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Frances
Jun 1st 2013, 04:25 PM
Acts of the Holy Spirit through Christ's Disciples

Acts 1
What did I learn of God? - Jesus Christ showed Himself unmistakably Alive after crucifixion and death during 40 days, He commanded His disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they received Holy Spirit Baptism - His Power to be His witnesses throughout the world. He was taken up to heaven while His disciples watched, and will return to earth in a similar way. He Forgives those who truly repent after denying Him.

What did I learn of myself? - The need to receive Holy Spirit Power to effectively witness to Jesus Christ. (and re-filling - because I leak) Do I always wait for God's Timing? or do I run out of patience and do what seems right to me at the time, but may prove to have been a tragedy? Justus was not 'elected' to an official position in the early Church but was equally qualified to do so because he had been with Jesus - a far greater honour than being elected to 'office' in His Church - so I don't need to have any official title to be effective in His Service either.
After Holy Spirit Power the disciples never 'cast lots' again - they trusted Him to Guide them, so must I.

What did I praise God for? - His Provision for His disciples.

What did I pray for? - Holy Spirit Wisdom to use the Power He gives wisely and only in ways that will Glorify Jesus Christ.

What does this say in one sentence? - Jesus commanded His disciples to wait for Holy Spirit Power to witness effectively for Him before ascending to Heaven; then His disciples returned to the upper room to pray - where they chose Matthias to replace Judas Iscariot as an Apostle.

Quote(William Carey) :- "Attempt great things for God and expect great things from God" (but I'm only entitled to do that if I'm doing it His way, not mine).
Quote:-(Richard Halverson)“ if a person is filled with the Holy Spirit his witness will not be optional or mandatory - it will be inevitable..

Frances
Jun 6th 2013, 05:41 AM
Acts 2

What did I learn of God? - He fills those of Christ's disciples willing to receive His Gift, with His Holy Spirit (the overflow of which is His Gift of Tongues) to have boldness for and His Power in, witnessing to Jesus Christ. He Promises to make His Spirit available for all people (not just a specially selected few) He will Save 'whoever calls on the Name (character) of the Lord (Jesus Christ) shall be Saved'. Christ was crucified (because that was God's Purposes and Foreknowledge) and raised to Life (like a cork in a bowl of water) having conquered Death (the inevitability of everyone spending Eternity with Satan) Jesus Christ is Lord and Saviour He offers His Holy Spirit to all who repent and are baptised (fully trusting) in the Name of Jesus Christ. He added to the Church those who were being Saved.

What did I learn of myself? - When I was "filled with God's Holy Spirit and began to speak with other Tongues' I was 'one' with all Jesus disciples – past, present and future. I, too, have experienced those who speak in other languages or dialects hearing God speak to them through my Tongue (spoken of by the prophet Joel) I, too, must continue to proclaim that "whoever calls on the Name of the Lord will be Saved" by the risen Christ; and, following their repentance (heartfelt turning from Sin to God) and baptism in the name of Jesus Christ (a demonstration of intent to follow Him) shall receive the Gift of the Holy Spirit". I wonder how many Christians have fulfilled the 'conditions' for receiving Holy Spirit Power in their lives, but have not willingly received and appropriated that Power to Glorify Christ? Am I willing to 'sell my possessions' to fulfill other disciple's needs?
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What did I praise God for? - His Gift of Holy Spirit is still available for Christ's disciples today.

What did I pray for? - Renewed strength and ability to serve Him in ways that please Him.

What does this say in one sentence? - Holy Spirit came on Christ's disciples (in the Temple area?) Peter preached and 3000 were Saved and baptised (in the baptismal pools on the south side of the Temple?) and the Church continued to grow daily.

Quote:-(Ray Comfort) “water baptism doesn’t Save us. Peters hearers repented and believed the Gospel before they were baptised. In Acts 10:47 those who believe the Gospel received the Holy Spirit before they were baptised.
Quote:-(Rich deVos)” some people think of their spiritual life as if they were one person in a telephone booth talking to God on our private line . . . To those folks I say: you cannot grow spiritually in isolation.

Frances
Jun 6th 2013, 02:58 PM
Acts 3

What did I learn of God? - He Works through Jesus Christ's disciples to Glorify Him, using the disciples' faith in Him, as the pathway for His Blessings to those in need - which creates an opportunity for them to preach the Gospel. All those who refuse to trust in Christ, act accordingly and turn away from Sin "will be utterly destroyed from among the people" (Deut.18:15 18-19)

What did I learn of myself? - I must trust God enough to step out in faith as His channel of Blessing to those in need - knowing He will use me to Glorify Jesus Christ when I allow Him to lead me (but not necessarily if I allow my emotions, pride, or any unbiblical teaching to lead me)

What did I praise God for? - Being willing to use me to Glorify Jesus Christ.

What did I pray for? - To hear Him more clearly, also greater humility and greater boldness to do His Will.

What does this say in one sentence? - Peter and John Healed the lame man by the Power of Jesus' Name, then used people's interest as an opportunity to preach the Good News of repentance and Forgiveness of Sin.

Quote (Lawrence O. Richards):- “In our society a name is a label to identify, but in Hebrew culture a name indicated the essence of the persons being, so to pray, preach or heal 'in Jesus Name' releases His Power in a situation – but only in one He would approve of”.
Quote:-(Elton Trueblood) “evangelism is not a professional job for a few trained men, but is instead the unrelenting responsibility of every person who belongs to the company of Jesus.

