Acts 12:6-19 Free As A Bird

God’s not done with you yet

Before we dive into today’s reading I want to say I’m sorry for not posting the last three nights. I have had grandchildren sleeping over and was hanging out with them.

Today is the conclusion of Peter’ prison story we visited the last time. James had been killed by Herod and since the crowd was so pleased with that outcome, Herod decided to do an encore. He was planning on killing Peter right after the holy days passed.

This plan sounded a lot like the original plans for Jesus by the Jews. I’m sure the similarities were not lost on Peter. Peter had been an eyewitness to the schemes of man and how God can alter their directions to meet His plans. Read more »

Acts 12:1-5 Herod Steps Up His Game

Prayers go up while Peter sleeps

We have come to another memorable Passover. The last Passover celebration we have record of was Jesus’ final one here on earth. This time it is James’ last one. Not as detailed or pivotal in the Kingdom, but just as important.

Persecution had begun in earnest with the death of Stephen. It was taken to a new high with Saul’s activities BEFORE his encounter with Jesus. After that, things quieted down a bit. But it never went completely away and those who were called Christians or of the Way still faced difficulties. The religious leaders HATED anyone associated with advancing Jesus’ name. After all, one of the main points brought out by His believers was that He was killed by the religious leaders. Read more »

Acts 11:19-30 Christ Like

They will know we are Christians by our love

Luke takes us to one of the new groups of believers. The message came to these new believers because of the disbursement of the church following the stoning of Stephen. Good things came out of bad events.

I am going to confess a bit of confusion here. We have run into the term Hellenists before; in Acts 6:1 and Acts 9:29. In my bible helps on the first two occasions their footnote says “Greek-speaking Jews.” In today’s text the footnote says “Greek-speaking non-Jews.” I have gone to the Strong’s Concordance through Biblehub.com and they list all three instances under “Greek-speaking Jews.” When I look specifically at today’s verse it tells me: Read more »

Acts 11:1-18 Relating the Events

Who am I to stand in God’s way?

“You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” John Lydgate

In today’s reading that saying is certainly true. Peter and the brothers who went with him to Cornelius’ home have returned. They didn’t go straight back to Jerusalem. They stayed in Caesarea for a while and also ministered in other areas of Judea too. But Peter did finally make it back to Jerusalem and he brought six of the brothers who went with him.

The news of what had happened in Caesarea had reached Jerusalem before Peter and his group had. You might expect excitement and rejoicing to have accompanied the news that God’s word had spread beyond Jewish boarders but that’s not what happened. Instead, Peter and his group were criticized. Read more »

Acts 10:44-48 Proof Positive

None can deny the presence of God when His Spirit shows up!

We come to the conclusion of Peter and Cornelius’ story today. This is not the last we will hear about this event but it is the 100% proof of the inclusion of the Gentiles in God’s plan. We started this encounter with both Cornelius and Peter receiving messages from Heaven. Both acted on the messages and followed their instructions to the letter. Because of their obedience both learned some amazing things. Cornelius learned more about the God he worshiped and Peter learned more about God’s love.

Peter was wrapping up his message about Jesus’ ministry and purpose on earth. He made sure to share Jesus’ resurrection and His message of forgiveness. His audience already knew some of the history and had been praying faithfully to the God of Israel. Did they think of Him as “Israel’s God” or did they think of Him as their God too? Read more »