Book of the New Testament
In 1877, American abolitionist (and escaped slave) Frederick Douglass met his former master, Thomas Auld. Douglass had previously written strong condemnations of Auld’s cruel treatment of his slaves. But when they met near the end of Auld’s life, Douglass forgave him. They shed tears, were reconciled, and parted as friends, according to Douglass’s autobiography. Douglass had become a Christian as a teenager, and clearly, he’d learned the power of God’s forgiveness in the face of suffering and injustice. As we see in today’s reading, Joseph, too, had learned to forgive despite all he’d unjustly suffered (vv. 19–21). In fact, we can say he’d learned to forgive because of all he’d unjustly suffered. That did not make what his brothers and the Potiphar couple had done any less wrong, but it helped Joseph to know that God had been in sovereign control with a greater purpose the entire time. We live in a fallen world that’s full of sin and suffering, but these things are not outside God’s rule. He’s never been taken by surprise and never has to resort to a plan B. This should strengthen our faith and give us hope. At the same time, it should not make us complacent or fatalistic. Sin, suffering, and injustice should deeply grieve us. We should practice and stand for biblical justice whenever there’s an opportunity. Even more, we can rejoice when suffering injustice for the sake of Christ—as Paul and Silas did, singing hymns in their Philippian prison cell (Acts 16:25). What can we learn from Joseph? In the words of the psalmist: “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees” (Ps. 119:71). Or in Paul’s terms: “In all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Rom. 8:28). >> If you struggle with questions about suffering or injustice, we recommend an excellent book by two Moody professors: Between Pain and Grace: A Biblical Theology of Suffering, by Gerald Peterman and Andrew Schmutzer.
With family: Genesis 23; Matthew 22 Genesis 23 (Listen) Sarah's Death and Burial 23 Sarah lived 127 years; these were the years of the life of Sarah. 2 And Sarah died at Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went in to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her. 3 And Abraham rose up from before his dead and said to the Hittites,1 4 “I am a sojourner and foreigner among you; give me property among you for a burying place, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.” 5 The Hittites answered Abraham, 6 “Hear us, my lord; you are a prince of God2 among us. Bury your dead in the choicest of our tombs. None of us will withhold from you his tomb to hinder you from burying your dead.” 7 Abraham rose and bowed to the Hittites, the people of the land. 8 And he said to them, “If you are willing that I should bury my dead out of my sight, hear me and entreat for me Ephron the son of Zohar, 9 that he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which he owns; it is at the end of his field. For the full price let him give it to me in your presence as property for a burying place.” 10 Now Ephron was sitting among the Hittites, and Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the hearing of the Hittites, of all who went in at the gate of his city, 11 “No, my lord, hear me: I give you the field, and I give you the cave that is in it. In the sight of the sons of my people I give it to you. Bury your dead.” 12 Then Abraham bowed down before the people of the land. 13 And he said to Ephron in the hearing of the people of the land, “But if you will, hear me: I give the price of the field. Accept it from me, that I may bury my dead there.” 14 Ephron answered Abraham, 15 “My lord, listen to me: a piece of land worth four hundred shekels3 of silver, what is that between you and me? Bury your dead.” 16 Abraham listened to Ephron, and Abraham weighed out for Ephron the silver that he had named in the hearing of the Hittites, four hundred shekels of silver, according to the weights current among the merchants. 17 So the field of Ephron in Machpelah, which was to the east of Mamre, the field with the cave that was in it and all the trees that were in the field, throughout its whole area, was made over 18 to Abraham as a possession in the presence of the Hittites, before all who went in at the gate of his city. 19 After this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah east of Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. 20 The field and the cave that is in it were made over to Abraham as property for a burying place by the Hittites. Footnotes  23:3 Hebrew sons of Heth; also verses 5, 7, 10, 16, 18, 20  23:6 Or a mighty prince  23:15 A shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams (ESV) Matthew 22 (Listen) The Parable of the Wedding Feast 22 And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, 2 “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, 3 and sent his servants1 to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. 4 Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.”' 5 But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, 6 while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. 7 The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. 8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. 9 Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.' 10 And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests. 11 “But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. 12 And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?' And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.” Paying Taxes to Caesar 15 Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to entangle him in his words. 16 And they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are true and teach the way of God truthfully, and you do not care about anyone's opinion, for you are not swayed by appearances.2 17 Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” 18 But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? 19 Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius.3 20 And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” 21 They said, “Caesar's.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.” 22 When they heard it, they marveled. And they left him and went away. Sadducees Ask About the Resurrection 23 The same day Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection, and they asked him a question, 24 saying, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies having no children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother.' 25 Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died, and having no offspring left his wife to his brother. 26 So too the second and third, down to the seventh. 27 After them all, the woman died. 28 In the resurrection, therefore, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all had her.” 29 But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 31 And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God: 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is not God of the dead, but of the living.” 33 And when the crowd heard it, they were astonished at his teaching. The Great Commandment 34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Whose Son Is the Christ? 41 Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, 42 saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.” 43 He said to them, “How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying, 44 “‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet”'? 45 If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?” 46 And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions. Footnotes  22:3 Or bondservants; also verses 4, 6, 8, 10  22:16 Greek for you do not look at people's faces  22:19 A denarius was a day's wage for a laborer (ESV) In private: Nehemiah 12; Acts 22 Nehemiah 12 (Listen) Priests and Levites 12 These are the priests and the Levites who came up with Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua: Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra, 2 Amariah, Malluch, Hattush, 3 Shecaniah, Rehum, Meremoth, 4 Iddo, Ginnethoi, Abijah, 5 Mijamin, Maadiah, Bilgah, 6 Shemaiah, Joiarib, Jedaiah, 7 Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, Jedaiah. These were the chiefs of the priests and of their brothers in the days of Jeshua. 8 And the Levites: Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah, who with his brothers was in charge of the songs of thanksgiving. 9 And Bakbukiah and Unni and their brothers stood opposite them in the service. 10 And Jeshua was the father of Joiakim, Joiakim the father of Eliashib, Eliashib the father of Joiada, 11 Joiada the father of Jonathan, and Jonathan the father of Jaddua. 12 And in the days of Joiakim were priests, heads of fathers' houses: of Seraiah, Meraiah; of Jeremiah, Hananiah; 13 of Ezra, Meshullam; of Amariah, Jehohanan; 14 of Malluchi, Jonathan; of Shebaniah, Joseph; 15 of Harim, Adna; of Meraioth, Helkai; 16 of Iddo, Zechariah; of Ginnethon, Meshullam; 17 of Abijah, Zichri; of Miniamin, of Moadiah, Piltai; 18 of Bilgah, Shammua; of Shemaiah, Jehonathan; 19 of Joiarib, Mattenai; of Jedaiah, Uzzi; 20 of Sallai, Kallai; of Amok, Eber; 21 of Hilkiah, Hashabiah; of Jedaiah, Nethanel. 22 In the days of Eliashib, Joiada, Johanan, and Jaddua, the Levites were recorded as heads of fathers' houses; so too were the priests in the reign of Darius the Persian. 23 As for the sons of Levi, their heads of fathers' houses were written in the Book of the Chronicles until the days of Johanan the son of Eliashib. 24 And the chiefs of the Levites: Hashabiah, Sherebiah, and Jeshua the son of Kadmiel, with their brothers who stood opposite them, to praise and to give thanks, according to the commandment of David the man of God, watch by watch. 25 Mattaniah, Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon, and Akkub were gatekeepers standing guard at the storehouses of the gates. 26 These were in the days of Joiakim the son of Jeshua son of Jozadak, and in the days of Nehemiah the governor and of Ezra, the priest and scribe. Dedication of the Wall 27 And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites in all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem to celebrate the dedication with gladness, with thanksgivings and with singing, with cymbals, harps, and lyres. 28 And the sons of the singers gathered together from the district surrounding Jerusalem and from the villages of the Netophathites; 29 also from Beth-gilgal and from the region of Geba and Azmaveth, for the singers had built for themselves villages around Jerusalem. 30 And the priests and the Levites purified themselves, and they purified the people and the gates and the wall. 31 Then I brought the leaders of Judah up onto the wall and appointed two great choirs that gave thanks. One went to the south on the wall to the Dung Gate. 32 And after them went Hoshaiah and half of the leaders of Judah, 33 and Azariah, Ezra, Meshullam, 34 Judah, Benjamin, Shemaiah, and Jeremiah, 35 and certain of the priests' sons with trumpets: Zechariah the son of Jonathan, son of Shemaiah, son of Mattaniah, son of Micaiah, son of Zaccur, son of Asaph; 36 and his relatives, Shemaiah, Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel, Judah, and Hanani, with the musical instruments of David the man of God. And Ezra the scribe went before them. 37 At the Fountain Gate they went up straight before them by the stairs of the city of David, at the ascent of the wall, above the house of David, to the Water Gate on the east. 38 The other choir of those who gave thanks went to the north, and I followed them with half of the people, on the wall, above the Tower of the Ovens, to the Broad Wall, 39 and above the Gate of Ephraim, and by the Gate of Yeshanah,1 and by the Fish Gate and the Tower of Hananel and the Tower of the Hundred, to the Sheep Gate; and they came to a halt at the Gate of the Guard. 40 So both choirs of those who gave thanks stood in the house of God, and I and half of the officials with me; 41 and the priests Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Micaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah, with trumpets; 42 and Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malchijah, Elam, and Ezer. And the singers sang with Jezrahiah as their leader. 43 And they offered great sacrifices that day and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women and children also rejoiced. And the joy of Jerusalem was heard far away. Service at the Temple 44 On that day men were appointed over the storerooms, the contributions, the firstfruits, and the tithes, to gather into them the portions required by the Law for the priests and for the Levites according to the fields of the towns, for Judah rejoiced over the priests and the Levites who ministered. 45 And they performed the service of their God and the service of purification, as did the singers and the gatekeepers, according to the command of David and his son Solomon. 46 For long ago in the days of David and Asaph there were directors of the singers, and there were songs2 of praise and thanksgiving to God. 47 And all Israel in the days of Zerubbabel and in the days of Nehemiah gave the daily portions for the singers and the gatekeepers; and they set apart that which was for the Levites; and the Levites set apart that which was for the sons of Aaron. Footnotes  12:39 Or of the old city  12:46 Or leaders (ESV) Acts 22 (Listen) 22 “Brothers and fathers, hear the defense that I now make before you.” 2 And when they heard that he was addressing them in the Hebrew language,1 they became even more quiet. And he said: 3 “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated at the feet of Gamaliel2 according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God as all of you are this day. 4 I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering to prison both men and women, 5 as the high priest and the whole council of elders can bear me witness. From them I received letters to the brothers, and I journeyed toward Damascus to take those also who were there and bring them in bonds to Jerusalem to be punished. 6 “As I was on my way and drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone around me. 7 And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?' 8 And I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?' And he said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.' 9 Now those who were with me saw the light but did not understand3 the voice of the one who was speaking to me. 10 And I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?' And the Lord said to me, ‘Rise, and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all that is appointed for you to do.' 11 And since I could not see because of the brightness of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me, and came into Damascus. 12 “And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, 13 came to me, and standing by me said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.' And at that very hour I received my sight and saw him. 14 And he said, ‘The God of our fathers appointed you to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear a voice from his mouth; 15 for you will be a witness for him to everyone of what you have seen and heard. 16 And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.' 17 “When I had returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, I fell into a trance 18 and saw him saying to me, ‘Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about me.' 19 And I said, ‘Lord, they themselves know that in one synagogue after another I imprisoned and beat those who believed in you. 20 And when the blood of Stephen your witness was being shed, I myself was standing by and approving and watching over the garments of those who killed him.' 21 And he said to me, ‘Go, for I will send you far away to the Gentiles.'” Paul and the Roman Tribune 22 Up to this word they listened to him. Then they raised their voices and said, “Away with such a fellow from the earth! For he should not be allowed to live.” 23 And as they were shouting and throwing off their cloaks and flinging dust into the air, 24 the tribune ordered him to be brought into the barracks, saying that he should be examined by flogging, to find out why they were shouting against him like this. 25 But when they had stretched him out for the whips,4 Paul said to the centurion who was standing by, “Is it lawful for you to flog a man who is a Roman citizen and uncondemned?” 26 When the centurion heard this, he went to the tribune and said to him, “What are you about to do? For this man is a Roman citizen.” 27 So the tribune came and said to him, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” And he said, “Yes.” 28 The tribune answered, “I bought this citizenship for a large sum.” Paul said, “But I am a citizen by birth.” 29 So those who were about to examine him withdrew from him immediately, and the tribune also was afraid, for he realized that Paul was a Roman citizen and that he had bound him. Paul Before the Council 30 But on the next day, desiring to know the real reason why he was being accused by the Jews, he unbound him and commanded the chief priests and all the council to meet, and he brought Paul down and set him before them. Footnotes  22:2 Or the Hebrew dialect (probably Aramaic)  22:3 Or city at the feet of Gamaliel, educated  22:9 Or hear with understanding  22:25 Or when they had tied him up with leather strips (ESV)
Acts 12:3-17 We get to meet Rhoda today. Little Rhoda has faith and knows something to be true but no on else believes her. Hear what happens in our story today. We will learn that God knows we are telling the truth even if others doubt us. Thanks for listening! Subscribe for just $2.99 a month to get ALL episodes AD FREE! If you have enjoyed this podcast, would you please consider subscribing? This is also the BEST way to help support this ministry. SUBSCRIBE HERE https://anchor.fm/kids-bible-stories/subscribe To connect with me, simply go to https://www.kbspodcast.com/ --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app
In this final part of his civics presentation to a high school class, Gary discusses the issue of civil disobedience. Is it ever right for Christians to disobey a law or an edict of the government? What does the Constitution say? What does the Bible say?
