In Acts 9, Saul was in hot pursuit of Christians located miles away from Jerusalem, in Damascus. Saul was in hot pursuit of Christians, but God pursued him even more relentlessly. Saul’s own words in Acts 22:3 to 5, Acts 26:9 to 11, Galatians 1:13 and 14, 1 Timothy 1:13 serve as a confession, as he describes his former ruthlessness in stark relief to the great grace of God.
Too many churches have forfeited their charm and become places of shame, not grace. Let’s put an end to that!
Paul went from a Judaistic terrorist to a chosen instrument of God. How could that be? Because God is in the process of cutting down a tall poppy, bringing him to his knees.
The church has always been known for its resolute spirit. Problems occur, though, when we think that because the church’s message is changeless, the church’s methods must be changeless too. How can we expect to make a difference in a rapidly changing world if we’re living in the past? Are we ready for the changes the future will bring?
Hearing Paul and Barnabas recount story after story of God’s love, grace, deliverance, and guidance re-centred and reassured the band of believers.
Shame and pride keep our disabilities safely tucked out of sight. In shame, we fear the humiliation of finger-pointing when others see our weaknesses, and in pride, we suppose that a show of perfection will elevate us to heights of success and acceptance.
God’s miraculous power might seem distant or theoretical at times, but it’s not. It is real! The Acts of the Apostles proves it, teeming with true stories of supernatural encounters and glorious surprises. In this lesson, we discover how God used intercessory prayer to perform an incredible miracle in the life of Peter, the fisherman-turned-apostle.
Although young in the faith, those Jerusalem believers demonstrated a commendable growth toward maturity. But this condition was not found throughout all congregations. As is true today, there were some who were old enough to be well on their way to maturity, but they preferred to remain immature and irresponsible…adolescents in adult bodies.
A tender heart toward God is one of the hallmarks of true masculinity. Parents, your sons need your presence and availability to help shape them into men of God.
Change is one of life’s rare certainties! We aren’t exactly the same people we were last week, and we won’t be exactly the same next week, either. With each day and each experience, we grow to become different people.