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Day 40~ Acts 25-27

The dialogue between Paul and King Agrippa stood out to me today.  King Agrippa said, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to become a Christian?”   Paul replied, “Short time or long- I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am..” (26:28-29) It struck me by Paul’s response that when some decide to become Christian, the change is immediate and sincere, for others, it’s a process over time, not a one day event. I have heard it said that, statistically speaking, it can take anywhere from 7-18 times hearing the message before a person decides to make a commitment.  I don’t know if those statistics are accurate or not, but I see two problems with that: 1.) If a person is prematurely calling themselves a Christian before they have actually made a full commitment to the Lord, they may be "in process" of becoming one, however, in the meantime.... Acting like the world, but claiming to be a Christian pain

Day 39~ Acts 22-24

“As Paul discoursed on righteousness, self-control and the judgement to come, Felix was afraid…” Acts 24:25 I find it interesting that Luke retells this interaction between Paul, Felix & Drusilla with such detail that he remembers the outline to the talk. Faith in Christ Jesus Righteousness Self-control The judgement to come I am wondering if these subjects are the most important to address with someone you are sharing the Good News with or are they just the three most important things for Paul’s listeners to hear?  I wish I could have been a fly on the wall to hear the details in this discourse!  I had to look deeper to see why Paul may have taken this approach.   Historians say that Felix was known for his cruelty and greed during his rule. Kings were supposed to reign with right judgement (righteousness); Felix did not.  Self-Control was something Drusilla didn’t demonstrate.  Again, according to historians, she had been married to a different king and deserte

Day 38~ Acts 19-21

I sat for awhile pondering the last words Paul spoke to the elders of Ephesus, “..by this hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ “ (Acts 20:35) Interestingly, that statement by Jesus is not recorded in any of the gospels.  Regardless, Jesus either told Paul that in a vision or one of the apostles as eyewitnesses relayed it to him.  Paul knew it was words Jesus spoke. Going back to the statement, I am pondering…do I work hard to give to others?….To be honest…..I work hard to give to my kids,,,,,I give out of surplus to others…..but….I don’t work hard to give to the weak.  Yet, these are the last parting words Paul gives to this church…..πŸ€”  What does that mean for me? Lord, if you want me to give more, show me how & to who.  Also, give me the energy to keep working hard!

Day 37~ Acts 16-18

I happen to be in Ezekiel right now in my Old Testament reading.  Something I read there gave me new insight to what Paul said in our New Testament reading. Paul, after being rejected by his fellow Jewish people said, “Your blood be on your own heads!  I am clear of my responsibility.” (18:6) Why did he feel so responsible to teach the Jewish people about Jesus?   Well, remember, Paul had been trained by Gamaliel (22:3).  Gamaliel, a Pharisee, was a teacher of the law (5:34).  Paul says that he was thoroughly trained in the law and was zealous for God (22:3), he finished his training and became a Pharisee himself (23:6).  As such, I am confident, he was well acquainted with the books of Ezekiel and Zechariah.  According to Old Testament reading, the teachers of the Law were considered shepherds of the people.  They were to guide the Jewish people like a shepherd guides sheep. Paul took this role very seriously! He was “zealous for God” (22:3) prior to knowing the full tr

Day 36~ Acts 13-15

Reading about how Paul confronted Bar-Jesus (the sorcerer & false prophet) and through Jesus, made him blind, I thought, “Wow! If we Christians could do miracles like that today, everybody would convert!” But then, I kept reading, “When the proconsul (Sergius Paulus) saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.” (Acts 13:12) Wait a minute…did I read that right?  Shouldn’t it have said, because of the miracle, he believed?  Nope, it said, “he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.”  The miracle that he was mesmerized by was the fact that Jesus came to save Him.  That’s what excited him even more than seeing Bar-Jesus go blind!  It was the good new of Christ that had convinced Paulus to believe, not the miracle.  Huh!! Well, I may not have the gift of doing miracles, but I can share and teach others about the Lord!  That’s what I am responsible for; the sharing of the good news (Mark 16:15).  The Good News of Christ is the

Day 35~ Acts 10-12

Every time I read Acts 12, I am startled by the quick sentence, “He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword.” (12:2)  One little line in reference to one of the chosen twelve. And it was James of all people!! 😟He was one of the ‘inner circle’, one that Jesus took with him for those big moments.  For example, it was Peter, James and John who was with Jesus when he raised the little girl from the dead (Mark 5:37) and when Jesus was transfigured on the high mountain (Matt 17:1-13). So, I am left thinking, wow, there wasn’t much in the way of mourning mentioned at the loss of this first elder of the church. 😒 It leads me to think that this sudden execution took all the believers by surprise.  Remember we just read, that after Paul’s conversion, “the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace” (9:31).  These surprised believers didn’t have much time to do anything for James, but now however, they were startled to action for Peter!  “The c

Day 34~ Acts 7-9

OK, my mind went on a tangent, almost immediately, when I read, “After 40 years had passed, an angel appeared to Moses,…” (Acts 7:30) I’m going to take you on my bunny trail…  Moses was 80 years old when God started to use him to deliverer the Israelites out of Egypt.  He died at age 120 (Duet. 34:7).  That means Moses was 2/3 of the way through his life before God started a mighty work through him. I’m getting to the age where I am starting to see my little chicks fly from the nest. I am far from an empty nest, but I can’t help feeling at times that the important job I have had is coming to an end.  Soon, it will be “retirement”, sitting back thinking the work is all done.   The average lifespan of a human these days is 80 years.  Can you imagine if God started using each of us (in a mighty way) when we were 2/3 the way trough with our life?  That means, at age 54 we would begin our most important work!!! (Don’t get me wrong, raising kids is important work, Moses did t