Acts 27: Who Do You Serve?
Verse of the Day: (V23) “For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,”
1. Sail (V1-20)
V1 “And when it was determined that we should sail into Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners unto one named Julius, a centurion of Augustus’ band.”
Apostle Paul, a Roman prisoner, together with other prisoners, set sail to Italy, under the command of Julius, a centurion. The prisoners would be in Italy to be judged and sentenced by Caesar, the Roman emperor. Whenever Paul went, God was with him. Even though Paul was a prisoner yet Julius treated him well and Paul was refreshed during the voyage. However, they met a terrible storm, and they had to cast out everything on board the ship. The storm continued, and all hope vanished, and they all thought they would die.
V20 “And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.”
2. Serve (V21-40)
V22 “And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship.”
In the midst of hopelessness, Paul stood up, and encouraged them that God was with them. Paul shared his testimony that he belonged to God and he served the true God. He assured them that God’s angel had spoken to him, and that they should not fear for their lives, for they would all be saved on an island, though the ship would be badly damaged.
V23 “For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,”
3. Save (V41-44)
V43 “But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose; and commanded that they which could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land:”
Indeed, God never fails in His promises as God brought all of them safely onto an island. In fact, as the badly damaged ship anchored near the island, the soldiers decided to kill all the prisoners as they thought that they would swim to shore and then escaped. However, the centurion desiring to save Paul, commanded the soldiers to spare all the prisoners.
V44 “And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land.”
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, thank You that I serve You, the true and living God.
Acts 26: Are You Almost A Christian?
Verse of the Day: (V28) “Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.”
1. Accused (V1-27)
V2 “I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews:”
Apostle Paul, the accused, happily testified before king Agrippa, and Bernice, his wife, and Festus, the new Roman governor, and other leaders present, of his testimony. Paul shared how he was brought up as a Pharisee, and had persecuted the Christians, until one day, God spoke to him on the way to Damascus. The Lord blinded him and then healed and called him to be His preacher of the gospel to the Jews and mainly the Gentiles. In short, Paul obeyed God’s heavenly vision, but was instead falsely accused by the Jews.
V19 “Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:”
2. Almost (V28-29)
V28 “Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.”
So near yet so far. king Agrippa almost became a Christian, but he was not a Christian. Why? Agrippa was almost persuaded, but he rejected Christ. Many in this world may have heard the gospel and are almost persuaded like Agrippa, but deep down in their hearts, they have unbelief in them. Paul would be most glad to lead Agrippa and others present to the saving grace of Christ, but he did not have the opportunity to do so. Instead, Paul replied to Agrippa that he desired that he and all who had heard the gospel would totally be persuaded in believing in Jesus. Indeed, though Paul was a suffering prisoner yet he was bound for glorious heaven because he believed in Christ. In contrast, though Agrippa was the glorious king, yet he was bound for fiery hell because he rejected Christ.
V29 “And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.”
3. Appealed (V30-32)
V31 “And when they were gone aside, they talked between themselves, saying, This man doeth nothing worthy of death or of bonds.”
Agrippa and Festus believed that Paul was innocent and should not be in prison or even sentenced to death. However they could not release Paul as he had appealed to Caesar, the Roman emperor. Indeed, it was God’s will that Paul should appear before Caesar.
V32 “Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar.”
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, thank You that I am a totally persuaded Christian bound for heaven.
Acts 25: Is Jesus Alive?
Verse of the Day: (V19) “But had certain questions against him of their own superstition, and of one Jesus, which was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive.”
1. Agrippa (V1-18)
V13 “And after certain days king Agrippa and Bernice came unto Caesarea to salute Festus.”
The Jewish King Agrippa, and Bernice, his wife, paid a courtesy visit to Festus, the new Roman governor, and found out the unresolved issue of Apostle Paul, who had been kept in the Roman prison for more than two years. Agrippa then told Festus that he would cross-examine Paul, after Festus told him that Paul’s charges were more on superstition than criminal in nature and he could not sentence him to death as the Jews had expected it.
V18 “Against whom when the accusers stood up, they brought none accusation of such things as I supposed:”
2. Alive (V19-21)
V19 “But had certain questions against him of their own superstition, and of one Jesus, which was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive.”
