Acts 9: Will You Suffer For Christ?
Verse of the Day: (V16) “For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.”
1. Slaughter (V1-9)
V1 “And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,”
Saul was hated Christ, and desired to slaughter and exterminate all of Christ’s disciples or the Christians. While on his way to Damascus to arrest the Christians, Christ through a light from heaven questioned him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? It was at that moment that Saul realised that Christ was truly the Son of God, the Saviour of the world.
V6 “And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.”
2. Suffer (V10-31)
V15 “But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:”
Christ told Saul that He had chosen him to be a vessel to preach His gospel of salvation to the Gentiles, kings and the people of Israel. Christ also told Saul that he would suffer much because of doing His work and will. Indeed, Christians, let us not be surprise and sad when we suffer for Christ’s sake. Christ assured Saul and all who love and preach His gospel that we shall certainly suffer for Him as well as reign with Him one day in heaven.
V16 “For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.”
3. Sick (V32-43)
V40 “But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up.”
During the apostles’ time, before God’s word, the Bible, was completed, God gave the apostles the sign gifts of casting out demons, healing the sick and even raising the dead, as evidence that they believed in God and were from God. Today, we do not have these sign gifts because we have the Bible with us as evidence that we believe in God and are from God. However, we can still fast and pray for God’s power, promises and miracles to cast out demons, heal the sick and even raise the dead, if it is God’s perfect will and work.
V41 “And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive.”
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, please help me to endure suffering for Christ’s sake.
Acts 7: Is God With You?
Verse of the Day: (V9) “And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph unto Egypt: but God was with him,”
1. God Was With Joseph (V1-19)
V9 “And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him,”
Stephen was fearless when the false religious leaders were about to charge him with a death sentence. Stephen reminded them that God who was with Abraham, Joseph and Moses was also with him. Though Joseph’s brothers out of envy sold him into Egypt, yet God was with him. Through all the trials and troubles, God miraculously made Joseph to become the saviour of Egypt and the world, when he correctly interpreted Pharaoh’s dream and fed the people with corns he had kept for the past seven years. Subsequently, Joseph was promoted to be the most powerful ruler in Egypt, second only to Pharaoh.
V10 “And delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house.”
2. God Was With Moses (V20-50)
V30 “And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sina an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush.”
Stephen reminded the false religious leaders that God was with Moses. Moses was a Prince of Egypt, a Somebody, for 40 years, until God humbled him for 40 years to be a Nobody, before God finally used him as God’s body for the remaining 40 years of his life. Throughout Moses’ life, God was with him, because Moses had faith and trust in God.
V36 “He brought them out, after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years.”
3. God Was With Stephen (V51-60)
V59 “And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
Stephen was stoned to death as these false leaders not only refused to believe that he was God’s servant, but they also refused to repent of their sins and unbelief. Indeed, God was with Stephen as even in his last breath, he prayed to God to forgive his murderers!
V60 “And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.”
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, thank You that You are with me as I trust and obey You.
Acts 8: Will You Believe in The Son Of God?
Verse of the Day: (V37) “And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
1. The Word Of God (V1-17)
V4 “Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.”
In spite of the great persecution, the apostles and their disciples continued to preach the word of God until the entire city of Samaria received the word of God. Without the great persecution, there might not be a great scattering of the disciples in preaching the word of God. Indeed, without great suffering, we will not grow in great faith and trust in our God.
V14 “Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:”
2. The Gift Of God (V18-25)
V18 “And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,”
Simon, a professing believer, offered money to the apostles thinking that he could exchange them for the gift of God. He saw the apostles’ miracles and wanted to be like them, who would lay hands on the believers so that they received the Holy Ghost. Apostle Peter rebuked Simon and told him that money could never purchase God’s gift.
V20 “But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.”
3. The Son Of God (V26-40)
V32 “The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:”
God led Philip, a man of God, to approach a prominent Ethiopian eunuch who was reading the book of Isaiah. Philip explained to him that the prophet Isaiah was referring to Jesus when he wrote - He was led as a sheep to the slaughter. Jesus was the sacrificial lamb to be slaughtered so that His blood was shed for the forgiveness of the sins of the world. Immediately upon seeing a pool of water, the eunuch requested Philip to baptize him as he believed that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He knew that baptism was the first step of obedience for a new believer as it symbolised Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.
V37 “And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
Acts 6: Will You Obey God’s Word?
Verse of the Day: (V7) “And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.”
1. Widows (V1-4)
V1 “And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.”
As a result of the murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, that their widows were neglected, the 12 apostles appointed 7 men or deacons to take care of the widows’ needs. They knew that they must continue in prayers and preaching of God’s word, while the deacons took care of the widows. Today, we have pastors who will continue in prayers and preaching of God’s word, while the deacons take care of the church administration.
V4 “But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.”
2. Word (V5-8)
V5 “And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:”
When the apostles appointed 7 deacons to take care of the widows’ needs, they had time to pray and preach God’s word, and many people in Jerusalem believed and received Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour, and the church grew in spirituality and number.
V7 “And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.”
3. Witnesses (V9-15)
V9 “Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen.
Though Stephen, one of the 7 deacons, obeyed God and His word, yet the false religious leaders purposely disputed with him, and even framed him. They were never for God and His word, but only for themselves. Hence when they realised that their so-called spiritual power and influence with the people had greatly declined, they plotted Stephen’s death.
V13 “And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law:”
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, please help me to always obey Your Word now and forever.