Gospel Anointing!

Scripture reading for May 20th:  Acts 11, Psalm 100, Proverbs 7

Key Scriptures:  Acts 11:19-21 “Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the Word to no one except Jews.  But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Hellenists also preaching the Lord Jesus.  And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord.”  

Persecution broke out against the believers in Jerusalem following the stoning of Stephen.  The believers were scattered and wherever they went, they ended up sharing the Word of Jesus Christ.  Some spoke only to other Jews, but others spoke to Gentiles.  God’s anointing was evident in that many believed and turned in repentance and faith to Jesus Christ as Lord.

Faith Confession:  I believe that God’s Word is powerful to save both Jew and Gentile.  Lord, let Your anointing and hand be upon me as I share each day.  Let many turn to You in repentance and faith.
Psalm 100: 1-3 “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!  Serve the Lord with gladness!  Come into His presence with singing!  Know that the Lord, He is God!  It is He who made us and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.”  

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God shows no partiality!

Scripture reading for May 17th:  Acts 10, Psalm 99, Proverbs 6

Key Scriptures: Acts 10:34-38 “So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears Him and does what is right is acceptable to Him.  As for the word that He sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all), you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power.  He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”  

Peter had been sent by the Holy Spirit to share the Gospel at the home of the Gentile centurion Cornelius.  As he opened his mouth to share, he noted that God shows no partiality between Jew or Gentile, but accepts all who come to Him in repentance and faith.  He simply shared Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection and that forgiveness of sins was available in His Name.  The Holy Spirit filled this group of Gentiles and they began to speak in tongues!

Faith Confession:  God is impartial and shows mercy to all who sincerely come to Him.  Help me to clearly share the Gospel with those who are open.  Send me to those needing understanding of Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 6:20-22  “My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching.  Bind them on your heart always; tie them around your neck.  When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you are awake, they will talk with you.”  

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Faith declaration!

Scripture reading for May 16th:  Acts 9, Psalm 98, Proverbs 5

Key Scriptures: Acts 9:39-42  “So Peter rose and went with them.  And when he arrived, they took him to the upper room.  All the widows stood beside him weeping and showing tunics and other garments that Dorcas made while she was with them.  But Peter put them all outside, and knelt down and prayed; and turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.”  And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up.  And he gave her his hand and raised her up.  Then calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive.  And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord.”

Tabitha, a beloved disciple who was a seamstress suddenly died.  The other believers washed her body and sent for Peter to come quickly.  Peter put all the widows and others out and alone with the body, he knelt to pray.  After prayer, Peter turned to the body and spoke the woman’s name: “Tabitha, arise.”  He made a simple faith confession or command as a result of his faith in His Lord Jesus.  This miracle caused many to believe in Jesus Christ!

Faith Confession:  I believe in the resurrection power of the Name of Jesus Christ.  Lord, help me to seek You at every need You bring before me in order to do Your will and enable me to speak in faith that many will believe in You.

Psalm 98:1-2 “Oh sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done marvelous things!  His right hand and His holy arm have worked salvation for Him.  The Lord has made known His salvation; He has revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations.”

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Persecution spreads the Word

Scripture reading for May 15th:  Acts 8, Psalm 97, Proverbs 4

Key Scriptures:  Acts 8:4-8  “Now those who were scattered went about preaching the Word.  Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ.  And the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip when they heard him and saw the signs that he did.  For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed.  So there was great joy in that city.”  

Jesus had promised that His followers would suffer persecution.  This happened after Stephen was martyred.  The persecution caused the disciples to scatter out of Jerusalem into many other towns and regions.  Philip, one of the first deacons, was scattered to Samaria.  There he proclaimed Christ and preached the Word and God stretched out His hand in signs and healings and demonic evictions.  Great joy was spread as the Word of God spread by those persecuted believers!

Faith Confession:  Lord Jesus, help me to boldly proclaim Your truth wherever the Spirit takes me.  I want the joy and light of Your truth and healing presence to flow among all people in my path.

Proverbs 4:18 “But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.”

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Boldness, truth, and grace!

Scripture reading for May 14th:  Acts 7,  Psalm 96, Proverbs 3

Key Scriptures:  Acts 7:51-55 “”You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit.  As your fathers did, so do you.  Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute?  And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, Whom you have now betrayed and murdered, you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.”   Now when they heard these things, they were enraged and they ground their teeth at him.  But he, full of the Holy Spirit gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of the God.”

Stephen had the privilege of preaching the Gospel and declaring truth to some of the same crowd who had demanded Jesus be crucified.  He did not back off, but was full of boldness by the Holy Spirit.  But truth is not received by the proud and arrogant and they quickly became an angry mob with murder in their hearts again.  In contrast, Stephen saw a vision of an open heaven and Jesus Christ standing beside the Father’s throne.  As Stephen died, he prayed for their forgiveness as did His Lord Jesus.