Today we get to go to class with Dr. Bryan Litfin, and take a deep dive into the history of the Ancient church, and what life looked like after the New Testament ended and generation upon generation began to carry the story of Christ with them everywhere they went and grew the Church around the world. Dr. Bryan has been on the podcast before, where he shared about some of the things we'll discuss today, but today we look intentionally into what life looked like for Christians in the ancient church and just how powerful the Gospel of Christ was to them in society. They lived lives ruled by polytheistic beliefs, and that meant there was a rule of demonic powers in the world as they knew it. The freedom they found in Christ's victory over darkness was earth-shattering. Their faith and choice to be part of the church was not a cultural next step, it was a counter cultural, life altering allegiance. Dr. Litfin also schools us on so many assumptions that are made or just what isn't widely known about the formation of some of the pillars of the Christian faith and how they unfolded historically. Things such as establishing The Apostle's Creed, the canon, or the 66 books of the Bible as we know it today, and how it all developed, the establishing of theology because the spiritual power had to be established in the culture of the time. It's all incredibly fascinating and there's so much here that I think can infuse our faith with fresh fire, and encourage us as we are still fighting spiritual battles today. I thought it was a fascinating unpacking of how the ancient church was so used to spiritual encounters, there had to be a differentiation about who we are bowing the knee to. We have bowed our knee to so many things for so long that are not the God who loves us, and yet He continues to lavish us with His love, His mercy and His patience so that not one sheep of His flock would be lost. Dr. Litfin's books breathe life into the power of the Gospel when Jesus originally placed His feet on the earth and what it looked like when those who had ears to hear took His last command to heart when He said to go and make disciples. YOU are one of those disciples! And this is your call as well my friend. To learn about the God that loves you. Who He is and who He has always been. And then tell everyone. Like the first person, a woman no less, who heard from Jesus' own lips that He was indeed the Messiah who ran back to her village and proclaimed “come and meet this man, He knew my story!” This is our call too. He knows our story. It matters to Him. You matter. “Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story.” Connecting with Dr. Bryan Litfin: Books (Fiction, Nonfiction) Facebook Website Episode Sponsor: Tony Crabtree of Crabtree Homes with Exit Realty Home buyer guide: http://bit.ly/buyersguidecrabtreehomes Seller guide: http://bit.ly/sellerguidecrabtreehomes Facebook Instagram Website YouTube References: -First conversation with Dr. Bryan last year -Martin Luther and The Reformation -Christian persecution in Rome -The conversion of Christianity by Constantine and it changing the landscape of Rome -”The heart is an idol factory”- John Calvin -So Shines the Night - Tracy L. Higley (the incredible novel I read about set in Ephesus with Timothy, Paul and the early church -Jackie Hill Perry - the patience of God -Thor (not Chris Hemsorth) -Hercules -The Apostle's Creed -Gnosticism -The Council of Nicaea -The Holocaust Museum train car -Gnostic Gospels -The Book of Enoch -Dr. Michael Heiser, our episode -Francis Chan Forgotten God -The Davinci Code -The Confessions of Saint Augustine -On the Incarnation- Saint Athanasius -Christian martyrs (a witness)- revered women -”The Chosen” -Saint Peter's Basilica -The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel -Wisdom from the Ancients Scripture References: -Book of Acts (you know I love Bible Project videos! Acts gets a part 1 and part 2) -Philippians (video) -Galatians (video) -Philemon (BP video) Revelation 1:9-John was sent to Patmos (the book of Revelation) Ephesians 6:12-The powers and principalities Acts 19-Paul casting out demons in Ephesus Romans 6:1-11, 2 Timothy 2:26, Psalm 124:7 -He broke the power of the evil one and freed me from his snare -Romans 10:9- declare Jesus is Lord Exodus 34:6-7, Lamentations 3:21-23, Psalm 86:15, Ephesians 2:4-5- God's mercy and faithfulness (among many, many others) Judges 4-Deborah -Scripture talks about elders -Examples of Women with important roles in the church: (and various scriptures!) Priscila, women that ministered and funded Jesus' ministry- Mark 15:37-41, Mary Magdalene and the others with her announcing Jesus' resurrection (John 20:11-18), Lydia (Acts 16) -John 15:9-27, (esp 15:13) Matthew 25:40-45 -This is how you love one another and this is how you treat one another -Isaiah 55:11, Philippians 1:15-18, 1 Peter 1:3-5 -The gospel is still real -Matthew 28:16-20-The great commission is still the call for ever believer -Matthew 16:18-Peter is the rock the church would be built on -John 4- story of the woman at the well -Psalm 107:2- “Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story” Connecting with Emily and Simply Stories Podcast:Instagram (Em life // Podcast Life)FacebookTwitterBlog *Intro and Outro music is from audionautix.com
With family: Genesis 22; Matthew 21 Genesis 22 (Listen) The Sacrifice of Isaac 22 After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2 He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” 3 So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. 4 On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. 5 Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy1 will go over there and worship and come again to you.” 6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. 7 And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 8 Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together. 9 When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. 11 But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 12 He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called the name of that place, “The LORD will provide”;2 as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided.”3 15 And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven 16 and said, “By myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his4 enemies, 18 and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” 19 So Abraham returned to his young men, and they arose and went together to Beersheba. And Abraham lived at Beersheba. 20 Now after these things it was told to Abraham, “Behold, Milcah also has borne children to your brother Nahor: 21 Uz his firstborn, Buz his brother, Kemuel the father of Aram, 22 Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel.” 23 (Bethuel fathered Rebekah.) These eight Milcah bore to Nahor, Abraham's brother. 24 Moreover, his concubine, whose name was Reumah, bore Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah. Footnotes  22:5 Or young man; also verse 12  22:14 Or will see  22:14 Or he will be seen  22:17 Or their (ESV) Matthew 21 (Listen) The Triumphal Entry 21 Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,' and he will send them at once.” 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, 5 “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, on a colt,1 the foal of a beast of burden.'” 6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. 8 Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” 10 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.” Jesus Cleanses the Temple 12 And Jesus entered the temple2 and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 13 He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,' but you make it a den of robbers.” 14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant, 16 and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, “‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise'?” 17 And leaving them, he went out of the city to Bethany and lodged there. Jesus Curses the Fig Tree 18 In the morning, as he was returning to the city, he became hungry. 19 And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once. 20 When the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?” 21 And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,' it will happen. 22 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” The Authority of Jesus Challenged 23 And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” 24 Jesus answered them, “I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. 25 The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?” And they discussed it among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,' he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?' 26 But if we say, ‘From man,' we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet.” 27 So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things. The Parable of the Two Sons 28 “What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.' 29 And he answered, ‘I will not,' but afterward he changed his mind and went. 30 And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,' but did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him. The Parable of the Tenants 33 “Hear another parable. There was a master of a house who planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and leased it to tenants, and went into another country. 34 When the season for fruit drew near, he sent his servants3 to the tenants to get his fruit. 35 And the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36 Again he sent other servants, more than the first. And they did the same to them. 37 Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.' 38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.' 39 And they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. 40 When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 41 They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.” 42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone;4 this was the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes'? 43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. 44 And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”5 45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them. 46 And although they were seeking to arrest him, they feared the crowds, because they held him to be a prophet. Footnotes  21:5 Or donkey, and on a colt  21:12 Some manuscripts add of God  21:34 Or bondservants; also verses 35, 36  21:42 Greek the head of the corner  21:44 Some manuscripts omit verse 44 (ESV) In private: Nehemiah 11; Acts 21 Nehemiah 11 (Listen) The Leaders in Jerusalem 11 Now the leaders of the people lived in Jerusalem. And the rest of the people cast lots to bring one out of ten to live in Jerusalem the holy city, while nine out of ten1 remained in the other towns. 2 And the people blessed all the men who willingly offered to live in Jerusalem. 3 These are the chiefs of the province who lived in Jerusalem; but in the towns of Judah everyone lived on his property in their towns: Israel, the priests, the Levites, the temple servants, and the descendants of Solomon's servants. 4 And in Jerusalem lived certain of the sons of Judah and of the sons of Benjamin. Of the sons of Judah: Athaiah the son of Uzziah, son of Zechariah, son of Amariah, son of Shephatiah, son of Mahalalel, of the sons of Perez; 5 and Maaseiah the son of Baruch, son of Col-hozeh, son of Hazaiah, son of Adaiah, son of Joiarib, son of Zechariah, son of the Shilonite. 6 All the sons of Perez who lived in Jerusalem were 468 valiant men. 7 And these are the sons of Benjamin: Sallu the son of Meshullam, son of Joed, son of Pedaiah, son of Kolaiah, son of Maaseiah, son of Ithiel, son of Jeshaiah, 8 and his brothers, men of valor, 928.2 9 Joel the son of Zichri was their overseer; and Judah the son of Hassenuah was second over the city. 10 Of the priests: Jedaiah the son of Joiarib, Jachin, 11 Seraiah the son of Hilkiah, son of Meshullam, son of Zadok, son of Meraioth, son of Ahitub, ruler of the house of God, 12 and their brothers who did the work of the house, 822; and Adaiah the son of Jeroham, son of Pelaliah, son of Amzi, son of Zechariah, son of Pashhur, son of Malchijah, 13 and his brothers, heads of fathers' houses, 242; and Amashsai, the son of Azarel, son of Ahzai, son of Meshillemoth, son of Immer, 14 and their brothers, mighty men of valor, 128; their overseer was Zabdiel the son of Haggedolim. 15 And of the Levites: Shemaiah the son of Hasshub, son of Azrikam, son of Hashabiah, son of Bunni; 16 and Shabbethai and Jozabad, of the chiefs of the Levites, who were over the outside work of the house of God; 17 and Mattaniah the son of Mica, son of Zabdi, son of Asaph, who was the leader of the praise,3 who gave thanks, and Bakbukiah, the second among his brothers; and Abda the son of Shammua, son of Galal, son of Jeduthun. 18 All the Levites in the holy city were 284. 19 The gatekeepers, Akkub, Talmon and their brothers, who kept watch at the gates, were 172. 20 And the rest of Israel, and of the priests and the Levites, were in all the towns of Judah, every one in his inheritance. 21 But the temple servants lived on Ophel; and Ziha and Gishpa were over the temple servants. 22 The overseer of the Levites in Jerusalem was Uzzi the son of Bani, son of Hashabiah, son of Mattaniah, son of Mica, of the sons of Asaph, the singers, over the work of the house of God. 23 For there was a command from the king concerning them, and a fixed provision for the singers, as every day required. 24 And Pethahiah the son of Meshezabel, of the sons of Zerah the son of Judah, was at the king's side4 in all matters concerning the people. Villages Outside Jerusalem 25 And as for the villages, with their fields, some of the people of Judah lived in Kiriath-arba and its villages, and in Dibon and its villages, and in Jekabzeel and its villages, 26 and in Jeshua and in Moladah and Beth-pelet, 27 in Hazar-shual, in Beersheba and its villages, 28 in Ziklag, in Meconah and its villages, 29 in En-rimmon, in Zorah, in Jarmuth, 30 Zanoah, Adullam, and their villages, Lachish and its fields, and Azekah and its villages. So they encamped from Beersheba to the Valley of Hinnom. 31 The people of Benjamin also lived from Geba onward, at Michmash, Aija, Bethel and its villages, 32 Anathoth, Nob, Ananiah, 33 Hazor, Ramah, Gittaim, 34 Hadid, Zeboim, Neballat, 35 Lod, and Ono, the valley of craftsmen. 36 And certain divisions of the Levites in Judah were assigned to Benjamin. Footnotes  11:1 Hebrew nine hands  11:8 Compare Septuagint; Hebrew Jeshaiah, and after him Gabbai, Sallai, 928  11:17 Compare Septuagint, Vulgate; Hebrew beginning  11:24 Hebrew hand (ESV) Acts 21 (Listen) Paul Goes to Jerusalem 21 And when we had parted from them and set sail, we came by a straight course to Cos, and the next day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara.1 2 And having found a ship crossing to Phoenicia, we went aboard and set sail. 3 When we had come in sight of Cyprus, leaving it on the left we sailed to Syria and landed at Tyre, for there the ship was to unload its cargo. 4 And having sought out the disciples, we stayed there for seven days. And through the Spirit they were telling Paul not to go on to Jerusalem. 5 When our days there were ended, we departed and went on our journey, and they all, with wives and children, accompanied us until we were outside the city. And kneeling down on the beach, we prayed 6 and said farewell to one another. Then we went on board the ship, and they returned home. 7 When we had finished the voyage from Tyre, we arrived at Ptolemais, and we greeted the brothers2 and stayed with them for one day. 8 On the next day we departed and came to Caesarea, and we entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. 9 He had four unmarried daughters, who prophesied. 10 While we were staying for many days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 And coming to us, he took Paul's belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘This is how the Jews3 at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.'” 12 When we heard this, we and the people there urged him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” 14 And since he would not be persuaded, we ceased and said, “Let the will of the Lord be done.” 15 After these days we got ready and went up to Jerusalem. 16 And some of the disciples from Caesarea went with us, bringing us to the house of Mnason of Cyprus, an early disciple, with whom we should lodge. Paul Visits James 17 When we had come to Jerusalem, the brothers received us gladly. 18 On the following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present. 19 After greeting them, he related one by one the things that God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. 20 And when they heard it, they glorified God. And they said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed. They are all zealous for the law, 21 and they have been told about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or walk according to our customs. 22 What then is to be done? They will certainly hear that you have come. 23 Do therefore what we tell you. We have four men who are under a vow; 24 take these men and purify yourself along with them and pay their expenses, so that they may shave their heads. Thus all will know that there is nothing in what they have been told about you, but that you yourself also live in observance of the law. 25 But as for the Gentiles who have believed, we have sent a letter with our judgment that they should abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled,4 and from sexual immorality.” 26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day he purified himself along with them and went into the temple, giving notice when the days of purification would be fulfilled and the offering presented for each one of them. Paul Arrested in the Temple 27 When the seven days were almost completed, the Jews from Asia, seeing him in the temple, stirred up the whole crowd and laid hands on him, 28 crying out, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who is teaching everyone everywhere against the people and the law and this place. Moreover, he even brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.” 29 For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian with him in the city, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple. 30 Then all the city was stirred up, and the people ran together. They seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple, and at once the gates were shut. 31 And as they were seeking to kill him, word came to the tribune of the cohort that all Jerusalem was in confusion. 32 He at once took soldiers and centurions and ran down to them. And when they saw the tribune and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul. 33 Then the tribune came up and arrested him and ordered him to be bound with two chains. He inquired who he was and what he had done. 34 Some in the crowd were shouting one thing, some another. And as he could not learn the facts because of the uproar, he ordered him to be brought into the barracks. 35 And when he came to the steps, he was actually carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the crowd, 36 for the mob of the people followed, crying out, “Away with him!” Paul Speaks to the People 37 As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he said to the tribune, “May I say something to you?” And he said, “Do you know Greek? 38 Are you not the Egyptian, then, who recently stirred up a revolt and led the four thousand men of the Assassins out into the wilderness?” 39 Paul replied, “I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no obscure city. I beg you, permit me to speak to the people.” 40 And when he had given him permission, Paul, standing on the steps, motioned with his hand to the people. And when there was a great hush, he addressed them in the Hebrew language,5 saying: Footnotes  21:1 Some manuscripts add and Myra  21:7 Or brothers and sisters; also verse 17  21:11 Greek Ioudaioi probably refers here to Jewish religious leaders, and others under their influence, in that time  21:25 Some manuscripts omit and from what has been strangled  21:40 Or the Hebrew dialect (probably Aramaic) (ESV)
We are diving into a new series this week - a series that is designed for us to roll up our sleeves, be willing to get dirty, and invites us to engage in the hard work of spiritual renovation in our lives. We'll go through five ideas for how we can truly grow closer to God and follow God's design plans for our lives, and not turn it into a messy DIY project that doesn't really change anything.
