This week we are studying Acts 6-10. We are reading one chapter a day, Monday through Friday. This blog post is for those who either join our group late or would like more information on the book of Acts.
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Today, we are diving in to Acts chapter 6. It is a fairly short chapter but still powerful!
I chose to focus on Acts 6:2-4:
"So the Twelve gathered all of the disciples together and said 'It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word."
The disciples had to prioritize where they spent the bulk of their time. They stayed focused and obedient to Jesus' commands. They knew when to delegate different tasks and fixed problems by using others within the Church.
This is very hard for Americans to comprehend because we are so wired by our upbringing and society to stay busy all of the time. We somehow link busyness with success. We stay busy in our careers, through our children's activities, taking care of our household and family members, and the list goes on.
God wants us to stay focused on him and his will for our lives. Take time to Pray today for guidance in this area in your life.
Today we are in Acts 7. Stephen is speaking to the high priest which leads to him ultimately being stoned at the end of the chapter. I almost get this feeling that Stephen knew what was about to happen when he provides the high priest with a history lesson to get his point across. It's amazing that he was filled so much with the Holy Spirit that he had the courage to speak in such a powerful way to those in earthly rule. He is definitely a role model for me, I would love to have just an ounce of that courage that he has.
Throughout history, God's followers have rejected and disobeyed him. We are not immune to doing the same thing today. We have to allow ourselves to be fully filled with the Holy Spirit. We have to be obedient to God, and this can only be done by knowing God's commands by reading and studying God's word. The bible is a living document where God will speak to you through his word. There are also other things that can block the Holy Spirit from your life, and usually the Holy Spirit is letting you know what these things are. A couple years ago, I struggled with Pride, I was an earthly success, making a lot of money and had a lot of power in the community. I thought I was unstoppable, that is until God stopped me in my tracks. The Holy Spirit was trying to guide me but I was rejecting it. It wasn't until my Marriage started to deteriorate, I couldn't get pregnant, and then I had health issues that I totally submitted to God. God broke me in to a million pieces but built me up in his name tenfold. He made me and is still making me in to the person that he wants me to be and that is because I am dependent on the Holy Spirit.
Some questions that I wrote for my application are:
How can I fully allow the Holy Spirit in to my heart?
How can I be more obedient?
What is God laying on your heart as your next step?
GMG Discussion Question:
This chapter tends to focus around the apostle Phillip. Some verses that stood out to me today were:
Acts 8:26-27 "Now an angel of The Lord said to Phillip, 'Go....' And Phillip Obeyed."
Acts 8:4 "Those who had been scattered preached the word where ever they went."
Phillip is such a great role model for us all! He lived in complete obedience to God. He never questioned God's motives or compared them to his own. He fully trusted God and always followed his commands. Phillip had so much trust and faith in God that he was moved supernaturally throughout the land. Where ever he needed to go, God literally teleported him where he needed him to be next. How crazy is that! What faith Phillip had!!!
God brings every single person into our lives. Everything is planned out perfectly to bring glory to God. You can either be obedient to God and use the opportunities that he brings to you to help his Kingdom or you can do nothing and hinder it. God will have his will done either way. I know that I personally want to be one of God's warriors!!!
Are you up to the challenge?
Today's Discussion Question:
Wow! Chapter 9 is such a powerful chapter. We see Saul, a man bent on destroying all of Jesus's followers personally encounter Jesus himself and instantly start following Jesus. He didn't just start following Jesus, but spoke "Boldly" about Him throughout the land.
Acts 9:28 "So Saul stayed with them (the apostles) and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord."
It's so interesting that Jesus chose someone like Saul to preach in his name, even after all of the horrible things that Saul had done to his followers. Jesus forgave and loved Saul. He used his past as a testimony for a life drastically changed by Jesus. It shows us that none of us are too lost to be saved by the Grace of God.
Testimony is definitely one of our biggest resources when it comes to spreading the news about Jesus.
I grew up in a Family that lived by "typical culturally acceptable behavior." That means that we lived in the bounds of what culture told us was the right way to live, which as I have learned as I have gotten older, is usually not the way the bible teaches us to live. Some examples I can give are living with a partner before marriage, fornication (how many girls are having babies in high school?), supporting radical liberal ideals that go against Christian beliefs, materialism, Corporate corruption, gluttony, American impact on the environment, popular music/television shows (trash in/ trash out), and the list goes on. It is so overwhelming how much sin we allow ourselves to be apart of each day just because we are used to it and it is "normal" in our culture.
The awesome thing is that as we grow in our faith and relationship with God, he gives us wisdom to see everything through his eyes. Then we can use how we used to live to help other grow and come to Jesus. It makes us relatable to others because we've been through it and had their same thought process at one point in our lives. God always uses everything to bring Glory back to himself! It's amazing!
Today's discussion question:
Have you been able to use your testimony? Have you spoke "boldly" in the name of the Lord?
Acts 10 is an awesome chapter because we get a glimpse at a couple characteristics of God himself. If implemented in to our lives, we become more like Jesus which in turn brings more Glory to God!!!
Acts 10:34-35 "Then Peter began to speak: I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is RIGHT."
Acts 10:38 "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing GOOD and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him."
From these two verses we see that God wants everyone, no matter who they are to become part of his family and that God wants to personally touch each of our lives. Jesus didn't just speak in the name of God and instantly anyone that needed to be healed was healed, even though he certainly could have. He instead took the time to personally touch each and everyone's lives through physically going to them. Jesus went out of his way to do what is good and to do what is right! How righteous is our God and how much we can learn from the acts of Jesus.
I have this saying that annoys my Husband and annoys most of the people in my circles. "If it's EASY, it is probably not RIGHTEOUS." Americans hate to think this way because the last thing we want is to have to work harder at anything we have to do. Our culture thrives on easy, the easier the better. Our entire grocery experience is built on easy. Single serve platters, kcups, reusable paper products, frozen dinners, and food that stays good on shelves for years. It's so much easier to go to the grocery store and buy premade items rather than do it ourselves at home. It's easier to go buy produce than to have our own gardens at home. In turn, the obesity rate has increased drastically, cancer has skyrocketed, and our biggest killers are heart attack and stroke that are all from what we eat! BUT our culture is so beyond hesitant to change because they don't want to put forth the effort to learn the correct way to eat and what is actually in the food they are buying. Why should they? It's so much easier to keep buying things that are already made for us. The corporations can't be that immoral, can they?
It's not just our food culture that has gone to easy. More related to spreading the message and touching people's lives is social media. We are more inclined now to use social media to "keep up" with "friends." We put our personal life out on statuses because it's easier than calling multiple people when something is wrong and we also get that extra attention from those we normally wouldn't. We say Happy Birthday on people's walls instead of taking them to lunch or calling to catch up. It's so much easier to have a "personal life" from our couches. It's not hurting our generations as much as it is hurting the younger generations that have never knew life without the entire internet at their finger tips. Even though it is impacting our relationships to an extent. There has been recent studies showing how afraid our teenagers are now to just simply talk on the phone with their friends because they can't edit what comes out of their mouths before they say it. They rather text or use a social media outlet.
There are so many more people out there that need to be personally touched by us. Especially those who are hurting and need to hear about Jesus.
These examples are just two of how easy is hurting our society, our health, and our overall lives. For more information on living righteously, read the Book of Proverbs <3
What is your next step to doing what is righteous and not just easy? How can you use Jesus as a role model for your life?
GMG Discussion Question:
Sorry for the length, righteousness is one of my convictions that God lays heavy on my heart.
Please feel free to comment on this post or contact me anytime!
Walk Gracefully with God,
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