TODAY’S SPECIAL: Acts 28:11-16;30-31
TO CHEW ON: "Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ." Acts 28:31
Three months after the shipwreck Paul, his guards and companions set sail again. Soon they arrived in Rome. When they got there, the soldiers took Paul to a house."Arrival at Rome" by Johann C. Weigel, 1695
For two years he had to stay in that house with someone guarding him all the time."Paul preaches at Rome under guard" - Artist unknown
Even though he was a prisoner, Paul didn’t whine, sulk or feel sorry for himself. What did he do? (Find the words for the blanks in the word bank below - Acts 28:31)...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Acts 5:1-10
TO CHEW ON: "With his wife’s full knowledge, he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and laid it at the apostles’ feet." Acts 5:2
Some early Christians sold their property and gave the money from those sales to help others. Ananias and Sapphira decided to do this too. But instead of bringing the whole amount, they brought just a part and kept back some for themselves.
There was nothing wrong with this. But then Ananias did a sneaky thing. He gave the money to the leaders as if it were the entire amount. He tried to leave the impression that he was giving everything, even though he wasn’t. Later his wife Sapphira lied in the same way.
But God saw their deception. He told Peter, and Peter exposed their lie. That day Ananias fell down dead when Peter confronted him with what he had done."Death of Ananias" by Raphael
Later the same thing happened to Sapphira. It was God’s judgment on them for trying to deceive....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Acts 10:9-23
TO CHEW ON: "The voice spoke to him a second time, 'Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.'” Acts 10:15
It was lunchtime in Joppa. Peter (Jesus’s disciple) was hungry. While he was waiting for a call to lunch, a vision appeared. A sheet came down from heaven with all kinds of animals on it. A voice said, “Get up, Peter, kill and eat.”
Though Peter was hungry, there was a problem with the food in front of him. These were animals which God had commanded the Jews not to eat. They were called ‘unclean.’ Peter answered, “I’ve never eaten anything unclean.”
Then the voice said, “Don’t call something impure that God has made clean.”
This happened two more times. Then the sheet disappeared."Peter's Vision" - Artist Unknown
While Peter was wondering what that was about, Cornelius’s servants arrived at the door. Peter invited them in. They told him about the vision Cornelius had had the day before. They asked Peter to come back with them to Caesarea to talk to Cornelius....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: I Peter 1:3-9
TO CHEW ON: "These (trials) have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.." I Peter 1:7
The year was 64 A.D. One night the sky above Rome glowed bright long after the sun had set. Soon the air was thick with smoke. The streets filled with panicky people crying, “Help! Fire! The city is burning!”The burning of Rome - Artist unknown
But at the emperor’s palace Nero laughed at the dancing flames. Then legend tells us that he took his fiddle and began to play.
“Who set the fire?” the people asked later. Many thought Nero, who liked to build things, set it himself so he could build Rome over again. Nero blamed the Christians....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Acts 10:1-8
TO CHEW ON: "At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion...” Acts 10:1
Cornelius was not a Jew but a Gentile. It wasn’t only his race that made the Jewish people want to avoid him. His job was a problem too. He was a centurion (centurion = captain) in the Roman army. Roman soldiers often mistreated the Jews. Jewish people were suspicious and afraid of Cornelius.
But Cornelius had some surprising beliefs for a Roman soldier. Unscramble the words below that tell about him (Acts 10:2):He (dreefa)________ (dgo)________.He (vgae)___________ to those in need.He (yrdepa) __________ to God regularly.
One afternoon an angel talked to him in a vision. The angel told him God had noticed his prayers and gifts. He was to send someone to Joppa, find Simon Peter and bring him to his house in Caesarea. God looked past Cornelius’s race and job, into his heart. He knew Cornelius wanted to know Him better. Peter (who was a Jew) would help with that – or would he?
"Cornelius is confronted by the angel" by Caspar Luiken, 1672-1708
Do you ever jump to conclusions about what a person is like because of their skin color, the fact that they are...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Acts 12:1-12
TO CHEW ON: "So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him." Acts 12:5
Peter was in big trouble. After King Herod killed James, he arrested Peter. For days Peter had been in a cramped, uncomfortable jail, chained and guarded by sixteen soldiers.
The night before Herod was going to put him on trial Peter was asleep in his cell. He was awakened by strange man shaking him. “Quick, get up and get dressed!” the man said. The cell was filled with light even though it was the middle of the night. Then his chains fell off.Peter's miraculous escape from prison - Artist unknown
I must be dreaming Peter thought as he pulled on his clothes, wrapped his cloak around him, and followed the man out of the prison. It was not until he had walked a block or two and his companion disappeared that Peter realized - I’m not dreaming. This is real. I was just set free by an angel....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Acts 10:24-35
TO CHEW ON: "Then Peter began to speak: 'I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.'" Acts 10:34,35
Peter went back with Cornelius’s servants to Caesarea. Even though Cornelius and his men were Gentiles and not Jews, Peter knew God wanted him to visit Cornelius. Peter probably had an idea his vision was about more than eating unclean food. After he heard Cornelius’s story, Peter knew God was telling him to accept people he had thought of as unclean. What two things did Peter learn (Acts 10:34,35)?
"Peter and Cornelius" - Artist Unknown
1. God does not _____________________________________________2. God accepts ______________________________________________
God hasn’t changed. He still loves everyone – no matter what color their skin, what language they speak or where they live. We should love them too....
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