as your Lord and savior.
Poll 1: Salvation
Have you given your life to Jesus Christ?
Poll 2: If No
Why haven’t you given your life to Jesus up till now?
How to accept Jesus into one’s life;
It is very simple, acknowledge yourself a sinner, be sorry for your sins, repent of them and promise yourself that you will never return into those sins and ask Jesus Christ to come and be living inside your heart by faith. After you have sincerely and genuinely done these, be assured that it is done, and you are God’s daughter or son. Thence, familiarize yourself with bible reading, doing the what you found and read in the bible daily.
2. She Never Forsakes Brethren Assembly
Having been saved, though a young lady, she familiarizes herself with the brethren, she continued to fellowship with them.
“And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
“And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,” (Act 2:42 & 46)
Because she continued to fellowship with the brethren after given her life to Jesus Christ that was why she could know where they would be gathering together for prayer, the house of the person they would be meeting at, because it was not stated that she was one of the servants of the owner of the house neither any of the old brethren.
As believers it is always good to fellowship with one another with people who have given their lives to Jesus Christ. This is strongly encouraged by the author of epistle to the Hebrews in chapter 10.
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Heb 10:25)
Poll 3: Fellowship
Are you fellow-shipping with the brethren?
You should know that the Lord sees you, he knows what you are passing through and he is working on them.
Poll 4: If No
Why are you not fellowshipping with brethren?
Though some Christian leaders may not be encouraging, they may not be given you the correct spiritual meal that you want, they may not be caring enough but these shouldn’t be albatross for your not fellowshipping with some brethren in your area and region. If the church you are attending is not good, why not try some other fellowships, I believe you will find one who will have the same mind of faith and evangelism as you want.
People used to say, if something is important to you, you will find time for it. Create time to fellowship with the brethren in your area and in those places where open fellowship has not been allowed, you will see some people who will also be like you who you can be talking together, sharing some words with one another and of course making adequate use of the internet Christian blogs and articles.
This should be continued till the laws in place be visited by God. Do not put yourself in arms way, it is good to be persecuted for Christ, but in case you have options like this (internet facilities) make use of it in your private residence, download Christian sermons and save Godly articles on your phones and systems to be listened to and read at your free periods and I am sure you would enormously be blessed by God.
Outside that, he has through Apostle Peter asks us to add knowledge to our faith. Knowledge is also part of wisdom; thus, it may not be totally out of the way to say as apostle Peter says that you need to add wisdom to your Christian faith there. You need wisdom of God at that position, because it is when you are alive that you can share the gospel to others who are close to you and those who are far, but when you are dead you cannot do that. God wants you alive to share the gospel, this apply wisdom in that crucial and anti-gospel location that you live in. internet is one of the promises of God for the last days to ensure that the message gets to the uttermost parts of the world and you should make adequate use of it.
“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge.” (2 Pe 1:5)
3. She Loves Prayer
Some maidens do not love prayer, but this cannot be said of Rhoda, for she joined those people who were assembled to pray for the release of Apostle Peter not for the fun of it, but for the love of prayer. It is certain that there would be some maidens within the brethren, who would not join them for the prayer, but she stood out, she knows what she wants, she followed her heart and joined other brethren to pray. (Act 12: 4-6)
4. She Has Holy Spirit
It would be recalled that one of the distinctive features of the early church after Jesus ascension was receiving the Holy Ghost as evidenced by speaking with varying tongues. (Acts 2:1 ff) This at first was bestowed on the disciples who were about 500 people
“After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.” (1 Cor 15:6).
However, when the disciples continued to preach the gospel and the people are being added to them daily, it is recorded that after they had been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and being prayed for, they also received this gift like other brethren. I believe this maiden was among those who received the Holy Ghost after their baptism in the name of Jesus Christ by Apostle Peter.
“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38ff)
“And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.” (Act 4:31)
5. She Was Expectant
This rare feature was demonstrated by this maiden. While others were praying without expectations, she was praying with expectations, as she continued with older women, men, young ladies and young men praying in the room for the release of their leader, Apostle Peter, she probably was the only one expecting that the man of God would meet them where they were before their round off their prayers.
The story in the Gospel according to Saint Matthew 25 verses 1-12 of the five wise virgins aptly describes her because she was watching for the appearance of the man seconds per seconds.
She knew they had been healed of their folly and God has every right to fulfill his words by answering their prayers in the name of Jesus Christ.
