Acts

Marvelous Light – Retold


Acts 25:13-28:31

“A light from heaven brighter than the sun shone down on me” Acts 26:13

For the majority of this book of Acts we’ve read over and over Paul re-telling his story of the marvelous light that shone on him and caused him to change his thinking. I can think of no better way for us to end the reading of the book of Acts than with my own re-telling of my own marvelous light story! Enjoy! 😀

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Blind Spots


Acts 21:37-25:12

“I was blinded by the intense light and had to be led by the hand to Damascus by my companions.” Acts 12:11

This event in Saul/Paul’s life was so monumental and it fascinates me. Right now the part that fascinates me the most is the blindness that came as a result of finally seeing The Light. Why did it blind him rather than cause him to see better? I mean, I understand the physical realm ramifications of looking directly into the Sun are that you are blinded by the light. And perhaps the spiritual ramifications of looking directly at the Son are being blinded by The Light. But while Jesus was doing His ministry, people weren’t blinded from looking upon His face; they were healed of their blindness.

This topic fascinates me even further since I wrote about it last week in A Chosen Instrument. A day or two later one of my sons friends was over playing Nerf Darts with him and accidentally hit me in the corner of my eye with a dart from across the room. He felt horrible. But in that very moment I knew that it was something very important and connected spiritually somehow. I sat with my hand over my eye for quite some time. And when I took my hand away and tried to open my eye again I had a blind spot in my eye! A blind spot that is still there, at the top of my vision like a blinder covering my eyes. I’m still trying to find out if that’s a good thing or not spiritually. Physically it’s just annoying and concerning to me. (So I would appreciate your prayers for my eye to be completely healed in Jesus’ name.)

I would LOVE to hear your insights on the spiritual meanings you’ve found in Saul/Paul’s blindness and how you feel it has meaning in these scriptures. It CERTAINLY was a turning point in his life.

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*Get this! I just went back to find the post I linked to at the top of the page here, and read the prayer aloud to Sean while he was making his breakfast and when I said, “In Jesus’ name, Amen” He said that the “de-scale” light on the coffee maker just came on!!!!! LOL!!!!! God is so hilarious!!!! And AWESOME!

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The Truth in the Confusion


Acts 19:1-21:36

The Story: OK, so I’ve been struggling to keep up with the pages for the Story. It’s in chronological order and was written to be read in that order. This has been bothering me greatly. So after much discussion with Sean we decided to do something a little different with the Story. Sean’s going to have a blog of his own, I’ll link to it as soon as it’s up. He is planning on writing through the Story when we get that up and going.

“Since he couldn’t find out the truth in all the uproar and confusion, he ordered that Paul be taken to the fortress.” Acts 21:34

Have you ever played Dizzy Lizzy? It’s a really fun game with two teams running a relay race. You start with a bat, one end touching the ground and the other end touching your forehead. Then you have to spin around the bat ten times before running down to the end of the field and back tagging the next teammate so that they can do the very same thing. It’s one of the most hilarious things to watch in the world! When it’s your turn, when your teammates yell out, “ten” and you stand up straight, it’s no longer you that’s spinning, but your entire world is. And you’re trying to stumble around in order to make some movement toward the end of the field, but you really don’t get very far because, well, because you’re dizzy from the spinning and you can’t really see straight. Your balance is usually off and it takes a few seconds for everything to straighten back up again so that you can really RUN.

That’s how I have felt this last week. With so many changes that have hit all at once, mainly the kids being home for summer vacation, it feels like I’ve been thrown into a Dizzy Lizzy game. June 1st hit and my team shouted, “ten”, and I went to run and instead I felt like I just stumbled through this entire last week. I’ve always done my reading and usually my writing in the morning because it’s calmer in the mornings. But last week I found that it was very difficult to do. With work and taking care of the kids and getting them on track it was very difficult to get the reading done let alone any real writing. I was having trouble putting two thoughts together let alone sentences that made sense! There were some days I didn’t finish until 10pm or later! So yesterday during the quiet of my Sabbath I took the time to pray and to PLAN. I looked at my schedule and realized that there was really only one way that this was going to work, get up REALLY early and do it while everyone was asleep.

