Today we are reading Acts 19. In this chapter we read about Paul on his Third Missionary Journey where he spent a long time in Ephesus. The keyword for this chapter is “par-ray-si-ad-zo-mai”. The definition is “to speak freely, to speak boldly.”  This is the word used to describe Paul’s repeated efforts of proclaiming the Gospel. “And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God.” Acts‬ ‭19:8‬ ‭The impact of Paul’s work was that many people throughout the region had come to believe in Jesus. We can only imagine how many spiritual descendants came from Paul’s speaking freely the Gospel. I have heard that the good things we do ripple through eternity.  What kind of an impact do you want to make on those around you?  What do you want future generations to know you for?  May God bless you today with an eternal perspective in all you do! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Acts 18.  I this chapter we read about the conclusion of The Second Missionary Journey and the beginning of the Third Missionary Journey. Paul is visiting places like Corinth and Ephesus.  The keyword for this chapter is “di-a-mar-tu-ro-mai”.  The definition is “to testify, to solemnly declare.” This word is used to describe how Paul faithfully and forcefully preached the word of God, “When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with the word, testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus.” ‭‭Acts‬ ‭18:5‬. Paul spoke the Gospel in spite of the opposition he faced which threatened even his life.  What opposition do you face when you speak the Gospel?  Often we are fearful to express our faith.  Jesus appeared to Paul and encouraged him not to give up. “And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.”” Acts‬ ‭18:9-10 Jesus is with you too!  May God make you a bold witness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!  Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Acts 17. In this chapter we read about the continuation of Paul’s Second Missionary Journey.  Paul continues his strategy of beginning at the local synagogue whenever he enters a town. The keyword for this chapter is “zay-lo-o”.  The definition is “to be jealous, to feel strong envy and resentment against someone”.  So…when the missionaries are experiencing success in preach the Gospel, the devil uses the very effective tool of jealousy to counterattack. “And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd.” Acts‬ ‭17:4-5‬ ‭How has the devil hindered you spiritually with jealousy? Have you ever been at odds with someone because of jealousy?  What words from Scripture can help you with your struggle with jealousy?  May God bless you to glorify Him in all your ways! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Acts 16. In this chapter we read about Paul and Silas beginning the Second Missionary Journey. The missionaries visit the churches which were planted on the earlier trip, recruit Timothy and then are led by the Holy Spirit to Macedonia. The keyword for this chapter is “di-a-noi-go”. The definition is “to open”.  This word is used in verse 14 to describe what the Lord does in Lydia’s heart.  “One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.” Acts‬ ‭16:14‬ ‭This work of the Lord to open a person’s heart is what we call conversion.  Every believer has had the Lord open their heart.  Do you remember when this happened for you? Think of what takes place when a person comes to faith.  The gift of salvation through faith in Jesus comes into that person and often into the whole family.  May God use you today and every day to lead people to Jesus!  Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Acts 15. In this chapter the dispute between Jewish and Gentile believers is resolved in The First Jerusalem Council.  The keyword for this chapter is “dei”. The definition is “to be necessary”.  The Jews thought that it was necessary to keep the Law of Moses.  Those representing the Gentiles believed that both Jews and Gentiles are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus (verse 11). Ultimately the council agreed that it was not necessary to keep the Law of Moses to be saved.  This brings up an interesting thought—what has God corrected in your thinking? What did you think was necessary until God changed your heart to match His?  May you yield to the Holy Spirit and sacrifice your won’t to God’s will!  Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Acts 14. This chapter concludes the First Missionary Journey where we again observe the cycle of success and opposition. The keyword for this chapter is “e-pi-stay-ridz-o”. The definition is “to strengthen” and this word is used to describe what Paul and Barnabas did in helping the new Christians and new churches to grow and develop. “When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith,” Acts‬ ‭14:21-22‬  This they did by teaching God’s word in more depth.  Christians are strengthened through the study of God’s word.  How can you be a teacher of God’s word? May God lead you to your student today!  Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Acts 13.  This chapter begins to tell the story of Paul and Barnabas on their First Missionary Journey.  The keyword for this chapter is “ek-pem-po”.  The definition is “ to be sent out”.  This word is used to describe the sending out of Paul and Barnabas by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the Gospel.  Who is God sending you to share Jesus with? Why did the missionaries go to the synagogues first?  Notice that as God works through the missionaries to preach the Gospel, the devil also uses people to oppose it.  Who was victorious in the confrontations? As you share your faith how might the devil try to oppose you? May God give you courage and wisdom as you proclaim the Great News about Jesus! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Acts 12. In this chapter we read about Herod’s persecution of the church and subsequent death and Peter’s miraculous escape from prison.  The keyword for this chapter is “play-thu-no”. The definition is “to increase”. This word is used in verse 24 to describe how God’s word about Jesus was spread everywhere by the followers of Jesus.  Isn’t it remarkable that God’s word spreads during persecution? One of the Apostles is killed by Herod (James) and Peter is put in prison.  What happens next?  Peter is set free by an angel and Herod the persecutor is struck down by an angel.  God’s purpose and his servants cannot be defeated by the devil and the trouble he throws at them.  How have you seen faith grow during difficult times? May God make His power and might evident in your life today!  Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Acts 11. In this chapter we again see the conflict between Jews and Gentiles.  The keyword for this chapter is “di-a-krin-o-mai”.  The definition is “to take issue, to dispute with someone”. In this instance the Jews are criticizing Peter for associating with Gentiles.  So, the Jews are unhappy that their Christian faith is spreading to the Gentiles.  They dispute with Peter because in their minds Peter is in violation of God’s directions not to mix with other people groups. It turns out Peter was acting in accordance with God’s will so his critics were the ones in the wrong!  Have you ever been wrongly criticized? How did you respond?  Notice Peter’s patient explanation.  What was gained through Peter’s patience?  May God give you the Holy Spirit and wisdom to speak in ways that advance the Gospel!  Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Acts 10. In this chapter we see how God removes the wall of hostility between the Jews and the Gentiles.  The keyword for this chapter is “pro-so-po-laymp-tays”. The definition is “acceptor of faces, or persons, to have favorites”. This word is used in verse 34, “So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.” This landmark passage shows that God does not exclude people from His love and mercy based on ethnicity or external appearance.  God’s Grace is for everyone who believes.  What about you? Do you have favorites? Our sinful nature tempts us to be hateful toward those who are different than us but we can never give in to that temptation.  May God enable you to love everyone He loves today!  Pastor Tim