Thursday, January 14, 2010

New thru 30 / Acts 5:1 - 15:41

Our church is reading the New Testament together over the course of the next 30 days. This is a huge goal, but I think it will bring great results for those who read it together. I'm posting some personal observations from the daily reading...

- So many times we want people to think we are better than what we really are. Ananias and Sapphira had this problem. (Granted they have one of the top ten all-time Jr. Church songs written about them... but you wouldn't want that.) I gather from their story that God cares about being real/honest with one another.

It's also good to remember who our sin is actually against... just because we may fool some people, we will never fool God! And our sin is going against God!!!

The scary thing for me to think about is that while we rarely see instant ramifications for sin in our churches, God will not be mocked, we will reap what we sow. (Galatians 6:7)

- I love the wisdom of Gamaliel in chapter 5. If what these men are doing is from God, you don't want to get in their way!! If it's not from God, it will fail. Interesting that here we are almost 2,000 years later...

- Stephen's speech in Acts 7 is a concise record of HIStory... how everything that has happened in this world is used by God to tell HIS - story.

- It amazes me that when persecution broke out against the church, and everyone had to scatter, they still told people about God's message as they were running!! The things in life we view as tragedies or distractions are actually the very things God can use to impact others for Him.

- I'm thankful that Barnabas in Acts 9:27 was willing to take a chance on a guy named Saul. It would have been risky... there would be many questions as to whether or not he had really changed... but Barnabas took the risk and got to know Saul... he saw the change was real... and because of Barnabas, we know of the guy named Saul, whose name was changed to Paul.

- Aren't you glad your name isn't Dorcas? Although I'm sure she was a real deer. =) (Check your footnotes)

- Even the 1st century church had to have meetings to discuss who could be in or out of the group. How sad that we get so caught up on our own standards for group admission that we forget the good news is for everyone!!

- What a contrast in Acts 12:24... King Herod thought he was something special; but he died. And God's message kept on spreading.

- Isn't it amazing what God can do through a life totally surrendered to Him? Reading about the missionary journeys makes me wonder what could happen today if I was totally committed to following God?

- Paul and Barnabas have an argument and decide to go in separate directions. The fight was over taking Mark with them on their trip. Paul didn't want to because Mark had quit on their previous journey.

The cook thing about Paul and Mark is the restoration that took place. Over in 2 Timothy 4:11 Paul writes, "Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry." Through time Paul found that Mark could be trusted. That Mark was useful in ministry.

It's a great lesson that we should not give up on anyone... but continually mentor and disciple people to follow Jesus.


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