Frances
Jun 7th 2013, 04:21 PM
Acts 4

What did I learn of God? - His Holy Spirit enables Jesus' disciples to speak in His Name with boldness. He raised Jesus from the dead. Healing and Salvation come to mankind in His Name alone.

What did I learn of myself? - Being put in some kind of 'prison' (difficulty I can't get out of) may be a God-given opportunity to proclaim the Gospel. It is much more important to know Jesus than have theological training. I must listen to, and obey God, at all times and witness to what I know to be true of Jesus Christ. When I offer heartfelt prayer for boldness to speak God's Word and to be a channel for His 'signs and wonders' for His Glory I, too, will be re-filled with Holy Spirit Power to do God's Will, His Way for His Glory, with boldness. Am I of 'one heart and mind' with all other believers? Am I willing to give what I have to believers in need?
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What did I praise God for? - Making His Holy Spirit available to Christ's disciples.

What did I pray for? – M ore Holy boldness, coupled with His Wisdom to know how, when and where to use His Gift.

What does this say in one sentence? - Peter and John were arrested and forbidden to speak or teach in Jesus' Name - so they, and other disciples, prayed for boldness to proclaim His Word and that signs and wonders be done in His Name, and received a fresh in-filling of Holy Spirit; all disciples shared their possessions so no one was in need.

Note:- 70% of the disciple's prayer was concerned with affirming their faith and confidence in the One who is Sovereign over all - and only 30% concerning their need.

Quote:-(Ray Comfort) “when we are afraid to witness to sinners, we can stand firmly upon the wonderful Promises of God given in Isaiah 41:10; we need not fear or Be dismayed because He is with us. He will strengthen, help, and uphold us with his Righteous right hand.”

Frances
Jun 8th 2013, 05:35 PM
Acts 5

What did I learn of God? - He knows when I say what is not 100% true. He is willing to work through Christ's disciples. He is able to do what is impossible for mankind. He gives clear directions / commands. He gives His Holy Spirit to those who obey Him. He leads (or puts) men in 'high' places to speak Truth. No man can fight against God and win.

What did I learn of myself? - If I say my whole life is dedicated to God, yet follow my own desires instead of His Will, I am as guilty as Ananias and Sapphira. Do I have sufficient 'fear' (reverential awe) of God? Do I take seriously that God is present all the time? When my whole life worships Jesus Christ I must expect antagonism from 'the Establishment' . . . but the Lord will lead and guide me. I must obey God rather than men. Do I discourage antagonism towards those who trust Jesus Christ but understand Scripture differently to me? Do I continue to speak of Jesus in spite of opposition?

What did I praise God for? - Holy Spirit Power, Guidance, and Boldness.

What did I pray for? - Conviction of Sin if I deviate, even slightly, from the Truth.

What does this say in one sentance - The result of lying to the Holy Spirit, His Power in the church, He freed the apostles from prison to continue preaching and teaching in homes and Temple.

Quote:-(Benjamin Franklin) “we have been assured in the Sacred writings that ‘except the Lord builds the house they Labour in vain that built it.’ I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without this conquering aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel.”

Frances
Jun 9th 2013, 11:28 AM
Acts 6

What did I learn of God? - He ensures that His Word is spread far and wide, so that Christ's disciples may increase in number and in the depth of their faith in Him.

What did I learn of myself? - Prayer and learning more of, and sharing, the Word of God is most important. Holding an 'office' in a church is not important - serving others is. God will only allow lies to be told about me and my reputation 'killed' so He will ultimately be Glorified in some way.

What did I praise God for? - He is Sovereign.

What did I pray for? - To serve others in the way He chooses by the Power of His Holy Spirit.

What does this say in one sentence? - The Apostles knew they needed to spend time in prayer to be able to preach the Good News as effectively as possible, so seven men 'full of Holy Spirit Power' were appointed to fulfill other essential tasks; one was Stephen who because he did 'great wonders and signs' the Pharisees accused him of blasphemy.

A thought:- all of the 7 deacons has a Greek name, so the church trusted God enough to give those who were experiencing injustice the power and authority to correct it.

Frances
Jun 10th 2013, 03:47 PM
Acts 7

What did I learn of God? - He told Abraham to leave everything, trusting God to show him where to live and Promised him that land for his descendants, told him his descendants would be slaves for 400 years in a foreign land - all before Isaac was conceived. God protected Joseph and eventually made him Governor of Egypt. He spoke to Moses from a burning bush, enabled him to perform 'signs and wonders' to free His people from slavery and promised the Messiah. He gave His Commandments to His people and let them be defeated when they worshipped idols. He filled Stephen with His Holy Spirit and enabled him to see His Glory and Jesus at His right hand. Heaven is His Throne and earth His footstool.

What did I learn of myself? - God's Promises of future glory don't mean I won't suffer in the present. God will enable me to fulfill His Purposes for me and may use my difficulties to ensure I'm in the right place at the right time for Him to use me for His Glory (like Joseph). If I turn from God He will turn from me and let me suffer. He fills me with His Holy Spirit. I may not understand why God allows me to suffer for my faith in Him but I must be faithful even to death.

What did I praise God for? - His Faithfulness, Foreknowledge, and His habit of turning apparently bad results into unexpected good for those faithful to Him.

What did I pray for? - His Presence with me at all times.

What does this say in one sentence? - Stephen addressed the Council, rehearsing God's Faithfulness to Abraham's descendants, and saying the Jewish leaders had killed their Messiah - then the Council stoned Stephen.

