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Showing posts from April, 2016

A Short-lived Victory

Acts 12 [i] Let me show you a few verses from the Bible: Jeremiah 12:1 LORD, you always give me justice when I bring a case before you.  So let me bring you this complaint: Why are the wicked so prosperous? Why are evil people so happy? Job 21:7 Why do the wicked prosper, growing old and powerful? Ecclesiastes 8:14 And this is not all that is meaningless in our world.  In this life, good people are often treated as though they were wicked, and wicked people are often treated as though they were good.  This is so meaningless! Psalm 73:2-3 But as for me, I almost lost my footing.  My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone. For I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness. Why do the wicked prosper? When troubles, hardships or persecutions come, we all have questions. Why is this happening? How can we make it? With these questions comes the challenge of survival.  Can we make it or even continue to go on?  In the account of

Prayer

Acts 9:36-43 [i] There are many examples of prayer in the Bible.  Men and women prayed to God from the earliest days recorded in Scripture.  The Prophet Daniel prayed three times a day, and was unwilling to change this habit even under the threat of being thrown into the lion’s den.  The Lord Jesus gave us an example of how to pray in what we call the Lord’s Prayer, and He, himself, spent many hours in prayer. I have chosen an ambitious title by calling this blog “Prayer.”  I am looking at only one incident of prayer and its results, and will by no means cover the whole subject.  Prayer is simple enough that a young child can pray effectively, and at the same time, it is a broad subject with many examples and nuances worthy of much study and contemplation.  Many different thoughts and ideas are published concerning prayer, some of which are entirely unbiblical and based on speculation while others are basic truths on which we must rely as Christians.  Today, I wish to look at

Opposition

Acts 9:1-20 In the days and weeks immediately following the resurrection, the news of the resurrection and its meaning spread like wildfire.  The Good News, the message of life, changed more people every day.  Every day new followers joined what was called the Way.  In other words, they believed in Jesus and became a part of His Body, the Church. However, explosive growth and growing popularity also meant growing opposition and alarm among the religious leaders, starting with the High Priest. The opposition was serious.  A righteous and good man, Stephen, was killed.  Stephen was stoned for His testimony for Christ, becoming the first person to give His life for the name of Jesus. Stephen’s death was a turning point.  From that day on, intense persecution broke out against the followers of the Way in Jerusalem.  As a result, the Way, or Christianity, quickly spread throughout the region as those who believed in Jesus fled Jerusalem.   In Jerusalem, there was a man who w

The Message of Life

Acts 5:12-42 [i] After the resurrection, Jesus met with the Apostles and His followers at different times and in different settings over a period of forty days.  1 Corinthians 15:6 tells us that on one occasion He met with five hundred of his followers at one time.  At the end of this forty day period Jesus ascended into heaven.  In chapter 28:18-20, Matthew tells us that Jesus shared the following with His disciples: 18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.   19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.   20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.  And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” The early chapters of Acts tell us how Jesus’ disciples started to fulfill this mission. For example, Acts 2 tells how Jesus sent the Holy Spirit, filling them with the power of God.  Immed