Acts

Acts: LISTEN AND OBEY

In Acts chapter 8, there is an interesting account told about a follower of Jesus by the name of Philip. He was told by an angel to head south down a road from Jerusalem toward Gaza. Most of us would here the word Gaza and consider the constant tension that exists on the Gaza strip to this day. Phil made his way there, although there were no other instructions as to what to do when he was on the road or where his next destination would be. While he was on the road, he saw a chariot with an Ethiopian man reading and God told him to go stand near the chariot. Once again, no further instructions, other than where he should stand.  The man in the chariot happened to be reading a passage from the Old Testament that made absolutely no sense to him.  What transpired was that Phil not only explained the passage but connected it to Jesus. The result was the man coming to know Jesus and he was baptized that day. 

How do we listen to the direction of God's Spirit each day?  What if we sense God wants us to do something or go somewhere but we are not sure what we will do once we get there?  As in this account with Philip, God often only directs us as far as we can see regarding the next few steps ahead. Why does this matter?  Imagine if God told you and me what the next 5 years would hold. I don't know about you, but I would probably charge out with the plan and check back in with God in 5 years time for my next instructions. I believe the Lord cares more about our relationship with Him than He does the tasks. The more important part is staying connected so that we might listen and obey on the daily journey and not get lost on the road. I hope you have an amazing week connecting with God as we read Acts chapters 6 - 9.

Acts: UNSCHOOLED & ORDINARY?

Do you ever feel I'll equipped to make a significant impact with regard to your faith?  If so, you are not alone.  While we may walk through life imagining the first disciples to be spiritual giants, the truth is that they were ordinary people just like us.  What made them extraordinary, was when they relied on God's Spirit and trusted Him for the direction of their lives.  

If you are reading along with us this week (Acts chapters 3 - 5), then I am sure you saw verse 13 in chapter 4 that says, "When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus." Ordinary people who were willing to simply trust God completely saw extraordinary things take place, because they had been with Jesus.  That same Jesus, who is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8) is available to all who are willing to trust Him, even if we feel rather ordinary. What a tremendous hope He is!

Acts: GOD'S SPIRIT IS ALIVE & PRESENT

Do you have a sense that God is near?  Perhaps you feel that He is distant or that He doesn't even exist? Despite our feelings, God gives us examples each day of His presence.  However, they can be easy to miss in our extremely fast paced culture.  I hope you will be able to join us as we begin to read through the Book of Acts.  While it is most often referred to as "the Acts of the Apostles," a better description would be "the Acts of God's Spirit through the Apostles."  Why not take some time this week to begin reading along and journal ideas that come to your mind in the process?  If you want to join us, we are simply reading the first two chapters of Acts and inviting God to reveal Himself to us though the Bible as well as in our every day lives.  I am looking forward to all that He has in store for us!