July 3 – (Acts 19:1-10) What did they begin calling disciples of Christ at the time? Do you remember when a Bible was produced with these words on the cover? Do you remember that some felt this was sacrilege because it didn’t say Holy Bible?
It says in verse 10 that all residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks. That amazes me! All residents heard…. I’m sure Asia was not as far-reaching as it is today but they reached “all residents in a 2-year span! Anyone want to do some research to put this in perspective?
July 4 – (Acts 19:11-20) God is very creative in all things. We see here that God validated His spokesman in some very creative and remarkable ways. He worked through Paul’s own hands in extraordinary ways, displaying His power to these people. Then He shows the people who had the appearance of being His spokesman…. but was a counterfeit.
July 5 – (Acts 19:21-27) Lives were coming to Christ but some businesses were beginning to fail. Can you think of any other businesses in those times that would have failed? What about today? Do we hurt certain businesses because of our lifestyle? Do they even notice? Something to ponder….
July 6 – (Acts 19:28-41) The theater in which this riot took place held more than 20,000 in Paul’s time. It was the place people gathered for town business meetings. That seems like a large space! Gaius and Aristarchus were eventually released. Aristarchus reappears later as Paul’s companion. The Asiarchs were the keepers of the imperial Roman cult in Asia. They were concerned about the safety of their fellow citizen Paul. The town clerk was the chief administrative officer of the city. The sacred stone that fell from the sky probably refers to a meteorite. Meteorites were associated with Artemis worship. The proconsul was the head of government in a Roman province. The town clerk’s reasoning shows the Christian gospel was not contrary to Roman law and did not disrupt public order. Now that we have defined some of these words, go back and reread these verses. Does it give you greater understanding?
July 7 – (Acts 20:1-6) In verses 1-16, Paul is ministering in many places. Three of these will later become letters from Paul encouraging these new Christian small groups. Name three that Paul wrote letters to.
July 8 – (Acts 20:7-16) In studying the book of Acts, we are seeing the direct fulfillment of our Lord’s promise. In Acts 1:8, Jesus told His disciples they would be witnesses even to the remotest part of the earth. Paul, on his third journey to regions beyond, is wrapping up his three-year stay in Ephesus. He is about to travel hundreds of miles enroute to Jerusalem, some over land, most by water. In these twelve verses, we find him and his companions amid several different reactions to the message…but they press on regardless. This is a good lesson to learn in perseverance!
July 9 – (Acts 20:17-38) As Paul is talking about his journey of testifying of Jesus in the cities. What things did he have to look forward to in Jerusalem (v.22)? What I noticed was “bound in the Spirit”. Paul not only knew where he needed to go but also knew the Holy Spirit would only reveal what to say at the time he needed to testify. So many times, I feel the Holy Spirit prompting me to interact with someone but if I don’t have what to say ahead of time, I chicken out in initiating the conversation to begin with. This reminds me that God will always give us the words to proclaim His Glory “at the time” He designs. Trusting Him for the words in the moment He designs, is what I am working on. Selah