Contributed on Jun 2, 2008
God begins the write an exciting story after Jesus returns to heaven. He does it not through kings and princes but through ordinary people called to extraordinary things through the power of the Holy Spirit. What’s your part in the story God is writing?
Every good story contains lots of drama and action. The story we are about to study has it all: ship wrecks, riots, chases, miracles, prison breaks, magic, the supernatural, snakes on a plain, courtroom drama, powerful preaching and debating, strong bonds made and broken, and lives changed. The ...read more
Contributed on Jun 11, 2008
Perhaps you think you understand the Holy Spirit. Maybe you think you’ve seen His work on Christian TV. To fully understand the Spirit’s role in the church and in your life you need to listen to this message.
Why is this significant? In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit came upon individuals for a prescribed period of time. Here the Spirit is being poured out on everyone who believes in Jesus permanently. The Spirit’s purpose is to bring truth to the world about Jesus Christ. To the believer He ...read more
Contributed on Jun 25, 2008
Some today proclaim that the church is an archaic thing of the past and that the church Jesus envisioned isn’t anything like church as we know it today. So let’s go back and examine what church is really supposed to be. And it’s all summed up on one word.
Is the church a thing of the past? So much has been written lately about the demise of the church. Our post modern age seems finished with something so antiquated and old fashioned as the church. In fact, Robert H. Schuller, successor to the Crystal Cathedral said” I think we are entering an era in ...read more
Contributed on Jul 27, 2008
The greatest man or woman of God can perform the most menial tasks willingly. Plus, the most lowly of jobs can actually be the most mighty works for God if you combine two things: wisdom and God’s Spirit. Learn how it worked in the life of Stephen.
In a lot of ways chapters 6 and 7 mirror the life of Jesus Christ. Jesus was anointed by the Spirit, chosen to serve, healed and performed miracles while contending with the intransigent religious leadership and preaching the gospel, then was arrested and tried for attacking Moses (supposedly) and ...read more
Contributed on Aug 4, 2008
Does life happen to you or do you happen to life? See how Philip adjusted to changing life circumstances and how learning from him can help us cope too.
How you look at life really can determine whether you act on life or life acts on you. Is life a series of unrelated coincidences? Is it the cosmos is conspiring to bring about the most pain and suffering possible? Is it something you command like an army to bend to your will? None of these are ...read more
Contributed on Aug 18, 2008
Are you a person who resists change or seeks it? Peter and Cornelius were two such people. Learn how God intervened to bring truth and life to each.
There’s a phrase that I really hate, but one that I’ve heard often, “We’ve always done it this way.” Change comes hard to some people, even when presented with a new reality that requires change. They’re the kind that say, “I don’t mind change as long as everything stays the same.” There’s ...read more
Contributed on Aug 24, 2008
Peter gets throne into prison but God gets him out. It’s in part thanks to earnest prayers of the saints. Just how does prayer work into the will of God in our lives?
Don’t you hate getting blamed for doing a good thing? I’ve shared this story a few times but I remember once when a group of us in ministry used to meet for breakfast on a particular day of the week. One time one of us didn’t show up. The other guys just ignored it but I was troubled. I sought out ...read more
Contributed on Aug 31, 2008
The Lord slowly moved Saul from enemy of the gospel to Paul, a full-fledged missionary with a message to the Gentiles. How does God move us out into ministry for Him? Learn some lessons from Paul and Barnabas.
As we’ve talked about through our study in the book of Acts, this is the story of the resurrected Jesus, working through his body to bring the gospel into the world. As the effort grows, so the attacks of Satan to thwart it morph and change. It’s like the enemy is trying to find a loophole that ...read more
Contributed on Sep 7, 2008
When faced with adversity, our tendency is to panic, take our hands off the wheel, and just let it happen to us. We see in the example of Paul and Barnabas that God is in control no matter what happens and that as long as you can share the gospel you can
Introduction I took a course on defensive driving some time ago. The instructor said the most important concept to remember is to keep driving until you can’t any more. What he meant is that when faced with a crisis on the road we have a natural tendency to freak out and take our hands off the ...read more
Contributed on Sep 14, 2008
Whether your dispute is with another believer or with a whole church, there are vital lessons to handling conflict contained in Acts 15. Learn how to find God’s will, keep your integrity, and still be a family.
Raise your hand if you have ever had a dispute with another Christian. Hopefully we all raised our hands because if we have never had a dispute then we are not really actively plugged into the body life in Jesus. Disputes occur for a number of reasons, some good, some bad. Often disputes come from ...read more
Contributed on Sep 21, 2008
Do you ever get into a situation where you are trying to follow God’s will but things just don’t seem to work out? If so, you are in good company. Find out how the Lord used a pinball to guide Paul, and you!