Quote (Leo Tolstoy):- 'In order to obtain and hold power a man must love it. Thus the effort to get it is not likely to be coupled with goodness, but with the opposite qualities of pride craft and cruelty.

(Ray Comfort) “the Wisdom Moses gained in Egypt was not the wisdom from above . . . God doesn’t need the wisdom of this world. He wants us to be a lighthouse showing His Love.”

Frances
Jun 11th 2013, 04:34 PM
Acts 8

What did I learn of God? - He allowed the Christians in Jerusalem to be persecuted so they would re-locate throughout Judea and Samaria so they would share the Good News of Jesus Christ. He did many miracles in Samaria through Philip. Holy Spirit told Philip to leave a 'revival' situation to go, initially, to preach to one man.

What did I learn of myself? - God may allow me to be persecuted to encourage me to leave my 'comfort zone' to be Jesus Christ's witness elsewhere. Do I always heed Holy Spirit when He tries to lead me? Do I share the full Gospel with others - including Jesus' willingness to heal in body, mind and spirit? Have I ever tried to force open doors to a spectacular ministry? Am I ready and willing to share Jesus’ offer of Salvation with those I meet 'on the way' or am I too concerned with my destination.
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What did I praise God for? - All His 'nudges' in my spirit as He Leads and Guides.

What did I pray for? - To be more ready to obey His Voice in every situation.

What does this say in one sentence? - Saul zealously encouraged persecution of the Church in Jerusalem, the result was that Christ was preached over a wide area.

Quote:-(Alan Redpath) “God does not waste the great Power of His Spirit on those who wanted it simply for their own sake, to seem holy, good, or gifted. His great task is to carry on the Work for which Jesus sacrificed His Throne and His Life in the redemption of fallen humanity.

Quote:-(Chuck Swindol) “God has placed you where He has placed no one else. No one else has the same relationships you have. No one else will be in the same places and meet the same people at the same time you do. God has not put you in those places nearly to model the truth . . . Be aware of your opportunities to go where He would send you.

Frances
Jun 12th 2013, 12:41 PM
Acts 9

What did I learn of God? - He speaks and convicts people intent on pleasing Him but doing it in the wrong way. When Christ sends His disciples where they fear going it is always for very good reasons. He protects His disciples, Healing and performing miracles through Him.

What did I learn of myself? - Do I always seek to please God in ways that please Him or ways that please me? Saul applied Scripture wrongly with great zeal - I must always be fully submitted to Holy Spirit or I cannot be obedient to Christ. Might physical sight be a hindrance to receiving Spiritual insight? Do I speak of Christ only to those in His 'family'? Do I ever doubt anyone's conversion, even when their aims in life have radically changed for the better? Do I do all I can to protect those who are persecuted for their allegiance to Christ? Do I befriend those folk others don't consider are true Christians, to encourage them? Do I allow the Lord to Heal folk and do miracles through me? or am I afraid He may not honour my prayer so don't give Him the opportunity?

What did I praise God for? - His willingness to Work through each one of Christ's disciples.

What did I pray for? - To be so intent on obeying Jesus Christ that the thought of possible 'failure' never enters my head as I focus on His Power.

What does this say in one sentence? - Saul's conversion, his baptism by Ananias, preaching Christ’s Salvation, escape from murderers and joining the Apostles in Jerusalem; also the Lord Healing Aeneas and returning Dorcas to life through Peter.

Quote:-(Charles Spurgeon) “no man who preaches the Gospel without zeal is sent from God to preach at all.

(Leonard Ravenhill) “in the New Testament Church it says they were all amazed - and now in our churches and everybody wants to be amused.

(Berit Kjos) “The fear of the Lord involves a sober awareness of what he loves, what He despises and the consequences of disobedience and rebellion against Him. It leads to sincere desire to please Him, heartfelt gratitude for His Mercy, and unending delight in His Loving Presence.

Frances
Jun 13th 2013, 04:15 PM
Acts 10

What did I learn of God? - He sometimes gives Visions to prepare folk for future incidents, or to teach unwelcome facts. (eg. many Muslims have had Visions of Jesus’ life on earth and become Christians, but as soon as a Bible is available to them the Visions stop) He does not exclude anyone who truly desires to know Him. He sometimes fills/Baptises those who trust Him with Holy Spirit before they are baptised in water. He is not limited by mankind's imperfect understanding.

What did I learn of myself? - I must be willing to learn from Dreams and Visions God gives , as they will have a Divine purpose. (I must differentiate between 'ordinary' and God-given dreams) I must follow the Lord - not my own ideas. Is the Gift of Tongues the sign of a true Christian? What of those who've been taught God's Gifts are not for today?

What did I praise God for? - Each Gift of His Spirit.

What did I pray for? - That everyone who truly trust's Christ will be willing, and able, to receive His Gifts to Glorify Him.

What does this say in one sentence? - Cornelius and Peter both have Visions which result in Peter preaching to Cornelius' household, their conversion and reception of God's Holy Spirit and water baptism.

Quote:-(Ray Comfort) “the Holy Spirit fell on the Gentiles before they were baptised. This means they were Saved (by God’s Grace) That’s because it is the Gospel that Saves us, not our wants in response to it . . . Baptism is an act of obedience after Salvation.”

Quote:-(Charles Spurgeon) “the law searches to the dividing asunder of joints and marrow, and it is a discernible of the thoughts and intents of the heart. It seeks a Light strikes us like Saul of Tarsus and makes us cry out for Mercy.

