Wednesday, September 26, 2007

GOD SPEAKS IN THE BOOK OF ACTS

I love the book of Acts. Here are some of my gleanings from my recent read-through of this great book.

  • Did you know that 90% of the world's population in the first century was rural? Yet Paul focused most of his strategy on urban centers. Interesting.
  • Acts 1:8 is one of the most awesome verses in the Bible. We shouldn't be as concerned with second coming trivia as we should be with expanding God's kingdom. We have the promise of His power to witness. And He told us clearly the geography of our mission field.
  • Peter preached Jesus, urged the people over and over to repent, and then extended an invitation for them to come to Christ.
  • Peter and John faced great courage in the face of persecution. And when they prayed, they didn't pray for protection but for boldness.
  • Ananias and Sapphira is a story that reminds us that God is not to be trifled with.
  • Two things about Stephen's lengthy address: He knew the Old Testament left and right; and he didn't hold back as he boldly confronted people with their sins.
  • It is during the face of persecution that Christians do their best missionary work.
  • God can save the worst of sinners (as in Paul of Tarsus).
  • Amazing things happen when: people pray; people expect God to speak; and the preacher preaches about Jesus.
  • Where God is working, there will be opposition. But we must not be deterred.
  • Paul and Barnabas handpicked the leaders in each church they visited. They WERE the nominating committee.
  • In a church controversy, Pastor James heard all the sides and then he made the decision.
  • The book teaches us by example how important disciplemaking and follow-up are.
  • Paul's dream was the seed for a vision to take the gospel to the Western world. Talk about a huge vision!
  • Changed lives should be the norm of what happens in church.
  • When the church is operating on all cylinders, it is going to impact the culture around it (including stirring up some waves).
  • The most important value in Paul's life--he wanted to finish the task God gave him to do, namely, telling others about Jesus.
  • Paul was bilingual--Greek and Hebrew.
  • Paul did his dead-level best to keep a clean conscience before God and his neighbor.
  • Every believer needs to know how to tell his faith story.
  • Paul preached for life change.
  • Read to the end of the book and you will see that Paul was always open to tell others about Jesus.
  • The 29th chapter of Acts is still being written today.

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