Acts 24:1-27 SUPPORT - The Listener's Commentary is a CROWDFUNDED Bible teaching ministry. We believe everyone should have access to the wisdom of Jesus and the Bible so we've chosen to give the Listener's Commentary away as a free resource, and that's possible because of people's generous support. You can become a Ministry Partner by donating at: https://www.listenerscommentary.com/give TEXT Acts 24:1-27 24:1 Now after five days the high priest Ananias came down with some elders and an attorney named Tertullus, and they brought charges against Paul to the governor. 2 After Paul had been summoned, Tertullus began accusing him, saying to the governor, “Since we have attained great peace through you, and since reforms are being carried out for this nation by your foresight, 3 we acknowledge this in every way and everywhere, most excellent Felix, with all thankfulness. 4 But, that I may not weary you further, I beg you to grant us a brief hearing, by your kindness. 5 For we have found this man a public menace and one who stirs up dissensions among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. 6 And he even tried to desecrate the temple, so indeed we arrested him. 8 By interrogating him yourself concerning all these matters, you will be able to ascertain the things of which we are accusing him.” 9 The Jews also joined in the attack, asserting that these things were so. 10 And when the governor had nodded for him to speak, Paul responded: “Knowing that for many years you have been a judge to this nation, I cheerfully make my defense, 11 since you can take note of the fact that no more than twelve days ago I went up to Jerusalem to worship. 12 And neither in the temple did they find me carrying on a discussion with anyone or causing a riot, nor in the synagogues, nor in the city itself. 13 Nor can they prove to you the things of which they now accuse me. 14 But I confess this to you, that in accordance with the Way, which they call a sect, I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law and is written in the Prophets; 15 having a hope in God, which these men cherish themselves, that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. 16 In view of this I also do my best to maintain a blameless conscience both before God and before other people, always. 17 Now after several years I came to bring charitable gifts to my nation and to present offerings, 18 in which they found me occupied in the temple, having been purified, without any crowd or uproar. But there were some Jews from Asia—19 who ought to have been present before you and to have been bringing charges, if they should have anything against me. 20 Or else have these men themselves declare what violation they discovered when I stood before the Council, 21 other than in regard to this one declaration which I shouted while standing among them, ‘For the resurrection of the dead I am on trial before you today!'” 22 But Felix, having quite accurate knowledge about the Way, adjourned them, saying, “When Lysias the commander comes down, I will decide your case.” 23 He gave orders to the centurion for Paul to be kept in custody and yet have some freedom, and not to prevent any of his friends from providing for his needs. 24 Now some days later Felix arrived with Drusilla his wife, who was Jewish, and he sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus. 25 But as he was discussing righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix became frightened and responded, “Go away for now, and when I have an opportunity, I will summon you.” 26 At the same time he was also hoping that money would be given to him by Paul; therefore he also used to send for him quite often and talk with him. 27 But after two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus; and Felix, wanting to do the Jews a favor, left Paul imprisoned. SUBSCRIBE - to receive monthly Bible studies sent to your inbox, updates, and more resources subscribe at https://www.listenerscommentary.com Want to get more out of your Bible reading? Free Resource: 7 Ways to Immediately Get More Out of the Bible: https://www.johnwhittaker.net/seven-ways MORE TEACHING - For more resources and Bible teaching from John visit https://www.johnwhittaker.net
With family: Genesis 21; Matthew 20 Genesis 21 (Listen) The Birth of Isaac 21 The LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did to Sarah as he had promised. 2 And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him. 3 Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore him, Isaac.1 4 And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. 5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. 6 And Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me.” 7 And she said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.” God Protects Hagar and Ishmael 8 And the child grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. 9 But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, laughing.2 10 So she said to Abraham, “Cast out this slave woman with her son, for the son of this slave woman shall not be heir with my son Isaac.” 11 And the thing was very displeasing to Abraham on account of his son. 12 But God said to Abraham, “Be not displeased because of the boy and because of your slave woman. Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your offspring be named. 13 And I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring.” 14 So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba. 15 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the child under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot, for she said, “Let me not look on the death of the child.” And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. 17 And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. 18 Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” 19 Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. 20 And God was with the boy, and he grew up. He lived in the wilderness and became an expert with the bow. 21 He lived in the wilderness of Paran, and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt. A Treaty with Abimelech 22 At that time Abimelech and Phicol the commander of his army said to Abraham, “God is with you in all that you do. 23 Now therefore swear to me here by God that you will not deal falsely with me or with my descendants or with my posterity, but as I have dealt kindly with you, so you will deal with me and with the land where you have sojourned.” 24 And Abraham said, “I will swear.” 25 When Abraham reproved Abimelech about a well of water that Abimelech's servants had seized, 26 Abimelech said, “I do not know who has done this thing; you did not tell me, and I have not heard of it until today.” 27 So Abraham took sheep and oxen and gave them to Abimelech, and the two men made a covenant. 28 Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock apart. 29 And Abimelech said to Abraham, “What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs that you have set apart?” 30 He said, “These seven ewe lambs you will take from my hand, that this3 may be a witness for me that I dug this well.” 31 Therefore that place was called Beersheba,4 because there both of them swore an oath. 32 So they made a covenant at Beersheba. Then Abimelech and Phicol the commander of his army rose up and returned to the land of the Philistines. 33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba and called there on the name of the LORD, the Everlasting God. 34 And Abraham sojourned many days in the land of the Philistines. Footnotes  21:3 Isaac means he laughs  21:9 Possibly laughing in mockery  21:30 Or you  21:31 Beersheba means well of seven or well of the oath (ESV) Matthew 20 (Listen) Laborers in the Vineyard 20 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2 After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius1 a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4 and to them he said, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.' 5 So they went. Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. 6 And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing. And he said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?' 7 They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.' He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.' 8 And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.' 9 And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. 10 Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius. 11 And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house, 12 saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.' 13 But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. 15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?'2 16 So the last will be first, and the first last.” Jesus Foretells His Death a Third Time 17 And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, 18 “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death 19 and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.” A Mother's Request 20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. 21 And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” 22 Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” 23 He said to them, “You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” 24 And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 26 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,3 27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave,4 28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Jesus Heals Two Blind Men 29 And as they went out of Jericho, a great crowd followed him. 30 And behold, there were two blind men sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, “Lord,5 have mercy on us, Son of David!” 31 The crowd rebuked them, telling them to be silent, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” 32 And stopping, Jesus called them and said, “What do you want me to do for you?” 33 They said to him, “Lord, let our eyes be opened.” 34 And Jesus in pity touched their eyes, and immediately they recovered their sight and followed him. Footnotes  20:2 A denarius was a day's wage for a laborer  20:15 Or is your eye bad because I am good?  20:26 Greek diakonos  20:27 Or bondservant, or servant (for the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface)  20:30 Some manuscripts omit Lord (ESV) In private: Nehemiah 10; Acts 20 Nehemiah 10 (Listen) The People Who Sealed the Covenant 10 “On the seals are the names of1 Nehemiah the governor, the son of Hacaliah, Zedekiah, 2 Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah, 3 Pashhur, Amariah, Malchijah, 4 Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluch, 5 Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah, 6 Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch, 7 Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin, 8 Maaziah, Bilgai, Shemaiah; these are the priests. 9 And the Levites: Jeshua the son of Azaniah, Binnui of the sons of Henadad, Kadmiel; 10 and their brothers, Shebaniah, Hodiah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan, 11 Mica, Rehob, Hashabiah, 12 Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah, 13 Hodiah, Bani, Beninu. 14 The chiefs of the people: Parosh, Pahath-moab, Elam, Zattu, Bani, 15 Bunni, Azgad, Bebai, 16 Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin, 17 Ater, Hezekiah, Azzur, 18 Hodiah, Hashum, Bezai, 19 Hariph, Anathoth, Nebai, 20 Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir, 21 Meshezabel, Zadok, Jaddua, 22 Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah, 23 Hoshea, Hananiah, Hasshub, 24 Hallohesh, Pilha, Shobek, 25 Rehum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah, 26 Ahiah, Hanan, Anan, 27 Malluch, Harim, Baanah. The Obligations of the Covenant 28 “The rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the temple servants, and all who have separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the Law of God, their wives, their sons, their daughters, all who have knowledge and understanding, 29 join with their brothers, their nobles, and enter into a curse and an oath to walk in God's Law that was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the LORD our Lord and his rules and his statutes. 30 We will not give our daughters to the peoples of the land or take their daughters for our sons. 31 And if the peoples of the land bring in goods or any grain on the Sabbath day to sell, we will not buy from them on the Sabbath or on a holy day. And we will forego the crops of the seventh year and the exaction of every debt. 32 “We also take on ourselves the obligation to give yearly a third part of a shekel2 for the service of the house of our God: 33 for the showbread, the regular grain offering, the regular burnt offering, the Sabbaths, the new moons, the appointed feasts, the holy things, and the sin offerings to make atonement for Israel, and for all the work of the house of our God. 34 We, the priests, the Levites, and the people, have likewise cast lots for the wood offering, to bring it into the house of our God, according to our fathers' houses, at times appointed, year by year, to burn on the altar of the LORD our God, as it is written in the Law. 35 We obligate ourselves to bring the firstfruits of our ground and the firstfruits of all fruit of every tree, year by year, to the house of the LORD; 36 also to bring to the house of our God, to the priests who minister in the house of our God, the firstborn of our sons and of our cattle, as it is written in the Law, and the firstborn of our herds and of our flocks; 37 and to bring the first of our dough, and our contributions, the fruit of every tree, the wine and the oil, to the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God; and to bring to the Levites the tithes from our ground, for it is the Levites who collect the tithes in all our towns where we labor. 38 And the priest, the son of Aaron, shall be with the Levites when the Levites receive the tithes. And the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes to the house of our God, to the chambers of the storehouse. 39 For the people of Israel and the sons of Levi shall bring the contribution of grain, wine, and oil to the chambers, where the vessels of the sanctuary are, as well as the priests who minister, and the gatekeepers and the singers. We will not neglect the house of our God.” Footnotes  10:1 Hebrew lacks the names of  10:32 A shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams (ESV) Acts 20 (Listen) Paul in Macedonia and Greece 20 After the uproar ceased, Paul sent for the disciples, and after encouraging them, he said farewell and departed for Macedonia. 2 When he had gone through those regions and had given them much encouragement, he came to Greece. 3 There he spent three months, and when a plot was made against him by the Jews1 as he was about to set sail for Syria, he decided to return through Macedonia. 4 Sopater the Berean, son of Pyrrhus, accompanied him; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy; and the Asians, Tychicus and Trophimus. 5 These went on ahead and were waiting for us at Troas, 6 but we sailed away from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and in five days we came to them at Troas, where we stayed for seven days. Eutychus Raised from the Dead 7 On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight. 8 There were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered. 9 And a young man named Eutychus, sitting at the window, sank into a deep sleep as Paul talked still longer. And being overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. 10 But Paul went down and bent over him, and taking him in his arms, said, “Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.” 11 And when Paul had gone up and had broken bread and eaten, he conversed with them a long while, until daybreak, and so departed. 12 And they took the youth away alive, and were not a little comforted. 13 But going ahead to the ship, we set sail for Assos, intending to take Paul aboard there, for so he had arranged, intending himself to go by land. 14 And when he met us at Assos, we took him on board and went to Mitylene. 15 And sailing from there we came the following day opposite Chios; the next day we touched at Samos; and2 the day after that we went to Miletus. 16 For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he might not have to spend time in Asia, for he was hastening to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost. Paul Speaks to the Ephesian Elders 17 Now from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called the elders of the church to come to him. 18 And when they came to him, he said to them: “You yourselves know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, 19 serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews; 20 how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, 21 testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.3 22 And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by4 the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. 24 But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. 25 And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again. 26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, 27 for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. 28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God,5 which he obtained with his own blood.6 29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears. 32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33 I coveted no one's silver or gold or apparel. 34 You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. 35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” 36 And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. 37 And there was much weeping on the part of all; they embraced Paul and kissed him, 38 being sorrowful most of all because of the word he had spoken, that they would not see his face again. And they accompanied him to the ship. Footnotes  20:3 Greek Ioudaioi probably refers here to Jewish religious leaders, and others under their influence, in that time; also verse 19  20:15 Some manuscripts add after remaining at Trogyllium  20:21 Some manuscripts omit Christ  20:22 Or bound in  20:28 Some manuscripts of the Lord  20:28 Or with the blood of his Own (ESV)