So here I am at five in the morning, reading and tapping away on my little computer, storing up the Truth for the day. (And PRAYING for a nice nap later in the day, I run on SLEEP not caffeine.) And when I got to the end of today’s Word of the Day, this verse hit me like a ton of bricks. “Since he couldn’t find out the truth in all the uproar and confusion”. It’s so much more difficult to find out the Truth, the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth when everything around you is dizzy and chaotic. If you’re world is spinning from change or trauma it’s kinda hard to focus in on the Truth your seeking when you’re simply trying to figure out which direction you’re going. And that’s what hit me; Satan is the Author of Chaos! He is the Father of Lies and the Thief of Truth and if he could keep me spinning, then he could keep me from finding new Truths. And oh! If he could keep me from finding new Truths then he could keep me from telling them to you so that you would know them too.

But God is good and gracious and is an ever present strength in times of trouble. He is the Author of Order, the Father of Truth and the Giver of Revelation. And most of all, He LOVES us. He wants us to know His Truth, to seek it like a buried treasure, hidden from those who would scorn it. But like the great Father playing hide and seek with His two year old, He doesn’t hide it where it’s truly hard to find if you’re actually looking for it. Often it’s right out there in the open you just have to have the eyes to see it and the ears to hear it, which He gives you readily when you ask.

Which brings me to realize; I haven’t shared my Morning Prayer with you in a VERY long time!!! I’m so sorry! This prayer was given to me straight from Holy Spirit on the day after my pilgrimage on the Emmaus Road. (The Walk to Emmaus, click here for more life changing information on this amazing weekend with Jesus!) He then began adding to it throughout the weeks and months that followed. I’ll be giving you the core of the prayer, but I’ll tell you that, for me, every morning it comes out a little differently.

morning prayer 4x6

Lately, I’ve been focusing on opening my heart to FULLY receive His love for me today. I’ve been spending a lot more time praying about the receiving of love lately; that I would receive and see and feel and appreciate His love for me more and that I would then translate that love to my husband and my children and my friends more. Love conquers all! These three remain, faith, hope and love the greatest of these is love! If faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains, what can love do??? THAT’S what I want to find out. THAT’S the secret hidden treasure I search for every morning. If His love for us is the greatest treasure in all the land, then that’s the treasure I’m seeking. That’s the treasure I want to find. That’s the treasure that can do more than move mountains, it can heal wounds inflicted so deeply and so badly that there seems to be no human hope of healing them. But Jesus’ Love can!

Jesus’ Love can move more than mountains, it moves Heaven and Earth to find a single lost little lamb. And then brings it lofted upon shoulders back into the flock where there is such rejoicing in Heaven, the likes of which has never been seen.

Today is Sunday, and that means it’s Sunday SHMILY day! Sadly, I don’t really have that many pictures to share with you this week; though God gave me hundreds of hearts and smiles. But they were all so quick there was no way for me to photograph them. However, on Friday I was able to get this beauty on “film”!

wpid-20140606_184731.jpg

And in our first watermelon of the season too! He is so sweet!

Have a fantastic day ya’ll! I love you!!!!!

Categories: 365 Life, Acts, Season 3 | 1 Comment

He Satisfies Every Need


Acts 15:36-18:28

The Story: From “After this Paul and Barnabas had a sharp disagreement…” on p 411 to the end of the second paragraph on p 416.

“He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since He is Lord of heaven and earth, He doesn’t live in man-made temples and human hands can’t serve His needs. He Himself gives life and breath to everything, and He satisfies every need.” Acts 17:24-25

As a mom, the number one phrase we hear is usually, “Mooooom…. I need…” The number two phrase is, “Honey… I need…” As mothers we are constantly shepherding our flock to still waters and green pastures, finding missing socks, absent backpacks and books and yes, upon occasion even the missing child. We spend so much of our days meeting everyone’s needs. And I think that is why this verse may just be one of the mom verses of the year. “Human hands can’t serve His needs. He Himself gives life and breath and everything, and HE satisfies every need.” There is absolutely nothing that your hands can do to serve a need that God has. Rather, it is HE that satisfies every one of YOUR many needs. Isn’t that such a WONDERFUL message???

 

As a side note, I could really use your prayers friends. This week has been SO DIFFICULT trying to get posts written! There have been quite a few changes in schedules and summer vacation has started and, well, it’s just been a lot for me to handle. I’m confident that I’ll get there, but, until then I would really appreciate your prayers. THANK YOU!!! 😀

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Something the Law of Moses Could Never Do…


Acts 13:1-15:35

The Story: from page 407 to the last full sentence on page 411

“Brothers listen! We are here to proclaim that through this man Jesus there is forgiveness for your sins. Everyone who believes in Him is declared right with God – something the Law of Moses could never do.” Acts 13:38-39

After spending the last hour and a half studying these two verses, translating them from the original Greek into English and then trying to write about them; I’ve come to the point of realizing that I can’t explain this message any better or more clearly than the NLT just did. Happy 5th of June!