We’d love to get an email from God with our day all planned out but it doesn’t work that way. And so we seek God and move forward—only to run into road blocks and rivers and dead ends. So what gives? Does the fact that things don’t work out perfectly mean we don’t hear God or are somehow not ...read more
Contributed on Sep 29, 2008
When God’s Word is communicated, the state of your mind can greatly affect how your heart receives what God is saying. We have the first part in a discussion from Acts 17 on the ways the Bible is communicated and received.
Chapter 17 gives us three glimpses at how people process the Word of God. Isn’t contrast great? Medical science uses contrast to find anomalies in the body, and here we use contrast to see the different approaches people take to the Word of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ. We’ll look at the ...read more
Contributed on Oct 5, 2008
The philosophers of Paul’s day are not really that much different from what we see in the world around us in a post-Christian society. How Paul addressed them can help us in dealing with people who collect thoughts like Matchbox cars.
What did you collect as a child? I collected a number of things, pennies, model trains, marbles, and Matchbox® cars. I would wait anxiously until my mother would drive me down to the toy store so I could drool over the latest and greatest tiny little car or truck. I used to show off my more ...read more
Contributed on Oct 12, 2008
Do you ever find yourself in a place where nothing is going right? The Apostle Paul came to Corinth in just such a state. Learn how God brought him help and fellowship just when he needed it.
The recent plunges by the world stock markets, bank failures, fortunes lost, even suicides by financial planners—all bring back chilling reminders of the Great Depression. 25% of Americans were unemployed. People couldn’t find work that lasted and many people lost their homes. Discouragement was at ...read more
Contributed on Oct 19, 2008
Finally after years of struggle, Paul sees victory after victory, even amidst tough opposition in Ephesus. It is an affirmation of his apostleship. What happens as God begins to work more through you than on you?
Chapter 19 could be called the High Point in Paul’s ministry. In this chapter he goes to the place he may have wanted to go way back at the beginning: Ephesus. God confirms his authority as an apostle by healing, his reputation as an apostle through mention by demons, vindication of his ministry ...read more
Contributed on Oct 26, 2008
Sometimes in the face of difficulty we need some encouragement to stay the course. That’s what Paul gives us as we prepares for a very difficult time in his life.
I dislike performance evaluations. (Performance Evaluation Dictionary). Giving or getting employee evaluations are a little like going to dentist, but without the Novocain. I like coaching better. I took golf lessons as a youngster. I really liked it when the coach would come over and put his hands ...read more
Contributed on Nov 2, 2008
What do you do when you know trouble is coming? Do you run the other way as fast as you can? Paul didn’t and his example helps us when we face difficulty or when those close to us face trials.
Did trouble take Paul by surprise? It shouldn’t have. Back in Acts 9, right at his conversion, Jesus made it clear to then Saul what his future would be like. He told Ananias, who was sent to pray for Saul, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings ...read more
Contributed on Nov 16, 2008
The Apostle Paul has put himself in harms way and now stands before a Roman court. Thanks to the Lord working through other people, he is bold to share his faith - a boldness we can have too.
As we saw in verse 11 of chapter 23, Jesus’ will was for Paul to go to Rome. Paul may have not known just how he was going to get there but here he was in Roman custody, having barely escaped being torn to death twice—first by the Asian Jews in the Temple and second by the Sanhedrin itself. ...read more
Contributed on Nov 24, 2008
We learn from the Apostle Paul that as we mature as a Christian it becomes less about us and what we get and more about the Lord and what we give for Him, including ourselves.
It’s been my experience in the 30+ years I’ve been a follower of Jesus Christ, that there are two major stages in the maturity of a Christian, and within those major stages are two parts. What Can I Get For me from the Lord (it’s about me finding blessings for my life) In me from the Lord ...read more
Contributed on Dec 14, 2008
The Apostle Paul is thrown into (literally) a very tough spot while on his way to possible execution in Rome. Why does God allow turmoil upon turmoil in our lives and how can he use it for His (and our) good?
Recently Margaret and I had the opportunity to spend some time at sea. At times all you could see was ocean. There were no islands or land of any kind in sight. All you had was the rolling waves. I thought what it must have been like for the Apostle Paul—on his way to Rome where he would most ...read more
Contributed on Dec 29, 2008
Paul safely escapes shipwreck only to have a snake come out of the fire and bite him. Instead of panicking or making a big show of how "bullet proof" he was, the Apostle simply goes about the business of serving God. It’s a great lesson for us when we fac
Doesn’t it seem like something (or someone) didn’t want Paul to reach Rome? Angry mobs, corrupt leaders (both Israeli and Roman), then even the wind and waves seem to conspire to destroy Paul or crash him up against the rocks—anything to keep him from reaching God’s intended destination. But as ...read more