Frances
Jun 14th 2013, 03:37 PM
Acts 11

What did I learn of God? - He gives Visions to correct people's understanding. He only allows bad things to happen to His people so good may result (that the Gospel will spread). He expects His people to help each other. He is willing to 'cleanses' and fill with His Spirit any who trust Christ.

What did I learn of myself? - Visions God gave/gives are usually to alert me to see change He requires in me, or of work I must do for Him. I know folk from many sections of Christ's Body (including RC's) who have been Baptised with/in Holy Spirit - who am I to consider them 'unclean'? When I am persecuted do I use that as an opportunity to share the Good News? or do I harp about the persecution? Do I encourage others in the Lord? Do I recognise the Gifts the Lord has given others and ensure those Gifts are used as much as possible? Do I give what I can to relieve Christians in need?

What did I praise God for? - All the Blessings He gives me.

What did I pray for? - That Christ's disciples are protected from all persecution that will not Glorify Him in some way.

What does this say in one sentence? - Peter explained how Gentiles had been Baptised in/by Holy Spirit; Barnabus encouraged the Church in Antioch, fetched Saul from Tarsus then, together, they taught the people for a year, before taking 'relief' to Christians suffering famine in Jerusalem.

Frances
Jun 15th 2013, 04:07 PM
Acts 12

What did I learn of God? - He may not keep His people from prison but He will keep them from death in answer to prayer if He has more work for them to do for Him on earth - performing miracles, if necessary, to ensure His Purpose is fulfilled. He values the lives of one of Jesus' disciples more highly than 16 who don't worship Him. He will not allow anyone to accept worship that belongs to Him alone.

What did I learn of myself? - Do I ever make decisions to ensure my popularity instead of to please God? I will not die until my work here for God is finished. Do I pray for persecuted Christians as often as God needs me to? Do I always take sensible precautions to ensure the safety of myself and others? Would I consider the lives of 16 non-Christians less valuable than one 'soldier of the Lord'? Answers to my prayers depend on God, not on my faith (or Peter would not have been released). I am in great danger if I accept worship that rightly belongs to God alone.

What did I praise God for? - His protection.

What did I pray for? - Greater understanding of what I must trust God to do, and what is my responsibility.

What does this say in one sentence? - When Herod realised persecuting Christians would make him popular he killed James and put Peter in prison but an angel released him as Jesus' disciples prayed; and Herod accepted worship due to God - so he died.

Quote:-(Ray Comfort) “the Sinner is in the prison of his Sins. He has been taken captive by the devil. He is asleep in his Sins . . . The Law must strike him, that will rouse into his plight of being on the threshold of Death.

Frances
Jun 16th 2013, 04:29 PM
Acts 13

What did I learn of God? - He speaks to those who listen to Him. He Works through Jesus' Disciples for His Glory. Jesus Christ fulfilled His Promise of a Saviour given to David; through Him is Sins are Forgiven. He 'appoints to Eternal Life' those who trust Jesus Christ. He uses opposition to open 'doors of opportunity'. He fills those totally submitted to Christ with His Holy Spirit.

What did I learn of myself? - I can only be effective for the Lord where His Holy Spirit enables me to be. He demonstrates His Power against those opposed to Jesus. I need to know the history of God's dealings with His people to be effective for Him. God Forgave/Forgives my Sins because I trust Jesus - Who He is and what He's done for me. The Apostles had total confidence in the Holy Spirit's ability to Guide Christians - have I? I must try to be as similar as possible to those I hope to reach for Christ.

What did I praise God for? - Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit.

What did I pray for? - His Strength to ensure I don't let Him down in any way.

What does this say in one sentence? - The Holy Spirit sent Barnabus and Saul to ‘preach Jesus’ in Cyprus and Antioch - cities that were centers of communication, transportation and marketing. (He was Saul [Hebrew] to the Hebrews and Paul [Greek] to the Gentiles).

Quote:-(Easton Bible Dictionary) “Justification is the judicial act of God by which He pardons all Sins of those who believe In Christ. . . The Law must strike Him - that will rouse him to his plight of being on the threshold of Death.”
Quote:-(Ray Comfort) “the Psalms reveal that David was sometimes vindictive and even hateful in prayer. However, he proved to be ‘a man after God’s own heart’. In his dealings with King sold he was fooled of mercy and grace in the face of murderous hostility. This may be because he had the good sense to pour out his heart to God, dealing with his anger in the privacy of prayer.”

Frances
Jun 17th 2013, 04:45 PM
Acts 14

What did I learn of God? - He encouraged a multitude of Jews and Gentiles to trust Jesus Christ. He bore witness to the preaching of His Grace with 'signs and wonders' through Paul and Barnabus. He warns of danger to come. He doesn't let His disciples die while He has Work for them to do on earth.

What did I learn of myself? - If I am effective when sharing the Gospel I must expect unbelievers to poison minds against me. Do I always take wise evasive action when warned of coming difficulties? Do I always refuse to accept adulation that rightly belongs to God as Paul and Barnabus did? Do I always leave places where the treatment I receive leads to death (of body mind or spirit?) I need to rest and recuperate 'at home' after missionary journeys.

What did I praise God for? - Empowering people like Paul and Barnabus to proclaim His Good News in spite of persecution.

What did I pray for? - Holy boldness to always do God's Will.

What does this say in one sentence? - At Iconium Paul and Barnabus refused to be worshipped as gods, Paul was stoned in Lystra, went to a Fruitful ministry in Derbe, then returned to Antioch to rest and recuperate - visiting Lystra and Iconium on the way.

