Thursday, March 14, 2019

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New Testament Bible Meditation- March 14 - Text & Audio

Acts 6:1-15   

Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, a complaint arose from the Grecian Jews against the Hebrews because their widows were neglected in the daily service.
The twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, "It is not appropriate for us to forsake the word of God and serve tables.
Therefore select from among you, brothers, seven men of good report, full of the Holy Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
But we will continue steadfastly in prayer and in the ministry of the word."
These words pleased the whole multitude. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch;
whom they set before the apostles. When they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.
The word of God increased and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem exceedingly. A great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.
Stephen, full of faith and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people.
But some of those who were of the synagogue called "The Libertines," and of the Cyrenians, of the Alexandrians, and of those of Cilicia and Asia arose, disputing with Stephen.
They weren't able to withstand the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke.
Then they secretly induced men to say, "We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God." They stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes, and came against him and seized him, and brought him in to the council, and set up false witnesses who said, "This man never stops speaking blasphemous words against this holy place and the law.
For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place, and will change the customs which Moses delivered to us."
All who sat in the council, fastening their eyes on him, saw his face like it was the face of an angel.

Insight- A great number of priests became obedient to faith in Jesus Christ in the first century. They were willing to set aside their traditions of old and embrace salvation through the Messiah Jesus. Stephen was a man full of faith and power and he performed great wonders and signs among the people. Some Jews opposed him and accused him falsely of blasphemy. But those who had discernment saw that Stephen was an innocent man.

Question- Do you give more importance to tradition than to the Word of God?

Prayer- Dear Father in Heaven, grant me the gift of discernment as I continue my walk with you in this fallen world. In Jesus name. Amen.

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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

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New Testament Bible Meditation- March 13 - Text & Audio

Acts 5:17-42   

But the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy, and laid hands on the apostles, and put them in public custody.
But an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors by night, and brought them out, and said,
"Go stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life."
When they heard this, they entered into the temple about daybreak, and taught. But the high priest came, and those who were with him, and called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.
But the officers who came didn't find them in the prison. They returned and reported,
"We found the prison shut and locked, and the guards standing before the doors, but when we opened them, we found no one inside!"
Now when the high priest, the captain of the temple, and the chief priests heard these words, they were very perplexed about them and what might become of this.
One came and told them, "Behold, the men whom you put in prison are in the temple, standing and teaching the people."
Then the captain went with the officers, and brought them without violence, for they were afraid that the people might stone them.
When they had brought them, they set them before the council. The high priest questioned them,
saying, "Didn't we strictly charge you not to teach in this name? Behold, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and intend to bring this man's blood on us."
But Peter and the apostles answered, "We must obey God rather than men.
The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you killed, hanging him on a tree.
God exalted him with his right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, to give repentance to Israel, and remission of sins.
We are His witnesses of these things; and so also is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him."
But they, when they heard this, were cut to the heart, and determined to kill them.
But one stood up in the council, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, honored by all the people, and commanded to put the apostles out for a little while.
He said to them, "You men of Israel, be careful concerning these men, what you are about to do.
For before these days Theudas rose up, making himself out to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were dispersed, and came to nothing.
After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the enrollment, and drew away some people after him. He also perished, and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered abroad.
Now I tell you, withdraw from these men, and leave them alone. For if this counsel or this work is of men, it will be overthrown.
But if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow it, and you would be found even to be fighting against God!"
They agreed with him. Summoning the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. They therefore departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for Jesus' name. Every day, in the temple and at home, they never stopped teaching and preaching Jesus, the Christ.

Insight- An angel of the Lord miraculously delivered the apostles who had be imprisoned by the high priest and told them to preach the words of eternal life in the temple. When they did so,  they were questioned by the authorities. In reply they said that they must obey God rather than men. The apostles were beaten again and told not to speak again in the name of Jesus, but they never stopped teaching and preaching about Jesus Christ.

Question- Angels are at work today in the life of believers to protect and deliver them from evil spirits. Have you experienced angelic deliverance in your life lately?

Prayer- Dear Father in Heaven, send your angels to protect and deliver me from all evil. Grant me grace to proclaim the Gospel despite opposition. In Jesus name. Amen.

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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

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New Testament Bible Meditation- March 12 - Text & Audio

Acts 5:1-16   

But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira, his wife, sold a possession,
and kept back part of the price, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet.
But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
While you kept it, didn't it remain your own? After it was sold, wasn't it in your power? How is it that you have conceived this thing in your heart? You haven't lied to men, but to God."
Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and died. Great fear came on all who heard these things.
The young men arose and wrapped him up, and they carried him out and buried him.
About three hours later, his wife, not knowing what had happened, came in.
Peter answered her, "Tell me whether you sold the land for so much." She said, "Yes, for so much."
But Peter asked her, "How is it that you have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out."
She fell down immediately at his feet, and died. The young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her by her husband.
Great fear came on the whole assembly, and on all who heard these things.
By the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. They were all with one accord in Solomon's porch.
None of the rest dared to join them, however the people honored them.
More believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women.
They even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on cots and mattresses, so that as Peter came by, at the least his shadow might overshadow some of them.
Multitudes also came together from the cities around Jerusalem, bringing sick people, and those who were tormented by unclean spirits: and they were all healed.

Insight- Divine judgment came upon a man named Ananias & his wife Sapphira for not being faithful to God. After being filled with the Holy Spirit, many signs and wonders were done among the people by the apostles. People respected them. Multitudes of men and women believed in the Gospel and were added to the Church. A large multitude of sick people and those tormented by unclean spirits were healed.

Question- Are you faithful to God in the things that you commit to him? Do you give respect to the pastors & elders that God has placed over you for your spiritual growth?

Prayer- Dear Father in Heaven, let the light of your Gospel regarding salvation through Jesus Christ shine all over the world and let multitudes be added to your kingdom. Help me to be faithful to you at all times. In Jesus name. Amen.

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Monday, March 11, 2019

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New Testament Bible Meditation- March 11 - Text & Audio

Acts 4:23-37   

Being let go, they came to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them.
When they heard it, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, "O Lord, you are God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all that is in them;
who by the mouth of your servant, David, said, 'Why do the nations rage, And the peoples plot a vain thing?
The kings of the earth take a stand, And the rulers take council together, Against the Lord, and against his Christ.'
For truly, in this city against your holy servant, Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together
to do whatever your hand and your council foreordained to happen.
Now, Lord, look at their threats, and grant to your servants to speak your word with all boldness,
while you stretch out your hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of your holy Servant Jesus."
When they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were gathered together. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.
The multitude of those who believed were of one heart and soul. Not one of them claimed that anything of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.
With great power, the apostles gave their testimony of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Great grace was on them all.
For neither was there among them any who lacked, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles' feet, and distribution was made to each, according as anyone had need.
Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas (which is, being interpreted, Son of Encouragement), a Levite, a man of Cyprus by race, having a field, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet.

Insight- When the disciples prayed with one accord, the place where they were gathered together was shaken. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and they spoke the word of God with boldness.

Question- Do you experience unity in the congregation that you attend? Do you believe unity is very important in corporate prayer?

Prayer- Dear Father in heaven, let there be unity among the members of my church as we seek you in prayer. In Jesus name. Amen.

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