A person who is expecting money in his account will keep close to his phone so that when the money has been transferred into his account and he is alerted he would know, but someone who does not put his heart to such would not monitor his alert. Thus, when any special message enters the person may not take to it until hours or days after.
This was the graphic picture of Rhoda while praying with others for the release and deliverance of Apostle Peter.
It is what she demonstrates that God equally wants all believers in the world to demonstrate to Jesus second coming. He wants us to always be expecting his arrival. We need to distinctively live our lives in the world to show the world that we though are living in the world, but our hearts are in heaven, where our father lives.
6. She Did Not Miss it
Because what has pre-occupied her mind since the time they gathered together praying for the release of Apostle Peter was his appearance, thus when she heard a knock at the door, she did not miss it, while others missed the knock under the auspices of being subsumed in prayer, she did not miss it (Acts 12) because that was the thought that has pre-occupied her heart from the outset that they have gathered to pray.
“And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda.” (Act 12: 13)
What is in your heart is who you are. What is in your heart will reveal your disposition to life. Jesus says out of the multitude of the heart one speaks. Out of the multitudes of the heart one expresses himself or herself. It is what has preoccupied one’s heart that one would express to the outside. What has preoccupied one’s heart is like a smoke in a container, irrespective of how one wants to suppress or contain the smoke in a container it would get out somehow.
When someone teaches you evil and you accept, it means you have had such notion in your heart before, but what you are just waiting for, for the expression is an enabling environment. It is for something like this that Judas Iscariot cannot be totally absolved of what he did in revealing Jesus Christ to the enemies. It must have been in Judas Iscariot’s heart to do something terrible against their leader before he went to the religious leaders of their day that he should reveal Jesus to them.
“And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him.
“Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests,
“And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.
“And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.” (Mat 26: 4, 14-16)
Thus, asking that why can’t Jesus pray for him (Judas Iscariot) as he prayed for peter does not hold water neither should we justify the betrayal because if he does not do that salvation would not come to the entire world.
We cannot justify all those because such evil notion has been in his heart even before consulting the religious leaders, he was only seeking for means of expressing the evil machinations of his heart and when the enabling environment presents itself, he grasps it with his hands.
A person that wants to do evil would have premeditated such thoughts in his heart before carrying it out, ditto for someone who wants to do good. Think about the case of the children of David when the elder slept with his sister. The evil thought had been in his heart for days such that it started telling on his health until his friend advised him on what to do.
“And it came to pass after this, that Absalom the son of David had a fair sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her.
“And Amnon was so vexed, that he fell sick for his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin; and Amnon thought it hard for him to do any thing to her.
“But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David's brother: and Jonadab was a very subtil man.
“And he said unto him, why art thou, being the king's son, lean from day to day? wilt thou not tell me? And Amnon said unto him, I love Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister.
“And Jonadab said unto him, Lay thee down on thy bed, and make thyself sick: and when thy father cometh to see thee, say unto him, I pray thee, let my sister Tamar come, and give me meat, and dress the meat in my sight, that I may see it, and eat it at her hand.
“So Amnon lay down, and made himself sick: and when the king was come to see him, Amnon said unto the king, I pray thee, let Tamar my sister come, and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat at her hand.
“Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, go now to thy brother Amnon's house, and dress him meat.
“So Tamar went to her brother Amnon's house; and he was laid down. And she took flour, and kneaded it, and made cakes in his sight, and did bake the cakes.
“And she took a pan, and poured them out before him; but he refused to eat. And Amnon said, Have out all men from me. And they went out every man from him.
“And Amnon said unto Tamar, bring the meat into the chamber, that I may eat of thine hand. And Tamar took the cakes which she had made, and brought them into the chamber to Amnon her brother.
“And when she had brought them unto him to eat, he took hold of her, and said unto her, Come lie with me, my sister.
“And she answered him, Nay, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing ought to be done in Israel: do not thou this folly.
“And I, whither shall I cause my shame to go? and as for thee, thou shalt be as one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, I pray thee, speak unto the king; for he will not withhold me from thee.
“Howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice: but, being stronger than she, forced her, and lay with her.” (2 Sam 13: 1-14)
May I say few things on this before continuing, this story teaches parents and children something great and important.
