Category: Acts–BibleTrekToday

Laying on of hands for healing!

Scripture reading for June 12th:  Acts 28, Psalm 117, Proverbs 24

Key Scriptures:  Acts 28:8-10  “It happened that the father of Publius lay sick with fever and dysentery.  And Paul visited him and prayed, and putting his hands on him healed him.  And when this had taken place, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases also came and were cured.  They also honored us greatly, and when we were about to sail, they put on board whatever we needed.” 

After the shipwreck and miraculous rescue of all on board, Paul heard about the father Publius, a leader on the island, who was ill with a disease.  Paul visited him to pray, and while there, laid hands on him.  The Lord healed him and this caused all the sick and diseased to come to Paul for prayer and it is recorded that they all were healed.  As a result, Paul and the ships crew were given favor and supplies to proceed when their winter there was over.  \

Faith Confession:  I believe in the laying on of hands and prayer for healing as the Holy Spirit directs.  The results are always to glorify God and build up His body.  God holds me responsible to act on His Word to see souls saved.

Proverbs 24:11-12 “Rescue those who are being taken away to death, hold back those who are stumbling to slaughter.  If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not He who weighs the heart perceive it?  Does He who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will He not repay man according to his work?”

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Acting in Faith!

Scripture reading for June 11th: Acts 27, Psalm 116, Proverbs 23

Key Scriptures:  Acts 27:34-37 “”. . .Therefore I urge you to take some food.  For it will give you strength, for not a hair is to perish from the head of any of you.”  And when he had said these things, he took bread, and giving thanks to God in the presence of all he broke it and began to eat.  Then they all were encouraged and ate some food themselves.  (We were in all 276 persons in the ship.)

Paul had warned the ship captain not to sail because of a coming storm.  But the ship had sailed and the storm arose, threatening to sink the ship.  Paul was encouraged by an angel who assured him not to be afraid because God had granted protection to Paul and all who traveled with him.  He shared this message and encouraged the men to eat.  He acted prophetically by faith in God’s Word!

Faith Confession: Thank You for Your Word that brings faith and encouragement of Your divine protection.  Thank You for angels who serve You and us, the heirs of salvation.

Psalm 116:5-7 “Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; our God is merciful.  the Lord preserves the simple; when I was brought low, He saved me.  Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.”

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Appointed as servant and witness!

Scripture reading for June 10:  Acts 26, Psalm 115, Proverbs 22

Key Scriptures: Acts 26:15-18 “And I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.  But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen Me and to those in which I will appear to you, delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles–to who I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.'”

Paul was sharing with King Agrippa the testimony and witness of his encounter with Jesus Christ on the Damascus road.  He told of Jesus appearing to him and appointing him to be His witness and servant. Jesus would enable him through the Gospel to turn people from darkness to light and deliver them from Satan’s power to restoration of a relationship with God by forgiveness of sins.  This was available for all who would receive and repent!

Faith Confession:  Thank You Lord Jesus for opening my eyes and appointing me to be your skillful servant and witness.  (Faith action:  Share the Good News of Jesus with someone God places in your path today.)

Proverbs 22:29 “Do you see a man skillful in his work?  He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.”  

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Standing firm before powerful men

Scripture reading for June 7th:  Acts 25, Psalm 114, Proverbs 21

Key Scriptures:  Acts 25:7-9  “When he (Festus) arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, bringing many and serious charges against him that they could not prove.  Paul argued in his defense,, “Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I committed any offense.”  But Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul, “Do you wish to go up to Jerusalem and there be tried on these charges before me?”  But Paul said, “I am standing before Caesar’s tribunal, where I ought to be tried.  To the Jews I have done no wrong, as you yourself know very well.”  

Paul was in Caesarea, held by the Roman government as a Roman citizen.  Festus, the governor of Jerusalem, came down and offered Paul a change of venue if he desired to be tried in Jerusalem.  Paul declined.  The Jews had made many charges, some serious, but they had no proof.  To go up to Jerusalem when God had revealed to him he must go to Rome was not right.

Faith Confession:  Lord, thank You for this example of standing firm in faith before powerful men in authority.  I trust You to help me to declare truth and follow You in each difficult situation of life.

Psalm 114:7-8 “Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob, who turns the rock into a pool of water, the flint into a spring of water.”    

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Declaring Jesus as the Christ!

Scripture reading for June 6th: Acts 24, Psalm 113, Proverbs 20

Key Scriptures: Acts 24:24-26  “After some days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, and he sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus.  And as he reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment, Felix was alarmed and said, “Go away for the present.  When I get an opportunity I will summon you.”  At the same time he hoped that money would be given him by Paul.  So he sent for him often and conversed with him.”

Paul was imprisoned by the Romans with charges by the Jews.  He faced Felix, the Roman governor in Caesarea, where he had been sent to protect him from a plot of murder by certain Jews.  Felix had a Jewish wife, Drusilla, who along with her husband enjoyed listening to Paul preach–up to the point when he talked about the coming judgment!  Their real motivation was money, for they expected a bribe but never got it.  Paul just declared Jesus as the Christ, his lips spoke knowledge more valuable than silver or gold.