Festus believed that the Jews’ main charge against Paul was that he kept claiming that Jesus was alive, while the Jews rejected his claim. However, when Festus suggested to Paul that he be sent to Jerusalem to be judged again by the Jews, Paul immediately declined, as he knew that he would be killed on the way to Jerusalem or in Jerusalem. Paul then requested Festus to let him appeal to Caesar Augustus, the Roman emperor.
V21 “But when Paul had appealed to be reserved unto the hearing of Augustus, I commanded him to be kept till I might send him to Caesar.”
3. Augustus (V22-27)
V24 “And Festus said, King Agrippa, and all men which are here present with us, ye see this man, about whom all the multitude of the Jews have dealt with me, both at Jerusalem, and also here, crying that he ought not to live any longer.”
Festus agreed to let Agrippa cross-examined Paul before he sent him to Caesar Augustus. Indeed, God preserved Paul’s life so that he could share the gospel to all, namely, the leaders of the Roman Empire – the chief captain, the governor, and the emperor. Though the Jews wanted Paul dead, yet God preserved him until His appointed time of death.
V25 “But when I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death, and that he himself hath appealed to Augustus, I have determined to send him.”
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, thank You that I believe in You, and that Jesus is alive forever.
Acts 23: Do You Have A Good Conscience?
Verse of the Day: (V1) “And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.”
1. Conscience (V1-10)
V1 “And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.”
Though Apostle Paul sincerely shared that he had a good conscience before God, the high priest commanded his people to strike Paul’s mouth. The high priest already judged Paul to be guilty even before the trial because Paul was a threat to their religious power and influence. However, there was a great dispute among the people as some were for Paul as they believed he was from God, while others were against him and plotted to kill him.
V9 “And there arose a great cry: and the scribes that were of the Pharisees’ part arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man: but if a spirit or an angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight against God.”
2. Cheer (V11-15)
V11 “And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.”
The Lord stood with Paul, and cheered and encouraged him, when almost everyone was against him. However, there was a group of Jews who were secretly plotting to kill Paul in order to stop him from hindering their religious power and influence over the people.
V12 “And when it was day, certain of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul.”
3. Captain (V16-35)
V16 “And when Paul’s sister’s son heard of their lying in wait, he went and entered into the castle, and told Paul.”
God led Paul’s nephew to hear of the plot, and he went to the prison to tell Paul. Paul then told his nephew to inform Claudius, the chief captain, about it. Claudius believed Paul’s nephew, and wrote to Felix, the governor, about it. As Paul was a Roman citizen, Felix agreed with Claudius that Paul should be sent to Caesarea to be tried by the Romans.
V35 “I will hear thee, said he, when thine accusers are also come. And he commanded him to be kept in Herod’s judgment hall.”
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, please help me to have a good conscience before You now and forever.
Acts 24: Do You Believe In Christ’s Resurrection?
Verse of the Day: (V21) “Except it be for this one voice, that I cried standing among them, Touching the resurrection of the dead I am called in question by you this day.”
1. Ringleader (V1-9)
V5 “For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes:”
Ananias, the high priest, engaged Tertullus, a great orator, to falsely accuse Apostle Paul of being a troublemaker among all the Jews throughout the world, a ringleader of the Christians, and one who profaned God’s holy temple by allowing the Gentiles to enter it.
V6 “Who also hath gone about to profane the temple: whom we took, and would have judged according to our law.”
2. Resurrection (V10-21)
V15 “And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.”
Paul explained to Felix that the one thing that he totally disagreed with his false accusers was their denial of Christ, and His death and resurrection. Paul encouraged them to have hope and belief in God because the holy God shall judge the just and the unjust at Judgment Day. Indeed, Christ’s death and resurrection are the foundation of Christianity. Without Christ’s death and resurrection, there is no Christianity and salvation of mankind.
V21 “Except it be for this one voice, that I cried standing among them, Touching the resurrection of the dead I am called in question by you this day.”
3. Righteousness (V22-27)
V25 “And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.”
Felix was a corrupt governor, and was waiting for Paul to bribe him so that he could release him. However, Paul did not bribe Felix. Instead, Paul boldly witnessed to Felix and his wife, and pleaded with them to repent of their sins, and believe in Christ and His resurrection, so that they would have Christ’s righteousness and be found as Christ’s followers at Judgment Day. Though Felix trembled upon hearing God’s plan of salvation and judgment, yet he deferred his decision in believing in Christ and His resurrection.
