Make sure that it’s real!

Simon the magician was impressed by the ‘signs and great miracles’, but his ‘heart’ was ‘not right before God’(Acts 8:13,19). The Ethiopian’s conversion was real. Searching the Scriptures, he found the Saviour (Acts 8:30-35). From the Ethiopian’s conversion, we learn of Jesus’ promise: ‘Seek and you will find’. From Simon’s tragedy, we hear Jesus’ warning: …

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Awesome judgment and eternal salvation

2 Kings 8:16-9:37; Acts 23:12-35; Psalm 80:1-7 The Word of God speaks of judgment. The judgment upon Jezebel was an awesome judgment (2 Kings 9:36-37). God's Word also speaks of salvation. This is not simply the safety spoken of in Acts 23:24. It's the eternal salvation, which is suggested to us in the Psalmist's prayer: "Restore us, …

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I will praise God’s Name in song and glorify Him in thanksgiving.

2 Samuel 5:6-6:23; Acts 1:23-2:21; Psalms 69:29-36 The world cannot understand the working of the Holy Spirit – “when Michal, daughter of Saul, saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart” (2 Samuel 6:16). She didn’t understand what David was doing – “I will celebrate before the Lord” …

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What a difference the Lord makes!

2 Kings 16:1-17:41; Acts 26:24-27:12; Psalm 81:8-16 “They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless” (2 Kings 17:15). There is no god who can compare with the Lord (Psalm 81:9-10). He alone is worthy of praise. He alone gives value to our lives by bringing fulfilment to them: “Open wide your mouth and I will …

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God’s servants are to lead the people to a deeper knowledge of God.

2 Kings 6:24-8:15; Acts 22:22-23:11; Proverbs 16:8-17 "Go to meet the man of God. Consult the Lord through him" (2 Kings 8:8). The servants of the Lord were appointed to serve the people in the Name of the Lord. God's servants are to lead the people to a deeper knowledge of God. The Lord said to …

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God calls all nations to worship Him.

1 Kings 7:23-8:21; Acts 13:42-14:7; Psalm 76:1-12 The Temple is built. The glory goes to God: "Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel" (1 Kings 8:15). God's purpose was not, however, to be limited to Israel: “I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the …

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The Importance Of Prayer In The Advance Of The Gospel

Notice the importance of prayer in the advance of the Gospel. They were looking for a prayer meeting when Lydia was saved (Acts 16:13-14). They were going to a prayer meeting when the girl was saved (Acts 16:16-18). They were having a prayer meeting when the jailer was saved (Acts 16:25-34). They had gone to …

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Pride goes before destruction. A haughty spirit before a fall. Blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.

2 Kings 14:23-15:38; Acts 25:23-26:23; Proverbs 16:18-27 Here, we have the record of seven reigns – five in Israel, two in Judah. The five in Israel “did evil in the eyes of the Lord” (2 Kings 14:24; 2 Kings 15:9,18,24,28). The two in Judah “did what was right in the eyes of the Lord” (2 Kings …

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Learning from Stephen – a man, filled with the Holy Spirit

Immediately before he was stoned, Stephen preached the Gospel of Christ. After he had finished speaking, we see Stephen - about to be stoned - facing death as a man, full of the Holy Spirit, a man looking to Jesus Christ - "Now when they heard these things they were enraged and they ground their …

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God’s Word is always more important than our words, and Jesus is always more important than we are.

How then can we be saved? (Isaiah 64:5). What must I do to be saved?... Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved (Acts 16:30-31).' We think of our sin, and we ask the question, "How then can we be saved?" Is there a way of salvation for us? Can our sins be forgiven? …

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Fron every tribe and nation and people and language

"With your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation" (Revelation 5:9). To Abraham, the Word of God was spoken: "All peoples on earth will be blessed through you" (Genesis 12:3). In the one hundredth Psalm, we have a call to worship: "Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth" (verse …

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Moving beyond a general prayer for God’s help to a personal experience and enjoyment of God’s salvation

"Help me, Lord my God; save me according to your unfailing love" (Psalm 109:26). When we're going through hard times, we come to the Lord and ask for his help. Is this only a prayer for partcularly hard times? It is that, but it is, also, more than that. Is there ever a time when we can …

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Journey though the New Testament: Acts

Acts 1-4 ‘You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you“ (1:8). We cannot fill ourselves with the Spirit. We can only ‘be filled with the Spirit’ (Ephesians 5:18). Waiting for the Spirit, the apostles ‘devote themselves to prayer’ (1:14). They do not earn the Holy Spirit as a reward for spending much time …

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More than Duty Giving and Grudge Giving – Let there be Thanksgiving.

Acts 20:17-21:14 From Paul's farewell to the Ephesian elders, there are some lessons for all of us. (a) 'Repentance to God' and 'faith in our Lord Jesus Christ' (21) - This is not only a call for conversion. It is for every believer - all the time. (b) 'Take heed to yourselves and to all …

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The Gospel is preached. There is blessing. We say, “God has done this.”