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Clean


Acts 9:23-12:25

The Story: from “After many days…” at the very bottom of page 400 to the bottom of 405

“God has made it clean.” Acts 10:15

OK, I’m going to admit, this is a stretch as a devotional, but it fits my life perfectly today! And hey, God had me write a post on dishwasher gunk and this is right along those lines.

The kids have been home from school on summer vacation for 4 days now. Over the winter, being shut in for the majority of it and then all the construction this spring, the house has gone downhill fast especially their rooms. And we’ve all been working hard for the last month or two to really get things spiffed back up. Now, there have been many occasions when I’ve talked about my obsession with perfection and neatness and how I’ve had to deal with things not being precisely perfect. Case in point, last night I noticed that my hairspray, mousse, and getll all have varying levels of “hold” from 2-4 and I had to resist the urge to put them in order. And just as I decided against rearranging them into ascending order I noticed they were already in descending order, and I brathed a sigh of relief thinking, “that can be good enough”.

Yes, I really am that particular. Sad isn’t it? It took months for me to allow the spoons and forks in the drawer to NOT spoon together so that someone other than me could put them away. And lets not even get started on the left over container drawer!

It’s all about control and order and me allowing the other members of my family to have some. Here in our house we emphasize teamwork. But if I’m the one doing all the cleaning while they’re doing all the messing that’s not a very good team. We ALL live here, we all make the messes, we all clean them up. I’ll admit, it’s been extremely difficult giving up my OCD ways in order to have an imperfectly clean house, but it’s been worth it. I mean seriously, think about it, what’s more important – that the spoons all face the same way or that they’re all clean and put away?

As my children have aged and life has shifted from changing their diapers to shaping their hearts I’ve had to change my ways and how I do things. For years I did it all myself – mostly because I had to. (And developed quite a few “particulars” because of it.) But that’s not the case now. They’re seven and (almost) twelve, they need to learn how to empty a dishwasher and do their own laundry, how to clean and organize a room and to, yet, even clean a toilet. We’re a team and as a team we all work together to make our home an enjoyable place to live in… instead of a hazardous waste dump.

So! On Monday I gave the children the “we’re a team” speech and handed them a (short) list of chores that had to be done before the TV came on. And for the last week or so I’ve been pinning things to my “Home” board on Pinterest to get inspiration for a fun chores list for them to track their progress. And this is what I’ve done.

First I made a list of all the things in our home that need done every week, leaning heavily on the items from the lists that I had pinned earlier so that I wouldn’t miss anything. Then I took that list, divided it into fourths and made a master list for each member of our family. They look something like this:

For a printer friendly PDF version click here. 😀

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Chosen Instrument


Acts 7:1-9:22

The Story: From “Then the high priest asked Stephen,” on pg 398 to “by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.” On pg 400.

“The LORD said, ‘Go, for Saul is My chosen instrument to take My message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel.” Acts 9:15

You know the moment, when teams are being picked and the captains are taking turns choosing team members. Do you hold your breath, praying that you’re not the last one chosen? Have you ever tried out for a part in a play, or interviewed for a job? At some point in all our lives we’ve all wanted something – to be chosen. Whether it was for a team, a part, or a position, it’s all the same. We all want to be “the one” that gets chosen. We want to be someone’s preferred person for that job.

In today’s Word of the Day Saul was that person. God had chosen him, Saul of Tarsus, to be His ambassador of the Good News to the Gentiles. God knew that Saul, the zealous murderer and persecutor of His church would be the perfect person to preach about Grace to the world. Why? God knew that experience is one of the best teachers. And who better to teach about God’s amazing Grace than someone who had received such a huge dose of it that it turned their lives so completely upside down that EVERYONE around was bound to notice.

In Luke 7:36-50 Jesus is sitting at dinner with his friends and some religious officials when a sinful woman comes in and washes His feet with her tears, dries them with her hair, kisses them and anoints them with expensive perfume. Simon, the host of the dinner, said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, He would know what kind of woman is touching Him. She’s a sinner!” And Jesus, knowing Simon’s thoughts told him a parable.

