Paul the Apostle, along with Barnabas, are able to share the gospel as doors of faith open in new communities. They have been given the gifts of spiritual healing to accompany their message of grace through Jesus, so some are healed. This doesn’t sit well with their opposition. They are stoned, nearly to death, and dragged out of the city, but after prayers, they are healed and continue God’s work. What do you do when you face opposition? What is your way of working through trials in your life? Do you give up, and quit, or do you muster up the faith, and continue forward? Join us as we talk about ways to grow in your faith. Click here to hear the message.
Paul and Barnabas were sent off by the Holy Spirit to Cyprus and Paphos. They went to Jewish Synagogues first, to speak to Jewish people about the grace of God. The Jews rejected them, so they turned to the Gentiles to be the light of the world. God’s light shines in times of persecution and hate. We see tremendous hate in our world today, but this is no time to shrink back from shining the grace of God into nearby communities. What is your role in being the light of Christ in the dark world that surrounds you?
When King Herod kills James the Apostle, he also puts Peter in prison. He wanted to make the people of his day happy, and his insecurity as a leader led him astray. God sometimes deals with leaders in good ways and bad. As we look at the character of God through the Book of Acts, we find that God is at work and wants His Word to spread and flourish. You play a role in the good character of God. You can participate in culture as God’s people, by displaying godly character in the world, rather than the counterfeit character of Herod.
There’s an age old saying, “People like change, until something changes.” Is that true in your life? The Apostle Peter needed to explain his actions from Acts 10, where he went to a Gentile’s home and they received God’s Holy Spirit. He didn’t have to explain the Holy Spirit part, as much as the “going to a Gentile’s home” part. Why? The prejudice of the newly Christian Jews didn’t allow for them to be teachable in leadership. They were restrictive, rather than gracious. When Peter could explain his actions, they were became receptive. Barnabas is a wonderful example of teachability in leading. How teachable are you in leading others? Let’s find out. Click the image to hear the sermon.
We see the character of God through our acts of obedience. The Apostle Peter was summoned from Joppa to Caesarea so he could meet with Cornelius and his family. Cornelius was the first Gentile to receive the Holy Spirit and later began a church in that town. The Church of God is moving out of the Jewish community of faith toward the “ends of the earth” through expansion. Join us as look at how our obedience to the Spirit of God matters for issues of living well in the Kingdom of God. How have you put up a wall and excluded people from the Kingdom of God, rather than act in obedience to include more people?
This is one of the most famous chapters in the book of Acts. The terrorist, Saul, was still breathing murderous threats to the Church when the Lord Jesus, himself, knocked Saul off his personal mission. When the Lord got ahold of Saul, it took some “not-so-famous” people to rally around him and get him on the right mission. Today we talk about Ananias, Barnabas, the Widows and even Simon the tanner. These kind of “B-Team” players, are people like you and me, who play a role in the shaping of God’s Kingdom on earth, as it is in heaven.
When the early church faced persecution, they were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Once scattered, the church began preaching the gospel of Jesus and the church began to expand. Often, when we go through something difficult in life, we tend to think God has forgotten about us, or that God isn’t paying attention. What would happen if we changed our perspective about bad things and said, “God has a better plan in mind than I do.”? No matter the difficulties we face, we are challenged to preach the word of God wherever we go. Are you up for the challenge?
Sometimes Christians can clip the wings of the Wild Goose (Holy Spirit) and limit God’s work in the world through our disobedience to Him. When was the last time you responded well to the prompting of the Holy Spirit?