A new study started this past week with Hello Mornings. Power for the World: Book 2, The Jesus, Light of Nations Series is taking us on a journey through the second half of the book of Acts. Amazing to think this same God who was at work in the early church and believers, is still at work in our churches today – and in us!
The study has 3 goals:
- to look at the actions of the apostles
- to look at the actions of the powerful Holy Spirit
- to look at God’s plan to spread His message – the Gospel.
Each Monday, I’ll be sharing highlights of our group’s discussion, and we began with these thoughts:
- Prayer and fasting is a vital part of our journey. In Acts 13, we find the men worshiping the Lord and fasting. Yet even after the Holy Spirit directed them to dedicate Barnabas and Saul, they continued to fast and pray even more (verse 3). If we want to hear from God, we are going to need to set aside time to be with Him. A time apart from the busyness of our lives. A time where we can quiet ourselves and just be. What do you need to do, or change, to hear from God? We can begin to develop lives able to hear and receive direction from God.
- The enemy works overtime in an effort to keep us from believing. Upon invitation from a governor to come and visit, a sorcerer attaches himself to the governor in an effort to keep him from believing (see Acts 13:8). We must be full of the Spirit to face the enemy straight on and overcome. The governor came to believe when he saw the powerful way Saul (Paul) handled the sorcerer. God’s plans will not be thwarted. Not in the governor’s life back then. And not in ours today!
- We all need encouragement. During a synagogue service, the men were asked, “Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the people, come and give it”
(Acts 13:15, NLT). Paul reminded the people of all God had done. Knowing he was speaking to a mostly Jewish group, Paul brought words of life they could receive. How do you typically encourage others? A phone call? A visit? A card? A private text? Take a few minutes and encourage someone today You may make a world of difference with the smallest of gestures.
- Keep your testimony authentic and relevant. Paul did not condemn or demand from his listeners. He spoke in a way his audience would understand and receive. He shared so they all would realize the plan of God was inclusive, for all people.
- Paul implored the people to believe. He warned them not to ignore the Gospel, as once heard it cannot be ignored, neglected, or rejected. Once heard, we are faced with a decision, a choice to make which is ours alone. Each time we read Scripture, we are also faced with a choice – will we apply what we have read (or heard) to our lives? It has been said that our lives are living epistles. People watch our lives and it may truly be the only means by which they see the impact of Jesus. Does your life reflect the good news of the Gospel?
May we remember that even in the midst of the challenges in our lives, God’s promises remain secure and unchanged.
As we keep our minds fixed on Him,
our lives can be a message of hope to those around us.
Today I am joining … Inspire Me Monday .