V26 “He hoped also that money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him: wherefore he sent for him the oftener, and communed with him.”
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, thank You that I believe in You, and Christ’s death and resurrection.
Acts 22: Will You See The Just One?
Verse of the Day: (V14) “And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth.”
1. Jesus (V1-11)
V7 “And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?”
Apostle Paul or Saul made a defence before the people because he was falsely accused of stirring trouble in Jerusalem. Paul shared that though he was a Jew born in Tarsus yet he was brought up in Jerusalem as a Pharisee. The Pharisees were against Christ and the Christians as they were the ones who plotted the betrayal, arrest and eventually the death of Jesus. However one day while Paul was on his way to Damascus, God blinded him and told him that he was actually persecuting Jesus Christ when he persecuted the Christians.
V8 “And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.
2. Just (V12-18)
V14 “And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth.”
God led Paul to Ananias, a faithful Christian, who told Paul that he would receive his sight. Immediately Paul received his sight, and not only saw the Just One, the Lord Jesus, but also heard His voice. Ananias then told Paul that God had chosen him to be His witness and to share the gospel of Christ to the entire world, in particular, to the Gentiles.
V15 “For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.”
3. Jews (V19-30)
V21 “And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.”
The moment the unbelieving Jews heard that Paul was chosen to preach the gospel to the Gentiles, they hated Paul and desired him to die. These Jews failed to understand that God loved the whole world including the Gentiles, and desired them to believe in Him by faith. When the chief captain discovered that Paul was also a Roman citizen, he quickly commanded the chief priests and their council to examine the Jews’ charges against Paul, because he did not desire to condemn a Roman citizen who had not committed any crime.
V30 “On the morrow, because he would have known the certainty wherefore he was accused of the Jews, he loosed him from his bands, and commanded the chief priests and all their council to appear, and brought Paul down, and set him before them.”
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, thank You that I see and believe in You, the Just One, my Saviour.
Acts 20: Will You Finish Your Course?
Verse of the Day: (V24) “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”
1. Comforted (V1-20)
V9 “And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.”
Before the Bible was completed, God gave the apostles sign gifts, such as healing and raising the dead, to affirm them before the people that they were God’s apostle. Hence when the young man, Eutychus, fell off and died, while hearing Paul’s long preaching, Paul immediately raised him from the dead. When the people saw God’s miracle, they were greatly comforted that Eutychus was alive, and Paul was indeed God’s apostle.
V12 “And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted.”
2. Course (V21-27)
V24 “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”
Before Paul left Ephesus, he met the leaders of the church at Ephesus, and encouraged them not to be distracted by crises and even death, but to boldly keep on, keeping on preaching the gospel of the grace of God, and finish their course and ministry with joy.
V25 “And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.”
3. Church (V28-38)
V28 “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”
God’s church is precious to Him, as He bought her with His only Son’s blood. This was why Paul’s last words to the church leaders were not only to feed the church with God’s word, but to ensure that there would be no grievous wolves or false leaders who would deceitfully enter into the church to ultimately divide and destroy God’s precious church.
V29 “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.”
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, please help me to finish my course and ministry with joy.
Acts 21: Are You Ready To Be Bound?
Verse of the Day: (V13) “Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”
1. Bound (V1-14)
V12 “And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem.”
Though Prophet Agabus had prophesied that Apostle Paul would be bound and arrested in Jerusalem, and his disciples discouraged him from going there, yet Paul chose to go to Jerusalem, and even to die there, because he desired to do God’s will and for Jesus’ sake.
V13 “Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”
2. Believe (V15-26)
V19 “And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry.”
When Paul arrived in Jerusalem, he gladly shared with the church that many Gentiles from Asia had believed in Christ. The church learned that God loved the Jews and the Gentiles, and desired that all be saved from fiery hell and be promoted to pearly heaven.
V20 “And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law:”
3. Beating (V27-40)
V28 “Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place.”
However, there was a group of unbelieving Jews from Asia, who hated Paul and God’s truth of reaching out to the Gentiles, and began to stir up trouble, and accused Paul of going against Moses’ law and polluting the holy temple by allowing the Greeks to enter it. The people believed these Jews, and began to chase Paul out of the temple, and almost beat him to death, before the chief captain and his soldiers intercepted and arrested him.
