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There is a lot going on in today's Acts readings as Peter is freed from jail by an angel!
Verses 21 through 23 are a great great reminder to not ever accept anyone calling you a god - nor for you to every think of yourself as a god - "When the day arrived, Herod put on his royal robes, sat on his throne, and made a speech to them. The people gave him a great ovation, shouting, "It is the voice of a god, not of a man!" Instantly, an angel of the Lord struck Herod with a sickness, because he accepted the people's worship instead of giving the glory to God. So he was consumed with worms and died." We should never accept worship from others. The glory should always go to God. As the Psalmist so wisely and worshipfully says in Psalm 115:1, "Not to us, not to us, O LORD, but to your name be the glory."
Bible.org's commentary on today's Acts readings titled "The Death of James and the Deliverance of Peter" is at this link.
Wow. It is fun to read about Paul's first missionary journey! A very cool thing to note about today's readings is that Paul started his missionary journey not after an extensive planning session / retreat / etc. (all our modern day stuff of what we have to do before embarking on something...) No! Paul started his missionary journey after a time of worship & fasting and being filled with the Holy Spirit! The Spirit moved and thus Paul moved! It was that simple. Think we can learn something from this in our lives today? Are you listening to the Spirit's prompting in your life today? What is the Spirit prompting you to do? Will you do it? Check out Acts 13 verses 2 and 3 that show all it took for Paul to begin his missionary journey: "One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Dedicate Barnabas and Saul for the special work I have for them." So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them and sent them on their way."
I am a huge fan of Paul's epistles, and greatly enjoyed verses 9 through 11, which are Paul's first words that we've read in Acts since his conversion on the road to Damascus - "Then Saul, also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked the sorcerer in the eye and said, "You son of the Devil, full of every sort of trickery and villainy, enemy of all that is good, will you never stop perverting the true ways of the Lord? And now the Lord has laid his hand of punishment upon you, and you will be stricken awhile with blindness."" Paul was no joke! Below is a map of Paul's first missionary journey:
I love the way today's Acts readings finish up in verses 14 & 15 - "Barnabas and Paul traveled inland to Antioch of Pisidia. On the Sabbath they went to the synagogue for the services. After the usual readings from the books of Moses and from the Prophets, those in charge of the service sent them this message: "Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for us, come and give it!" Uh-oh! Think the folks in charge of the service are ready for a word from Paul and Barnabas? :) Stay tuned for the word of encouragement from Paul in tomorrow's readings! Below is an image of Barnabas:
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Acts titled "What a Way to Go" is at this link.
Acts 13 is a great sermon from Paul today! Really... this is about as good as it gets for a solid Gospel presentation. Go Paul. I love how he starts off in verse 16: "So Paul stood, lifted his hand to quiet them, and started speaking. "People of Israel," he said, "and you devout Gentiles who fear the God of Israel, listen to me." You'll note that Paul delivers this message to both Jews and Gentiles - he is preaching the Gospel for the world! Are you really listening to Paul's message to you in today's readings in Acts?
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Acts titled "Putting the Past in Perspective" is at this link.
Great readings today about how Paul and Barnabas' ministry to the Gentiles was growing! Verse 52 is awesome: "And the believers were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit."
Wow... amazing readings today... the thing that went through my mind while I was reading about Paul today was a very modern Christian song by Jonah33 called "Faith Like That" that goes like this:
"Oh I, I want Faith Like That
Whatever the cost
I'll suffer the loss, Oh I
I want the Faith That can move any mountain
and send them to the sea
I want the Faith that can break every stronghold
That keeps you, keeps you from me..."
Do you see the depth and strength and love of Paul's faith in verses 19 & 20 - "Now some Jews arrived from Antioch and Iconium and turned the crowds into a murderous mob. They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, apparently dead. But as the believers stood around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he left with Barnabas for Derbe." Paul is stoned and then gets back up and keeps going forward in his minstry for God! Next thing you know he is praying and fasting for elders in churches - after nearly getting stoned to death! I want a faith like that... Also, it is wonderful to read in today's readings how Paul and Barnabas tear their garments because they are so distressed that people were worshiping them as if they were gods! Would we react so quickly to stop people from worshiping us today I wonder... ?
Bible.org's commentary on today's Acts readings titled "Mission Accomplished" is at this link.
Worship God: Today's readings in Acts about Paul's missionary journey reminds me of the Britt Nicole song "The Lost Get Found:"
Are you Lost? Click here to be Found!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "But the word of God continued to increase and spread." Acts 12:24 (NIV)
Prayer Point: Pray that the Word of God continues to increase and spread in our world today. Pray that you are part of helping the Word of God increase and spread.
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
p.s. Download our monthly Small Group study notes for our Chronological Bible readings at this link.
p.p.s. Download a schedule of our Chronological Bible readings for the year in PDF format at this link.
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