Jewish religious authorities worked hard to silence the voices testifying that Jesus is Lord. But it’s tough to fight God when he sends his angel to release his people from prisons and commands them to proclaim the good news about Jesus right in the heart of the Temple! God’s actions caused these religious leaders to pause, but not to change their hostile attitude.Read More
The earlier sections of Acts 8 indicate that Philip was having an exciting time sharing the gospel in the region of Samaria. Many people were responding. In the midst of this productive ministry God sends Philip some distance away to meet a single person. This individual has political status, is a Jewish proselyte, is learned enough to read the Hebrew text of Isaiah, and is Ethiopian.Read More “God-thing”, appointments, witness
Read Reflect Well, isn’t this ironic? I am writing this meditation of the evening of the first Presidential Candidate’s Debates in the 2016 electoral campaign in the United States. Sentences in today’s passage are not unlike the brash declarations being heard in this most bizarre of campaigns. “Run for you lives”, “Light a signal fire”, […]Read More justice, warning, witness
Read Reflect Among the many prophetic warnings Jeremiah is told to speak to the people, are a few visible demonstrations which are meant to convey prophetic truths. Chapter 13 has two of these. Firstly, Jeremiah is instructed to buy and wear a pair of linen shorts, then told to go and hide them in a […]Read More ruin, stubborn disobedience, witness
When I read this I’m overawed by the faithfulness of Paul in his prayers. The Christians there had not come to faith through Paul, and he had not met most of them. Yet he never stopped praying for them.
How often do we allow the pressures of life to become an excuse for our lack of prayer?Read More inclusiveness, prayer, witness
The Jews believed they were the chosen people, and that God had blessed them by revealing himself to them. Yet when they read here what Paul was saying to them about their traditions they must have thought that he was making light of all they held as precious.
Paul anticipates this criticism. He assures them he is not discrediting all that God has done for them.Read More privilege, responsibility, witness
Over the years of Christian mission abroad there have been harrowing tales of missionaries who faced danger and death. However no one could have had a more difficult assignment than Paul and his companions as they faced their enemies in Jerusalem. Paul tried to make them understand his strong roots in Jewish religion.Read More challenge, conversion, witness
The brilliant and bold defense of the Gospel by Paul in chapter 26 belongs to the next author. However there is nothing in that speech that we have not heard previously. Whether the audience has been the Sanhedrin Council or the officials of the Roman Empire, Paul talks about his credentials as a Pharisee.Read More faith, witness
Paul shows us here how to deal with two areas that many Christians struggle with, namely prayer and sharing the gospel. His advice is pithy and plain – pray diligently and speak the truth of the gospel at every opportunity. These are matters in which Satan manages to deflect and defeat us more often than we’d like to admit.Read More discipline, prayer, thankfulness, witness