Faith Confession:  Lord, give me the kind of boldness and grace that Stephen had by filling me with the Holy Spirit.  Help me to clearly preach and live by truth even in the face of unrepentant lost religious people.

Psalm 96:2-3 “Sing to the Lord, bless His Name; tell of His salvation from day to day.  Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all the peoples!”

 

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Multiplying ministry with character.

Scripture reading for May 13th:  Acts 6, Psalm 95, Proverbs 2

Key Scriptures:  Acts 6:2-6 “And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the Word of God to serve tables.  Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty.  But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word.”  And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, . . .”

As the number of believers multiplied and diversified, the apostles soon felt the need to multiply the leadership and spread out the duties of pastoral care.  They gathered all the disciples and shared their priority of prayer and preaching God’s Word.  They also shared their solution–the appointment of  Spirit-filled helpers to serve the widows.  They chose seven men–full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom to come along side and serve.  Character was more important than talent.

Faith Confession:  Thank You Lord for this insightful record of how You helped the leaders in Your church to keep their priorities straight and chose helpers full of the Spirit and wisdom.  Give me wisdom to multiply those serving Your church.

Proverbs 2:6-8 “For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of His saints.”  

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Grace and holy fear

Scripture reading for May 10th:  Acts 5, Psalm 94, Proverbs 1

Key Scriptures:  Acts 5;1-5  “But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet.  But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land?  While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own?  And after it was sold, was it not at  your disposal?  Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart?  You have not lied to man but to God.”  When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last.  And great fear came upon all who heard of it.”

Ananias and Sapphira were members of the church in Jerusalem.  They sold a piece of property and then brought an offering to the apostles, telling them it was the full price of the land.  God gave Peter a word of wisdom.  It was only part of the price.  As Peter faithfully spoke this word, Ananias fell down dead!  This caused great fear to come upon all.

Faith Confession:  Lord, I am humbled by this record of judgment upon the sins of Your people.  Bring conviction and truth to me continually to hold me up.  Cover my sins by Christ’s blood, my only plea.

Psalm 94:16-18  “Who rises up for Me against the wicked?  Who stands up for Me against evildoers?  If the Lord had not been my help, my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.  When I thought “My foot slips,” Your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up.”  

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Boldness to open my mouth!

Scripture reading for May 9th:  Acts 4, Psalm 93, Proverbs 31

Key Scriptures:  Acts 4:29-31 “”And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to Your servants to continue to speak Your Word with all boldness, while You stretch out Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the Name of Your holy servant Jesus.”  And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the Word of God with boldness.”  

The disciples had been threatened and warned to not speak again in the Name of Jesus Christ.  They gathered together in prayer and took the threats before the Lord, asking not for deliverance, but for boldness to speak God’s Word!  The also asked the Lord to stretch His hand out and heal with signs and wonders in the Name of Jesus.  God was so moved by their prayers, that the place they were meeting in was literally shaken by His presence and they were filled with the Holy Spirit and boldness to speak Christ’s Word!

Faith Confession:  Lord, give me boldness to open my mouth to preach and speak Your Word to those I come in contact with.  I expect You to confirm Your Word with signs, miracles and healings.  Amen!

Proverbs 31:8-9  “Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute.  Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.”  

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Faith in Jesus’ Name

Scripture reading for May 8th:  Acts 3, Psalm 92, Proverbs 30

Key Scriptures:  Acts 3:6-10 “But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I gave to you.  In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!”  And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong.  And leaping up, he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.  And all the people saw him walking and praising God, and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple asking for alms.  And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.”  

Peter and John were going to the temple for prayer when they were met by a beggar asking for alms.  They did not have money, but gave him more than he asked for.  They spoke a word of faith in the Name of Jesus and reached out for his hand.  As they did, God worked a miracle of healing and the man leaped up and began to walk and praise God.  The miracle brought awe and wonder to all!

Faith Confession:  I  am a believer in Jesus Christ.  I believe that through the Name of Jesus I have authority and power to confront sickness, disease, and demonic power and to trust God for results.  (Action Step:  In faith step out to help someone the Lord puts in your path.  Trust Jesus for results)

Psalm 92:4  “For You, O Lord, have made me glad by Your work; at the works of Your hands I sing for joy.”  

 

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Repentance, baptism and the Holy Spirit

Scripture reading for May 7th:  Acts 2, Psalm 91, Proverbs 29

Key Scriptures: Acts 2:36-39  “Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.  Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”  And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to Himself.”  

As Peter preached the Gospel message of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection to the crowd gathered in Jerusalem for Pentecost, the Holy Spirit brought conviction on many in the congregation.  They asked Peter what they could do, having taken part in this event.  Peter told them plainly to repent–change their mind and their ways and identify with the crucified and risen Savior through water baptism (immersion).  After that, they must receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, available to all who would believe and receive.

Faith Confession:  I believe that the Holy Spirit convicts those who hear the Gospel and brings them to repentance.  Those who hear must respond by repentance and faith, receiving the Holy Spirit and testifying by water baptism if possible.

Proverbs 29:25  “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.”   

 

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