Acts 9:23-31 Devotional: Persecution and Peace

So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied. – Acts 9:31

Saul’s turn to Christ also led to a turn of the tide of persecution against the early Church. Yet, this was at his personal cost. He was now the one being persecuted, hunted down like a prey.

Continue reading “Acts 9:23-31 Devotional: Persecution and Peace”

Acts 9:1-22 Devotional – The Persecutor Surrendered

5 And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” – Acts 9:5

15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” – Acts 9:15-16

Acts 9 continues the narrative of the persecution of Christians, starting from the stoning of Stephen, which Saul of Tarsus participated in. We have seen how persecution led to dispersion of Christians and the gospel to Samaria. The next part of the narrative shows us how persecution gave rise to the apostle to the Gentiles. The chief prosecutor surrendered to Christ and became the great apostle of the Gospel.

Continue reading “Acts 9:1-22 Devotional – The Persecutor Surrendered”

Acts Meditation 8:20-21 – Seeking God with the wrong heart

20 But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!

21 You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. – Acts 8:20-21

Have we taken a wrong attitude to the gifts of God and to God, the giver of good gifts?

Continue reading “Acts Meditation 8:20-21 – Seeking God with the wrong heart”

Acts meditation 8:14-16 – Receiving the Holy Spirit

14 Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John,

15 who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit,

16 for he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. – Acts 8:14-16

Is receiving the Holy Spirit always a matter of being prayed for by a leader? Is it always marked by an outward manifestation of the Spirit?

Continue reading “Acts meditation 8:14-16 – Receiving the Holy Spirit”

Acts Meditation 5:29, 40-42 – Obedience & Honour

28 saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. – Acts 5:28-29

When human authorities silence you from speaking the word of Life, you must make a choice. Obey God or obey men.

Both choices carry consequences.

Continue reading “Acts Meditation 5:29, 40-42 – Obedience & Honour”

Acts Meditation 5:19-21 – The Great Rescue

19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, 20 “Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.” 21 And when they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and began to teach. … – Acts 5:19-21

Can God’s people be imprisoned? Surely. Can the words of Life be imprisoned? Certainly not.

Continue reading “Acts Meditation 5:19-21 – The Great Rescue”

Acts Meditation 5:1-11 – Sin and Destiny

9 But Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” 10 Immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. – Acts 5:9-10

The sins of the believer are severe, only that we fail to recognise it. 

The Church was up to this point on a spiritual high. They were devoted to God’s word, to fellowship with one another, to breaking bread together, to prayer. Their care for and sharing with one another was to the point that there was no needy person among them. They accomplished by grace and Spirit what Israel failed to do. 

This backdrop sets the stage for this story, presenting us with two sets of people with two different destinies. 

Continue reading “Acts Meditation 5:1-11 – Sin and Destiny”