Faith Confession:  Lord, I want to boldly declare Jesus as Lord and Christ to all you put in my path.  Thank You for the Holy Spirit to give me boldness like the Apostle Paul.

Proverbs 20:15 “There is gold and abundance of costly stones, but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.”

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Not afraid of ‘bad news’!

Scripture reading for June 5th:  Acts 23, Psalm 112, Proverbs 19

Key Scriptures:  Acts 23:9-11  “Then a great clamor arose, and some of the scribes of the Pharisees’ party stood up and contended sharply, “We find nothing wrong in this man.  What if a spirit or an angel spoke to him?”  And when the dissension became violent, the tribune, afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces by them commanded the soldiers to go down and take him away from among them by force and bring him into the barracks.  the following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about Me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.”” 

Religious folks are sometimes argumentative and violent.  Paul used the religious divide between rival factions in the Jewish ruling party to give opportunity to share the Gospel.  This also got him in prison on this occasion.  But Jesus stood by Paul and gave him a word of encouragement that helped Paul stand firm and walk through the trial.

Faith Confession:  Thank You Lord that You are always with me to guide me and encourage me in every trial and test.  You are always working out Your plans for Your glory and my good, encouraging me.

Psalm 112:6-7 “For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever.  He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is fir, trusting in the Lord.”  

 

 

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Opening blind eyes!

Scripture reading for June 4th:  Acts 22, Psalm 111, Proverbs 18

Key Scriptures: Acts 22:12-15 “And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, came to me, and standing by me said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’  And at that very hour I received my sight and saw him.  And he said, ‘The God of our fathers appointed you to know His will, to see the Righteous One and to hear a voice from His mouth; for you will be a witness for Him to everyone of what you have seen and heard.”  

Paul was giving his testimony to the Jews in Jerusalem of his encounter with Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus.  He had been blinded physically and spiritually but God sent Ananias, a devout Jewish Christian, to bring him healing and a word of knowledge confirming His will.  Paul (Saul) saw Jesus and heard Him speak to Him, bringing about his conversion and understanding of God’s will for his life.

Faith Confession:  Lord Jesus, thank You for appointing me and calling me to be a witness for You to all you put in my path.  Empower me with the Holy Spirit today for boldness and clarity, with open spiritual eyes.

Proverbs 18:16 “A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before the great.”  

 

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Willing to die for Christ Jesus!

Scripture reading for June 3rd:  Acts 21, Psalm 110, Proverbs 17

Key Scriptures:  Acts 21:10-13 “While we were staying for many days, a prophet named Agabus come down from Judea.  And coming to us, he took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘This is how the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.'”  When we heard this, we and the people there urged him not to go up to Jerusalem.  Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart?  For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the Name of the Lord Jesus.””

Paul had had many warnings of coming imprisonment.  God always prepares His own for what is ahead and His Presence guides them through the storms and trouble.  We naturally want to protect our loved ones from suffering or trials.  God’s people count it all joy when the trials come, knowing that the testing of their faith brings endurance and helps complete Christ’s work in others and us.

Faith Confession:  Lord, thank You for this record of Paul’s faith confession that encourages me to stand true to You no matter what the consequences.  I trust You for grace sufficient to each trial in my life.

Psalm 110:3 “Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of Your power, in holy garments; from the womb of the morning, the dew of your youth will be yours.”  

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Declaring the whole counsel of God!

Scripture reading for May 31st:  Acts 20, Psalm 109, Proverbs 16

Key Scriptures: Acts 20:24-27 “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.  And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again.  Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.”  

As Paul met a final time with the elders of the Ephesian church, he spoke to them about his life and ministry in their midst, spending two years there preaching the gospel.  He told them of the warnings of future imprisonment and persecution that he had received.  He declared that his own life was only valuable to help him finish his mission here on earth.  He had no regrets about the Ephesians either.  He had fully preached the whole counsel of God to them and was innocent of their blood.  What a great faith confession!

Faith Confession:  Lord, help me to declare the whole counsel of God to those in my circle of influence.  I want none to perish, but all to come to repentance and eternal life.

Proverbs 16:20 “Whoever gives thought to the Word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.”  

 

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Receiving the Holy Spirit!

Scripture reading for May 30th:  Acts 19, Psalm 108, Proverbs 15

Key Scriptures:  Acts 19:1-6 “. . .Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus.  there he found some disciples.  And he said to them,”Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”  And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”  And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?”  They said, “Into John’s baptism.”  And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the One who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.”  On hearing this, they were baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus.  And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying.”  

Paul found twelve disciples at Ephesus who had only been baptized by John the Baptist.  They had not received or heard of the gift of the Holy Spirit.  As Paul shared how John pointed all to Jesus, they believed and were baptized in Jesus’ Name.  Paul laid his hands on them and prayed and the Holy Spirit filled them with the evidence that they spoke in tongues and prophesied.  This was about 20 years after the first Pentecost.

Faith Confession:  I believe in Jesus Christ and have been baptized in the Name of the Father, Son (Jesus) and Holy Spirit.  I have also been baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.  I believe this gift is for all who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord.

Psalm 108:5 “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!  Let Your glory be over all the earth!”   

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