V32 “Who immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down unto them: and when they saw the chief captain and the soldiers, they left beating Paul.”
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, please help me to be ready to be bound and also to die for You.
Acts 19: Are You Sharing God’s Word?
Verse of the Day: (V20) “So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.”
1. Word (V1-20)
V19 “Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.”
In Ephesus, many came to know the Lord Jesus Christ, as they heard not only the preaching of Apostle Paul, but witnessed how Paul cast out the evil spirits. Many new believers began to burn all their expensive books of magic arts, fortune telling, etc., as they knew that these were of the devil. Therefore God’s word grew mightily in Ephesus.
V20 “So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.”
2. Worship (V21-34)
V24 “For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen;”
As a result of Paul’s preaching, many believed in Christ, and hence there was a sharp decline of demand of the idols of Diana which they had been worshipping for years. Demetrius and the craftsmen, whose income was mainly from idols making, resorted to violence and murder in order to stop Paul and his disciples from preaching God’s word.
V27 “So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth.”
3. Worshipper (V35-41)
V35 “And when the townclerk had appeased the people, he said, Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there that knoweth not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Jupiter?”
God led the town clerk to restore order in Ephesus when he told Demetrius and the craftsmen to seek their grievances in a lawful manner. The town clerk explained to them that though they were worshippers of Diana, yet Paul and his disciples did not blasphemed Diana, but they only shared God’s word to the people of Ephesus. The choice was still for them to decide which God they would choose to believe and worship.
V39 “But if ye enquire any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful assembly.”
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, please help me to share Your Word that many shall come to know You.
Acts 18: Are You Afraid?
Verse of the Day: (V9) “Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace:”
1. Aquila (V1-6)
V2 “And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome :) and came unto them.”
Though Apostle Paul was God’s preacher yet he was also a tentmaker as he did not want to financially burden the church. When Paul was at Corinth, God led him to meet Aquila and Priscilla, a godly Christian couple. Aquila was also a tentmaker, and Paul decided to stay with him and his wife. Let us follow the Lord and He shall lead and provide for us.
V3 “And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.”
2. Afraid (V7-17)
V9 “Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace:”
Though Paul kept preaching the gospel of Christ, yet sometimes he was afraid as there were people who persecuted him, and even plotted to kill him. However, the Lord encouraged Paul that He was with him, and He shall protect and preserve his life as he preached the gospel of Christ that many shall come to the saving grace of the Lord Jesus.
V10 “For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.”
3. Apollos (V18-28)
V24 “And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.”
Though Apollos was a great preacher, yet his understanding of God’s Word was limited to John’s baptism. Hence Aquila and Priscilla taught him more of God’s Word and the gospel of Christ. Apollos humbled himself and learned from Aquila and Priscilla who were more knowledgeable of God’s Word. Let us humble ourselves and keep learning God’s Word, until the day the Lord calls us home, or He returns to bring us to His glory.
V26 “And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.”
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, thank You that I am not afraid because You are always with me.
Acts 17: Are You Worshipping The Known God?
Verse of the Day: (V23) “For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.”
1. World (V1-9)
V5 “But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.”
The unbelieving Jews conspired with wicked men and arrested Jason and the new converts, and accused them before the rulers that they had turned the world upside down. Though the Christians did not turn the world upside down, but they turned the world right side up, as lives were transformed when they repented their sins and believed in God.
V6 “And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;”
2. Word (V10-21)
V11 “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”
The new converts did not blindly follow Paul and Silas, but they diligently searched their teaching, and affirmed that it was God’s Word. However Paul and Silas and the new converts still faced persistent persecution from the unbelieving Jews from Thessalonica.
V13 “But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people.”
3. Worship (V22-34)
V23 “For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.”
Paul discovered that the people of Athens were ignorantly worshipping the unknown God. He then preached to them that there was a known God, who was not only the Creator, but also the Saviour of the world. Anyone who believes in God shall live with Him forever.
V24 “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;”
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, thank You that I only worship You, the known God, my Saviour.
Acts 16: Will You Sing Praises To God?
Verse of the Day: (V25) “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.”
1. Servants (V1-18)
V16 “And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:”
Even a young slave girl, who had a spirit of divination from the devil (that brought much wealth to her masters through her fortune telling), could proclaim that Paul and Silas were servants of the most high God. Indeed, the devil and his evil spirits cannot deny God and His salvation even though they shall one day be condemned to the fiery hell.
