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.”
Scripture reading for May 29th: Acts 18, Psalm 107, Proverbs 14
Key Scriptures: Acts 18:5-8 “When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with the Word, testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus. And when they opposed and reviled him, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” And he left there and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of god. His house was next door to the synagogue. Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with his entire household.”
The disciples of Jesus were not always well-received. They were often opposed and reviled and even beaten and imprisoned for sharing the Gospel. Here, Paul shared the Word of God concerning Jesus with the Jews, his brothers. They rejected it and Paul made a faith declaration: “Your blood be on your own heads.” Choices have consequences but rejecting Jesus has eternal loss and punishment as a result.
Faith Confession: My calling as a disciple of Jesus is to declare God’s Word concerning Jesus as the Christ. If I faithfully declare, I am not responsible for the people’s choice to believe or reject.
Proverbs 14:25, 27 “A truthful witness saves lives, but one who breathes out lies is deceitful.” . . . “The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.”
Scripture reading for November 16th: Acts 24-28
Key Scriptures: Acts 26:28-29 “Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?” Paul replied, “Short time or long,–I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.”
Paul was kept in prison for his faith for over two years while political wrangling was going on. Officials were hoping for bribes and kept Paul in prison for a favor to the ruling Jews. But Paul was a persistent and persuasive witness who always viewed his plight from God’s perspective! He was there to witness to the officials and the whole prison guard. God always has those who are sold out to Him who will witness and pray, no matter what, confronting sinners with their need for Jesus Christ! Thank the Lord Jesus!
A bold Old Testament witness: “So Ahab sent word throughout all Israel and assembled the prophets (of Baal) on Mount Carmel. Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” But the people said nothing.” 1st Kings 18:20-21
Scripture reading for January 12th: Matthew 10:1-23, Psalms 9:1-10, Proverbs 3:1-2
Jesus first taught His disciples to go out and preach to those who were lost in Israel. “As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:7-8) They were empowered with authority to take the message of repentance to the Jewish people and to demonstrate God’s willingness and ability to heal and deliver. They had not bought these gifts, but had freely received the power from Jesus and must freely give to all who would receive. They were also to travel light and live off the gifts and hospitality of those that they would preach to. Each worker was worthy of his keep!
Jesus knew that not everyone would receive them with hospitality. Some would reject the message and maybe even mistreat these disciples. He told them up front so they would not become discouraged or surprised by the treatment. In fact, Jesus gave them some practical advice for dealing with those who would not receive: “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore, be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” (Matthew 10:14-16)
When we share the gospel of Jesus Christ with people, we are doing more than we may realize. Every time we share, God is offering eternal life to those that hear. They will be held accountable for their actions. If they refuse the messengers, they are rejecting God and bring eternal judgment of God’s wrath on themselves. If they hear and accept, they bring God’s favor and and eternal life into their soul. Jesus told the disciples that they were to shake the dust off their feet upon leaving the homes or town where they were not welcomed. That dust would be a witness against those who rejected the Lord’s messengers. They were not to waste time trying to argue or debate because they must go to others who would receive. We are sent as messengers, not as lawyers! This takes the burden off us as we freely offer God’s Gospel!