(ps. 100 years before Paul and Barnabus were in Lystra, Ovid recounted a legend that the gods Zeus and Hermes walked that area as mortals, though asking in 1,000 homes for hospitality it was refused, eventually a couple living in a straw shack took them in - it was transformed into a marble and gold temple.)

Quote:-(Ken Ham) “in this ongoing war between Creation and Evolution . . . All people have the same evidence/facts . . . The difference is in the way we interpret the facts . . . Whose interpretation of you going to trust? Will you start with an awl knowing God who cannot live, or would you dare start with vulnerable ideas about the past from Sinful man who were not there?”

Quote:-(John Furz) “as soon as I began to preach, a man presented a gun at my face; swearing that he would blow my brains out if I spoke another word. I continued preaching and he continued swearing, sometimes putting the gun to my mouth, sometimes gets my ear. While we were seeing the last him he fired the gun and burned off part of my hair.” (Charles Spurgeon) “the proximity of a blunderbuss . . . Is not very conducive to collected thought and utterances”.

Frances
Jul 7th 2013, 04:17 PM
Acts 15

What did I learn of God? - From verse 16 (which quotes Amos 9:11-12) He foretold rebuilding the family of David which was in ruins, so the rest of mankind (including Gentiles) would seek Him . . . which they were/are doing through Jesus Christ. Does He allow violent disagreement in His Body to encourage folk to move out of their 'holy huddles' and spread His Gospel more widely?

What did I learn of myself? - If I am unsure of any part of doctrine I must not jump to hasty conclusions but seek confirmation from the Lord - which may cause argument. I must refer to what I know of God's dealings with me, and of His Holy Spirit in others, in any dispute, also referring to the whole Bible. I must not eat anything offered to idols, or blood, or indulge in sexual immorality. Violent disagreement only resolved through separating may be one way God uses to get me to move to where He wants me to be.
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What did I praise God for? - His Wisdom.

What did I pray for? - That I will know if a dispute is to teach me a truth I have not recognised, or to encourage me to part from those who see things differently to me.

What does this say in one sentence? - Paul and Barnabus traveled to Jerusalem to resolve conflict over circumcising Gentile Christians, later Paul disagreed so sharply with Barnabus about John Mark that they went separate ways.

Quote (F.B.Meyer):- "I used to think that God's Gifts were on shelves one above the other, and the taller we grew in Christian character the easier we could reach them. I now find God's Gifts are on shelves beneath each other. It's not a question of growing taller, but of stooping down, to get His best gifts”

Quote:-(Charles Darwin) “as by this theory (evolution) innumerable transitional forms must have existed, why do we not find them imbedded in countless numbers? The number of intermediate links between all living and extinct species must have been inconceivably great.”

Frances
Jul 8th 2013, 04:31 PM
Acts 16

What did I learn of God? - God's Holy Spirit forbade Paul and Silas to preach the Word in Asia (the Roman province of Asia?) or Bithynia in Mysia. He gave Paul a Vision to encourage him to go to Macedonia (Europe) where He demonstrated His Power over Evil spirits through Paul. He opened all the prison doors and released all the prisoner's chains. He uses our ancestry for our good (Paul was a Roman citizen and as Timothy had a Jewish mother should have been circumsized as a baby).

What did I learn of myself? - I must always do as the Holy Spirit tells me. I must try to prevent disagreements where it does not compromise God's Word. I must not 'improve on' the Apostles doctrine in any way. I must speak, or keep silent, about Christ as led by God's Spirit. I must obey Godly Visions. Not everyone will be pleased when I obey the Holy Spirit, in fact it may land me in very hot water, but if I ignore the difficulty and pray and praise the Lord it may open the way for Him to Work in amazing ways and encourage others to be open to His Word. When I know I'm in the right timidity is not an option. It is foolish to stay in any situation when the Holy Spirit’s Work in it has 'gone sour'.

What did I praise God for? - Communicating His Wisdom to us.

What did I pray for? - To be encouraged to always obey Him instantly.

What does this say in one sentence? - Paul met Timothy in Derbe he then accompanied Paul and Silas in their missionary work in Macedonia where they met Lydia; ejected an Evil spirit from a slave girl, which resulted in Paul and Silas being beaten and imprisoned then, while they prayed and praised God, He released all the prisoner's chains and opened the doors - encouraging the jailor and his family to become Christians; Paul insisted on a public apology because he was a Roman citizen.

Quote (Lawrence O. Richards):- We don't need to be mystical to rely on the Holy Spirit. We can rely on Him while using what God has already provided for us - from timetables to our ability to plan and develop strategy. But relying on the Spirit also means remaining totally open to God, ready to change any plans when He says "No" or "Go". Mind and heart must cooperate as we rely on the Spirit to lead.”

Quote:-(Danny Lehmann) “A good rule of thumb to follow would be to presume the Lord wants you to share the Gospel with everyone unless He leads you not.

Frances
Jul 9th 2013, 02:56 PM
Acts 17

What did I learn of God? - Jesus is the Christ(Messiah) and had to suffer and rise again from the dead. He made the world and everything in it, He gives to all life and breath. He is Lord of Heaven and earth. He does not live in man-made temples. He made, from one man, every nation on earth and has determined where they would live. In Him we live and move and have our being. He is not an idol. He has overlooked our ignorance in the past but now commands everyone to repent, because He is going to Judge the world in righteousness.

