Archive for : January, 2017

Acts 7

This chapter is one of my favorite readings! Stephen declares through the Spirit an amazing summary of Israel’s history. In doing so he unveils God scheme of redemption, showing how their history has always been pointing to the coming of Jesus the Messiah. As Stephen unfolds this story he also points out how they resisted the Spirit during this whole storyline. Let me suggest a question to mediate on, how did they resist the Spirit in their journey and how do we resist the Spirit in our journey?

Acts 6

I think that it is telling that the qualification for taking on the task of feeding the widows was not leadership skills but their spiritual character. Keep in mind, this was most likely no small task in a congregation around 20,000 in size, which is the estimated size of the Lord’s church at this time. The apostles wanted men who were lead by the Spirit and trusted in God! There are times I am afraid that the church looks for leaders with worldly skills of leadership and not men who are full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom. As a side bar – this is the first time in our readings when someone besides the apostles displayed the ability to perform miraculous signs.

Acts 5

Some amazing thing were going on in Jerusalem! You get the feeling that the church was now a growing force in the city. The text records that the apostles were performing some amazing miracles – just think the very shadow of Peter would heal people! Yet, it also very interesting that the text only records the apostles doing these miracles, which was the case since chapter two. So, everyone who was baptized was promised the gift of the Holy Spirit but only the apostles could do miracles, interesting.

Reflections

Today is a day to meditate on what you have read this week. It has been an exciting week in our readings – all those O.T. are now unfolding and it is a whole new ballgame!

Reflections – Just Like Us

“Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli (Luke 3: 23). Jesus was just like us—born with a past and a history—and we have been made to become like him. God wants you to be a masterpiece of his grace by living for his glory and expressing his goodness to others.”
52 Weeks with Jesus by James Merritt

Acts 4

The pray in this chapter has always caught my attention. I have often wondered what would happen if we had the faith to pray for boldness. I am reminded of what James wrote – “you do not have because you do not ask God.” I often pray the points that Paul requested the the Colossians to include in their prayers. “pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Col. 4:3-6

Acts 3

What stood out for me in this chapter is how Peter connected the whole O.T. and the promises of the coming Messiah to Jesus and His kingdom that was established on Pentecost. For Peter declared that Jesus and this new kingdom is the fulfillment of the prophecies given to Moses, Abraham, and all the prophets from Samuel on! In this short sermon Peter helps us see how it is all connected in one amazing storyline. What did you see in this chapter?

Acts 2

“It is time, it is time, the The Spirit has now been poured out and it is time!” Peter did not say those words exactly, but that is what he was declaring. Peter declared what took place that day was a fulfillment of Joel 2:28-32, the kingdom had arrived with power, a new era had begun, these were the last days! All through the O.T. the mark of this new and wonderful era for Isreal was the giving of the Holy Spirt to God’s people. Everything from this point forward will be different for those who accept the message and obey the gospel, who repent and are baptized for the forgiveness of their sins in the name of Jesus Christ! Happy New Era! Thank God we are now free at last!

Acts 1

Something that struck me in this chapter was the fact that Jesus had appeared to the apostles a number of times over a 40 day period and spoke to them about the kingdom of God. This period of teaching must have been both intense and exciting! Luke gives us a summary statement of what was covered during these 40 days in Luke 24:44-49. Their world and their understanding was truly turned upside-down in those 40 days,this must have been a truly AHA moment in their lives! Do you recall a time when you had a AHA moment when you were reading scripture?

Mark 16

This is our first encounter with the resurrection in our readings. I would argue that this event is one of the most important events in the history of mankind! It has always been my anchor when my faith was weak. For it is the resurrection that proves that Jesus was truly the “Son of God!” A truth that will then put a Divine stamp on both the Old and New Testament. What do you think?

Reflections

Today is a day to reflect over the readings of the last week. Any observations or comments you would like to share about our readings this week?

Reflections

Today is a day to reflect over the readings of the last week. Any observations or comments you would like to share about our readings this week?

Mark 15

We will encounter the Crucifixion four times this year in our readings. I would like to suggest each time we read about this event in the gospels that we step back and note what caught our attention as this event unfolded. For me it was what took place in the Praetorium. All the soldiers were doing was to bait Jesus to respond and strikeout, yet He did not do it! Peter wrote: “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself a to him who judges justly.” How Jesus responded to unjust suffering was to become a model for us when we face unjust suffering! I look to hearing from you.

Mark 14

“The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” That statement seems to be key in this chapter. As the chapter unfolds we see this struggle playing out in the disciples, Peter, Judas, and even Jesus! What did you observe as you read this chapter?

Mark 13

“If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping” The warning that Jesus gives us here is a reminder that His return will come at anytime! I am struck by the warning “do not let him find you sleeping!” Falling a sleep spiritually implies that we have become complacent about our spiritual walk. We are no longer focused on investing in our spiritual growth. Things like prayer, bible study, worship,and service take a back seat to the many activities of life. Satan lulls us into thinking Jesus’ return is not anything I need to be worried about today, I have too much to do! Yet, the warning over and over again is “therefore keep watch” because just when we begin to get drowsy spiritually – we will hear the trumpet call of God – and then it is too late! What do you think?

Mark 12

Jesus had an encounter with the Sadducees (they did not believe in the resurrection, or spirit, etc…) and they posed a question to Jesus to trip Him up. Yet as we see all through this chapter Jesus did a masterful job of handling all the questions! Jesus’ reply to the Sadducees gives us a window into life after death and the resurrection. What can we learn from Jesus’ reply to the Sadducees? How do you envision our existence after the resurrection?

Mark 11

In this chapter we find Jesus showing a side of Himself we have not seen, He overturns tables, drives out people in the temple courtyard, and curses a fig tree. What do you think this is all about?

Reflection

Today is a day to reflect over the readings of the last week. Any observations or comments you would like to share about our readings this week?

Reflection

Today is a day to reflect over the readings of the last week. Any observations or comments you would like to share about our readings this week?

Mark 10

The scene found in Mark 10:13-16 is precious! What lessons do you see in Jesus’ encounter with the children? What stood out for you as you read this chapter?