Acts 13:44-14:28 When God is working powerfully through His servants, there is always the tendency to attach too much importance to the servants. We must resist this temptation. The glory belongs to God alone. We must never forget: 'We too are only men, human like you'. God has called us to 'bring Good News' to …

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Awakening – when the Lord’s people pray earnestly

2 Kings 3:1-4:37; Acts 21:1-26; Psalm 78:56-72 “Then the Lord awoke from sleep” (Psalm 78:65). When the Lord awakes from sleep, there is awakening. In 2 Kings 4:32-35, we see an example of such awakening - resurrection from the dead. How does such awakening come? It comes when the Lord’s people pray earnestly, with actions as …

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The Lord bless you and keep you.

"Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven" (Psalm 32:1). The forgiveness of sins - this is such a great blessing. The forgiveness of sins: it's just the beginning of so much great blessing which will continue throughout our life on earth and for all eternity. "Create in me a clean heart, O God,    and renew a right spirit within …

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When we feel like giving up, God’s Word encourages us to keep on going.

Acts 18:1-21 It was not an easy situation at Corinth. There were some who 'opposed Paul and became abusive' (6). There was great pressure on Paul. He could have given up very easily. It was God's Word which kept Paul going (10). Paul did not collapse under thee pressure - 'he stayed a year and …

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Let us bring Christ to the nations.

Baptism of the Lord (First Sunday in Ordinary Time): Isaiah 42:1-4,6-7; Acts 10:34-38; Matthew 3:13-17 Let us bring Christ to the nations. Let us serve the Lord in the power of the Spirit. ‘Here is My Servant, whom I uphold, my Chosen One in whom I delight; I will put My Spirit on Him, and …

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What must I do to be saved? Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved?

The question is asked: "What must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:30). The answer is given: "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31). Sometimes, when questions come into our minds, we wonder if we will ever receive an answer. The more we think about it, the more we come …

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The resurrection of Christ opens up for us a glorious future.

Acts 23-25 "The resurrection of the dead" was a central theme in Paul's preaching: "It is for our hope in the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial" (chapter 23); "It is about the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you today" (chapter 24). His teaching concerning the resurrection …

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In the eyes of men, Paul was a prisoner. In the plan of God, he was a witness.

Acts 26-38 In addressing King Agrippa, Paul focuses attention on the resurrection: "Why does it seem incredible to you that God should raise the dead?" (chapter 26). Paul proclaimed that "Christ... as the first to rise from the dead... was to proclaim that light now shone for our people and for the pagans too" (chapter …

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As Paul travelled from place to place, the good news of Christ’s love was reaching more and more people.

Acts 20-22 As we read about Paul, travelling from place to place, we come to appreciate the geographical breadth of his ministry. In chapter 22, we see the spiritual depth of his ministry. This spiritual depth arises out of his real, life-changing experience of the salvation which had come to him through the Lord Jesus …

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Peter and Paul, working together to bring many people to Christ

Acts 14-16 Here, we see the great influence of both Peter and Paul in the life and witness of the early church. In chaoters 14 and 16, we have the ministry of Paul. In chapter 15, we see Peter giving his support to Paul's ministry. He does this by emphasizing that the Gospel is for …

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The good news of Christ is for people of every nation.

Acts 11-13 Peter's taking the Gospel to Cornelius opened the way for the Gospel to go the Gentiles. In chapter 11, Peter emphasizes that the Gospel is for the Gentiles. In chapter 13, Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, emphasizes that the Gospel for all nations is rooted in God's revelation to the Jews. While …

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God’s work goes from strength to strength.

Acts 7-8 In chapter 7, through a history of God's dealings with Israel, Stephen exposes the sin and guilt of hts accusers, They react violently, and Stephen is stoned to death. Saul watched this, and "entirely approved of the killing" (8:1). Saul went on from there, "working for the total desctruction of the church" (chapter …

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Jesus is taken up into heaven. The Holy Spirit is given to us.

Ascension of the Lord: Acts 1:1-11; Psalm 47 or 93 or Daniel 7:9-14; Psalm 24:7-10; Ephesians 1:15-23; Luke 24:44-53 Jesus is taken up into heaven. The Holy Spirit is given to us. We read, in John 7:39, that ‘the Spirit’ would not be ‘given’ until Jesus was ‘glorified.’ Now, as Jesus was about to be ‘taken …

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Witnessing for Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 1-3 The Lord Jesus called His disciples to be His witnesses, in the power of the Holy Spirit. They prayed that the power of God would come upon them (chapter 1). The Lord sent the Holy Spirit to them. They were were epowered by the Holy Spirit. Their ministry was blessed by God. It …

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At every stage of our life’s journey, the Lord is there – with us and for us.

How did the world begin? How will the world end? Who was there when the world began? Who will be there when the world ends? How and Who - these are quite different questions. The How question wonders about the beginning and the end. What happened? What will happen? The Who question takes us beyond …

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There is no god who can compare with the Lord.

2 Kings 16:1-17:41; Acts 26:24-27:12; Psalm 81:8-16 “They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless” (2 Kings 17:15). There is no god who can compare with the Lord (Psalm 81:9-10). He alone is worthy of praise. He alone gives value to our lives by bringing fulfilment to them: “Open wide your mouth and I will …

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The good news for sinners: our Saviour is greater than our sin.

 "Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless (or unsearchable) riches of Christ" (Ephesians 3:8). This post continues on from an earlier post, which contrasts Paul and Jesus. You may find it helpful to read that post before reading this one. …

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