V17 “The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.”
2. Sang (V19-26)
V25 “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.”
When God through Paul cast out the spirit of divination from the girl, her masters were furious because they would lose their source of income from her fortune telling. The masters brought Paul and Silas to the unbelieving Roman rulers who imprisoned them for inciting trouble in the city by preaching the gospel. Though Paul and Silas were imprisoned and in trouble, yet they prayed and sang praises to God because they knew that they were suffering for Christ’s sake. God then sent a great earthquake to free them.
V26 “And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.”
3. Saved (V27-40)
V27 “And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.”
Even when Paul and Silas were freed, they were concerned about the soul of the prison keeper who was about to kill himself because he knew that he had failed in his duty. Paul and Silas shared the gospel to him, and then his family, and they were saved and baptized.
V31 “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, please help me to sing praises to You even when I am in trouble.
Acts 15: Are You Saved?
Verse of the Day: (V11) “But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.”
1. Christ (V1-11)
V1 “And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.”
During the days of the apostles, there was a group of Jewish leaders from Judaea who taught the people that salvation was not only by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, but one must be circumcised as in Moses’ Law in order to be saved. Apostle Peter and the rest of the apostles and leaders rebuked these leaders on their false teaching. Indeed, we are saved by God’s grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and not the fulfilment of circumcision or Moses’ Law, because we can never keep all of God’s Law.
V11 “But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.”
2. Church (V12-35)
V22 “Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren:”
The church sent out Paul, Barnabas, Barsabas and Silas to the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia to reaffirm them that salvation was only by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ, and never the fulfilment of circumcision or keeping the Law.
V24 “Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:”
3. Contention (V36-41)
V38 “But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.”
Paul and Barnabas had a sharp contention over Mark who deserted them during their first missionary journey. Barnabas was forgiving and willing to give Mark another chance while Paul refused to let Mark travel with them. Finally Barnabas brought Mark with him to Cyprus, while Paul brought Silas, another man of God, with him to Syria and Cilicia.
V39 “And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus;”
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, thank You that I am saved by Your grace through faith in Jesus.
Acts 14: Who Do You Worship?
Verse of the Day: (V15) “And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:”
1. God (V1-18)
V11 “And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men.”
Apostle Paul, by God’s sign gifts, healed a cripple, and the people thought that he was the god from heaven, and began to worship him. Paul then rebuked them that they should only worship the living God, the Creator, and not the creatures like him. Indeed, before the Bible, God’s Word, was completed, God gave the apostles the sign gifts to prove to the world that they were God’s preachers. Today, the preachers have no sign gifts because we have now the completed Bible to prove that God is the true and living God.
V15 “And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:”
2. Grace (V19-26)
V23 “And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.”
Paul and Barnabas knew that without God’s grace, they could never survive the persecution, preach the Gospel, ordain pastors in every church, and fulfil God’s work.
V26 “And thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which thy fulfilled.”
3. Gentiles (V27-28)
V27 “And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.”’
Paul and Barnabas immediately shared to the church and their fellow disciples the moment they arrived that God had greatly used them to win the Gentiles to the Lord.
V28 “And there they abode long time with the disciples.”
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, thank You that I only worship You, the true and living God.
Acts 13: Are You A Man After God’s Heart?
Verse of the Day: (V22) “And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.”
1. Hands (V1-13)
V2 “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.”
During the time of the early church there was already great teamwork in action. Though the church ordained and sent out Barnabas and Saul as missionaries to preach the Gospel of Christ to the regions beyond, yet God expected the church to support them in prayers and finance. The laying of hands was God’s way of identification that the church and their missionaries were of one heart and one mission of winning the lost to Jesus Christ.
V3 “And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.”
2. Heart (V14-43)
V22 “And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.”
God removed Saul and promoted David as the next king of Israel. Of all the kings of Israel and Judah, God only commended David as a man after His own heart, because he was truly a man who loved God, knew how to repent his sins, and turned to God. Hence God blessed David to be the ancestor of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world.
V23 “Of this man’s seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:”
3. Hear (V44-52)
V44 “And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.”
The Jewish leaders persecuted Paul and Barnabas and chased them out of the city because they were preaching to the Gentiles who desired to hear the Gospel. However they were not discouraged as they went to another city to continue preaching the Gospel with joy.