What did I learn of myself? - I must search the Scriptures myself to ensure all I'm told of God is true. Evangelism should be done in conjunction with a local church if possible, demonstrating from the Old and New Testaments that God is not something mankind creates but that He created all things, and also of man's Sin and coming Judgment; also that Christ's coming, His death and resurrection, were foretold. He wants all men to repent and receive God's Forgiveness. There are times when it is wise to leave a hostile situation.

What did I praise God for? - My life in Christ which is totally different to any 'religion'.

What did I pray for? - Wisdom to know, in every circumstance, whether to stay in a hostile situation or leave.

What does this say in one sentence? - Paul preached, and formed churches, in Thessalonica, Berea, and Athens receiving both condemnation and abuse; the 'noble' Christians (even today) didn't accept what was preached unless it could be found in Scripture.

Quote:-(Dr Colin Paterson, see their palaeontologist, British Museum of natural history, in a keynote address at the American Museum of natural history, New York City, in 1981.) “One morning I woke up and . . . It struck me that I had been working on this stuff (evolution) for 20 years and there was not one thing I knew about it stop that’s quite a shock to learn that one can be misled so long . . . I’ve tried putting a simple question to various people: ‘can you tell me anything you know about evolution, anyone see, any one thing that is true?’ I tried that question on the geology staff at the Field Museum of Natural History and the only answer I got was silence. I tried it on the members of the Evolutionary Morphology seminar in the University of Chicago, a very prestigious body of evolutionists, and all I got there was silence for a long time and eventually one person said, ‘I do know one thing-it ought not to be taught in high school.”

Quote:-(Rob Price) “instead of desperate sinners knocking on the door of heaven, we incorrectly paint a picture of Jesus pleading at the heart of the Sinner . . . The Gospel is not an invitation, because invitation is can be turned down without fear of reprisal . . . Out of God’s love for us He commands us to repent, because at any moment that shock of Sin and Death could run as over for playing on the road rebellion.”

Frances
Jul 10th 2013, 03:38 PM
Acts 18

What did I learn of God? - He sometimes gives Visions to encourage people.

What did I learn of myself? - I must go where the Lord sends me. I must discuss Scripture whenever I have the opportunity, though some people will ridicule me others will listen. I must heed what the Lord says to me personally. I must be willing to be corrected when my understanding is imperfect. When I need to correct others I must, wherever possible, do so privately, as sensitivity to other's feelings encourages them to listen to what I have to say.

What did I praise God for? - Ensuring the freedom to travel in the Roman Empire that enabled the rapid spread of the Gospel in the first century. . .

What did I pray for? - Greater understanding of God's Word.

What does this say in one sentence? - When the Jews opposed Paul in Corinth he spoke to the Gentiles instead, in a Vision God told him to continue speaking as no one would hurt him, so he stayed 18 months before returning to Antioch; Pricilla and Aquila corrected Apollos' imperfect understanding privately.

Quote:-(Charles Spurgeon) “it is absolutely necessary to the preaching of the Gospel of Christ that men be warned as to what will happen if they continue in their Sins. . . Shall we lull them into soft slumbers which they will awake in Hell? The doctrine of Judgement to come is the Power by which men are to be aroused.”

(Adrian Rogers) “it is better to be divided by Truth than United in error; it is better to speak Truth that hurts and then heals than to speak a lie; it is better to be hated for telling the Truth than loved for telling a lie; it is better to stand alone with Truth than to be wrong with the multitude.”

Frances
Jul 11th 2013, 04:13 PM
Acts 19

What did I learn of God? - Though genuine repentance is necessary, God's Holy Spirit only enters those who trust Jesus Christ as well. He did unusual miracles through Paul (ie. not what He did/does through other disciples). The Name of Jesus has no Power unless used by His disciples. Jesus may be honoured more when it is recognised that His Power is only available through His true disciples. He sometimes fulfills His Purposes through those who don't know Him.

What did I learn of myself? - I must not assume that every disciple of Jesus Christ has received his Holy Spirit (even today some Christians have not received Him) I must speak of Jesus in apparently hostile places (Ephesus was a 'stronghold' of Diana worship). I must only try to do what Holy Spirit gives me His Power to do - not try to imitate what He does through others. God will always show me some way to share my faith if I am willing to do so. I cannot 'use' Jesus' Name, I must allow Him to use me His Way.

What did I praise God for? - Those of us who were not taught that Holy Spirit Power is for today too but must be received willingly, are still able to receive His Power in our lives to witness to Jesus Christ - if we ask Him. Disciples determined their lives will Glorify God even when it is costly.

What did I pray for? - That all Christians will not only be willing to receive Holy Spirit's Power but will, with humility, ask Him to fill them to overflowing.

What does this say in one sentence? - Paul ministered in Ephesus where he found disciples who had not yet received Holy Spirit Power, and God worked unusual miracles through him there (so miracles were normal through Christians)

Quote:-(Charles Spurgeon) “that Sin must die, or you will perish by it. Depend on it, that Sin which you would save from the slaughter will slaughter you”.

Frances
Jul 12th 2013, 04:12 PM
Acts 20

What did I learn of God? - He returned Eutychus to life through Paul’s ministry. He requires repentance from those who trust Jesus Christ. Holy Spirit warns of difficulties to come. Christ gave Paul the Ministry of testifying to the 'Gospel of the Grace of God'. Jesus Christ purchased the Church with His own Blood. His Word is able to build Christ's disciples up and 'give them an inheritance among the sanctified'. Jesus said "it is more Blessed to give than to receive".