There was a man who lent two men money. To one he lent $29,000 and the other he lent $2,900. Neither of them could pay him so he canceled both their debts. Which one is going to love him more, thank him more and be more appreciative of the cancelation of the debt?

The one who owed more!

While all the apostles were grateful for their sins having been forgiven them, Saul was even more so! Unlike the other apostles (but just like Moses and David) Saul had committed murder. And he hadn’t murdered murderers, or thieves, or drug dealers, he had murdered innocent men doing God’s will!!! Talk about a debt of guilt!

God CHOSE Saul to be a minister of Grace because he had received more of it than anyone else! Saul knew what it felt like to realize his sins and to be forgiven for ALL of them. Saul knew what it felt like to have THE marvelous light shine down on him in such power that it blinded him. It blinded him and made him see.

For the first time he saw the TRUTH that he hadn’t been fighting men, he had been fighting God! The light of the Truth knocked him down from his high horse to the dust from which he came and provided clarity of vision. He realized in the light of that moment how blind he had been and repented of his ways. Saul thought he had been fighting for God and came to realize that he had been fighting against God. But God is good and gracious and had chosen Saul for a specific job; a job that Saul would be perfect for, once he saw the light. And oh my friends, once he saw the light of God’s amazing Grace, there was NO stopping Saul in the completion of God’s chosen mission for him!

Lord, I thank You that You have chosen us and not rejected us. I thank You that like Saul we too are Your chosen instrument for Your chosen plan for us. And I praise You for it. Lord, if there is something where we’ve been fighting You, I pray that today You would shine Your marvelous light upon our blindness and help us to see with brilliant clarity precisely what You’ve chosen us for. Lord, I thank You for the knowledge and reassurance that once we stop fighting against You on this and start fighting with You – we too will be unstoppable! In Jesus’ name, Amen!!!

Categories: 365 Life, Acts | 3 Comments

Fighting Against God


Acts 4:1-6:15

The Story: 394-398 (stopping at “…and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.”

“Then [Gamaliel] said to his colleagues, ‘Men of Israel, take care what you are planning to do to these men! Some time ago there was that fellow Theudas, who pretended to be someone great. About 400 others joined him, but he was killed, and all his followers went their various ways. The whole movement came to nothing. After him, at the time of the census, there was Judas of Galilee. He got people to follow him, but he was killed too, and all his followers were scattered. So my advice is, leave these men alone. Let them go. If they are planning and doing these things merely on their own, it will soon be overthrown. But if it is from God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You may even find yourselves fighting against God!'” Acts 5:35-39

Is it just me, or is this story extremely comforting? If you’re doing something for God, no one will be able to overthrow you. No one will be able to stop you, hinder you, perhaps. But stop you? No way! If God is for you then WHO can be against you? And if they ARE against you, then they will find themselves fighting against God. And you’ve got to know as well as I do what a pointless battle that is! It’s a dreadful thing to fall into the plan that fights AGAINST God! I’ve been there, I’ve tried it. It DOESN’T work. Trust me.

But then there are the plans that fight WITH God… mmmmm, those are the BEST plans. Those are the plans that no matter what happens to try and trip you up and make you fall, they still end up succeeding! Just look at Joseph! God gave him the “plan” in a dream. And almost immediately that plan was thrown into a tizzy. He was flung into a pit by his o-so-loving brothers, then they sold him into slavery where he went to work for Potiphar in Egypt. But then after working there for a while Potiphar’s wife decided that if she couldn’t have Joseph then no one could. And he ended up getting thrown into Pharaoh’s jail where everything he touched practically turned to gold earning him favor and prestige. Until one day Pharaoh himself called for Joseph so that he could take advantage of his dream interpretation skills, which ended up earning him the second highest position in all of Egypt. When a severe famine hit the land it forced Joseph’s brothers to travel to Egypt in order to get food from none other than Joseph himself, whom they’d written off as good as dead. The moment that they bowed in submission to him (without knowing yet that it was Joseph) the plan that God had given him in his dream came to fruition. In all the things that the Enemy threw into Joseph’s path in order to keep him from becoming everything that God had planned for him, all Satan did was push Joseph to EXACTLY where he was supposed to be.

