June 19 – (Acts 14:8-18) In verses 8-18, Paul prays for and God heals a man. The people then want to worship Paul. Paul and Barnabas try to explain that God is the source but the crowd wants to sacrifice to them! I think it was because the people were idol worshippers and just added Paul and Barnabas to their list of idols to worship. As we see something working in our lives, do we depend on that more than on God? That could be idol worship. Let’s take another look at our lives and see who or what we depend on the most. Selah
June 20 – (Acts 14:19-28) My how the attitude changes with just a few persuading them that Paul and Barnabas are evil (or have done wrong things). First, let’s be very careful about voicing our “opinions” about the motivations of fellow Christians. Next, how do we react when we are persecuted because of our faith? Do you think they rejoiced that their tribulations were so much like what they saw Jesus go through? And yet today when we face any tribulation because of our faith, we think we have sinned or are not in God’s perfect will. Maybe we need to get a different perspective and “count it all joy”!
June 21 – (Acts 15:1-11) Do you think this is the beginning of division of the early church? Today we’ve divided over all kinds of things. Name a few different denominations and how they are different in how they believe. What are the ‘sticky’ points? What is the common ground? How are we confusing the new believer and what are we doing about it?
June 22 – (Acts 15:12-21) When some apostles had begun to leave Jerusalem for a wider witness, the Jerusalem leadership was continued by others. Jesus’ brother James had a prominent role (12:17; 21:18-25). At the Jerusalem council, James supported Peter’s conclusions about a “circumcision-free” Gentile mission and offered a suggestion for establishing fellowship between Jewish and Gentile Christians. James refers to the “prophets” (v.15), showing that he could appeal to more than one OT text to defend the inclusion of Gentiles by faith alone. There is an allusion to Isa. 45:21. James concentrated however on Amos 9:11-12 which anticipated the time when God would restore the house of David and claim a people for Himself from among the Gentiles. James agreed with Peter that the time of including Gentiles in God’s people had arrived.
June 23 – (Acts 15:22-35) Once they had come to an agreement whether Gentiles needed to keep laws the Jewish people had practiced, they sent extra confirmation (in the form of some “common folk”) back to Antioch. Once they delivered the letter, they stayed and encouraged the people as prophets. I bet they needed the Holy Spirit and prophetic words as they were having to change their belief system to a whole new way of thinking. I’d say I need the same thing. I need the Holy Spirit to teach me how to think and speak and act against “unrighteous beliefs” I have followed. Selah
Jun 24 – (Acts 15:36-41) First there was division between groups of believers. Then there was division between the two active heads of evangelism in the church. Was one right and the other wrong? Was God trying to get more ground covered by dividing them? God is so creative in how makes each of us unique…. for a special purpose in His kingdom. We have different ways of looking at things and showing His glory. These differences can cause division among the brethren. The only way God can work and get glory from these differences is when we approach each other (and the differences) through God’s eyes of love.
DID YOU KNOW? Paul’s second missionary journey centered on the cities of the Greek provinces of Macedonia and Achaia, including Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, Athens, and Corinth. This second journey probably began in A.D. 47 or 49 and ended in 51.
June 25 – (Acts 16:1-10) Paul and Silas were traveling to different cities preaching the gospel. There were two areas the Holy Spirit prevented them from entering. What were they? Why do you think they weren’t supposed to go there? Do those regions show signs today of not having the gospel at the beginning? Does the Holy Spirit ever tell you not to go somewhere? Oh…to be so tuned in to the Holy Spirit moment by moment so that you are right where God wants you….to show His Glory!