Jen Wilkin, JT English, and Kyle Worley answer questions submitted from their patron supporters! To learn more and become a patron visit patreon.com/knowingfaith.Questions Covered in This Episode:“Do you have recommendations for books/podcasts/resources/etc for doing something similar but age appropriate for older kids?”“Is the language about God being Father & Son literal or figurative or both?”“Are we ever at risk of reading too much into parallels, types, significant numbers etc. and drawing conclusions that weren't intended as we attempt to comprehend and interpret on our own?”“Why do you think that in the New Creation there will be no darkness (Rev. 21:22-25) yet in the first creation, before there was sin, God created darkness and light? 1 Jn 1:5 says there is no darkness in God, but why then did God create night in the first place?”“Regarding Gen 3:24. What happened to the garden, the cherubim & flaming sword after Adam and Eve left? What happened to the tree of life or tree of knowledge of good & evil?”“What is a theological belief or tradition that you used to hold too firmly but changed your mind (or at least you are no longer as confident in)?”“I've been wrestling with postmillennialism, amillennialism, and premillennialism eschatology and have been leaning towards post. I know it's not an essential of our faith but I was wondering what you guys can comment on this and any good resources as well.”“Are you ever worried about how much influence you are having through the podcast?”“Is justification by faith alone a first-tier ("essentials") issue in your view? It seems that many evangelicals do think so, but if so, how does that affect how we view people in church history like Thomas Aquinas, if this doctrine is an "essential" belief to be saved?”“Is there a resource that charitably explains what different Christian denominations believe?”“What is one of your favorite things about your fellow cohosts/friends/frohosts? How do they encourage you?”“Is the Son the only person of the Trinity we see "embodied" (I'm not even sure if it's ok to use that word in relation to the Trinity at this point) in the scriptures or do we see the Father and the Spirit take on a form? For example, is the one Isaiah sees on the throne in Isaiah 6 the Son? The Father? The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? Outside of the incarnation, how do we apply good Trinitarian theology to moments when we see God taking on "embodied" forms like in Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Revelation or more general forms like the burning bush, pillar of cloud and fire, etc.?”“I only recently came to understand that the resurrection of Jesus Christ actually changes my reality now (on this side of eternity). How should we think about the transformative power of the resurrection as it relates to the topic of besetting sins?”“Is it important that Adam was a historical figure? If so, why?”“Each of y'all's simple tips for studying scripture on your own.”“Historically God has always had masculine pronouns but recently I've noticed gender-neutral pronouns are being used more often (particularly in scholarly writings). Is our understanding of God as masculine or gender-neutral an important aspect of our relationship with God? How does that impact our view of men and women being made in the image of God?”“When reading Acts, it seems like the apostles go out of their way to lay hands on new converts and ensure they are specifically filled/baptized with the Holy Spirit in a way that causes them to prophecy, speak in tongues, etc. This seems like an additional step, not synonymous with water baptism. The apostles didn't seem to think that we are filled upon conversion, but rather manually through specific prayer. As believers today, are we missing something? Should we be doing this after we baptize someone? Am I lacking the Spirit if I haven't been converted with this procedure?”“In Isaiah 9:6 Jesus Christ, the Son is referred to both as Son and as Everlasting Father...How does this work out in the Trinitarian community? Is there a lending of their titles? ‘For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.'”“In the OT, the Angel of the Lord is often a Christophany. In Matthew 1:20 is this also a Christophany?““How should Protestants read the early fathers if their leanings are more Catholic (the church)? Should we ignore their beliefs on Mary or communion?”“References are made to the gift of tongues throughout the NT. There seem to be two types, one of which is speaking a known language, and the other which is a bit less clear - some sort of tongues of angels or heavenly language. Paul says in Corinthians not to forbid tongues. Why is this not commonly exercised in our circles? Are we missing out on some sort of joyous fellowship with the Spirit by not pursuing this, at least in personal prayer, if not in community with other saints?”“Can you give a run through of some of the differences between dispensationalism and covenant theology. Are they in direct conflict with one another or can they be harmonized?”“Lately I've had real difficulty accepting an impassible view of God, especially when considering the suffering of Jesus on the cross. It is hard for me to think that the Father, so intimately united with the Son, did not also suffer out of compassion for him. Did God feel nothing as he watched his son die? The last thing I gather from the incarnation/crucifixion is that the Father is apathetic, so my understanding of impassibility must be off. But I don't understand how God who is capable of love could be incapable of suffering or emotion, and I would love to hear y'all's thoughts.”“Per Scripture, is baptism presented as being a part of salvation? Or, put another way, is baptism when your sins are forgiven?”“Thanks for the JL Packer essay - Early in the essay Packer defines "Unconditional election" as God's free, sovereign, unconditional choice for sinners, as sinners to be redeemed. He then goes on to define "Limited atonement" as "The redeeming work of Christ had as its end and goal the salvation of the elect." Is there any easy way to understand how this can be a free choice for sinners and yet you are also elect?”“What advice would you give your 25-year-old self or a 25-year old Patron with a desire to pastor?““What would your recommendation be regarding the use of outside curriculum in your church classes/studies? How would you balance using outside resources as opposed to training up your own teachers and developing your own materials?”“Why does it say in Romans 5:15 “many” died by the trespass of [Adam], versus everyone/all? Don't we all experience death and it's only through faith & allegiance to Christ that we can be born and experience true life again? Interestingly, almost all main translations have “the many.”“What book of the Bible do you think you've read/reread the most and what is it about that book that keeps drawing you back?”“Do you all reject or affirm the concept of “autotheos”? Currently reading Arminian Theology by Roger Olson in order to have a more well rounded understanding.”Where do you think the line is for having a proper place of spiritual authority?“I am wondering all y'all's thoughts on the movement of evangelicals to embrace "Torah Observance" and return to keeping the OT law. In discussing this with a friend who is being drawn to this new (old) way of life, my thoughts have been on Paul's comments about the Law in Romans. She brought up 2 Peter 3:16-17 and Peter's comments about Paul's teaching being misunderstood and misapplied leading to "lawlessness." I'd love to hear your thoughts! ““If we are continually be interceded for by God the Son (Jesus), are those who were spoken to by God in the Old Testament being spoken to from God the Son, or God the Father? The New Testament seems to suggest that we only have access to the Father through the Son, but I often hear people talk about God's words spoken to the prophets as coming from God the Father. How should we think about the trinitys function in the Old Testament, specifically concerning God speaking to men?“What recommendations or resources can you suggest to help women who want to grow their skills leading small group discussion?Helpful Definitions:Eternally Begotten: The Son's unique attribute in relation to the Father and the Spirit: the Son is sourced in the Father, but there was never a time when the Son began. All things are from the Father, through the Son and by the Spirit.Eternally Unbegotten: The Father is without origin (never been born, made, or created) and He is the fount of divinity.Archetypal Knowledge: Knowledge of God that God himself only possesses; true and full.Ectypal Knowledge: Our knowledge of God is true but not full because of our finitude.Chiasm: Is a literary technique that has bookend statements that work their way inward.Christophany: An appearance of the Son of God before the incarnation.The resurrection power of Christ means that we have been delivered from the penalty of sin. The resurrection power of Christ means that we are currently being delivered from sin's power and the resurrection power of Christ means one day we will be delivered from sin's presence.Autotheos: Self existence of God.Resources Mentioned in This Episode:Revelation 21:22-25, 1 John 1:5, Genesis 2:3, Genesis 3:24, 1 John 2:1, Isaiah 9:6, John 10:30, Matthew 1:20, Romans 5:15, John 13-17, Hebrews 1, John 15:26patreon.com/knowingfaithThe Bible Project“A Case for Amillennialism” by Kim Riddlebarger“Postmillennialism” By Keith A. MathisonKnowing Faith Acts Episodes“Kingdom Through Covenant: A Biblical-Theological Understanding of the Covenants” by Peter J. Gentry and Stephen J. Wellum“God's Kingdom through God's Covenants: A Concise Biblical Theology” by Peter J. Gentry and Stephen J. Wellum“The New “New Orthodoxy”: Only The Impassable God Can Help” by Wesley Hill“The Impassable God of the Bible: Replying to Some Objections” by Wesley HillJ. I. Packer's Famous Essay on Christ's Death“Calvin, Classical Trinitarianism, and the Aseity of the Son” by Tyler R. Wittman“Iron Sharpens Iron: Leading Bible–Oriented Small Groups that Thrive” by Orlando SaerAmazon affiliate links are used where appropriate. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases, thank you for supporting Knowing Faith.Sponsors:Explore the Southern Seminary degrees designed to equip you to do even more to advance the cause of Christ and His Kingdom: SBTS.EDU/EXPLORE.To learn more about our sponsors please visit our website.Follow Us:Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | WebsiteSupport Knowing Faith and Become a Patron:patreon.com/knowingfaith
The ways of God are beyond us. Something in every person yearns for the Lord even when He is somewhat unknown. He calls whosoever will to come. (Proverbs 30:18-19; Acts 17:28-32; Mark8:14-21) Speaker(s): Thomas Schaller Sermon 12236 7:00 PM on 1/19/2022
Acts 23:1-35 SUPPORT - The Listener's Commentary is a CROWDFUNDED Bible teaching ministry. We believe everyone should have access to the wisdom of Jesus and the Bible so we've chosen to give the Listener's Commentary away as a free resource, and that's possible because of people's generous support. You can become a Ministry Partner by donating at: https://www.listenerscommentary.com/give TEXT Acts 23:1-35 Now looking intently at the Council, Paul said, “Brothers, I have lived my life with an entirely good conscience before God up to this day.” 2 But the high priest Ananias commanded those standing beside him to strike him on the mouth. 3 Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Do you sit to try me according to the Law, and in violation of the Law, order me to be struck?” 4 But those present said, “Are you insulting God's high priest?” 5 And Paul said, “I was not aware, brothers, that he is high priest; for it is written: ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.'” 6 But Paul, perceiving that one group were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, began crying out in the Council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; I am on trial for the hope and resurrection of the dead!” 7 When he said this, a dissension occurred between the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor an angel, nor a spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.9 And a great uproar occurred; and some of the scribes of the Pharisaic party stood up and started arguing heatedly, saying, “We find nothing wrong with this man; suppose a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?” 10 And when a great dissension occurred, the commander was afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces by them, and he ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force, and bring him into the barracks. 11 But on the following night, the Lord stood near him and said, “Be courageous! For as you have testified to the truth about Me in Jerusalem, so you must testify in Rome also.” 12 When it was day, the Jews formed a conspiracy and put themselves under an oath, saying that they would neither eat nor drink until they had killed Paul. 13 There were more than forty who formed this plot. 14 They came to the chief priests and the elders and said, “We have put ourselves under an oath to taste nothing until we have killed Paul. 15 Now therefore, you and the Council notify the commander to bring him down to you, as though you were going to investigate his case more thoroughly; and as for us, we are ready to kill him before he comes near the place.” 16 But the son of Paul's sister heard about their ambush, and he came and entered the barracks and told Paul. 17 Paul called one of the centurions to himself and said, “Take this young man to the commander, for he has something to report to him.” 18 So he took him and led him to the commander and *said, “Paul the prisoner called me over to him and asked me to bring this young man to you because he has something to tell you.” 19 The commander took him by the hand, and stepping aside, began to inquire of him privately, “What is it that you have to report to me?” 20 And he said, “The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down tomorrow to the Council, as though they were going to inquire somewhat more thoroughly about him. 21 So do not listen to them, for more than forty of them are in hiding to ambush him, and these men have put themselves under an oath not to eat or drink until they kill him; and now they are ready and waiting for assurance from you.” 22 Then the commander let the young man go, instructing him, “Tell no one that you have notified me of these things.” 23 And he called to him two of the centurions and said, “Get two hundred soldiers ready by the third hour of the night to proceed to Caesarea, with seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen.”24 They were also to provide mounts to put Paul on and bring him safely to Felix the governor. 25 And he wrote a letter with the following content: 26 “Claudius Lysias, to the most excellent governor Felix: Greetings. 27 When this man was seized by the Jews and was about to be killed by them, I came up to them with the troops and rescued him, after learning that he was a Roman. 28 And wanting to ascertain the basis for the charges they were bringing against him, I brought him down to their Council; 29 and I found that he was being accused regarding questions in their Law, but was not charged with anything deserving death or imprisonment. 30 When I was informed that there would be a plot against the man, I sent him to you at once, also instructing his accusers to bring charges against him before you.” 31 So the soldiers, in accordance with their orders, took Paul and brought him by night to Antipatris. 32 But on the next day they let the horsemen go on with him, and they returned to the barracks.33 When these horsemen had come to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, they also presented Paul to him. 34 Now when he had read it, he also asked from what province Paul was, and when he learned that he was from Cilicia, 35 he said, “I will give you a hearing when your accusers arrive as well,” giving orders for Paul to be kept in Herod's Praetorium. 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If you're familiar with the armor of God described in Ephesians 6, you may think I pulled our declaration from there, but actually, I drew it out of 1 Thessalonians 5. Breastplates and helmets are important pieces of armor, protecting the most vulnerable parts of our bodies and souls—the heart and mind. How fitting that today's verses refer to faith and love as our breastplate and the hope of salvation as our helmet. I was tempted to read the verses supporting our declaration in context, but was afraid the sensationalism that often surrounds prophecy about end-time events would divert our focus from the point I want to make, which is that believers are protected. Period. Faith, hope and love not only shield us from the wrath of God that will be poured out in the last days, but our salvation protects and delivers us from evil. All evil. Always—whether we are living in the last days or not. I had lunch with a friend on Monday, and when I asked if she thought these were the last days, she said that 2,000 years ago, after Christ's resurrection and ascension, we started living in the last days. The fact that we're closer now than they were back then doesn't really matter. 2,000 years ago, the disciples were just as anxious for King Jesus to rule and reign on earth. In fact, in the 40 days after Jesus's resurrection, prior to his ascension, they kept asking him if the time had finally come. (Read about it in Acts 1:6-11.) The Holy Spirit is in you like a fire, my friend, and faith, hope and love protect you like armor. I encourage you to be a light in this dark world—here and now. Don't be afraid. Don't be intimidated. Don't be concerned about days and times. Instead—be the witness Jesus has equipped you to be, and testify to the truth that Jesus is King. Now and forever. I invite you to visit my website at shawnamariebryant.com for access to free resources that will strengthen your walk with God, and especially encourage you to look for and listen to the first chapter of my audiobook version of Longing to Belong because it served as the catalyst for starting this podcast. This week's scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:7-9
What can we learn from our disagreements? In today’s passage, we’re given a front row seat to a conflict between Peter and Paul. But while their disagreement was great, so was the learning that resulted! Earlier, Paul had taught Peter and other leaders about God’s acceptance of the Gentiles (Gal. 2:1–4). This wasn’t the first time Peter had learned this lesson. In Acts 10, he’d seen a vision of a sheet holding unclean animals. A voice told him, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean” (Acts 10:15). As a result, Peter had gone to the house of Cornelius, a Roman centurion, and preached the gospel. Peter concluded: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism” (Acts 10:34). So, he really had no excuse for his actions in today’s reading. What happened? Peter (also called Cephas) had been sharing a meal with Gentiles, but when some church representatives arrived, he stopped. Why? He feared their criticism. Even worse, his self-protecting choice led other Jews to do the same (Gal. 2:12–13). When Paul saw “they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel” (v. 14), he publicly confronted Peter. The gospel was too important to let such behavior slide. What did Peter learn? He was reminded (again) that salvation was for both Jews and Gentiles. “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28). But that wasn’t all! He learned not to act based on others’ opinion and to accept correction with humility. He learned about the purity of the gospel (vv. 15–16) and that the gospel is an everyday way of life (vv. 19–21). >> We may struggle with how to disagree. Either we “shout” on social media, or we “make nice” and ignore important issues. What can we learn about handling disagreements (especially with fellow believers) from today’s passage?
