Friday, September 30, 2016

The Holy Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and walk along beside the carriage.” Philip ran over and heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah. Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” The man replied, “How can I, unless someone instructs me?” And he urged Philip to come up into the carriage and sit with him.  Acts 8:29-31

My junior year of college I went to Panama City for spring break with my friends from Campus Crusade for Christ. The purpose of our trip was very much like what we do with the EDGE when we go to an event like “Dare to Share”. We were going to be witnessing to all the people on the beach who were drinking, taking drugs, and having as much sex as they wanted with whomever they wanted. Needless to say I was very nervous about the whole situation. One of my friends throughout the week had been shot down time after time...

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Acts 8:18-23- When Simon saw that the Spirit was given when the apostles laid their hands on people, he offered them money to buy this power. “Let me have this power, too,” he exclaimed, “so that when I lay my hands on people, they will receive the Holy Spirit!” But Peter replied, “May your money be destroyed with you for thinking God’s gift can be bought! You can have no part in this, for your heart is not right with God.

So many times, we ask for things from God that are asked for in the wrong way or for our own benefit and not for the Will of God. Anything that comes from God is not something that can be bought. God desires a relationship with us and wants us to love Him for who He is and for what His son Jesus Christ did for us. God’s love for us is unconditional and He wants us to love Him and others the same way. Relationship with God is a powe...

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed steadily into heaven and saw the glory of God, and he saw Jesus standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 56 And he told them, “Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand!”  Acts 7:55-55

"Who is Steven?" you ask.  Steven was one of seven men chosen early on in acts who appointed to serve the needs of the church in practical ways.  He appears on the scene in the chapter before and he is described as one, "full of faith and of the Holy Spirit."  Steven was not one of the twelve apostles, but was an ordinary man, who had an extraordinary faith and trust in Jesus.  He was "full of the Spirit" which simply means He was fully surrendered to Jesus and His will.  He was also described as someone God moved powerfully through and who performed great miracles i...

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Acts 7:15-Then Jacob went down to Egypt, where he and our ancestors died.

Physical death will always be a part of our lives here on earth. Our ancestors and our forefathers have all physically expired but are in heaven with Christ. Even though death is a part of life, we never have to taste death because Christ died on the cross, laid in the tomb, and rose from the dead. By Him doing that, our bodies may die, but our souls never have to experience death because we can go from this world into eternal rest with Christ. We all can receive salvation by surrendering our lives to Christ, admitting our sin, and living out God’s plan for our life and not our own. Giving our lives to the Lord and serving Him is the single greatest decision we can ever make. Remember, all things will come and go, rise and fall, but Jesus Christ and the heavenly kingdom will remain forev...

Monday, September 26, 2016

"This was Stephen’s reply: “Brothers and fathers, listen to me. Our glorious God appeared to our ancestor Abraham in Mesopotamia before he settled in Haran. God told him, ‘Leave your native land and your relatives, and come into the land that I will show you.’[b] 4 So Abraham left the land of the Chaldeans and lived in Haran until his father died. Then God brought him here to the land where you now live."  Acts 7:2-4 (NLT)

If you follow Jesus for any length of time, you already know that He will challenge us to lay down and leave things and relationships that are getting in the way of serving Him. Jesus asks us to do this, not because He takes delight in taking things away from us; He does this because He knows Joy, wholeness, peace, and purpose are found only in Him! Because He loves us completely, like any good parent, He calls us to follow Hi...

Friday, September 23, 2016

In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.  So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “it would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables.  Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you full of the Spirit and wisdom.  We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.” Acts 6:1-5 

Sometimes we get caught up in the complexity of scripture and we lose ourselves in unfamiliar terms, fancy words and cultural differences.  We close the bible and decide we don’t understand and it is too complicated to figure out.  When you peel all the “complicated, unfamili...

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.  Day after day, in the temple courts and from house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.  Acts 5:41-42 (NIV)

In the verses before today's, it says that the apostles were beaten and then ordered, by the religious leaders, not to speak in the name of Jesus.  When they were released, they left "rejoicing" that they had been beaten for loving, healing, and teaching people in the Name of Jesus.  It sounds strange that they would rejoice after experiencing such a hardship.  Notice their perspective.  It says they rejoiced because they were, "counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name."  In John 15:20 Jesus told these same disciples, "Remem...

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Acts 5:38-39-“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!

When we do things on our own, we don’t get very far. We stumble, fall, and often times quit because we have the wrong intentions or don’t have any help. God doesn’t desire you to be remembered as the best athlete at school or the most popular kid in your class. God desires for you to seek Him in all that you do and that your life will bring glory to His name and not your own. We seem to pursue our own ambition and then become upset with God when those plans don’t succeed. God has the greatest plan for your life. Don’t open your own doors in life and expect great things. Let God open the doo...

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the sadducees, were filled with jealousy.  They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail.  Acts 5:17-18 (NIV)

Notice the apostles weren't filled with jealousy, but the religious leaders of their day were.  The religious leaders became jealous of all the attention they were getting as they healed and taught in Jesus' name.  They desired that for themselves, and didn't like missing out on the recognition they craved.  Jealousy is the decision to look at someone else and compare our current circumstances, physical appearances, possessions, and friendships with theirs.  At the heart of jealousy, for the believer, is the idea, I'm not happy with where God currently has me, what He has given me, and who He has made me to b...

Monday, September 19, 2016

Acts 4:36-37-For instance, there was Joseph, the one the apostles nicknamed Barnabas (which means “Son of Encouragement”). He was from the tribe of Levi and came from the island of Cyprus. He sold a field he owned and brought the money to the apostles.

Most of the time when we think of people selling something to make a profit, we think they typically use the money to buy something else for themselves. Would you sell your land to give the money to your closest friends? Regardless if it benefited you or not. The world has taught us to “get yours.” The world says look out for yourself and become rich and successful. The Bible says when we provide for others, we are also doing this for God. God cares about all people and when we care for all people we are pleasing God. God provides us with breath in our lungs everyday. Pleasing and serving Him is what we were mad...

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We believe the only life worth living is the “uncommon” life that results from having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  We encourage our youth to experience this life through a daily time with Jesus,  worship, ministry, and prayer.

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