In today’s Word of the Day the apostles were being held for questioning because they had healed a crippled man and had been teaching in the name of Jesus. By the sound of it the majority of the high council was highly intimidated by these “unschooled ordinary men” who spoke so boldly; obviously they had spent time with Jesus. In their fear of the apostles the high council wanted to get rid of the apostles. But the wise one among them, clearly impressed by the signs and wonders committed by these apostles and perhaps some of their teaching, spoke up. In his wisdom he had noticed that when these two other upstarts had gathered a following, when they died the movement died with them. Yet that’s not what was happening with the death of Jesus, instead it was spreading… RAPIDLY! And with signs and wonders!

If God is not in this, then it will fail.

BUT

If God is in this, then it can not fail!

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A New Season of Telling an Old Story

Acts 1:1-3:26

The Story: pages 389-394 (only finish the sentence from the bottom of pg 393)

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be My witnesses, telling people about Me everywhere – in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the Earth.” Acts 1:8

Oh my friends how I have missed you this week!!!!! There were so many things I wanted to tell you! God is amazing, period. He is good and gracious and kind and loving and He is all ours!

I’m very excited to be starting Season 3 of 365 Life here on the blog today. If you’re unfamiliar with this program you can find its back story here and the Season 3 Reading Plan here and Outline here. Last week we finished Season 2 of 365 Life as we read through the Bible Alphabetically in the English Standard Version, today we’re starting the New Living Translation. If you, or someone you know, is interested in having the entire Season 2 of 365 Life Blog Postings they’re available here as a Kindle e-book.

I’m also delighted to say that Sean was able to get a great many copies of The Story from our church over the winter so we’re hoping to get those into as many people’s hands as possible this summer at the Demolition Derbies. So, I will also be including page numbers for that along with the Word of the Day so anyone who is using that form of the Bible will be able to follow along with us as we go. 😀 Please be praying for God’s will to be done with the Derby side of the ministry this year. We’ve been feeling God nudging us to go bigger this year and that is, of course, intimidating to an extreme level; and yet, exciting to an extreme level too. Oh the plans He has for us, plans that we haven’t seen yet but only glimpsed from a distance…

Anyway, enough business talk! Let’s move on to today’s Word of the Day, shall we? 😀

In today’s reading we find a new beginning. The beginning, it’s a great place to start in any book, right? In the very beginning God created the heavens and the earth, in this beginning He has come down from heaven to earth, changed absolutely everything they’ve ever known about Him, and then He went from Earth back to Heaven leaving His apostles to tell His story (which is History) to the world. My friends, nothing has changed since then. His story is still being told today by His apostles – you and me. He walked side by side with them and He walks side by side with us. (Acts 2:25 “I see that the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for He is right beside me.”) Oh my friends, He is RIGHT BESIDE YOU! If that’s not a message you need today then I don’t know what is! NO matter what you’re going through, no matter how awful or awesome He is RIGHT BESIDE YOU. If you’re in the mud and the muck, He is RIGHT THERE saying, “OK, we’re going to get out of this”. If you’re on the mountain top, He is RIGHT THERE saying, “See, I told you we’d get out of there.”

No matter where you are and what you’re going through the power of the Holy Spirit is right there with you, ready to guide your way out of a mess and into a message of how He saved you from the mess. We ALL have been called to be His witnesses, not just to Jerusalem, not just to our friends and relatives, but to the ends of the earth! Each and every one of us has a story to tell, a testimony of how Jesus has come through for us in some way or another. Those stories need told!!! Whether in a movie, a book, a blog, a Facebook page, a conversation, or our lives, the story MUST be told. HIS story must be told. The story of Jesus didn’t end on the cross or at the ascension into heaven. (Spoiler alert) The book of Acts doesn’t end. Every single letter written by the apostles has a greeting at the beginning and a salutation at the end… every letter except Acts. Acts ends abruptly and with no salutation. In fact, in the Greek it actually ends with a word that anyone with half a brain wouldn’t end a Greek sentence with. (You know like how proper English doesn’t end sentences with prepositions, like “with”.) 😉 The book of Acts has no end, because the acts of the Holy Spirit aren’t finished. The Holy Spirit is here to help us, to be with us and in us and to guide us into all Truth. He’s here because we need Him.

And I for one am ever-so-grateful that He is with me! Grateful enough to start a blog, and spend thirty minutes a day reading His Word and then writing about it on the blog so that SOMEBODY else who may be going through the same muck that I am might, perhaps, benefit from the Words I read and the Words the Holy Spirit speaks to me while I’m reading them. This is MY testimony, this is MY message, this is MY telling of His Story – and it’s a beautiful story.

Don’t forget to tell yours to someone today. I know you have one.