V50 “But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts.”
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, please help me to be a man after Your heart.
Acts 12: Will You Glorify God?
Verse of the Day: (V23) “And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.”
1. God (V1-5)
V1 “Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church.”
Apostle Peter was arrested and waiting to be sentenced to death, during the time of Herod, the evil and wicked king, who had commanded his army to persecute the church and the Christians. When the church heard of Peter’s arrest, they immediately prayed to God for Peter’s deliverance. Prayer is our lifeline to God. Whatever crises and challenges we are facing, let us pray to God who hears and answers our prayers according to His will.
V5 “Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.”
2. Gate (V6-19)
V7 “And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.
God heard the prayers of the church, and sent His angel to break Peter’s chains, and opened the iron gate for him to escape from the prison. Indeed God can do the impossible. God can miraculously break the chains, open the iron gate, and best of all, He can rescue us from fiery hell to pearly heaven, if we repent our sins, and trust and believe in Him.
V10 “When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him.”
3. Glory (V20-25)
V22 “And the people gave a shout, saying, Is it is the voice of a god, and not of a man.”
King Herod acknowledged the shout of his people that his voice was that of a god. He not only rejected God, and gave not God the glory, but he desired the people to worship him as god. Therefore, God immediately judged him, and sent worms to eat him to death.
V23 “And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.”’
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, please help me to glorify You as You are the true and living God.
Acts 11: Are You A Christian?
Verse of the Day: (V26) “And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”
1. Christ (V1-21)
V17 “Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?”
Apostle Peter explained to the Jewish Christians that God spoke to him in a dream to preach the Gospel of Christ not only to the Jews but also to the Gentiles. Initially the Jewish Christians had difficulty in accepting Peter’s explanation, but they soon realised that their salvation was God’s gift to them. Indeed, for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, that whosoever, whether Jews or Gentiles, believes in Him shall never perish, but have everlasting life with Him in heaven.
V18 “When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.”
2. Cleave (V22-24)
V22 “Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.”
God convicted the church in Jerusalem to send Barnabas, a man of faith, to preach the Gospel of Christ to the Jews as well as the Gentiles in Antioch. Barnabas obeyed God and immediately went to Antioch to preach the Gospel, and many believed and trusted in God. He then taught the new disciples to grow spiritually by cleaving their hearts to God.
V23 “Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.”
3. Christians (V25-30)
V25 “Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul:”
As the church in Antioch grew, Barnabas went to Tarsus to enlist Saul to help him in the preaching and teaching ministry. Saul was more than willing to serve alongside with Barnabas. They led many souls to the Lord, and many were baptized and added to the church. In fact, it was at Antioch, that the disciples of Christ were first called Christians.
V26 “And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, thank You that I am a Christian by the grace of God.
Acts 10: Will You Preach To Every Nation?
Verse of the Day: (V35) “But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.”
1. Prayed (V1-4)
V1 “There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,”
God sent an angel to a centurion named Cornelius who was a Gentile but praying to know more about the God of Israel. God told Cornelius to send his men to look for apostle Peter in Joppa who would tell him more about the God of Israel, the true and living God.
V2 “A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.”
2. Peter (V5-33)
V5 “And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter:”
Peter could not fully understand when he was told by God in his dream to eat the unclean animals which the Jews were forbidden to eat according to the Leviticus law. God spoke to Peter thrice before he finally understood that God commanded him to preach to the Gentiles beside the Jews. Just like God cleaned the unclean animals, God would forgive the sins of the Gentiles. Hence, when the men of Cornelius came to fetch Peter to Cornelius, Peter knew that God had already prepared him to preach to Cornelius that the Lord Jesus Christ shed His precious blood for the sins of the Jews as well as the Gentiles.
V15 “And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.”
3. Preaching (V34-48)
V35 “But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.”
During the Old and New Testament time, God taught the people through His preachers that anyone who would believe and trust in Him shall be saved. Even though during the Old Testament time, God chose the people of Israel, the Jews, yet He would still save the Gentiles from condemnation to fiery hell, if they would only believe and trust in Him. Today, God is extending His love to every nation and every soul that whosoever believes and trusts in Jesus Christ shall never perish, but have everlasting life with Him in heaven.
V36 “The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)”
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, please help me to preach to everyone that Jesus loves, cares and saves.