Acts 14 “Signs and Wonders” – 8/31/14 – cd#1521

THE LORD Paul and Barnabas at Lystra Acts 14:8-18granted signs and wonders to be done through Paul & Barnabas (Acts 14). This gave proof to the Word of Grace they were sharing. In the Gospel of Mark 16:17, as Jesus commanded the disciples to go into all the world and preach, He said that signs would follow those who believed. In other words miraculous signs would prove that what they preached was from God.                                                                         In these last days, there is a serious mistake that has been made in an effort to promote signs and wonders. There is an emphasis on signs and wonders, in the hope that they will attract people. But that is not how it happened in the early church. The chief emphasis of their ministry was the teaching of the Word of God. The signs and wonders followed after the teaching to confirm the Word of God in the hearts of the people.  
 

Acts 13 “The Gospel of God” – 8/17/14 – CD#1519

Acts 13

IN THE BOOK OF ACTS CHAPTER 13 WE SEE PAUL SHARING THE GOSPEL OF GOD WITH THOSE IN ANTIOCH;  how Christ died for our sins, that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures. Paul preached the gospel to these people. The promise that God made to David had been fulfilled. He had sent the Savior, that is, Jesus Christ! The Word of God prophesied that the Messiah would be put to death, suffer, be despised and rejected, and all that had happened. Paul showed his listeners that God’s purposes were fulfilled in Jesus Christ.                                                                                        If you will compare Paul’s sermon here with Peter’s sermon in the 2nd chapter of Acts, you will find there are many parallels in their messages. Basically, their messages are the death of Jesus Christ for our sins, His burial, and His Resurrection, and that these events are the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies.   

Acts 12 “Have Thine Own Way Lord” – 8/10/2014 – cd # 1518

Acts 12
God is not limited in the way He works, He often does His work in a variety of ways. Here, in Acts 12, God sends an angel to release Peter from prison. Later, God will release Paul and Silas from the Philippian jail, but instead of sending an angel to open the doors, He will send an earthquake to shake the walls down. Our Lord is a creative God. Never try to put Jesus in a box. Be open to what His Spirit wants to do. If He wants to work in a new way, praise Him! As children of God we should be open to the moving of His Holy Spirit.

Acts 11 “God’s Hand At Work” – 8/3/14 – cd# 1517

God is weaving everything together. The Holy Spirit is directing the actions of His Church. (Acts 11) It is very interesting when you get to be an older Christian, and look back and see how God was weaving the events and circumstances of your life all along the way. Things I didn’t understand at the time. Things I even rebelled against because I didn’t understand them. But now I can see that God brought it all together. He had me there in order that He might put me here, and you can see how the whole thing is linked together, and God’s hand was in it all the time. So you see here in the Book of Acts how each event relates to the others. It is wonderful to see God working in different ways as He builds up His church. We are excited to have this part in God’s work – seeing the hand of God at work in each new event being related to some event in the past, and seeing His hand at work all the way. Acts 11

Acts 10 “Good News For All” – 7/27/14 – CD#1516

Traditions are sometimes stronger than doctrine; and often we hold our traditions even when they are not doctrinally sound. As far as the Jews were concerned, the Gentiles (anyone not a Jew) were unclean. For a person with a strong Jewish background, it would have been extremely difficult to rise above the hold tradition had on him. (Acts 10Acts 10) Peter grew up in the Jewish traditions, and looked upon the Gentiles as unclean. Now the Lord was going to bring about in Peter a very radical and dramatic change – the realization that God would save Gentiles! The Jews did not believe a Gentile could be saved. They believed the Gentiles had to proselytize (convert) to the Jewish faith in order to be saved. This was the belief of the early church. Now Jesus would break Peter and the early church away from that tradition.

Acts 9 “The Way of Love” 7/20/14 – CD#1515

God sees that we are attracted by sin, and He resolves to attract us with His more powerful Way of Love. Remember when Jesus first moved you away from the fascinations of the world? He will do this again and again, whenever He sees us being attracted to sin. Just as he did for Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9), Jesus will take you and me to a lonely place. And this place is not a paradise, but a wilderness, because in such a place there will be nothing to take our attention from our God. In loneliness and affliction the presence of Jesus Christ becomes everything to us, and we love His fellowship more than any other. When we are all alone the Lord has great things to say to us as He speaks to our heart. Lord, help us understand this promise through our experience! Alone and comforted by the Way of Love, we will know the Lord more intimately, and sing for joy! Acts 9 Demascus

Acts 8:26-40 “Submitting to God’s Plans” 7/13/14 – CD#1515

Acts 8THE MAN OF ETHIOPIA, (Acts 8:26-40) was a man with great authority who had a sincere desire to know God, and come to be submitted to God’s plan. In his search for God, he had gone to Jerusalem, and acquired the Holy Scriptures. He was going back to Ethiopia when Philip, who was a man of great Spiritual authority, met him and taught him about Jesus Christ from the Holy Scriptures. I believe God honors hearts that are searching sincerely for Him. I believe God will reveal Himself to an honest heart that is truly seeking Him. There are stories of people in remote areas who, when missionaries came to share the truth of Jesus Christ, these people said; “We’ve come to believe in Him, we just didn’t know His name!”

Acts 8 “Preaching Through Persecution” July 6, 2014 CD#1514

Stephen could no longer be with his loved ones, for his hour had come to die; but he left them with a message and a vision from the Holy Spirit – the Glory of God awaits us. When our loved ones are called home to Jesus, we must console ourselves with the fact that they’re in the Glorious presence of God. Though our loved ones have left, Christ has not left us but lives with us forever. What joy we have! God is with us as individuals; as families, and churches. The early church continued preaching the Gospel bravely and joyously through persecution. They knew Stephen was in the Glorious presence of God, and that Christ was with them. The Gospel must continue, the truth must win, for the Lord is with those who are with Him. Every day God’s Holy Word brings strength and joy to every Christian who turns to Him. No greater happiness is possible.

Acts 7:37 – 60 “Israel’s History of Rebellion” June 29, 2014 CD# 1513

STEPHEN’S MESSAGE WAS FIRST; GOD IS NO RESPECTOR OF PLACES. The temple was beautiful but it was wrong to idolize it as “the house of God.” Second, Israel had a long history of rebelling against God’s messengers. Jesus said it is impossible for old wineskins to hold new wine (Matt 9:17). Through Stephen, the Holy Spirit shows how the old traditions (wineskins) of Judaism (especially idolizing the temple) cannot contain the new wine of Christianity. God used Stephen’s martyrdom to send the church out to the whole world, but God also used his message to show that there was no theological reason to prevent the gospel from going to the Gentiles. Stephen took the sharp knife of God’s Word and exposed the sins of the people, laying open their hearts. The fact that he was facing certain death made Stephen even more zealous.

Acts 7 “Israel’s History and Vision” – June 22, 2014 – CD#1512

THE HIGH PRIEST ASKED: “Are these things so?” That was all Stephen needed, he saw it as an open door to testify concerning Israel & God’s promises for them. (Acts 7) . Jesus told His disciples that they would be brought before kings and magistrates. Christ told them not to worry about what they would say in that hour because the Holy Spirit would give them the words. So we find this model for us throughout the Book of Acts. Every time Christians stood before courts, kings or judges; when God gave them an open door, they used it to share the Gospel. Pastor Chuck Smith

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