(i) Lead Your Children To Jesus
It tells us as parents that we need to guide our children in the paths of the Lord, we should endeavor to show them Christ, let them know Jesus, let them become saved, lead them to Christ with all you’ve got and then you will have rest,
(ii) Be Mindful of The Friends You Keep
As children, when we are growing up, we should mind those who we shall be associating with, when we have wrong friends, he will teach us wrong things,
(iii) Prevent Incest
When you are married to more than one person (in the case of divorce and all that common now) you should guide your children of opposite sex from how they will be relating to their stepsiblings to prevent something that God does not want from happening,
This is also true of someone who will be saved, a person who will give his heart to Jesus would at a time or another been disturbed about his way of life and would have been looking for means of escape until he hears the gospel.
Poll 5: Salvation
Are you still arguing with the gospel in your heart?
Poll 6: Debate
Is matter of salvation debatable?
When the person hears the gospel, the words sown by the sower would fall into a good heart in his heart and he would repent of his sins, confess those sins to Jesus and invite Jesus into his heart. He wouldn’t argue for long with the message, needless to add that he may not argue at all because he would see himself in the mirror of the Lord God.
When we see ourselves in the mirror of the gospel, when we see ourselves as the people of old saw themselves, all we need to do is ask as they asked that what shall we do to be saved and the answer with which they are replied is what you will also receive and it is “repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” (Act 3:19)
Rhoda was expecting, anxious to see Apostle Peter and she did not miss it when the man started knocking, she went straight to the door to answer who was there.
7. Not Praying Half Heartedly
Some people’s kind of prayers are enmeshed in fear, yet they will think God ought to answer such prayers. Have you ever seen a child who fearfully asks of something from his parents and his parents would not question him that what is wrong with you? If they do not question him immediately later, they will, and tell him that he shouldn’t fear them again. Even the most dangerous people to deal with in social circles, work places, their children are not afraid of them. Why are you afraid of talking to your God? You shouldn’t be afraid of talking to your father because he always desires wants to listen to you talk to him.
The gathered brethren praying for the release of Apostle Peter were though not afraid of God, but I think they were afraid of the King, and were perhaps thinking warrants of arrests could be issued by the king to get them arrested where they were gathered praying. Thus, they were not mindful of the door.
“And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them,
“Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
“And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide.” (Act 4:1-3)
The word used for “hold” in verse three is “τήρησις”, which is tērēsis (pronounced as tay'-ray-sis) meaning prison
Arresting them was the thing in vogue then, and I think those people were afraid of being arrested, thus they couldn’t open the door. But this maiden wasn’t afraid, she was constantly checking the door, she was being attentive of what would happen.
Remember that when God is for you, there is nothing anyone can do unto you. Remove fear and be optimistic, apply faith and what you are looking unto God for would be granted thee.
8. She Was Outstanding
Rhoda was outstanding because out of “many” gathered there which include males and females, young and old, she was the only one who was expecting to receive a miracle being earnestly asked for from their heavenly father.
“And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.” (Act 12:12)
When you are praying unto God for something act it out, be on the look out for express release of those things you are asking for from him.
9. Exercises Faith
She puts words of faith she has heard from their leaders to practice. She perhaps may have heard the account of the healing that happened through Apostles Peter and John at the beautiful gate, and after hearing the story she engrafted those words in her heart, that faith needs some actions too as the apostles did unto the man when he was just looking at them without taking step, the bible says, “and he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.” (Act 3:7).
Having engrafted that in her heart since the time she has heard the word, she knows that the time to exercise her faith has arrived, the time to put her faith into practice is there and then, thus she failed not to put it into practice to the chagrin of all.
It would interest you to know that when speakers are speaking, what would have meaning to person A may not have meaning to person B. it is also true that we have deeper understanding to the messages we heard than others.
Having heard the story, her understanding was deep and sincere, and she couldn’t hide it, she practices her faith when it mattered for if she has not gone to the door to see who was there, the fear may let the man turn back to another place after minutes of knocking.
Poll 7: Faith
Do you understand the messages of faith that you have read or heard?
Poll 8: Practice
Are you practicing your faith?
Poll 9: Exercise
Is it good to practice faith?
It is good to exercise one’s faith. When a mathematics student as example fails to practice what his teachers have taught him, the person would most likely not remember the formula again and if he remembers the formula, he won’t be a master in the formula. But someone who practices the formula often would master it and would be able to impact what learnt unto others.
Jesus wants us to exercise our faith. He showed the apostles this while with them, and he asked them to put their faith into action when he was with them. Those of us who believe him now, he is expecting nothing less from us, he wants us to put into practice those words of faith that we have heard, read and perhaps seen.
10. Overwhelmed by Joy
You can think about this for a second. You have been expecting something to happen for long, but many factors point to it that such may not happen, yet you keep trusting God for it. When what you have been expecting eventually manifests you will be overwhelmed by joy and would not know what to do immediately on the thing.
