It has been a tough year - we have all been knocked about by the pandemic. In the past 10 days we marked the one year anniversary - a time of genuine lament and recognition of the loss. Yet for those of us with faith in Jesus, the bad news is not the only news - for we also live by much bigger news.
Sunday, 4 April 2021
Sunday, 28 March 2021
In Acts 16 we catch up with Paul again in Lystra. We have heard alot in Acts about scattering outwards, but here Paul is actually re-visiting places he had already been (see Acts 14). So this is a phase of consolidation, a period in which he can check on the health of the spreading movement.
Sunday, 14 March 2021
Launching out in many small mission initiatives can be likened to deploying ourselves as small lifeboats. Leaving behind the luxury of the big ship we take the risk on the choppy seas in small boats as a way of more effectively reaching people in the community who need saving.
Challenge: Pray for God to lead you to those He has ready to hear
Sunday, 28 February 2021
It is instructive for us to compare Paul's messages. This week we will look at his message in Acts 13 (Psidian Antioch), and his message in Acts 17 (Athens). In chapter 13 he went to the synagogue - not simply for some nice worship - but to give, he went strategically to tell about Jesus. In Acts 17 he did the same, and from there he went on to the Aeropagus - that's the gathering point of the clever and influential. Again he did this not because it would be nice or stimulating, but because it afforded him the chance to give - to tell of Jesus.
Sunday, 21 February 2021
Acts 12 finishes with the story of Herod dying and eaten by worms. We might wonder why Luke includes this, when he could have turned to another account of witness, healing and salvation. The reason is that Luke is making a point. There is opposition and persecution against the witness to Jesus. The chapter starts with James captured and executed, and goes on with Peter also arrested.
Sunday, 14 February 2021
Saul is an educated Jewish person who moves in the circles of power in Jerusalem. He is appalled at the people who claim to 'follow Jesus' and preach 'Jesus as Lord'. He sees them as deluded and dangerous, distracting people from the true Jewish faith. He is a man on a mission, and pro-active with it. He gets permission to widen his operations, to round up believers he has heard are now in Damascus.
Sunday, 7 February 2021
Let's be honest - we all have prejudices and 'unconscious biases'. We see certain 'other' people and think negatively about them. With any ingrained prejudice there comes a time when the Holy Spirit moves to simply blow it out of the water. Acts 10 is the story of Cornelius, a Roman officer. He is not of a Jewish background, so he is 'unclean'. A Jewish person would not visit his house, for fear of becoming unclean, as if they might 'catch something'.
Challenge: Pray for the most 'unlikely' person you know
Sunday, 10 January 2021
Peter and the Apostles are regularly proclaiming Jesus and His Kingdom in the temple courts area. It has become a core practice (see Acts 2 last week) for the new believers to hear their teaching about Jesus and the Kingdom, and being a public space anyone else who wants to can also hear.