With family: Genesis 20; Matthew 19 Genesis 20 (Listen) Abraham and Abimelech 20 From there Abraham journeyed toward the territory of the Negeb and lived between Kadesh and Shur; and he sojourned in Gerar. 2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. 3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night and said to him, “Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man's wife.” 4 Now Abimelech had not approached her. So he said, “Lord, will you kill an innocent people? 5 Did he not himself say to me, ‘She is my sister'? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.' In the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands I have done this.” 6 Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that you have done this in the integrity of your heart, and it was I who kept you from sinning against me. Therefore I did not let you touch her. 7 Now then, return the man's wife, for he is a prophet, so that he will pray for you, and you shall live. But if you do not return her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours.” 8 So Abimelech rose early in the morning and called all his servants and told them all these things. And the men were very much afraid. 9 Then Abimelech called Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? And how have I sinned against you, that you have brought on me and my kingdom a great sin? You have done to me things that ought not to be done.” 10 And Abimelech said to Abraham, “What did you see, that you did this thing?” 11 Abraham said, “I did it because I thought, ‘There is no fear of God at all in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.' 12 Besides, she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father though not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife. 13 And when God caused me to wander from my father's house, I said to her, ‘This is the kindness you must do me: at every place to which we come, say of me, “He is my brother.”'” 14 Then Abimelech took sheep and oxen, and male servants and female servants, and gave them to Abraham, and returned Sarah his wife to him. 15 And Abimelech said, “Behold, my land is before you; dwell where it pleases you.” 16 To Sarah he said, “Behold, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver. It is a sign of your innocence in the eyes of all1 who are with you, and before everyone you are vindicated.” 17 Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, and also healed his wife and female slaves so that they bore children. 18 For the LORD had closed all the wombs of the house of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham's wife. Footnotes  20:16 Hebrew It is a covering of eyes for all (ESV) Matthew 19 (Listen) Teaching About Divorce 19 Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. 2 And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there. 3 And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?” 4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” 7 They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” 8 He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”1 10 The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” 11 But he said to them, “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. 12 For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.” Let the Children Come to Me 13 Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, 14 but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” 15 And he laid his hands on them and went away. The Rich Young Man 16 And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17 And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19 Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20 The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 23 And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” 27 Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” 28 Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world,2 when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold3 and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first. Footnotes  19:9 Some manuscripts add and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery; other manuscripts except for sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery  19:28 Greek in the regeneration  19:29 Some manuscripts manifold (ESV) In private: Nehemiah 9; Acts 19 Nehemiah 9 (Listen) The People of Israel Confess Their Sin 9 Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the people of Israel were assembled with fasting and in sackcloth, and with earth on their heads. 2 And the Israelites1 separated themselves from all foreigners and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. 3 And they stood up in their place and read from the Book of the Law of the LORD their God for a quarter of the day; for another quarter of it they made confession and worshiped the LORD their God. 4 On the stairs of the Levites stood Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani; and they cried with a loud voice to the LORD their God. 5 Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, “Stand up and bless the LORD your God from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise. 2 6 “You are the LORD, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you. 7 You are the LORD, the God who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans and gave him the name Abraham. 8 You found his heart faithful before you, and made with him the covenant to give to his offspring the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Jebusite, and the Girgashite. And you have kept your promise, for you are righteous. 9 “And you saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt and heard their cry at the Red Sea, 10 and performed signs and wonders against Pharaoh and all his servants and all the people of his land, for you knew that they acted arrogantly against our fathers. And you made a name for yourself, as it is to this day. 11 And you divided the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on dry land, and you cast their pursuers into the depths, as a stone into mighty waters. 12 By a pillar of cloud you led them in the day, and by a pillar of fire in the night to light for them the way in which they should go. 13 You came down on Mount Sinai and spoke with them from heaven and gave them right rules and true laws, good statutes and commandments, 14 and you made known to them your holy Sabbath and commanded them commandments and statutes and a law by Moses your servant. 15 You gave them bread from heaven for their hunger and brought water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and you told them to go in to possess the land that you had sworn to give them. 16 “But they and our fathers acted presumptuously and stiffened their neck and did not obey your commandments. 17 They refused to obey and were not mindful of the wonders that you performed among them, but they stiffened their neck and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt.3 But you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them. 18 Even when they had made for themselves a golden4 calf and said, ‘This is your God who brought you up out of Egypt,' and had committed great blasphemies, 19 you in your great mercies did not forsake them in the wilderness. The pillar of cloud to lead them in the way did not depart from them by day, nor the pillar of fire by night to light for them the way by which they should go. 20 You gave your good Spirit to instruct them and did not withhold your manna from their mouth and gave them water for their thirst. 21 Forty years you sustained them in the wilderness, and they lacked nothing. Their clothes did not wear out and their feet did not swell. 22 “And you gave them kingdoms and peoples and allotted to them every corner. So they took possession of the land of Sihon king of Heshbon and the land of Og king of Bashan. 23 You multiplied their children as the stars of heaven, and you brought them into the land that you had told their fathers to enter and possess. 24 So the descendants went in and possessed the land, and you subdued before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gave them into their hand, with their kings and the peoples of the land, that they might do with them as they would. 25 And they captured fortified cities and a rich land, and took possession of houses full of all good things, cisterns already hewn, vineyards, olive orchards and fruit trees in abundance. So they ate and were filled and became fat and delighted themselves in your great goodness. 26 “Nevertheless, they were disobedient and rebelled against you and cast your law behind their back and killed your prophets, who had warned them in order to turn them back to you, and they committed great blasphemies. 27 Therefore you gave them into the hand of their enemies, who made them suffer. And in the time of their suffering they cried out to you and you heard them from heaven, and according to your great mercies you gave them saviors who saved them from the hand of their enemies. 28 But after they had rest they did evil again before you, and you abandoned them to the hand of their enemies, so that they had dominion over them. Yet when they turned and cried to you, you heard from heaven, and many times you delivered them according to your mercies. 29 And you warned them in order to turn them back to your law. Yet they acted presumptuously and did not obey your commandments, but sinned against your rules, which if a person does them, he shall live by them, and they turned a stubborn shoulder and stiffened their neck and would not obey. 30 Many years you bore with them and warned them by your Spirit through your prophets. Yet they would not give ear. Therefore you gave them into the hand of the peoples of the lands. 31 Nevertheless, in your great mercies you did not make an end of them or forsake them, for you are a gracious and merciful God. 32 “Now, therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love, let not all the hardship seem little to you that has come upon us, upon our kings, our princes, our priests, our prophets, our fathers, and all your people, since the time of the kings of Assyria until this day. 33 Yet you have been righteous in all that has come upon us, for you have dealt faithfully and we have acted wickedly. 34 Our kings, our princes, our priests, and our fathers have not kept your law or paid attention to your commandments and your warnings that you gave them. 35 Even in their own kingdom, and amid your great goodness that you gave them, and in the large and rich land that you set before them, they did not serve you or turn from their wicked works. 36 Behold, we are slaves this day; in the land that you gave to our fathers to enjoy its fruit and its good gifts, behold, we are slaves. 37 And its rich yield goes to the kings whom you have set over us because of our sins. They rule over our bodies and over our livestock as they please, and we are in great distress. 5 38 “Because of all this we make a firm covenant in writing; on the sealed document are the names of6 our princes, our Levites, and our priests. Footnotes  9:2 Hebrew the offspring of Israel  9:5 Septuagint adds And Ezra said  9:17 Some Hebrew manuscripts; many Hebrew manuscripts and in their rebellion appointed a leader to return to their slavery  9:18 Hebrew metal  9:37 Ch 10:1 in Hebrew  9:38 Hebrew lacks the names of (ESV) Acts 19 (Listen) Paul in Ephesus 19 And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland1 country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. 2 And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John's baptism.” 4 And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in2 the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying. 7 There were about twelve men in all. 8 And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God. 9 But when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus.3 10 This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks. The Sons of Sceva 11 And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them. 13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” 14 Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. 15 But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” 16 And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all4 of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. 18 Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. 19 And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily. A Riot at Ephesus 21 Now after these events Paul resolved in the Spirit to pass through Macedonia and Achaia and go to Jerusalem, saying, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.” 22 And having sent into Macedonia two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, he himself stayed in Asia for a while. 23 About that time there arose no little disturbance concerning the Way. 24 For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought no little business to the craftsmen. 25 These he gathered together, with the workmen in similar trades, and said, “Men, you know that from this business we have our wealth. 26 And you see and hear that not only in Ephesus but in almost all of Asia this Paul has persuaded and turned away a great many people, saying that gods made with hands are not gods. 27 And there is danger not only that this trade of ours may come into disrepute but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis may be counted as nothing, and that she may even be deposed from her magnificence, she whom all Asia and the world worship.” 28 When they heard this they were enraged and were crying out, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” 29 So the city was filled with the confusion, and they rushed together into the theater, dragging with them Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians who were Paul's companions in travel. 30 But when Paul wished to go in among the crowd, the disciples would not let him. 31 And even some of the Asiarchs,5 who were friends of his, sent to him and were urging him not to venture into the theater. 32 Now some cried out one thing, some another, for the assembly was in confusion, and most of them did not know why they had come together. 33 Some of the crowd prompted Alexander, whom the Jews had put forward. And Alexander, motioning with his hand, wanted to make a defense to the crowd. 34 But when they recognized that he was a Jew, for about two hours they all cried out with one voice, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” 35 And when the town clerk had quieted the crowd, he said, “Men of Ephesus, who is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is temple keeper of the great Artemis, and of the sacred stone that fell from the sky?6 36 Seeing then that these things cannot be denied, you ought to be quiet and do nothing rash. 37 For you have brought these men here who are neither sacrilegious nor blasphemers of our goddess. 38 If therefore Demetrius and the craftsmen with him have a complaint against anyone, the courts are open, and there are proconsuls. Let them bring charges against one another. 39 But if you seek anything further,7 it shall be settled in the regular assembly. 40 For we really are in danger of being charged with rioting today, since there is no cause that we can give to justify this commotion.” 41 And when he had said these things, he dismissed the assembly. Footnotes  19:1 Greek upper (that is, highland)  19:5 Or into  19:9 Some manuscripts add from the fifth hour to the tenth (that is, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.)  19:16 Or both  19:31 That is, high-ranking officers of the province of Asia  19:35 The meaning of the Greek is uncertain  19:39 Some manuscripts seek about other matters (ESV)
Sermon Overview Scripture Passage: Acts 5:27-32 Being a Christian is a joyous thing; the reason we are not filled with joy in this Christian life could be a matter of disobedience. Adrian Rogers says, “Obedience is the missing ingredient in so many Christians' lives.” What does it mean to truly obey Christ? What is the expedience of obedience? In Acts 5, Peter and the other apostles have caused quite a stir by preaching about Jesus Christ. The religious authorities are trying to stop a revival the apostles began. They command the apostles to stop preaching. “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, ‘We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him'” (Acts 5:29-32). In this text, we are first given the reason for obedience. When God tells us to do something, our obedience is our duty and delight. We are indebted to God, our Lord and Savior, so we must decide to obey Him over men. Just as God cannot fail, act unjustly or deny Himself, He cannot force our loving obedience. It is not because His power is limited—it's because of His very nature; He gives us a choice. We can't obey God unless we first know what it is that He wants us to do. Once we know God's will, we must be intentional about obeying it, and do so immediately. We will be held accountable for what we know, no matter what the cost. When He speaks, we must answer Him, regardless of circumstances. Only then can we see the supernatural rewards of our obedience: We receive the Holy Spirit. There is joy in our hearts. The Gospel is shared and believed. When we obey God rather than men, we will see great multitudes of people come to Jesus Christ. Apply it to your life Would you like to have victory in your life? Know the will of God for your life and do it immediately, inflexible, and passionately.
