Ac 28 OVERCOMING THE SECOND DEATH
Sunday, November 20, 2021.
But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects: the snake would have reminded the readers of the incident in the desert, where the Israelites were bitten by snakes and died. Moses had made a bronze snake and placed it on a pole, which represented the judgment of God for sin Nu 21:8,9, a picture of Jesus becoming the Savior of the world, as He took the sin upon Himself Jn 1:29.
Here, Paul is around a fire, which represented judgment, the snake depicted sin, whose wages are death Ro 6:23. He is bitten and should receive the punishment of death, however, he survives because he has trusted in Jesus’ sacrifice, who’s blood has overcome death 1 Co 15:55,57.
Application: just as Paul was not affected by the viper’s bite, we, who believe in Christ will not be hurt by the second death Rev 21:8; Rev 2:11—eternal punishment, which is everlasting separation from God Mt 25:46.
Ac 27 THE STORMS OF LIFE
Saturday, November 19, 2021.
Altogether there were 276 of us on board: Why was it important for Paul to include this fact? Firstly, it added credibility to his eye witness account. Secondly, it confirmed that the angel was sent by God, for the prophecy was fulfilled completely—not one soul perished Ac 27:44. Thirdly, it teaches how crises can unite large numbers of people. When their journey began there were many divisions among the 276 persons: crew/passengers, soldiers/prisoners, with different reasons why each were on board, whereas the storm united everyone with one purpose—survival. Paul at the beginning of the voyage was a prisoner, the least important person of the 276, whereas, during the crises he became the commander and deliverer Ac 27:31,32.
Application: Mentioning the number 276 persons, as opposed to a handful of souls, revealed that this was a miracle, like the feeding of the 5,000 Lk 9:14. Our God is always present and when one finds himself or herself in a hopeless circumstance, this story can renew the resolution to trust God. He cares for each soul, even the 276th one Lk 15:4.
Ac 26 FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT
Friday, November 18, 2021.
…I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ Jesus told Paul that He would send him to the lost to receive salvation. The lost were spiritually blind and Paul would open their eyes to see the truth of their spiritual condition.
Jesus blinded Paul on the road as an object lesson. Paul remained blind for three days until Ananias came and restored his sight Ac 9:17,18; physically going from darkness to light. God symbolized Paul plight, by turning him from the power of Satan where he had persecuted the Lord’s people, to the power of God where he would bring deliverance.
Application: we are born into this world as sinners Ps 51:5 and live in spiritual darkness under the power of Satan, doing his will. But, when the Gospel is preached and we believe it, our spiritual scales fall off our eyes as did Paul’s physical ones. We are no longer joined to the power of Satan for Jesus has translated us into God’s kingdom of Light Col 1:13; 1 Pe 2:9. We are to demonstrate this change of ownership by working deeds of righteousness Ac 26:20.
Ac 25 STAND FIRM
Thursday, November 17, 2021
If, however, I am guilty of doing anything deserving death, I do not refuse to die. But if the charges brought against me by these Jews are not true, no one has the right to hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar!” Paul told Festus he was innocent of the alleged crimes that the Jews had accused him of committing. But as a Christian, Paul was willing to accept the punishment of death, if he was truly guilty.
Application: just as Paul was willing to accept justice, we must be willing to accept our punishment, if we have committed a crime. However, if we have not committed a crime, such as wanting to remain unvaccinated from an experimental drug, which has caused many serious illnesses and deaths, then we must stand firm. We are told that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit 1 Co 6:19 and it is our responsibility not to destroy them prematurely. We do not battle against flesh and blood but against wicked evil spirits controlled by Satan Eph 6:12 and God’s commandment is to stand firm by relying upon the Lord and His mighty power Eph 6:10.
Ac 24 RESURRECTION AND THE JUDGMENT
Wednesday, November 17, 2021.
And I have the same hope in God as these men themselves have, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked: Paul confirmed that God will resurrect all of His creation—both the righteous and the wicked, which was revealed to Daniel, years before Dan 12:2. The righteous will receive eternal life, while the wicked will experience eternal punishment Mt 25:46. Paul’s preaching on judgment put fear into Felix’ heart, but rather than repent, he sent Paul away Ac 24:25.
