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In Acts 15 today we read about Paul not wanting to bring along John Mark on the next missionary journey. Good news is that Paul and Mark were eventually reunited in missionary efforts. Some speculate that it was because Barnabas went with Mark at this juncture, Barnabas' patient encouragement helped Mark's eventual effective ministry. In fact, John Mark is the very same Mark who wrote the Gospel of Mark! How's that for encouragement changing the world?? Is there anyone in your life today who you think could be a great worker for God's kingdom with some encouragement? Will you be like Barnabas was for John Mark and work with and encourage that person? Below is an image of Barnabas the encourager:
Today in Acts 16 we read about Paul's 2nd missionary journey, which took place around AD 49-52. - (map courtesy of ccel.org/bible/phillips/JBPhillips.htm)
Great readings about the conversion of Lydia of Philippi today! She was a business woman and a Gentile (like Cornelius) who loved God. And the Lord opened her heart and she believed! Praise God for his continual ministry of opening people's hearts to the Gospel. Has your heart been opened like Lydia's was opened?
Bible.org's commentary on today's Acts readings titled "When Division Becomes Multiplication" is at this link.
Today in Acts 16 we will read about the earthquake that comes while Paul and Silas are imprisoned!
As a trembling jailer comes to Paul and Silas we will read this in verses 30 through 34 – “"Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household." Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family.” This is a wonderful look at how many of us become and grow as Christians! We first hear the Good News of how Jesus came to this earth fully human and fully God – how he lived a sinless life and died on the cross for our sins – and how he rose from the dead and will come again. Then, through God’s grace, we believe! We simply believe. From there we learn more about God from others and through studying his Word, the Bible – we can call this discipleship. Then comes a decision to be baptized – to publicly profess our faith in Jesus as our Savior. Then comes living a joyful life of community with others. Now – yes – this is a very abbreviated example of how one becomes and grows as a Christian. :) And our various denominations will probably put the order of how all this happens in various ways. But, can you see similarities in your own faith journey with the jailer’s conversion, baptism, and growth as a Christian? Do you remember first hearing the Good News of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection? Do you remember the day you first Believed? Do you remember learning more about the Word, the Bible? (hopefully you’ll remember this year’s One Year Bible journey! :) Do you remember being baptized (or maybe you’ll have photos or stories from your younger years)? Do you now joyfully live life in community with other Christians through your local church? If you haven’t yet experienced all of these things, will you pray to God asking him for the experiences He has planned for you? And, when others in your life come to you like the jailer, asking “What must I do to be saved?” are you prepared to give them the joyful answer?
Bible.org's commentary on today's Acts readings titled "Paul in Philippi: From the Purveyor of Purple to the Purveyor of Pain" is at this link.
Great reading about Paul's travels and preaching in Acts 17 today!
I absolutely love the quote in verse 6 where the Jewish leaders of Thessalonica say: ""Paul and Silas have turned the rest of the world upside down, and now they are here disturbing our city," they shouted." Have you ever heard that the Kingdom of God is an "upside down" kingdom? That the values of the Kingdom of God are upside down compared to worldly values? Paul and Silas turned the world upside down. How are you turning the world upside down in your life today?
Worship Video: Today's readings reminds me of the song "Thank You" by 33 Miles:
Have you said Thank You to God? Click here and thank Him!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on three verses of Scripture today: "The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved — you and your household." Acts 16:29-31 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you are telling other people in your life to "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved." Pray that you life your life in such a Spirit-filled and loving way that people come to you periodically to ask, "What must I do to be saved?"
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.
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