“And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda.
“And when she knew Peter's voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate.” (Act 12: 13-14)
That is likened to what happened unto the maiden, when she heard knock at the door, and went there to ask for who was at the door knocking on hearing the name, she was inundated for joy such that she does not know what to do, and had to run back to where the brethren are to tell them that their prayers have been answered.
When one is joyous, one could show some temporary madness.
11. Control Herself
After telling the brethren that their prayers have been answered and that Apostle Peter was at the door, the bible says they said she was mad.
“And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, it is his angel.” (Act 12:15)
Look at what those who were praying uttered? Those who should be joyous like her were not, but in the stead uttered what they ought not to utter because the bible says we should not utter filthy words.
“But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.” (Col 3:8)
Which kind of word are you uttering at your working places, at homes, on the streets?
Despite the filthy words that they utter, this wonderful spirit filled maiden never replied them, neither was she angry with them. She controlled herself, she does not allow flesh to overwhelm her to say something stupid because that is what the devil is always after.
Have you overcome flesh? People, brethren will always provoke you, they will say something you do not expect, they will say something you do not like, but when you have allowed Holy Spirit to dwell richly in you, you will put your body under control and would not toe their line as Rhoda did.
Poll 10: Response
How do you response to your spouse’s provocative utterances?
One of the attributes expected of a believer is being calm in the face of terrible utterances. Some families are no longer viable again because the partners cannot control themselves. Some couples have divorced themselves because they cannot put themselves under check and balances, under control.
This shouldn't be said of you and me, we should learn to control ourselves even when it seems impossible to do that. Soldiers are trained on how to control themselves, for failure to do that would not augur well for them, the war they have supposedly be winning may turn around and they will lose the war, but when they control themselves, they would surely win the war.
We are also soldiers of God, thence, we should learn to control ourselves, ask for the spirit of self control and this would be given you by God.
We need to learn how to put ourselves under control at home in offices yea everywhere we get to, because people will always do what would move us to anger, but when we exercise self-control, we shall be to overcome their negative attitudes and reveal ourselves as true children of God.
12. Gently Re-Affirmed Her Position
She gently re-affirmed her position that what she was saying was true, that they should come and see. Bible says gentle speech turns away wrath.
“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” (Pro 15:1)
What the enemies desire to achieve could not be achieved that day because of how she handled her choice of words because of how she replied them. We need to learn from her and handle our choice of words wisely.
13. Overlooked Their Doubt
The have shown their inconsistencies with their prayers by saying,” it is his angel.” (Act 12:15d). They by this shows their doubt, it shows that their hope for something like to happen is very minimal.
But this wonderful damsel overlooked what they said and told them softly that “even if it is his angel come and see the angel”.
You and I need to overlook others doubts and present our words in a way that would establish their feet in faith.
14. She Did Not Deride Them
The brethren agreed with her and went to the door to see if she was right or nay. When they got there, they discovered that she was right and opened the door for the Apostle. After the door has been opened, she does not decide to deride them, look down on them, saying “but you people said you have faith, which kind of faith do you have?” She did not say, but you people claim to have been following Christ even before I was born or something, why can’t you exercise simple faith? She did not say all of these, but they warmly received the apostle together into their midst and listened to his version of the story, to the miracle wrought by God for the apostle and the church.
“But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished.
“But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go shew these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place.” (Act 12:16-17)
Many of us when God has vindicated our words, what we do is mock and ridicule others, telling them that they do not have the Spirit of God in them, telling them that we are superior than they are spiritually.
15. The Fruit of Love Was Revealed in Her Life
One of the fruits of the spirit as stated in the book of Galatians is love.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love,..’ (Gal 5:22a)
When apostle Paul was explaining some of the attributes of someone who has love, he says love has the followings
“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
“Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
“Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
“Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” (1 Co 13: 4-7)
We can see the listed attributes of the person who has the fruit of love in him or her as stated by apostle Paul above. These were ostentatiously revealed in Rhoda’s life.
As I close this, to be an outstanding figure in faith and in Christianity we need to live a life that is exemplary. Rhoda shows this to all at the gathering and by this telling all of us that what matters in life is knowing what we are doing, we should know whom we believe and follow him, humans sometimes if not all the times would fail us through their actions, attitudes, beliefs but God would not fail us, it is him alone that we should always look forward to being like.
Questions: Simple Exercises From What Read To Show Your Understandingview quiz statistics
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