What did I learn of myself? - I must encourage Christ's disciples to follow Him alone. I must expect to be plotted against. My messages must be brief and to the point - so folk don't lose concentration and fall asleep. I must take note of what God’s Holy Spirit says, and not let anything dissuade me from doing His Will. I must ensure I always tell folk the 'whole counsel of God', and point out deviations from it. I must test what other Christians say to discover if it could encourage folk to leave the pure Truth and follow them instead. I must warn disciples of any deviation from God's original, inspired, Word. I must allow folk to know the 'real me', with no pretence. I must remember that Jesus said "it is more blessed to give than to receive" - and always give agape love.

What did I praise God for? - What He did through Paul.

What did I pray for? - That I will be encouraged to be as obedient as Paul.

What does this say in one sentence? - Paul's journeys in Greece, that he spoke so long in Troas that Eutychus fell asleep and out of a window, sailed to Miletus and spoke to Ephesian leaders.

Quote:-(Ray Comfort) “as you witness, divorce yourself from the thought that you are merely seeking ‘decisions for Christ’ what we should be seeking is repentance within the heart . . . If there is no God given repentance then you will end up with a stillbirth on your hand’s. Many don’t understand that the salvation of a soul is not a resolution to change the way of life, but “repentance towards God and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ.”

(Billy Graham) " if you have not repented, you will not see the inside of the Kingdom of God.”

Frances
Jul 13th 2013, 03:54 PM
Acts 21

What did I learn of God? - His Holy Spirit, through disciples in Tyre and also through Agabus in Caesarea, told Paul not to go to Jerusalem - (but he wouldn't take any notice); He (sometimes) protects His people who foolishly disregard His Word to them.

What did I learn of myself? - I must be willing to accept what God says to me through other people (providing He has not said something different to me personally) - including those whose conversion I've been instrumental in - if I don't I must expect to suffer. I, too, have disregarded God's message to me through others. I, too, have made the mistake of thinking I will always hear personally, what relates to me, from the Lord. Sometimes the Lord extricates me from the results of my stupidity.

What did I praise God for? - The many times He's protected me - in spite of my foolishness in disregarding his Word to me.

What did I pray for? - To recognise His word to me whoever the messenger may be, and the Healing of any who have been hurt when I haven't.

What does this say in one sentence? - Paul disregarded Holy Spirit's warnings not to go to Jerusalem, yet when there he heeded James and the Elder's suggestion to make peace with the Jews and was arrested in the Temple by the Roman soldiers.

I'm puzzled:- Did Paul purpose in his own spirit, or because the Holy Spirit told him(text doesn't say 'Holy') to go to Jerusalem(19:21)? as later he was warned twice 'through Holy Spirit' (21:4 + 10-12) not to go to Jerusalem - was God saying "this is not the time I spoke of" or was Paul's decision to go not from God? or was He seeing if Paul would be true to the Word he had already received?

Quote:-((Ray Comfort) “John Wesley told his Evangelist trainees that when they preached people should either get angry or get converted. No doubt he wasn’t speaking about the ‘Jesus loves you Gospel’, but about Sin, Law, Righteousness, Judgement and Hell.

Frances
Jul 14th 2013, 02:43 PM
Acts 22

What did I learn of God? - He sometimes extricates us from situations we should not have been in in the first place. He sometimes allows Christians to be in difficult situations so His Word receives greater exposure.

What did I learn of myself? – I should use every opportunity to testify of Jesus' dealings with me. To use circumstances of birth or upbringing that will be helpful in each situation to identify, where possible, with my listeners. I must be sensitive to the beliefs and prejudices of those I speak to, so if they take offence it won't be because I am offensive. However wise I may be the Truth will sometimes be rejected, and I will be rejected with it.

What did I praise God for? - opportunities I've had in the past to witness to God's dealings with me, and to Glorify Him. Stopping me if I am displeasing Him ( by withdrawing His Peace, or through others).

What did I pray for? - More such opportunities, and the wisdom to use them wisely. That when I am rejected for relaying Truth I will forgive as Jesus forgave in similar situations.

What does this say in one sentence? - Paul addressed a mob in Jerusalem.

Quote:-(George Washington) “Labour to keep alive in your breast that celestial fire called conscience.”

Frances
Jul 15th 2013, 04:43 PM
Acts 23

What did I learn of God? - He doesn't allow His servants to be killed until they have done all He requires of them.

What did I learn of myself? - I must not speak evil of a ruler of the people - respecting the Office even if the Ruler is evil. When falsely accused I must seek to divide my accusers by agreeing to their doctrines where possible. God will ensure I live on earth until I have fulfilled His Purposes for me; He will thwart any ungodly plans I make to harm His servants.

What did I praise God for? - That He will not allow me to harm any of His servants.

What did I pray for? - Wisdom to know what to say, when to say it - and what not to say.

What does this say in one sentence? - Paul divided the Sanhedrin by agreeing with the doctrine of half of them, then his nephew told the Roman Commander of a plot to kill Paul, so he was sent secretly to Felix in Caesarea.

Quote:- (Lawrence O. Richards) 'this Ananias was mentioned in 1st century writings. Josephus says he stole tithes given to ordinary priests and bribed Romans and Jews; he is ridiculed in the Talmud and was hated for his brutality and greed. He was killed by Jews in the uprising of AD66)

Quote:-(Charles Spurgeon) “I have known what it is to use up all my ammunition, and then I have, as it were, rammed myself into the great Gospel gun and fired myself at hearers - all my experience of God’s goodness, all my consciousness of Sin, and all my sense of the Power of the Gospel.”

