Monday, October 31, 2016

Acts 19:20- So the message about the Lord spread widely and had a powerful effect.

Each day, we spend days of our lives doing things that are required of us and also doing things we want to do. For example, if the average lifespan is 75 years, we spend 26 years sleeping and another 11 years watching tv. Women spend 136 days of their lives getting ready and men spend 46 days of their lives getting dressed up. We spend all this time on things that we think really matter. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with these things and we all need sleep, but if we were to calculate how many days of your life you spent sharing the gospel with others. Would it tower over the other stats or even exist in your life? The power and movement of God is something that no man can stop. All things are possible with God and when we advance His agenda and message to the world, He...

Friday, October 28, 2016

“Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know of, but who are you?” Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.” Acts 19:13-16 NIV 

Growing up in today’s society, the name of Jesus gets thrown around a lot, and it wasn’t much different back in Paul’s day. God is seen more as a rabbit’s foot for a lot of people, and this was true of myself at one point. I used His name to try to receive luck to play well in a basketball game or do well on a test I didn’...

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Acts 18:6-But when they opposed and insulted him, Paul shook the dust from his clothes and said, “Your blood is upon your own heads—I am innocent. From now on I will go preach to the Gentiles.”

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink it. If your try to lead the horse to even better water and it kicks and bites you, you should probably try leading a different horse. Paul was trying to offer the good news and was preaching that all are alike in God’s eyes and the people weren't having it. They tried beating him up and made fun of him and wanted Him to leave. Paul was trying to lead people to the best water and they didn’t want to drink it. He didn’t fight back or retaliate against them. He just shook the dust from his clothes and shoes and moved on to the next city or town. Are you drinking the best water that is being offered to you or do you...

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

“While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply troubled by all the idols he saw everywhere in the city.  He went to the synagogue to reason with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and he spoke daily in the public square to all who happened to be there…So Paul, standing before the council, addressed them as follows: “Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way, for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: ‘To an Unknown God.’ This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about.”  Acts 17:16-17; 22-23 (NLT)

This story of Paul and His heart for the those who don’t know Jesus is very similar to an account in the gospel of Matthew.  In Matthew 9:36, describing Jesus's heart for the hurting and those who didn't know Him, it says, “When He...

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Acts 16:25-28- Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off! The jailer woke up to see the prison doors wide open. He assumed the prisoners had escaped, so he drew his sword to kill himself. But Paul shouted to him, “Stop! Don’t kill yourself! We are all here!”

Have you ever been so consumed by God’s presence that even in the midst of tragedy and destruction you never took your eyes off Him? That even as the world around you is falling and trying to kill you, you are unmovable, enjoying the presence of the Creator and keeper of life. Paul and Silas were worshipping God and the earth was moved and their prison doors op...

Monday, October 24, 2016

"Paul went first to Derbe and then to Lystra, where there was a young disciple named Timothy. His mother was a Jewish believer, but his father was a Greek. Timothy was well thought of by the believers in Lystra and Iconium, so Paul wanted him to join them on their journey. In deference to the Jews of the area, he arranged for Timothy to be circumcised before they left, for everyone knew that his father was a Greek."  Acts 16:1-3 (NLT)

Who in your life has been a spiritual influence for Jesus?  Is it a parent, a friend, a grandparent, a coach, a neighbor?  In our story it was Timothy’s mom and a grandmother named Lois.  Lois is mentioned in 2 Timothy 1:5.  Many Bible teachers believe Timothy is a late teenager at this point and Paul was mentoring him.  Timothy came from a tough home environment that many teenagers today can relate to.  His m...

Friday, October 21, 2016

“After some time Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s go back and visit each city where we previously preached the word of the Lord, to see how the new believers are doing.” Barnabas agreed and wanted to take along John Mark. But Paul disagreed strongly, since John Mark had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in their work. Their disagreement was so sharp that they separated. Barnabas took John Mark with him and sailed for Cyprus. Paul chose Silas, and as he left, the believers entrusted him to the Lord’s gracious care. Then he traveled throughout Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches there.” ‭Acts ‬ ‭15:36-41‬ ‭NLT‬‬
We all face some type of conflict daily. It can be that someone hurts us, it can be a simple misunderstanding and poor communication or we just do not see eye to eye.  It's how we handle the conflict and respond, that is...

Thursday, October 20, 2016

“Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconic and won the crowd over.  They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead.  But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city.  The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe.  Acts 14:19-22

Here is another instance where Paul, this well known, Christian hating, persecuting Pharisee turned Apostle for Jesus, is beaten for the gospel's sake.  But this time it seems to have ended in unconsciousness or what many Bible scholars believe, death.  Paul, like many times before, risks his life to make sure lost people hear about Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.  But this is a familiar pattern for Paul in the book of Acts.  Paul preaches Jesus, people get mad, Paul gets chased, sometimes caught, sometimes beaten, sometimes imprisoned and sometimes al...

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Acts 14:15-We have come to bring you the Good News that you should turn from these worthless things and turn to the living God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them.

When you are in doubt about God, look around and you will see abundant evidence that He is at work in the world. When rain comes and produces a good crop, that is a result of God’s creation and goodness. The earth is a great display of how great and real our God is. Notice everything today that is untouched by man because we mess things up, but God has created a great masterpiece. If you want to see God, look around at all He has created. His beauty is everywhere. Man has created many worthless things that we chase after and idolize, but only God is worth pursuing. Today, see with your own eyes what is good. Don’t chase after something you will catch or be happy with. End you...

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

“For when David had served God’s purpose (in his own generation,) he fell asleep; he was buried with his fathers and his body decayed.” Acts 13:36 (NIV)

What an interesting statement about King David - “When David had served God’s purpose (in his own generation)…”  If you know anything about King David, he was not a perfect man by any means.  The Bible records as many of his failures as it does his victories (you can read about all of this in 2 Samuel in the OT).  And yet, under God’s direction, Luke who wrote Acts, says David had served God’s purpose.  My sometimes cynical mind would like to add something to that statement - “and his own purposes as well.”  Like when he stole a good friends wife, and then had that same friend killed.  He also, in pride, counted his own army to glorify himself and not the LORD.  But that is not what this verse says.  It seems...

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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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