This episode will help you to build a strong spiritual foundation for a blessed 2022. Here are 4 things that need to be on your to-do list right now. Connect with God through His WordConnect with God through Prayer Connect with God's People Connect to the Will of GodScripture Acts 2:42-47 42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.Related Episodes "The Priority, Privilege, and Power of Prayer" https://www.buzzsprout.com/1113380/9523644"Prayer Still Works" https://www.buzzsprout.com/1113380/8462585Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/paulcalcote?fan_landing=true)
A new MP3 sermon from Heritage Reformed Congregation is now available on SermonAudio with the following details: Title: How Can I Partake of the Lord's Supper Properly? Subtitle: Heidelberg Catechism Season 21 Speaker: Dr. Joel Beeke Broadcaster: Heritage Reformed Congregation Event: Sunday - PM Date: 1/16/2022 Bible: Acts 20:21 Length: 45 min.
Acts 22:1-30 SUPPORT - The Listener's Commentary is a CROWDFUNDED Bible teaching ministry. We believe everyone should have access to the wisdom of Jesus and the Bible so we've chosen to give the Listener's Commentary away as a free resource, and that's possible because of people's generous support. You can become a Ministry Partner by donating at: https://www.listenerscommentary.com/give TEXT Acts 22:1-30 22:1 “Brothers and fathers, hear my defense which I now offer to you.” 2 And when they heard that he was addressing them in the Hebrew dialect, they became even more quiet; and he *said, 3 “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated under Gamaliel, strictly according to the Law of our fathers, being zealous for God just as you all are today. 4 I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and putting both men and women into prisons, 5 as also the high priest and all the Council of the elders can testify. From them I also received letters to the brothers, and started off for Damascus in order to bring even those who were there to Jerusalem as prisoners to be punished. 6 “But it happened that as I was on my way, approaching Damascus at about noon, a very bright light suddenly flashed from heaven all around me, 7 and I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?' 8 And I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?' And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting.' 9 And those who were with me saw the light, but did not understand the voice of the One who was speaking to me. 10 And I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?' And the Lord said to me, ‘Get up and go on into Damascus, and there you will be told about everything that has been appointed for you to do.' 11 But since I could not see because of the brightness of that light, I came into Damascus being led by the hand by those who were with me. 12 “Now a certain Ananias, a man who was devout by the standard of the Law and well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there,13 came to me, and standing nearby he said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!' And at that very moment I looked up at him.14 And he said, ‘The God of our fathers has appointed you to know His will and to see the Righteous One and to hear a message from His mouth. 15 For you will be a witness for Him to all people of what you have seen and heard. 16 Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins by calling on His name.' 17 “It happened when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I fell into a trance, 18 and I saw Him saying to me, ‘Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about Me.' 19 And I said, ‘Lord, they themselves understand that in one synagogue after another I used to imprison and beat those who believed in You. 20 And when the blood of Your witness Stephen was being shed, I also was standing nearby and approving, and watching over the cloaks of those who were killing him.' 21 And He said to me, ‘Go! For I will send you far away to the Gentiles.'” 22 They listened to him up to this statement, and then they raised their voices and said, “Away with such a man from the earth, for he should not be allowed to live!” 23 And as they were shouting and throwing off their cloaks and tossing dust into the air, 24 the commander ordered that he be brought into the barracks, saying that he was to be interrogated by flogging so that he would find out the reason why they were shouting against him that way. 25 But when they stretched him out with straps, Paul said to the centurion who was standing by, “Is it lawful for you to flog a man who is a Roman and uncondemned?” 26 When the centurion heard this, he went to the commander and told him, saying, “What are you about to do? For this man is a Roman.” 27 The commander came and said to Paul, “Tell me, are you a Roman?” And he said, “Yes.” 28 The commander answered, “I acquired this citizenship for a large sum of money.” And Paul said, “But I was actually born a citizen.”29 Therefore, those who were about to interrogate him immediately backed away from him; and the commander also was afraid when he found out that he was a Roman, and because he had put him in chains. 30 Now on the next day, wanting to know for certain why Paul had been accused by the Jews, he released him and ordered the chief priests and all the Council to assemble, and he brought Paul down and placed him before them. SUBSCRIBE - to receive monthly Bible studies sent to your inbox, updates, and more resources subscribe at https://www.listenerscommentary.com Want to get more out of your Bible reading? Free Resource: 7 Ways to Immediately Get More Out of the Bible: https://www.johnwhittaker.net/seven-ways MORE TEACHING - For more resources and Bible teaching from John visit https://www.johnwhittaker.net
With family: Genesis 19; Matthew 18 Genesis 19 (Listen) God Rescues Lot 19 The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth 2 and said, “My lords, please turn aside to your servant's house and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way.” They said, “No; we will spend the night in the town square.” 3 But he pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house. And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. 4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house. 5 And they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.” 6 Lot went out to the men at the entrance, shut the door after him, 7 and said, “I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. 8 Behold, I have two daughters who have not known any man. Let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please. Only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.” 9 But they said, “Stand back!” And they said, “This fellow came to sojourn, and he has become the judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them.” Then they pressed hard against the man Lot, and drew near to break the door down. 10 But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them and shut the door. 11 And they struck with blindness the men who were at the entrance of the house, both small and great, so that they wore themselves out groping for the door. 12 Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone you have in the city, bring them out of the place. 13 For we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the LORD, and the LORD has sent us to destroy it.” 14 So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, “Up! Get out of this place, for the LORD is about to destroy the city.” But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting. 15 As morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be swept away in the punishment of the city.” 16 But he lingered. So the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the LORD being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. 17 And as they brought them out, one said, “Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Escape to the hills, lest you be swept away.” 18 And Lot said to them, “Oh, no, my lords. 19 Behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have shown me great kindness in saving my life. But I cannot escape to the hills, lest the disaster overtake me and I die. 20 Behold, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one. Let me escape there—is it not a little one?—and my life will be saved!” 21 He said to him, “Behold, I grant you this favor also, that I will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken. 22 Escape there quickly, for I can do nothing till you arrive there.” Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.1 God Destroys Sodom 23 The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zoar. 24 Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the LORD out of heaven. 25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. 26 But Lot's wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. 27 And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the LORD. 28 And he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and toward all the land of the valley, and he looked and, behold, the smoke of the land went up like the smoke of a furnace. 29 So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow when he overthrew the cities in which Lot had lived. Lot and His Daughters 30 Now Lot went up out of Zoar and lived in the hills with his two daughters, for he was afraid to live in Zoar. So he lived in a cave with his two daughters. 31 And the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of all the earth. 32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father.” 33 So they made their father drink wine that night. And the firstborn went in and lay with her father. He did not know when she lay down or when she arose. 34 The next day, the firstborn said to the younger, “Behold, I lay last night with my father. Let us make him drink wine tonight also. Then you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father.” 35 So they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger arose and lay with him, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. 36 Thus both the daughters of Lot became pregnant by their father. 37 The firstborn bore a son and called his name Moab.2 He is the father of the Moabites to this day. 38 The younger also bore a son and called his name Ben-ammi.3 He is the father of the Ammonites to this day. Footnotes  19:22 Zoar means little  19:37 Moab sounds like the Hebrew for from father  19:38 Ben-ammi means son of my people (ESV) Matthew 18 (Listen) Who Is the Greatest? 18 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them 3 and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, 6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,1 it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Temptations to Sin 7 “Woe to the world for temptations to sin!2 For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes! 8 And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell3 of fire. The Parable of the Lost Sheep 10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.4 12 What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? 13 And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. 14 So it is not the will of my5 Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish. If Your Brother Sins Against You 15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed6 in heaven. 19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant 21 Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times. 23 “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants.7 24 When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents.8 25 And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 So the servant9 fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.' 27 And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. 28 But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii,10 and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.' 29 So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.' 30 He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. 31 When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. 32 Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?' 34 And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers,11 until he should pay all his debt. 35 So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” Footnotes  18:6 Greek causes . . . to stumble; also verses 8, 9  18:7 Greek stumbling blocks  18:9 Greek Gehenna  18:10 Some manuscripts add verse 11: For the Son of Man came to save the lost  18:14 Some manuscripts your  18:18 Or shall have been bound . . . shall have been loosed  18:23 Or bondservants; also verses 28, 31  18:24 A talent was a monetary unit worth about twenty years' wages for a laborer  18:26 Or bondservant; also verses 27, 28, 29, 32, 33  18:28 A denarius was a day's wage for a laborer  18:34 Greek torturers (ESV) In private: Nehemiah 8; Acts 18 Nehemiah 8 (Listen) Ezra Reads the Law 8 And all the people gathered as one man into the square before the Water Gate. And they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses that the LORD had commanded Israel. 2 So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could understand what they heard, on the first day of the seventh month. 3 And he read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand. And the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law. 4 And Ezra the scribe stood on a wooden platform that they had made for the purpose. And beside him stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah on his right hand, and Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam on his left hand. 5 And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was above all the people, and as he opened it all the people stood. 6 And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground. 7 Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, the Levites,1 helped the people to understand the Law, while the people remained in their places. 8 They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly,2 and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading. This Day Is Holy 9 And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the LORD your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept as they heard the words of the Law. 10 Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” 11 So the Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be quiet, for this day is holy; do not be grieved.” 12 And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them. Feast of Booths Celebrated 13 On the second day the heads of fathers' houses of all the people, with the priests and the Levites, came together to Ezra the scribe in order to study the words of the Law. 14 And they found it written in the Law that the LORD had commanded by Moses that the people of Israel should dwell in booths3 during the feast of the seventh month, 15 and that they should proclaim it and publish it in all their towns and in Jerusalem, “Go out to the hills and bring branches of olive, wild olive, myrtle, palm, and other leafy trees to make booths, as it is written.” 16 So the people went out and brought them and made booths for themselves, each on his roof, and in their courts and in the courts of the house of God, and in the square at the Water Gate and in the square at the Gate of Ephraim. 17 And all the assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made booths and lived in the booths, for from the days of Jeshua the son of Nun to that day the people of Israel had not done so. And there was very great rejoicing. 18 And day by day, from the first day to the last day, he read from the Book of the Law of God. They kept the feast seven days, and on the eighth day there was a solemn assembly, according to the rule. Footnotes  8:7 Vulgate; Hebrew and the Levites  8:8 Or with interpretation, or paragraph by paragraph  8:14 Or temporary shelters (ESV) Acts 18 (Listen) Paul in Corinth 18 After this Paul1 left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. And he went to see them, 3 and because he was of the same trade he stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade. 4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and tried to persuade Jews and Greeks. 5 When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with the word, testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus. 6 And when they opposed and reviled him, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” 7 And he left there and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. His house was next door to the synagogue. 8 Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with his entire household. And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized. 9 And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, 10 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.” 11 And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. 12 But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews2 made a united attack on Paul and brought him before the tribunal, 13 saying, “This man is persuading people to worship God contrary to the law.” 14 But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, “If it were a matter of wrongdoing or vicious crime, O Jews, I would have reason to accept your complaint. 15 But since it is a matter of questions about words and names and your own law, see to it yourselves. I refuse to be a judge of these things.” 16 And he drove them from the tribunal. 17 And they all seized Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him in front of the tribunal. But Gallio paid no attention to any of this. Paul Returns to Antioch 18 After this, Paul stayed many days longer and then took leave of the brothers3 and set sail for Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila. At Cenchreae he had cut his hair, for he was under a vow. 19 And they came to Ephesus, and he left them there, but he himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. 20 When they asked him to stay for a longer period, he declined. 21 But on taking leave of them he said, “I will return to you if God wills,” and he set sail from Ephesus. 22 When he had landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church, and then went down to Antioch. 23 After spending some time there, he departed and went from one place to the next through the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples. Apollos Speaks Boldly in Ephesus 24 Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit,4 he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. 27 And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, 28 for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus. Footnotes  18:1 Greek he  18:12 Greek Ioudaioi probably refers here to Jewish religious leaders, and others under their influence, in that time; also verses 14 (twice), 28  18:18 Or brothers and sisters; also verse 27  18:25 Or in the Spirit (ESV)
Sermon Overview Scripture Passage: Acts 3:1-6 In Acts 3, Peter and John came across a beggar lying outside the temple gates. He had been lame from his youth, and begged the apostles for money. Through them, God performed a special miracle to authenticate their authority, given by the Holy Spirit. Acts 3:6-7 says, “Then Peter said, ‘Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.' And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.” This was a miracle that could not be reasonably denied, humanly explained or lightly dismissed. There are four things about the name of Jesus, which caused this man to rise and walk. First, He is the risen Lord. Because the disciples knew that Jesus was alive, there was no way they could be daunted or intimidated by the world. They were absolutely certain that He had been raised from the dead. If we have a living Savior, then what have we to fear? Second, Jesus is the residing Lord. “And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all” (Acts 3:16). Peter confessed that they did not perform the miracle themselves; instead, it came from Christ in them. He is alive and well in us. Third, He is the redeeming Lord. “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord…” (Acts 3:19). Through the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, God has overruled our wickedness with His righteousness, if we will repent and convert. Finally, He is the returning Lord; He is coming again. Adrian Rogers says, “What's the world coming to? It's coming to Jesus, because Jesus is coming to the world. Heaven has received Him until the time of restitution. He is coming to restore all things.” Apply it to your life If you are down, there is a miracle waiting for you in the name of Jesus. He is the risen, residing, redeeming, and returning Lord. Adrian Rogers says, “If the devil has you down, in the name of the Risen Savior, rise and walk.”