Frances
Jul 16th 2013, 04:24 PM
Acts 24
What did I learn of God? - Christ's Way involves believing, and acting on, the Law and the Prophets; and of Righteousness, Self-Control and the Judgment to come. He requires me to provide for the needs of wrongly accused Christians where possible. He is able to turn every situation to eventual good.

What did I learn of myself? - I must expect to be falsely accused, which may give an opportunity to speak of Jesus Christ and the Salvation He offers. Imprisoned Christians may need provision I can give. Being in the right is no guarantee of either acquittal or justice. Having the opportunity to speak for Jesus is 'success'.

What did I praise God for? - Those, today, who proclaim the Good News of Jesus in very difficult situations - and suffer for it.

What did I pray for? - God's Wisdom, Strength and Peace for those who proclaim His Word in difficult and dangerous situations.

What does this say in one sentence? - Paul's defense before Felix, proclaiming the Gospel to him, and Felix's hope of receiving a bribe.


Note;- Felix was born a slave, later freed by Emperor Claudius' mother. Roman historian Tacitus called Felix "a master of cruelty and lust who exercised powers of a king with the spirit of a slave.)

Quote:-(Ray Comfort) “those who stand for righteousness will be considered troublemakers in the world’s eyes.
(Joni Eriksson Tada) “what we think about God influences our friendship with Him . . . the Bible is our only safe source of knowledge about God, and it requires thinking. God’s persistent invitation in every age remains: ‘come now, let us reason together says the Lord’(Isaiah 1:18).

Quote:-(Jony E. Tada) “what we think about God influences our friendship with Him.”

Frances
Jul 17th 2013, 05:08 PM
(Acts 25
What did I learn of God? - His purposes will be fulfilled (in spite of our stupidity) He may use other people’s lies against His people to get an individual where He wants them to be.

What did I learn of myself? - I must ensure, by my good behaviour, that any charges of wrongful actions brought against me will be groundless. If I am innocent of charges brought against me I must proclaim my innocence. I must take every opportunity to proclaim the Gospel.

What did I praise God for? - Opportunities He gives to witness to His Grace.

What did I pray for? - To be equal to the tasks God gives me.

What does this say in one sentence? - Paul appeals to Caesar and is to be examined before Festus and King Agrippa.[/

Frances
Jul 18th 2013, 05:21 PM
Acts 26

What did I learn of God? - He Promised the 12 tribes of Israel a Saviour - who is Jesus Christ of Nazareth. He raises the dead to life. those who persecute Christ's followers persecute Him. He ensures those who serve Him fulfill the task He has for them. Sometimes my physical body may be 'chained' to fulfill His purposes.

What did I learn of myself? - If possible, is it helpful to speak of those things the one judging me and I agree on, while witnessing to the Power of Jesus in my life. I must always tell the Truth, the whole truth and nothing but the Truth.

What did I praise God for? - Opportunities to witness to Jesus and His Life, death and resurrection.

What did I pray for? - More such opportunities to tell those who 'almost believe' they have nothing worthwhile to lose by trusting Jesus, and everything to gain.

What does this say in one sentence? - Paul tells Festus and Agrippa of his early life, conversion and post-conversion life, and they agree he could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.

Quotes:-(John Vianney):- the eyes of the world see no further than this life . . . the eyes of a Christian see deep into Eternity

(Adrian Rogers) “if you are not endeavouring to bring souls to Jesus Christ, you are not right with God. You . . . are guilty of high treason against heavens King”.

Frances
Jul 19th 2013, 05:33 PM
Acts 27

What did I learn of God? - Christ enables His disciples to perceive the dangers of a course of action. He, sometimes, gives necessary information in Visions. He protects His servants.

What did I learn of myself? - I must always be led by the Lord, as those with most experience of a subject (in this case sailing) are not always the most reliable.

What did I praise God for? - His Protection.

What did I pray for? - Thanksgiving, even when in difficulty and pain I know if He had not protected me it could have been far worse - especially when my circumstances are the result of my own stupidity.

What does this say in one sentence? - Paul's voyage to Rome as a prisoner and being shipwrecked.

Quote:-(A W Tozer “what comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.

Frances
Jul 20th 2013, 03:54 PM
Acts 28

What did I learn of God? - He is able to protect from all harm. He Heals through Christ's disciples. He gives opportunities for His Gospel to be spoken of in unexpected situations. As He foretold, the hearts of his 'elect' (the Jews) had grown dull so didn't heed His Good News, so didn't turn to Him in the way He requires - so he ensured the Gentiles have the opportunity to be Saved.

What did I learn of myself? - God will protect my life while He has work for me to do on earth for Him. God will Heal folk through me - when I know He will. I must tell folk of God's Gift of Salvation at every opportunity - respecting their right to reject His Gift.
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What did I praise God for? - Every opportunity He gives to speak of Jesus Christ and His Power.

What did I pray for? - More such opportunities, and that I always remember any Power I am enabled to exercise is His, not mine.

What does this say in one sentence? - Paul was shipwrecked at Malta where God Healed folk through him, after 3 months he went on to Rome, where he lived in a house he rented, with a soldier to guard him, speaking of the Lord with all who came to see him.

Sometimes it seems as though Paul’s experiences, as related, [ eg. his guards obeying him and allowing him to rent a house and entertain many visitors] unlikely to have happened, but Quote (Lawrence O. Richards):- - "who would have thought Lech Walesa, a pipe fitter in a Polish shipyard could form a Union, be outlawed, then silenced for years and play a critical role in the fall of Poland's communist Government."