Tag: repentance to life

Repentance leading to Life!

Scripture reading for April 28th: 1st Samuel 15-16, 1st Chronicles 1, Psalm 39, Acts 11

Acts 11: 13-18 “And he told us how he had seen the angel stand in his house and say, ‘Send to Joppa and bring Simon who is called Peter: he will declare to you a message by with you will be saved, you and all your household.’ As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning. And I remembered the Word of the Lord, how He said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ If then God gave the same Gift to them as He gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?” When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “‘Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.””

The early church leaders, being trained as Jews, often had trouble grasping God’s plan to save Gentiles. They had been taught that they must avoid the Gentiles because they were ‘uncircumcised’ and ‘unclean’. God had to give Peter a vision of a sheet with unclean foods on it coming down from heaven with the command to eat. He then instructed Peter to go to Cornelius’ house and Peter obeyed, taking other Jewish believers with him. When Peter shared the Gospel there, God poured the Holy Spirit out with the evidence of speaking in tongues. This silenced the resistance and broadened the Jewish believers understanding of God’s heart to reach both Jew and Gentile! He hears all cries for help and salvation!

Psalm 39:12-13 “Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; hold not Your peace at my tears! For I am a sojourner with you, a guest, like all my fathers. Look away from me, that I may smile again, before I depart and am no more!”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your patience and care for all people, regardless of nationality or social status. Thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, empowering us to pray and praise Your Name and share the Gospel message. Thank You for bringing repentance leading to eternal life to me and all who will receive the Good News of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior!

1st Samuel 16:6-7 “When they came, he looked on Eliab and though, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before him.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.””

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Expanded ministry and vision!

Scripture reading for June 17th: Acts 11:1-30

“Without a vision, people cast off restraint.” (Proverbs 29:18)  Spiritual vision is the ability to see with the eyes of the heart what God is doing and where He is taking you.  Accurate spiritual vision will always line up with the Word of God, which never changes.

The leadership of the early church was overwhelmingly devout Jews who had come to Christ.  Their understanding of God’s plan was filtered through their religious training and traditions.  God worked with Peter first, helping him to see the need to preach to the Gentiles.  When the others in Jerusalem heard that Peter had gone to the Gentiles, they criticized Peter. (Acts 11:1-3)

Peter explained how God had helped him to see that the Gentiles were also to be saved.  (Acts 11:14)  God worked in such a miraculous and supernatural manner, that their eyes were opened to God’s bigger plan.  When these Gentiles received the gift of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of tongues, all doubt was removed!  (Acts 11:15-17)  Those who heard the testimony began to praise God for granting the Gentiles repentance to eternal life!

With this new vision, the scattered church began to preach to the Gentiles in distant lands.  Some went to Cyprus and Cyrene and Antioch preaching to the Greeks there.  “The Lord’s hand was on them and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.” (Acts 11:21)  God’s grace brought salvation to all who would believe!  The disciples in Jerusalem sent Barnabas to find Saul and both went to preach in Antioch and instruct the believers there.  Great numbers of people were brought to the Lord as these apostles taught in Antioch for a whole year together.  It is recorded that Christ’s followers were first called “Christians” at Antioch!  (Acts 11:26)

New vision, expanded ministry, and great numbers of people being saved brought excitement and joy to the early church.  Men and women, full of the Holy Spirit preached and taught, bringing the Word of Jesus Christ to Jew and Gentile alike.  God saved all who believed!  This simple program is still in effect today!  God wants to use you to reach the world you live in!  Are you full of vision and equipped with the Holy Spirit?

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