Application: many are like Felix, in that they want to benefit financially from others, but rather not think about future judgment Ac 24:26. By avoiding this unpleasant topic, they believe that it won’t come to pass. However, only the foolish would avoid taking action when told by a doctor that he had discovered early signs of cancer. Some people escape the pain of this world by committing suicide, however God’s Word is clear that all will be resurrected and face the judgment Heb 9:27.
Ac 23 SUCCESS IN DIVISION
Tuesday, November 16, 2021.
When he said this, a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided: Paul used wisdom to get himself out of an unjust charge. He realized that the Pharisees strongly disagreed with the Sadducees on the issue of the Resurrection in which the Sadducees denied its reality. Paul won the favor of the Pharisees and they then advocated for him.
Application: today, Satan is using the same strategy that Paul employed—divide the world to fight each other, then allow his evil Cabal to defeat God’s plan. Satan has tried to divide by race: white against black; by gender: male against female; by wealth: rich against poor; and now vaccinated against unvaccinated. He only comes to kill and destroy Jn 10:10 and desires to be worshipped above God Rev 13:15-17. We need to awaken from our spiritual sleep Eph 5:14 and not let Satan deceive us Mt 24:11; through his minions Lk 21:8.
Ac 22 JESUS’ WITNESSES
Monday, November 15, 2021.
Acts 22:15 Adobe Color: 9c6f57
You will be his witness to all people of what you have seen and heard: Jesus told Paul that he would be a witness to all people of the miracles, he had seen God do, and the truth that God would in the future reveal to him, especially the Gospel message.
Application: we are to be Jesus’ witnesses Ac 1:8, sharing the Good News, making disciples and teaching all, to obey God’s commandments Mt 28:19,20. When Jesus told Paul to witness what he had seen, we too, are to use those experiences in our lives that testify to the goodness of God. What we have heard relates to the Bible truth we have been taught by others.
Ac 21 WOMEN AND THE GIFT OF PROPHESY
Sunday, November 14, 2021.
He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied: Philip, the evangelist had four daughters who had the gift of prophesy. This was not the teaching of the Word or preaching in the synagogues or Christian assemblies, for women were not allowed to participate in these kinds of ministries 1 Co 14:34; 1 Ti 2:12. However, the Bible does confirm that women would have the gift of prophecy in later days Ac 2:28; 1 Co 11:5.
Application: women have been used throughout the Bible to prophesy such as Huldah, who prophesied God’s judgment on rebellious Judah 2 Ki 22:14-16 and Anna, who met baby Jesus in the Temple with prophetic words Lk 2:36-38. Women will also be given this gift in the last days Ac 2:17.
Ac 20 WHAT RACE ARE YOU IN?
Saturday, November 13, 2021.
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace: Paul considered his life worth nothing, but to use it to complete the work that Jesus had assigned him. Jesus remarked, “What good is it for you to gain the whole world, yet forfeit your soul” Mk 8:36. Paul understood his purpose in life and devoted all of his energies to that end.
Application: many place high value on satisfying their own needs and storing riches in this life Mt 6:19,20. How sad it will be for them on Judgment Day, when they realize the folly of their ways Rev 20:11,15. Paul recognized the evil purposes of Satan and warned his friends to be on their guard Ac 20:29,31. Today, many are unaware of Satan’s schemes 2 Co 2:11, His “Great Reset,” and like Eutychus have fallen asleep, failing to hear God’s warnings and are about to plunge to their death Act 20:9. Wake up, Church!
Ac 19 THE COMPLETE GOSPEL
Friday, November 12, 2021.
On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus: Paul had asked the disciples at Ephesus if they had received the Holy Spirit when they believed? Their answer was that they had not even heard that there was a Holy Spirit Ac 19:2. They had received John’s baptism which was for repentance—the washing away of their sins, but what was necessary, was to receive the life of Christ. Paul then laid hands on the disciples and they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus of which the Holy Spirit came upon them and they spoke in tongues and prophesied Ac 19:6.
Application: many people receive the forgiveness that Jesus provided but do not realize that there are two sides to the salvation coin. Forgiveness is what was accomplished at the Cross, but new life was gained at the resurrection. It is not enough to believe that Jesus died for your sins, you must make Jesus Lord of your life, believing that He was raised from the dead and desires to raise you to new life Ro 10:9 by dying to self-rule and allowing Jesus to be Lord of your life Gal 2:20.
Ac 18 BE WISE AS A SERPENT
Thursday, November 11, 2021.
Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time. Then he left the brothers and sisters and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchreae because of a vow he had taken: Paul was not under the Law and didn’t have to take a vow to cut his hair Ac 21:24. However, his desire was to save as many men as possible, and was willing to do whatever was necessary to win their approval, then be able to share the Gospel 1 Co 9:19,20.
Application: we should follow Paul’s example and be willing to limit our freedom, if it will allow us favor in presenting the Gospel to unbelievers. However, we must not cross the line and commit sin to win favor with skeptics. Befriending lost people is a great opportunity to later share the Gospel, but participating with them in activities that are sinful would be wrong.
Ac 17 EXAMINING THE WORD
Wednesday, November 10, 2021.
Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true: Paul commended the Berean Jews because they received the Gospel with zeal and confirmed the truth of his teachings by comparing them with the Scriptures.
Application: people fall to false teaching when they accept instruction without comparing it to the Word. Paul wasn’t offended because his listeners didn’t take him at his word, but examined for themselves the doctrines he shared. We all need to be diligent in weighing what is taught 1 Co 14:29. It is important to pray for discernment and not to deceive ourselves 2 Ti 4:3,4; or believe the teacher because he appears righteous 2 Co 11:14,15.
Ac 16 GIVING THANKS IN ALL THINGS
Tuesday, November 9, 2021.
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them: Paul and Silas had just been severely flogged and thrown into prison for no lawful reason Ac 16:23. They are then heard praying and singing. How many of us, would be praising God after receiving an unjustly beating? God rewardingly answers with an earthquake, freeing everyone from their chains Ac 16:26. Rather than escaping, Paul and Silas remain in prison and later have the opportunity to save the jailor and his family.
Application: if God places us in a bad circumstance, we need to remember that He can work it out for our good Ro 8:28. Therefore, let us have the same attitude as Paul and Silas, and give thanks in everything 1 Th 5:18.
Ac 15 PAUL CHECKING ON NEW BELIEVERS
Monday, November 8, 2021.
Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.” Paul had concern for new believers—that they were on the right path to growing in the Lord, so he wanted to re-visit them to check on their spiritual condition.
Application: We should have a concern for others in our church or Bible study and keep a discerning eye on their spiritual condition. For those, who are struggling, we need to encourage them and do whatever we can to get them to thirst again for God and His Word. Satan’s best weapon is to get individuals separated from the body of Christ and thus God’s command not to neglect the fellowshipping of believers Heb 10:25.
Ac 14 PAUL’S PASSION FOR THE GOSPEL
Sunday, November 7, 2021.
But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe: Paul had just been stoned by the Jews and dragged out of the city, left for dead Ac 14:19. After recovering, Paul headed back to the city, which is incomprehensible. If the stoning had happened to me, and I had survived, I would have headed in the opposite direction, far away from my enemies, not back to Lystra. This story demonstrated the fearlessness and dedication that Paul had for sharing the Gospel.
Application: the majority of Christians wouldn’t have the courage of Paul, but all have been given a gift from the Holy Spirit 1 Co 12:11. We are to use it passionately for God. We can be just as tenacious as Paul, by loving, the unlovable, and meeting the needs of ungrateful people and being persistent in prayer. It’s not the kind of gift that is important, it’s how we use the gift.
Ac 13 A MAN AFTER GOD’S HEART
Saturday, November 6, 2021.
After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ What a remarkable statement! God said that David, who committed adultery with Bathsheba 2 Sa 11:4,5 and then had her husband Uriah killed 2 Sa 11:17 was a man after His own heart. This declaration contains an important truth. God will forgive all of our sins, if we repent Ac 3:19, no matter how deplorable they had been. He will also consider us a loyal servant when our only interest is in pleasing Him.
Application: How do we become a man after God’s heart? If we are obedient to the Lord in all things, God will draw near Jas 4:8, to all having His mindset—ready to put into practice His will. God doesn’t have favorites Ro 2:11 but judges our fellowship on the basis of obedience and a desire to know Him better Ps 42:1,2.
Ac 12 POWER IN THE WORD
Friday, November 5, 2021.
But the word of God continued to spread and flourish: King Herod had James put to death and had Peter locked in prison until after the Passover, at which time to execute him also. But the church earnestly prayed for Peter and God sent an angel to deliver him. Despite the persecution by the Romans and the religious leaders the church flourished because of the power in the Gospel message Ro 1:16.
