Scripture reading for May 23rd: 1st Chronicles 24-27, Acts 14
Key Scriptures: Acts 14:1-3 “Now at Iconium they entered together into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. So they remained for a long time speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of His grace granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.”
As Paul and his missionary team went from city to city, they went to Jews first at the local synagogue. The Gospel message of Jesus Christ brought great controversy and division. They were prepared for this and continued to speak boldly and allow the Lord to work with them confirming their message with signs and wonders. God’s army moves under His direction.
1st Chronicles 24:19 “These had as their appointed duty in their service to come into the house of the Lord according to the procedure established for them by Aaron their father, as the Lord God of Israel had commanded him.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for order and direction of Your people enabling them to follow Your example of boldness in the face of opposition. Grant me courage to speak today. Amen.
Scripture reading for April 20th: John 10
Tending sheep and caring for them is an occupation that is common in most places around the world. Sheep are very docile animals that cannot defend themselves and sometimes they wander off. They need someone to care for them and protect them. They will willingly follow a shepherd and get to know his voice. The shepherd also knows his sheep and calls them by name. Jesus took this very common job and applied it to His own life and ministry.
The Jews who saw the healing of the man blind from birth asked Jesus if He thought they were blind too. In response to this question, Jesus told them about sheep and shepherds and gates, making some strong statements to help them understand who He was.
“I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through Me will be saved. He will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:7-10)
“I am the good Shepherd; I know My sheep and My sheep know Me–just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father–and I lay down My life for the sheep.” (John 10:14-15)
At these statements, the Jews were divided. Some said Jesus was demon-possessed or mad, but others recognized the miracle and were wondering. Jesus had said that only “His sheep” would recognize His voice and follow Him! Have you heard the Good Shepherd who laid down His life for “His sheep?”