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”
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”
Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word. – Acts 8:4
How should we respond to persecution? In this part of the narrative, Stephen had just been stoned to death for preaching about Jesus. That triggered a widespread persecution of Christians in Jerusalem. Continue reading “Acts Meditation 8:4 – Scattered to Witness”
3 Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. 4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” – Acts 6:3-4
What should leaders do when more must be done to serve the people of God? Delegate!
Continue reading “Acts Meditation 6:1-7 – the Privilege of the Spirit”
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”
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”
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”
And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness. – Acts 4:31
What should we do after being threatened to silence?
Continue reading “Acts Meditation 4:31 – Shake the Earth”
19 But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, 20 for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” – Acts 4:19-20.
In this era of fake news, hate speech, speech-chilling, echo chambers, incitement passing as reportage, name-calling, mud slinging and straw men attacks passing as academic debate, and people reporting any slightest thing they disagree with to the police, I often find myself threatened by fear to refrain from speaking about things which are important to me. I once feared talking about my faith in secular media or public online statements, as I thought that’s what the world would crucify me for. Once, someone wanted to ‘call out’ my faith in public for something I did as though it’s some sinister motive. Someone also once threatened to report what I said in a sermon to the Internal Security Department (ISD) for allegedly violating the Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act (MRHA).
What should we do when threatened to silence?
Continue reading “Acts Meditation 4:19-20 – We Cannot But Speak”
“25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’ 26 God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness.” – Acts 3:25-26
The crippled beggar who had been a permanent fixture outside the Temple, the Jewish centre of religion, was now standing and clinging on to the arms of Peter and John. The “men of Israel” were astounded. So Peter preached to them, not about the healing of this crippled beggar, but the healing of the people of Israel.
Continue reading “Acts Meditation 3:11-26 – Blessings of the Covenant”