Saturday, August 7, 2010

Matthew && Acts

Hello! I am going to split this up into several posts. But, before I get started, I would like to welcome one of my best friends, Ellen to the journey of reading the Bible in 8 months. We were talking about it on our way to Newspring, and she decided to join Candace, Kristina and I! I am excited.

This is a shout out to my sister. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind... and love your neighbor as yourself. It is from Deut. 6:5 but referenced in Matthew 22:37-38. :)

"So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers" Acts 16:5 - When I read this I think about Elevation, how fast we are growing. It is truly by the Grace of God. Also, when Ellen and I visited Newspring, Pastor Perry Noble spoke about how every summer their numbers drop significantly, and this summer they have only risen. How awesome is God. I am truly blessed to be a part of Elevation!

I was reading through Acts 16:16-21 and was a bit confused. I read it again, and it made sense. The fist time I read it, I skimmed over the beginning where it mentions the slave girl was trying to profit off of her proclaiming Paul's teaching. I was so confused why Paul would command the Spirit to leave her. Until, I read it again, and she was only shouting, "These men are servants of the Most High God, whoa re telling you the way to be saved," to make money. This just goes to show how sometimes I need to slow down, and make sure I am getting the whole story.

Reading this passage, I could not find a favorite verse. It is all good.
19Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, "May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we want to know what they mean." 21(All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)
22Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: "Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.
24"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. 26From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.'
29"Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by man's design and skill. 30In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead."
32When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, "We want to hear you again on this subject." 33At that, Paul left the Council. 34A few men became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.

I love verse 19 and 20. They were so interested in hearing Paul speak. I also love verse 32. Some were unsure about Paul's teaching, but others wanted to hear more!

I love Paul's obedience in Acts 18:9. God came to him and told him to stay, and continue speaking. So, Paul stayed for a year and a half!

I love what Paul has to say in Acts 20:22-36. Paul dedicated his whole life to testifying to the gospel of Jesus. It is truly amazing. I only pray that I can say these same words as I am dying. :)

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