Monday, March 28, 2016

March 28 - Acts 9

Today's reading in our daily plan is Acts 9. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Today's chapter begins with Saul continuing to persecute people who belonged to "the Way," or Jesus' followers. Saul was determined to do everything he could to stamp out Jesus' followers, so he received permission from the high priest to imprison anyone who was a Christian.
  • While Saul is traveling with colleagues to Damascus to continue his mission, he is literally blinded by a bright light and a loud voice speaks to him. The voice was so loud that his colleagues also heard and feared it. Naturally, Saul asked who he was speaking to. It was Jesus, asking him why he was persecuting him and the church.  After the voice disappeared, his traveling companions led him to Damascus, where he didn't eat or drink for three days (!).
  • God then speaks to a man named Ananias and asks him to go to Saul. Ananias was fearful because of Saul's reputation, but he prayed for Saul, that he might see again and that he would be filled with the Holy Spirit. 
  • He begins to preach that Jesus is the son of God. Now the Jews want to kill him, so he flees to Jerusalem. However, the disciples there feared him, believing his faith was a sham so he could hurt them. A disciple named Barnabas assured them he was genuine.
  • Meanwhile, Peter continues to travel the country, healing people and raising people from the dead. This results in many more people coming to Jesus. 

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Saul was 100% committed to what he believed. Before he believed in Jesus, he did everything he could to imprison followers of Jesus in hopes of squashing the movement. After he had his life changed by Jesus, he went all out to make sure people had the opportunity to give their lives to God, going so far as to risk death. We should do everything we can to make sure people in our lives know about Jesus and what he can do for their lives.
  • Before Saul could preach the gospel, Ananias was used by God to heal his blindness and be filled with the Holy Spirit. There is a ripple effect in God's kingdom when we obey him. Ananias had to do his part for God before Saul could do his. God's kingdom works best when we work together to grow close to God.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • If you haven't given your life to God or aren't sure about Jesus, why not commit yourself 100% to finding out the truth about Jesus and what he may want for your life? 
  • If you've given your life to God, are you all in? Are you taking advantage of opportunities for you to invite your friends to church or talk about God? Who is somebody close to you whom you could talk to today about Verve or God? Your conversations have the potential to change lives!
  • Are you surrounding yourself with people who are committed to growing spiritually? One way we provide this at Verve is through Micro Groups. If you're not in a Micro Group, consider signing up for one.