I’m sure we’ve all experienced how excitement can be contagious… well, I can’t read Ephesians 1 without catching some of Paul’s passion! Each phrase, each word, each description of our salvation more powerful and profound than the previous. Paul is overwhelmed at the goodness of God in Christ and we should be too!
I often tell couples that there are two ways to listen to each other—either like a lawyer or like a counselor. A lawyer listens only enough to object, to jump in and make his or her case. He or she isn’t necessarily listening to understand, rather he or she is listening to respond.
If Paul was willing to confront Peter to his face over this issue, it must be important!
I pray that I have the same confidence and boldness that Paul has if I am ever faced with the kind of persecution he experienced. One of the reasons that Paul was so bold is that he was so persuaded of the truthfulness of Christ and Christianity and the faithfulness of God. He was confident not in himself but in the Lord and His Word and so Paul could engage those around him without fear.
Everything seemed to be going well. Paul finally had a chance to speak publicly to the Jews in Jerusalem about what happened to him on the road to Damascus. He was sharing his testimony and the people seemed quiet and attentive. And then it happened. He mentioned the one word that the people did not want to hear: Gentiles! (Acts 22:21)
Sometimes when I read Scripture, I process my reading and the end result is some clear, developed thinking… much more often, it’s more like bullet points and questions in my head that I want to get back to later! So here are some bullet points that came to my mind while reading through Acts 17-18 this week.
The ups and downs that the early Christians experienced must have been challenging. I’m sure it’s the same for us.
One of the things we’re told in the Scriptures is that the servant is no greater than the Master—if people hated Jesus, they will hate His followers.
How amazing would it have been to be present on the Day of Pentecost when the Spirit was poured out
and the early Christians were filled?
As I was reading this morning’s passage from the 5x5x5 Reading Plan (the feeding of the five-thousand and Jesus walking on water), I was struck again by two realities.