It's easy to end up feeling bad because you've gotten off track, but you may not be looking at the full picture. In today's episode, Rachael and Kelsea will discuss the things that end up killing goals and why it's important to look at the entire situation and see if there's something going on that's more than just not making the time yourself. Listen in to the conversation as Rachael and Kelsea discuss weaponized incompetence, how weaponized incompetence may play out in your life, and the importance of setting boundaries. Topics Discussed in Today's Episode: Oversimplifying things Goal killers Weaponized incompetence The counterproductiveness of lack of sleep Different ways of weaponizing incompetence How to deal with weaponized incompetence The need to be useful and needed Acts of service as a love language Setting boundaries to avoid undesirable things Looking for reasons why things will work instead of why they won't The importance of being realistic Owning your choices RELATED LINKS The CVG Nation app, for iPhone The CVG Nation app, for Android Our Fitness FB Group. Thick Thighs Save Lives Workout Programs Constantly Varied Gear's Workout Leggings Our Fitness Blog
In this second episode on worship we continue our meditation on Acts 17:24-25 and Paul's statement that God cannot be served by humans as though he needed anything. We examine what it actually means to “serve” God and how we can do so in a way that does not dishonor him
In this episode, Jim Ramos shares what we at Men in the Arena believe and why it is important. Christ-centered: We unapologetically trust Jesus Christ to protect, grow, and bless Men in the Arena. We will stand up, speak up, and show up for Jesus even to the point of ridicule, persecution, and death. (Luke 1:37, 1 Corinthians 3:7, 2 Timothy 3:12, and Hebrews 10:39) Biblically-based: We believe the Bible is the infallible word of God that provides moral absolutes. Everything we speak, write, or represent, will be Biblically accurate to the best of our abilities and interpretation of Scripture. (Psalm 119:9-10, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Hebrews 4:12, and 2 Peter 1:20-21) Strategic partnership: We believe in forming strategic partnerships with diverse, Christ-centered people, and organizations around the world, who will ultimately put Jesus on display. (Matthew 6:10, John 13:34-35, 1 Corinthians 3:2-7, and Philippians 1:13-18) Organizational Integrity: We believe in impeccable organizational integrity. We will be transparent in our financial dealings, ministry reporting, and verbal interactions. (Job 27:5, Proverbs 10:9, Matthew 22:16, and 1 Timothy 3:1-6) Morally Pure: We believe in living a life that glorifies Jesus, guards those we love, and protects the organization.(Proverbs 5:18-20, Acts 1:8, 1 Timothy 3:1-6, 2 Timothy 2:22, and Hebrews 13:4) Get Your Copy Now! of Tell Them, What Great Fathers Tell Their Sons and Daughters www.meninthearena.org Men in the Arena Books and Swag Support the Podcast
Being content in every situation isn't always easy but as we read through Paul and Silas's story in Acts we can see that it is possible. Even though they were unfairly accused of a crime, beaten and thrown in jail they never lost sight of their purpose. Let's learn how we can be content in whatever season we are in.
With family: Genesis 18; Matthew 17 Genesis 18 (Listen) 18 And the LORD appeared to him by the oaks1 of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. 2 He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth 3 and said, “O Lord,2 if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. 4 Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, 5 while I bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.” 6 And Abraham went quickly into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quick! Three seahs3 of fine flour! Knead it, and make cakes.” 7 And Abraham ran to the herd and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to a young man, who prepared it quickly. 8 Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them. And he stood by them under the tree while they ate. 9 They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “She is in the tent.” 10 The LORD said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” 13 The LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?' 14 Is anything too hard4 for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” 15 But Sarah denied it,5 saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.” 16 Then the men set out from there, and they looked down toward Sodom. And Abraham went with them to set them on their way. 17 The LORD said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, 18 seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19 For I have chosen6 him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.” 20 Then the LORD said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, 21 I will go down to see whether they have done altogether7 according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, I will know.” Abraham Intercedes for Sodom 22 So the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the LORD. 23 Then Abraham drew near and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” 26 And the LORD said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.” 27 Abraham answered and said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. 28 Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” 29 Again he spoke to him and said, “Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.” 30 Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Suppose thirty are found there.” He answered, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.” 31 He said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.” 32 Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” 33 And the LORD went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place. Footnotes  18:1 Or terebinths  18:3 Or My lord  18:6 A seah was about 7 quarts or 7.3 liters  18:14 Or wonderful  18:15 Or acted falsely  18:19 Hebrew known  18:21 Or they deserve destruction; Hebrew they have made a complete end (ESV) Matthew 17 (Listen) The Transfiguration 17 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. 3 And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. 4 And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 5 He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son,1 with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” 8 And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. 9 And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Tell no one the vision, until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.” 10 And the disciples asked him, “Then why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” 11 He answered, “Elijah does come, and he will restore all things. 12 But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man will certainly suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist. Jesus Heals a Boy with a Demon 14 And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and, kneeling before him, 15 said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he has seizures and he suffers terribly. For often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. 16 And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.” 17 And Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon,2 and it3 came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly.4 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,' and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”5 Jesus Again Foretells Death, Resurrection 22 As they were gathering6 in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men, 23 and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.” And they were greatly distressed. The Temple Tax 24 When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax went up to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the tax?” 25 He said, “Yes.” And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tax? From their sons or from others?” 26 And when he said, “From others,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free. 27 However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel.7 Take that and give it to them for me and for yourself.” Footnotes  17:5 Or my Son, my (or the) Beloved  17:18 Greek it  17:18 Greek the demon  17:18 Greek from that hour  17:20 Some manuscripts insert verse 21: But this kind never comes out except by prayer and fasting  17:22 Some manuscripts remained  17:27 Greek stater, a silver coin worth four drachmas or approximately one shekel (ESV) In private: Nehemiah 7; Acts 17 Nehemiah 7 (Listen) 7 Now when the wall had been built and I had set up the doors, and the gatekeepers, the singers, and the Levites had been appointed, 2 I gave my brother Hanani and Hananiah the governor of the castle charge over Jerusalem, for he was a more faithful and God-fearing man than many. 3 And I said to them, “Let not the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun is hot. And while they are still standing guard, let them shut and bar the doors. Appoint guards from among the inhabitants of Jerusalem, some at their guard posts and some in front of their own homes.” 4 The city was wide and large, but the people within it were few, and no houses had been rebuilt. Lists of Returned Exiles 5 Then my God put it into my heart to assemble the nobles and the officials and the people to be enrolled by genealogy. And I found the book of the genealogy of those who came up at the first, and I found written in it: 6 These were the people of the province who came up out of the captivity of those exiles whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried into exile. They returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to his town. 7 They came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, Baanah. The number of the men of the people of Israel: 8 the sons of Parosh, 2,172. 9 The sons of Shephatiah, 372. 10 The sons of Arah, 652. 11 The sons of Pahath-moab, namely the sons of Jeshua and Joab, 2,818. 12 The sons of Elam, 1,254. 13 The sons of Zattu, 845. 14 The sons of Zaccai, 760. 15 The sons of Binnui, 648. 16 The sons of Bebai, 628. 17 The sons of Azgad, 2,322. 18 The sons of Adonikam, 667. 19 The sons of Bigvai, 2,067. 20 The sons of Adin, 655. 21 The sons of Ater, namely of Hezekiah, 98. 22 The sons of Hashum, 328. 23 The sons of Bezai, 324. 24 The sons of Hariph, 112. 25 The sons of Gibeon, 95. 26 The men of Bethlehem and Netophah, 188. 27 The men of Anathoth, 128. 28 The men of Beth-azmaveth, 42. 29 The men of Kiriath-jearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, 743. 30 The men of Ramah and Geba, 621. 31 The men of Michmas, 122. 32 The men of Bethel and Ai, 123. 33 The men of the other Nebo, 52. 34 The sons of the other Elam, 1,254. 35 The sons of Harim, 320. 36 The sons of Jericho, 345. 37 The sons of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, 721. 38 The sons of Senaah, 3,930. 39 The priests: the sons of Jedaiah, namely the house of Jeshua, 973. 40 The sons of Immer, 1,052. 41 The sons of Pashhur, 1,247. 42 The sons of Harim, 1,017. 43 The Levites: the sons of Jeshua, namely of Kadmiel of the sons of Hodevah, 74. 44 The singers: the sons of Asaph, 148. 45 The gatekeepers: the sons of Shallum, the sons of Ater, the sons of Talmon, the sons of Akkub, the sons of Hatita, the sons of Shobai, 138. 46 The temple servants: the sons of Ziha, the sons of Hasupha, the sons of Tabbaoth, 47 the sons of Keros, the sons of Sia, the sons of Padon, 48 the sons of Lebana, the sons of Hagaba, the sons of Shalmai, 49 the sons of Hanan, the sons of Giddel, the sons of Gahar, 50 the sons of Reaiah, the sons of Rezin, the sons of Nekoda, 51 the sons of Gazzam, the sons of Uzza, the sons of Paseah, 52 the sons of Besai, the sons of Meunim, the sons of Nephushesim, 53 the sons of Bakbuk, the sons of Hakupha, the sons of Harhur, 54 the sons of Bazlith, the sons of Mehida, the sons of Harsha, 55 the sons of Barkos, the sons of Sisera, the sons of Temah, 56 the sons of Neziah, the sons of Hatipha. 57 The sons of Solomon's servants: the sons of Sotai, the sons of Sophereth, the sons of Perida, 58 the sons of Jaala, the sons of Darkon, the sons of Giddel, 59 the sons of Shephatiah, the sons of Hattil, the sons of Pochereth-hazzebaim, the sons of Amon. 60 All the temple servants and the sons of Solomon's servants were 392. 61 The following were those who came up from Tel-melah, Tel-harsha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer, but they could not prove their fathers' houses nor their descent, whether they belonged to Israel: 62 the sons of Delaiah, the sons of Tobiah, the sons of Nekoda, 642. 63 Also, of the priests: the sons of Hobaiah, the sons of Hakkoz, the sons of Barzillai (who had taken a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite and was called by their name). 64 These sought their registration among those enrolled in the genealogies, but it was not found there, so they were excluded from the priesthood as unclean. 65 The governor told them that they were not to partake of the most holy food until a priest with Urim and Thummim should arise. Totals of People and Gifts 66 The whole assembly together was 42,360, 67 besides their male and female servants, of whom there were 7,337. And they had 245 singers, male and female. 68 Their horses were 736, their mules 245,1 69 their camels 435, and their donkeys 6,720. 70 Now some of the heads of fathers' houses gave to the work. The governor gave to the treasury 1,000 darics2 of gold, 50 basins, 30 priests' garments and 500 minas3 of silver.4 71 And some of the heads of fathers' houses gave into the treasury of the work 20,000 darics of gold and 2,200 minas of silver. 72 And what the rest of the people gave was 20,000 darics of gold, 2,000 minas of silver, and 67 priests' garments. 73 So the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, some of the people, the temple servants, and all Israel, lived in their towns. And when the seventh month had come, the people of Israel were in their towns. Footnotes  7:68 Compare Ezra 2:66 and the margins of some Hebrew manuscripts; Hebrew lacks Their horses . . . 245  7:70 A daric was a coin weighing about 1/4 ounce or 8.5 grams  7:70 A mina was about 1 1/4 pounds or 0.6 kilogram  7:70 Probable reading; Hebrew lacks minas of silver (ESV) Acts 17 (Listen) Paul and Silas in Thessalonica 17 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2 And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.” 4 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. 5 But the Jews1 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. 6 And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, 7 and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.” 8 And the people and the city authorities were disturbed when they heard these things. 9 And when they had taken money as security from Jason and the rest, they let them go. Paul and Silas in Berea 10 The brothers2 immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. 12 Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men. 13 But when the Jews from Thessalonica learned that the word of God was proclaimed by Paul at Berea also, they came there too, agitating and stirring up the crowds. 14 Then the brothers immediately sent Paul off on his way to the sea, but Silas and Timothy remained there. 15 Those who conducted Paul brought him as far as Athens, and after receiving a command for Silas and Timothy to come to him as soon as possible, they departed. Paul in Athens 16 Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols. 17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there. 18 Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him. And some said, “What does this babbler wish to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities”—because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection. 19 And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 For you bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean.” 21 Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new. Paul Addresses the Areopagus 22 So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.' What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,3 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for “‘In him we live and move and have our being';4 as even some of your own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed his offspring.'5 29 Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” 32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, “We will hear you again about this.” 33 So Paul went out from their midst. 34 But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them. Footnotes  17:5 Greek Ioudaioi probably refers here to Jewish religious leaders, and others under their influence, in that time; also verse 13  17:10 Or brothers and sisters; also verse 14  17:24 Greek made by hands  17:28 Probably from Epimenides of Crete  17:28 From Aratus's poem “Phainomena” (ESV)
This message is the third part of our teaching series through Acts called, "What's Next? Faithfully Following Jesus in 2022." Pastor Lee Martin reminds us that winning in the Kingdom of God often doesn't look like winning in the world. But sometimes hardship and struggles are the very opportunities for us to exercise faithfulness.