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Because it’s Sunday and I’ve been saving them for a week, here are my Sunday SHMILY’s! 😀

My flowers from Mother’s Day.

The picture Anna drew during Children’s Church. Flowers on the side of the road.

A smile in my ketchup packet during Gabe’s graduation from fifth grade celebration dinner.

That little black spot on the road the tread from my tire!!! Gabe, Anna and Skippy super bored and hot while waiting for me to try and change my tire on my own. You know, because no one was stopping to help me.

God would just so have it that the sheriff from Boone county was just *happening* to be on his way home from Indy and saw me and HE stopped to help me. Thank You Jesus!!!

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“Shipwrecked” with Guest Writer Mark Trietsch

Word of the DayActs 25:13-28:31

Good morning all! So yesterday I finished the post, Take a Break! And then headed off to church and lo and behold wouldn’t you know it that the message God had waiting there for me to receive was that I should…take a break! Imagine that! LOL. So, just as THE doctor has directed I am taking this week off from posting. I will still be reading all the readings and writing about them, just none of you will ever get to see them. Instead, we will all be blessed to receive offerings from several friends of mine that have so graciously agreed to submit a story, or picture or video, whatever God leads them to share with us.

So without further ado, I present to you today’s guest writer, Mark Trietsch! Let’s give him a warm welcome.

*round of thunderous applause*

At our church Sunday, we had a very interesting guest speaker. His name is Douglas Carmel, (I hope I have his last name spelled correctly), and he is a Christ believing Jew. We have been studying the Passion of the Christ in my Sunday school class of middle-schoolers. So, I had Doug come in to speak to the class, as clearly, he would have more knowledge of Jewish history than I would.

One of the topics I asked Doug to address was the Roman-Jewish relationship. It struck me, the dynamic that presents itself so clearly, in both the case of Jesus and why Paul was sent to Agrippa. Doug explained to the class that the Romans didn’t really have a problem with Christianity, at least early on. They didn’t have a problem, because they didn’t really care. As explained by Doug, the Romans had their own gods, the gods of Olympus, so another religion wasn’t a huge concern for them. They were more interested in taxes. Worship anything you want, just keep the tax money rolling in. Sounds a lot like our government today, but that is another story.

The similarity in both cases is uncanny. The Jewish leaders, who knew the Old Testament, and therefore should have recognized the truth in the ministries of Jesus and Paul wanted them to be shut up by any means possible. This meant appealing to the very Romans, which they themselves hated, to do the dirty work for them. Meanwhile, the Romans, who knew little to nothing about Moses and the prophets, in both cases found the accused guilty of nothing.

Makes me think about how often times it is the people who should know better that are the hardest to reach with the Gospel. People who perhaps went to church as a child, attended vacation Bible school and heard all the stories, yet that is all they are to them, stories, People who can recite the Christmas story front to back, sing about the Silent Night but deny the very words they are singing. They may be the very definition of a “good person”, but ultimately they refuse to live for Jesus. They have head knowledge, but not heart knowledge. I marvel at the stories and testimonies of the drug addict or the alcoholic, with very little going for them, that they will receive the message of Christ openly, while the “normal” person shuts out the truth.

The other main thought I had while reading these chapters was that Paul never lost sight of his goal, his mission. Whether standing before a Roman ruler or an island dweller, Paul continued to present the Gospel message. He never let his circumstances change his mission.

It makes me cringe to think how often I let my daily surroundings determine my mood. If things are going bad at work, does that give me a valid reason to blow up, lose my cool, and act like a loon? Sitting in my living room, the answer is a very clear “of course not”. Yet how often do we let small things take us away from our ultimate mission. How many times do we let work situations, or the behavior of our kids, determine whether we publically show Christ’s love to others today? Or, will we get mad at our temporary hardship and focus on our need, and how we are being “cheated”? Through chains, prison, house arrest and shipwrecks, Paul saw every situation not as reason to throw up his hands and quit, but as a new stage to present the Word of God. Paul looked to make the best of every situation and circumstance.

Makes one want to lower their heads a little. Most likely we will never find ourselves lost at sea, or shipwrecked, or stand in chains before those which could kill us. Yet we can almost look for reasons not to be a witness for Jesus, to decide to “turn it off” if we feel like it. May we strive to be more like Paul, to see the opportunity in whatever God presents us with and to carry our witness for Him wherever we find ourselves.

Categories: 365 Life, Acts, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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