Sunday, January 17, 2010

New Thru 30 - Day 4 - Acts 5:1 - Acts 15:41

I have to say that I am having so much fun doing this. Even with a degree in Bible from a Bible college, I have so much more to learn, and I am learning so much more through the New Thru 30 challenge.

I used to be a very "be careful with my Bible" type person, and would never allow a stray mark or anything in my Bible. I would use a ruler or straight edge to underline things and make sure that I used my fine line pen to write very neat notes and for the underlining. I also always did this only in my study Bible. A couple of years ago Sarah bought me a parallel Bible that included the King James, Amplified, New American Standard and New International versions of the Bible side by side. I have done extensive reading from this Bible, but have never done any underlining or note taking in it. So, I have thrown caution to the wind and just started jotting notes in this Bible. I am using the New International Version this time, but am planning to use the other versions in my next readings through.

Yes, I am planning some other readings, but, more news on that later. Right now, on with my notes on today's reading.

Acts 5:1-10 - My first reactions to this passage was not the sinful acts of Ananias and Sapphira, but the acts of Peter. Is this the same Peter that denied Jesus three times? He is now healing and boldly preaching! If we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives, we, too, could do great things. Lord, please give me the boldness that you gave Peter, so that I can speak to others about you with confidence.

Acts 5:29 - "We must obey God rather than men." ~ I have read this passage, and have know that this is true, but for some reason it stuck out to me in today's reading. Maybe because of the condition that the world is in, indeed, the condition that our own United States is in. Are we someday soon going to have to personally make this statement "We must obey God rather than men"? Dear Jesus, help me to be able to obey you when the going gets tough. Help me not to follow the pressures of worldly individuals and help me to always follow and obey you.

Acts 6:7 - This is another "I guess in the back of my mind I knew this" moment, but it really stuck out to me this time around. Praise God that these learned men turned to belief in Jesus. Lord help me to remember that there are even "religious" men that don't really know you. Help me to speak boldly of you even to those that seem to already "have it all together".

Acts 7 - The testimony and stoning of Stephen always seems to amaze me. Again, I pray that I am that bold. Lord, again, help me to be bold for you.

Acts 8:26-30 - The story of Philip and the Ethiopian is another one of those stories that always amazes me. Not just how the Ethiopian trusted the Lord ~ praise the Lord for that ~ but also how the whole circumstance came to happen in the first place. An angel of the Lord speaks to Philip, then he meets the Ethiopian. The Ethiopian just happens to be reading Isaiah. They just happen to come upon a body of water on a "desert" road. Then, POOF, Philip is gone. It must have been amazing to live in Bible times. Yet, if we really look around us, miracles and things like that are happening all around. Lord, help me to see your everyday miracles that you do all around me.

Acts 9:10-19 -Not just the amazing story of the salvation of Saul, but also the story of Ananias, another of those reluctant men who were used by God. Lord, help me to overcome my sometimes fear and to be used by you. Please continue to stretch me in my Christian walk.

Acts 9:32-42 - Another amazing account of how bold Peter now is. Lord, help me to be so bold.

Acts 10:26 - This incident with Peter reminded me how so many men today would let power go to their heads. We all need to remember that we are only men ourselves. Please, Lord, help me to never allow power to go to my head. Help me to give all praise to you.

Acts 10:34-48, 11:1-18 - We praise you, God, that you allowed all men to accept your free gift of salvation.

Acts 12:21-23 - It really hit me what consequences we face if we do not give God all of the glory. Right now, God, I want to give you all of the glory for all good things.

Acts 13:9-12 - Why do I not possess this same boldness? Lord, help me to have this same boldness, to proclaim your name to all that I meet. Even when the situation is difficult.

Acts 14:14,15 - Again, I thought how a weaker man (perhaps even me) might let all of this go to his head. Lord, I have seen the results of someone who doesn't give you the glory. Please, help me not to allow praise to go to my head.

Acts 14:21-22 - Would I have the same courage to go back to the same places where folks had tried to kill me and to the same people who rejected me before? Lord, this seems to be the theme of this days reading. Again, I ask that you give me boldness to proclaim your name even when the going gets tough.

Acts 15:19-21 - Freedom from bondage to rules and freedom to live from Christ. Thank You Lord.

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