Dave preached from Acts 4:8-14 this morning, looking at how Peter was changed from being with Jesus and how his boldness in speaking before the Sanhedrin was noticed by the leaders.

Peter, the local fisherman who was not well educated but whose impetuosity and hot-headedness had been his chief characteristics, was changed after Pentecost, filled with the Holy Spirit, enabled to testify to the gospel. The leaders’ only explanation for this was that ‘these men have been with Christ’. What should people see if we have been with Christ?

We are urged to be ‘imitators of God’. A Christian should be a striking likeness of Jesus. Jesus displayed the following characteristics, which must be seen in our lives too:
(1) Courage
Jesus was not afraid to speak God’s truth to the religious leaders, to be bold and to face unpopularity. He was not afraid of men.
(2) Love
Jesus accepted children, wept over the widow’s son, had compassion on all around Him, prompting healings and miracles. Christ is love personified. Our lives should be characterised by the same mercy and kindness that Jesus displayed.
(3) Humility
Jesus lived with the poor, washed His disciples’ feet, showed no favouritism to the rich, was the friend of tax-collectors and sinners. We need to show humility and the same kind of service in all our living.
(4) Holiness
We need to deny ourselves and be devout, showing patience and forgiveness in all that we do.

Dave also spoke about where and when we should be imitators of God. We should be imitators of God in the world, in the church, at home and in secret and we need to be like Him at all times, not separating ‘secular’ from ‘sacred’, but striving to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect.