Tag: preaching the Gospel

Encouraging disciples!

Scripture reading for May 23rd:  Acts 14, Psalm 103, Proverbs 10

Key Scriptures: Acts 14:21-23 “When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.  And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.” 

Paul had been stoned at Lystra and left for dead.  The believers gathered around Paul and he arose and went into the city.  The next day they traveled to Derbe and  preached the Gospel there with many responding for salvation.  Paul encouraged the disciples that persecution and tribulation were part of the life of a committed disciple.  Through prayer and fasting, elders were appointed to continue the pastoral work of building faith through God’s Word.

Faith Confession:  Lord, thank You for those You send out to make disciples and encourage them.  Thank You for allowing me to be one who encourages  Your people.  Help me to pray and fast for the continuation of Your work.

Proverbs 10:11  “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.”  



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Lawyers, bribes, preaching to governors!

Scripture reading for July 6th: Acts 24:1-27

In reading today’s passage, there is a lot of drama!  The high priest, Ananias and some of the elders from the Sanhedrin travel down to see Felix with a lawyer named Tertullus.  Tertullus presented the case for them before the governor and accused Paul of being a troublemaker and desecrating the temple.  The Jews with him agreed.  The governor asked Paul to speak in his own defense.  Paul refuted the charges stated that the only thing that could be the cause of the charges was his own stand for the resurrection of the dead.  (Acts 24:19-21)  Felix postponed making a decision and had Paul taken away and kept under guard.

Some time later, Felix and his wife Drusilla, who was a Jewess sent for Paul and listened as he preached about Christ Jesus and the coming judgment.  Felix came under conviction and cut Paul off from speaking any more.  “That’s enough for now!”  You may leave.  When I find it convenient, I will send for you.”  At the same time he was hoping that Paul would offer him a bribe so he sent for him frequently and talked with him.” (Acts 24:25b-26)  This went on for two years until Felix was replaced by Porcius Festus.  We can see that Felix was a hard man and looked out for himself.  His power and position allowed him to receive bribes and extort money for favorable rulings!  His Jewish wife made it easy for him to favor the Jews and keep Paul in jail.  The “convenient” time to hear more about Christ never came in his life that we know of!  The world has not changed much!

Paul shared the Gospel where ever he was placed by the Lord.  God opened doors through imprisonment that Paul would never have had otherwise.  He lived with integrity, in spite of pressure to work the system through bribes.  He was his own lawyer, listening to the Holy Spirit for what to say when taken before judges, governors or kings.    God provided for him daily and spoke encouragement to him when it was needed.  Paul knew he was in the center of God’s will, even if it did not look like it to those outside the faith.  God’s ways are different than man’s and lead to fullness of joy and the Holy Spirit!

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