Application: The Word of God has the power to change lives, for it is alive and active Heb 4:12. The Holy Spirit lives in every believer and uses the Word to guide Jn 16:13 and help Jn 14:16.
Ac 11 SALVATION
Thursday, November 4, 2021.
When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life.” The Lord’s ultimate plan was for the world to come to know Him. This was the proper time for God to expand the kingdom to include Gentiles. The Gospel message granted the believer the forgiveness of sins through Christ’s death Col 2:13 and led to the individual dying to self-rule to receive the life of Christ Gal 2:20.
Application: There are two sides of the Gospel coin. Repentance which grants the penitent, the forgiveness of sins, and death to self-rule which allows Christ to live His life through the believer.
Ac 10 WHOSOEVER BELIEVES
Wednesday, November 3, 2021.
Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism. It didn’t matter what nation you were born into; salvation was available to all. The Jewish people believed that they were the chosen people, God’s voice, to draw all people to God. But they also believed Israel shouldn’t associate with Gentiles but God revealed that He desired all to come to repentance 2 Pe 3:9. He used unclean animals Ac 10:15 to let Peter know all people were acceptable.
Application: no matter how sinful one has been in the past, Jesus’ sacrifice can forgive and make you a new creation 2 Co 5:17.
Ac 9 POWER OF PRAYER
Tuesday, November 2, 2021.
Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up: Why did Peter send everyone out of the room? When Jesus was about to heal Jairus’ daughter, he told the group that the girl was not dead but sleeping. They laughed at Him, showing their unbelieve and therefore Jesus had them put out Mk 5:39,40. So, Peter had everyone sent out, then got down on his knees to ask God to glorify Himself by raising Tabitha. God answered Peter’s prayer and it brought about much rejoicing.
Application: this miracle encouraged the young Church’s faith and is a witness to us, for God has not changed Heb 13:8. We have the wonderful opportunity as believers, to petition the Lord with prayer, and watch mighty things take place through our prayers.
Ac 8 PHILIP CONNECTS THE DOTS
Monday, November 1, 2021.
Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked. God can save people in many different ways like Paul’s dramatic conversion on the road to Damascus Ac 9:3,4; or a leper through a miraculous healing Mk 1:40-42, but often it is through the understanding of the Word. Here, it is Philip, who God sends to this devout man, who sincerely desires to know more about God and His plan. Understanding the Gospel led the eunuch to experience the joy Ac 8:39 of salvation.
Application: Jesus has given the Church apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to equip His Body to fulfill God’s purposes Eph 4:11,12. Whatever gift God has given you, use it for the edification of the Church.
Ac 7 JESUS HONORS STEPHEN
Sunday, October 31, 2021.
Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” The high priest wanted Stephen to refute his claims that Jesus was the Messiah or he would have him killed similar to the prophet Micaiah’s situation 1 Ki 22:13. When Micaiah told the king of Israel the truth, he was thrown into prison to be killed at the return of the king 1 Ki 22:27,28. Stephen would also speak the truth about Jesus, regardless of the consequences, which caused Stephen to see heaven open and Jesus standing, symbolizing that Jesus was honoring his brave decision, just as a crowd stands to honor a special person. The result was Stephen’s stoning, but this vision had encouraged Stephen to ask forgiveness for the people and anticipate his welcome Ac 7:59 ,60 into God’s presence 2 Co 5:8.
Application: times are coming when anyone who refuses to take the mark of the beast will be killed Rev 13:15,16. But we must resist as Stephen did and reap eternal honor from God, by being loyalty to the King of kings.
Ac 6 PRAYER AND THE WORD
Saturday, October 30, 2021.
And will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word: the disciples wanted the widows, who were being neglected of daily food rations to have this need met. However, they were called to a more important ministry which was to prayer and share the Gospel then teach the Word Mt 28:19,20. Their solution was to choose seven godly men to be responsible for meeting the widows’ needs.
Application: the most important calling for a Child of God is to share the Gospel and to teach the truths of the Word, while having an intimate relationship with God through prayer. It is this communion with the Lord that we discover our unique path in serving God. Without prayer, we are like the branch, which is separated from the life source of the vine, and therefore cannot produce any fruit Jn 15:5.
Ac 5 LYING TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
Friday, October 29, 2021.
Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? God was in the initial stages of growing His new organism, the Church. He didn’t want to allow Satan to mix in a little bit of leaven and taint the entire movement Gal 5:9, so God judged Ananias and Sapphira to set an example for others in the church not to be corrupt. Peter, mentioned that Ananias had lied not to man, but the Holy Spirit, who knows all things 1 Jn 3:20. This fear Ac 5:11 was necessary to keep God’s Church pure and truthful.