John 10:1 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.John 10:7 Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.Doors are very common#1 Doors Represent Transition & Access From Death To True Life John 5:24 “I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.Ephesians 2:5 Even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead.John 10:9 “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.”1pasture = true life23From Law To GraceJohn 10:1 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. Because of Jesus, we can walk with faith and hope, through the door (Jesus) that is framed by grace and access the presence of God where we can find salvation and true life for this life and for the life to come.John 10:9 “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.”pasture = growth and increase#2 Doors Create Security & ProtectionYour acceptance with God is not based on your productivity! Jesus is the door of security and protection#3 Through Doors We Welcome The first important act of self-denial for 21st-century followers of Jesus may be to say no to being too busy to be a disciple. — Thomas OordMatthew 5:16 Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.Jesus made you new through Christ so you could be a part of the solution! Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, and to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?#4 Out Of Doors We GoJohn 10:3 To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.Mark 16:15 Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.⦁The door (Jesus) is the only way to life.⦁⦁John 14:6 I am the way, the truth and the life, no one come to the father except through me.⦁⦁Acts 4:11 Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.' 12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”⦁John 10:9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved
Pastor Marshall Ochs | January 16, 2022In this message, Pastor Marshall teaches from Acts 3-4. These chapters tell the story of Peter and John healing the lame man at the gate called Beautiful. The healing sparks a revival where 5,000 men get saved and the disciples are arrested. They stand trial before the Sadducees, and boldly proclaim the gospel to the religious elite. This begins a period of heavy persecution in the early church, but the Holy Spirit fills the believers and they continue to preach with boldness.
It's easy to love people who encourage, are friendly, and agree with us, but God longs for us to love all people across all boundaries, pursuing the type of community where no need is left unmet. Let's seek to be an Acts 2 church, committed to loving how He first loved us.
Acts 10:1-48 Our study of Acts has led us to a milestone event in the history of the church – the salvation of the first Gentile. As we look at the miraculous story of a centurion named Cornelius, we will discover … Continue reading →
With family: Genesis 17; Matthew 16 Genesis 17 (Listen) Abraham and the Covenant of Circumcision 17 When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty;1 walk before me, and be blameless, 2 that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.” 3 Then Abram fell on his face. And God said to him, 4 “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. 5 No longer shall your name be called Abram,2 but your name shall be Abraham,3 for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. 6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. 7 And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. 8 And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.” 9 And God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. 10 This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring, 13 both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.” Isaac's Birth Promised 15 And God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah4 shall be her name. 16 I will bless her, and moreover, I will give5 you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.” 17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” 18 And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before you!” 19 God said, “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac.6 I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him. 20 As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I have blessed him and will make him fruitful and multiply him greatly. He shall father twelve princes, and I will make him into a great nation. 21 But I will establish my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this time next year.” 22 When he had finished talking with him, God went up from Abraham. 23 Then Abraham took Ishmael his son and all those born in his house or bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham's house, and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskins that very day, as God had said to him. 24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 25 And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 26 That very day Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised. 27 And all the men of his house, those born in the house and those bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him. Footnotes  17:1 Hebrew El Shaddai  17:5 Abram means exalted father  17:5 Abraham means father of a multitude  17:15 Sarai and Sarah mean princess  17:16 Hebrew have given  17:19 Isaac means he laughs (ESV) Matthew 16 (Listen) The Pharisees and Sadducees Demand Signs 16 And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test him they asked him to show them a sign from heaven. 2 He answered them,1 “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.' 3 And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.' You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. 4 An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” So he left them and departed. The Leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees 5 When the disciples reached the other side, they had forgotten to bring any bread. 6 Jesus said to them, “Watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 7 And they began discussing it among themselves, saying, “We brought no bread.” 8 But Jesus, aware of this, said, “O you of little faith, why are you discussing among yourselves the fact that you have no bread? 9 Do you not yet perceive? Do you not remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? 10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? 11 How is it that you fail to understand that I did not speak about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Peter Confesses Jesus as the Christ 13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock2 I will build my church, and the gates of hell3 shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed4 in heaven.” 20 Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ. Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection 21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord!5 This shall never happen to you.” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance6 to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus 24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life7 will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. 28 Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” Footnotes  16:2 Some manuscripts omit the following words to the end of verse 3  16:18 The Greek words for Peter and rock sound similar  16:18 Greek the gates of Hades  16:19 Or shall have been bound . . . shall have been loosed  16:22 Or “[May God be] merciful to you, Lord!”  16:23 Greek stumbling block  16:25 The same Greek word can mean either soul or life, depending on the context; twice in this verse and twice in verse 26 (ESV) In private: Nehemiah 6; Acts 16 Nehemiah 6 (Listen) Conspiracy Against Nehemiah 6 Now when Sanballat and Tobiah and Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies heard that I had built the wall and that there was no breach left in it (although up to that time I had not set up the doors in the gates), 2 Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, “Come and let us meet together at Hakkephirim in the plain of Ono.” But they intended to do me harm. 3 And I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?” 4 And they sent to me four times in this way, and I answered them in the same manner. 5 In the same way Sanballat for the fifth time sent his servant to me with an open letter in his hand. 6 In it was written, “It is reported among the nations, and Geshem1 also says it, that you and the Jews intend to rebel; that is why you are building the wall. And according to these reports you wish to become their king. 7 And you have also set up prophets to proclaim concerning you in Jerusalem, ‘There is a king in Judah.' And now the king will hear of these reports. So now come and let us take counsel together.” 8 Then I sent to him, saying, “No such things as you say have been done, for you are inventing them out of your own mind.” 9 For they all wanted to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will drop from the work, and it will not be done.” But now, O God,2 strengthen my hands. 10 Now when I went into the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah, son of Mehetabel, who was confined to his home, he said, “Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple. Let us close the doors of the temple, for they are coming to kill you. They are coming to kill you by night.” 11 But I said, “Should such a man as I run away? And what man such as I could go into the temple and live?3 I will not go in.” 12 And I understood and saw that God had not sent him, but he had pronounced the prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. 13 For this purpose he was hired, that I should be afraid and act in this way and sin, and so they could give me a bad name in order to taunt me. 14 Remember Tobiah and Sanballat, O my God, according to these things that they did, and also the prophetess Noadiah and the rest of the prophets who wanted to make me afraid. The Wall Is Finished 15 So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty-two days. 16 And when all our enemies heard of it, all the nations around us were afraid and fell greatly in their own esteem, for they perceived that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God. 17 Moreover, in those days the nobles of Judah sent many letters to Tobiah, and Tobiah's letters came to them. 18 For many in Judah were bound by oath to him, because he was the son-in-law of Shecaniah the son of Arah: and his son Jehohanan had taken the daughter of Meshullam the son of Berechiah as his wife. 19 Also they spoke of his good deeds in my presence and reported my words to him. And Tobiah sent letters to make me afraid. Footnotes  6:6 Hebrew Gashmu  6:9 Hebrew lacks O God  6:11 Or would go into the temple to save his life (ESV) Acts 16 (Listen) Timothy Joins Paul and Silas 16 Paul1 came also to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek. 2 He was well spoken of by the brothers2 at Lystra and Iconium. 3 Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him, and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. 4 As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem. 5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily. The Macedonian Call 6 And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. 7 And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. 8 So, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. 9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 And when Paul3 had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. The Conversion of Lydia 11 So, setting sail from Troas, we made a direct voyage to Samothrace, and the following day to Neapolis, 12 and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the4 district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city some days. 13 And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to the riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down and spoke to the women who had come together. 14 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. 15 And after she was baptized, and her household as well, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us. Paul and Silas in Prison 16 As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. 17 She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” 18 And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour. 19 But when her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers. 20 And when they had brought them to the magistrates, they said, “These men are Jews, and they are disturbing our city. 21 They advocate customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to accept or practice.” 22 The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. 23 And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely. 24 Having received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. The Philippian Jailer Converted 25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, 26 and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone's bonds were unfastened. 27 When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” 29 And the jailer5 called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family. 34 Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God. 35 But when it was day, the magistrates sent the police, saying, “Let those men go.” 36 And the jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, “The magistrates have sent to let you go. Therefore come out now and go in peace.” 37 But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us publicly, uncondemned, men who are Roman citizens, and have thrown us into prison; and do they now throw us out secretly? No! Let them come themselves and take us out.” 38 The police reported these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Roman citizens. 39 So they came and apologized to them. And they took them out and asked them to leave the city. 40 So they went out of the prison and visited Lydia. And when they had seen the brothers, they encouraged them and departed. Footnotes  16:1 Greek He  16:2 Or brothers and sisters; also verse 40  16:10 Greek he  16:12 Or that  16:29 Greek he (ESV)
There is power in united prayer when it is offered to God with passion and persistence. In this Sunday morning message, Pastor Greg Laurie relates the ways that prayer can change lives in his newest message, “What Happens When Christians Pray Together.” Give a listen! Notes There is a right and a wrong way to pray. Prayer can dramatically change situations, people, and even the course of nature. God allows hardship, challenge, need, and even tragedy so He can reveal Himself. When we pray, we are acknowledging our weakness and need for God's help. Who was the strongest man to have ever lived? Jesus! And He prayed—so we should, too! God does not want us as believers to isolate but, rather, infiltrate culture. Satan hates evangelism. “But constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.” —Acts 12:5 1. The prayer that has power is the one that is offered to God. The key is to get our will into an alignment with God's will. We can know the will of God by careful study of Scripture. Nothing lies outside the reach of prayer except that which lies outside the will of God. 2. They prayed with passion and persistence. Sometimes God says “Go.” Sometimes God says “Slow.” Sometimes God says “Grow.” 3. They prayed together! There is power in united prayer! “Prayer is striking the winning blow; service is gathering up the results.” —Psalm 4:8 4. They prayed doubtingly. We enter into eternity! We decide in this life where we will spend the afterlife. Scripture Referenced Matthew 15:8 1 John 5:14 Psalm 127:2 --- Learn more about Greg Laurie and Harvest Ministries at harvest.org. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners. Support the show: https://harvest.org/support See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
There is power in united prayer when it is offered to God with passion and persistence. In this Sunday morning message, Pastor Greg Laurie relates the ways that prayer can change lives in his newest message, “What Happens When Christians Pray Together.” Give a listen! Notes There is a right and a wrong way to pray. Prayer can dramatically change situations, people, and even the course of nature. God allows hardship, challenge, need, and even tragedy so He can reveal Himself. When we pray, we are acknowledging our weakness and need for God's help. Who was the strongest man to have ever lived? Jesus! And He prayed—so we should, too! God does not want us as believers to isolate but, rather, infiltrate culture. Satan hates evangelism. “But constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.” —Acts 12:5 1. The prayer that has power is the one that is offered to God. The key is to get our will into an alignment with God's will. We can know the will of God by careful study of Scripture. Nothing lies outside the reach of prayer except that which lies outside the will of God. 2. They prayed with passion and persistence. Sometimes God says “Go.” Sometimes God says “Slow.” Sometimes God says “Grow.” 3. They prayed together! There is power in united prayer! “Prayer is striking the winning blow; service is gathering up the results.” —Psalm 4:8 4. They prayed doubtingly. We enter into eternity! We decide in this life where we will spend the afterlife. Scripture Referenced Matthew 15:8 1 John 5:14 Psalm 127:2 --- Learn more about Greg Laurie and Harvest Ministries at harvest.org. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners. Support the show: https://harvest.org/support See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The story of St Peter's imprisonment and miraculous release by an Angel of God is told in Acts ch. 12. The chains which fell from his hands were collected by Christians and passed down through the generations as precious relics, finally coming to Constantinople and being placed in the Church of St Peter, where they worked many miracles and healings. There is nothing superstitious about the veneration of clothing and other objects belonging to the Saints; the Acts of the Apostles describes how handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched the Apostle Paul would heal the sick (ch. 19), and that even the shadow of the Apostle Peter healed those on whom it fell (ch. 5). In the twentieth century, a shirt worn by St Nektarios on his death-bed healed a paralyzed man. The sanctity of those united to God extends not only to their bodies but at times to their garments.