Application: just because the Holy Spirit doesn’t zap Christians, every time they are deceitful, doesn’t mean that their sin will go unpunished. Paul reminded the Galatians that we reap what we sow Gal 6:7. Our attitude should be one of integrity, to be an example for the world, to see a different kind of character in believers because of our love for Jesus, the Savior of the world Jn 3:16.
Ac 4 WHOM WILL YOU SERVE?
Thursday, October 28, 2021.
But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to Him? You be the judges! The religious rulers had ordered Peter and John to refrain from preaching Jesus to the people Ac 4:18. The disciples’ response was that God was the authority they would submit to and obey, not man-made rulers. Unable to punish them because of their fear of what the crowd would do, the rulers let them go.
Application: we see much censuring in the main stream media and on social media tech platforms trying to suppress truth. Christian pastors have been put in jail for keeping their doors open to preach the Word of God, however many church members have submitted to the government rulers. The true church must be courageous like Peter and John and ask the anti-God leaders, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you or to Him? You be the judges!”
Ac 3 AUTHOR OF LIFE
Wednesday, October 27, 2021.
You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this: Jesus was the creator of all things Jn 1:4; Col 1:16 but ironically, the Jews killed the author of all life. Jesus, who loved His creation, willingly embraced the mission to save mankind through His death. Unfortunately, His own did not want Him Jn 1:11.
Application: a humble heart recognizes the love and mercy of the Creator of the Universe and gratefully accepts God’s, Gift of Love.
Ac 2 THE COMING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Tuesday, October 26, 2021.
Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting: the arrival of the Holy Spirit was quite spectacular with tongues of fire resting on each of them. He came to give the Church power to share the Gospel. That day approximately 3,000 were saved Ac 2:41 while the day the Law was given approximately 3,000 died Ex 32:28. Paul confirmed this truth when he stated that the Law kills but the Spirit gives life 2 Co 3:6. Symbolically, the 3,000 on Pentecost also died to themselves Ro 6:4; Col 3:3—those who accepted the message were baptized Ac 2:41 (they buried their old lives in the waters of baptism). The Gospel message is addressed to sinners, who must repent Ac 3:19, for Christ died granting them, the forgiveness of sins 1 Pe 3:18, but also, that we must die to ourselves, in order to receive the Life of Christ Gal 2:20; Jn 10:10.
When God gave Moses the Commandments of Stone, it birthed the period of the Law, whereas, when the Father sent the Holy Spirit, it birthed the Church and put an end to the Law Ro 10:4. God promised that He would change their hearts of stone and replace it with hearts of flesh Eze 36:26. The heart of stone referred to the Law Ex 24:12 whereas the New Covenant of Grace cut to their hearts Ac 2:37 giving them tender hearts, hearts of flesh.
During the feast of Weeks, two loaves of leavened bread were waved Lev 23:17 representing the Jews and the Gentiles, both under the penalty of sin (leavened). But now, God has wiped out their leaven and made the two groups one Eph 2:14,15,16. In the Old Covenant the Holy Spirit came upon special people (kings- Saul, David; prophets Elijah, Elisha) and could depart 1 Sa 16:14; Ps 51:11, but now He resides inside of all believers, with the promise that He will never leave us Jn 14:16 as we have been sealed, guaranteeing our inheritance Eph 1:13,14.
Application: the Holy Spirit power is still available to believers today, but many have failed to recognize or experience His power. The disciples were waiting upon the Spirit, listening for a sound from heaven. They clearly heard from God and completed their assignment. Have you heard your sound from heaven?
Ac 1 JESUS’ WITNESSES
Monday, October 25, 2021.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth: Jesus explained that He would empower His witnesses when the Holy Spirit came upon them. Their calling was to share the Gospel throughout the world, through the power of the Holy Spirit. This power would manifest in miracles Ac 3:7,8 and mighty acts Ac 8:6,7.
Application: God’s plan hasn’t changed in over two thousand years. We are His ambassadors 2 Co 5:20, sharing the Good News, as we live out our lives Mt 28:19,20. We have the indwelling Holy Spirit and the same power that was present in the early believers. So, let our boldness take the truth to those that are in need of salvation and fulfill our commission.