Now as Peter went here and there among all the believers, he came down also to the saints living in Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden for eight years, for he was paralyzed. Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; get up and make your bed!” And immediately he got up. And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord. Acts 9:32-35
The end of miracles came with Esther in the Old Testament, and started up with magnificence in Jesus as He is born of a virgin and forgives sins, heals, casts out demons, and gives New Birth to His believers by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus Christ is a miracle man and uses Peter to stir up great faith in Aeneas and open his heart to receive Jesus’ miracle. Like Peter, Christ uses you as you speak His words of healing, “Get up…”. Throughout the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) learn from the words that Jesus uses to heal and use His words to speak the Holy Spirit’s healing in Christ’s Name.
The Holy Spirit will give you opportunities, words that are right, and will magnify His power within you so that healing events occur. All Glory be to God our Heavenly Father that this is true! God has made a Way in Jesus Christ for suffering to be relieved, for faith to expand exponentially, and for the Holy Spirit’s love to be manifest in you.
But Barnabas took him, brought him to the apostles, and described for them how on the road he had seen the Lord, Who had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken boldly in the Name of Jesus. So he went in and out among them to Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the Name of the Lord. Acts 27-28
Barnabas the encourager takes Saul to the apostles, Peter and James (Gal. 1:18-19) and declares he or she who has been an enemy to the Truth ought not to be trusted until he or she gives proof that they are changed. They have their proof that Saul is a converted soul by witness Ananias, three years of preaching Christ Resurrected in Damascus, and countless souls saved, Baptized, and integrated into Christian community.
The believers remain under tremendous persecution from the Roman government and Saul continues to be targeted for death by the Romans. The apostles take in Saul, accepting the introduction of Barnabas and affirmation of witnesses. Peter is not yet convinced that Christ is to be offered to the Gentile world but Saul has been given that clear intent by Jesus.
Saul is living with conviction in obedience to Christ our Lord. Unwavering. Unrelenting. The Holy Spirit is motivating him and the Holy Spirit motivates you. Holy Spirit makes you strong when you are weak, clear minded within our Lord’s purpose, and gives you words to speak when you open your mouth to witness in Christ’s love to save souls.
The eunuch asked Philip, “About whom, may I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” Then Philip began to speak, and starting with this Scripture, he proclaimed to him the Good News about Jesus. Acts 8:34-35
The eunuch was reading aloud from the Book of Isaiah, the prophesy regarding the servant Messiah who is Jesus Christ. When Philip runs alongside the chariot, then the man asks him to come up to talk with him about the Scripture, we again see the Holy Spirit at work in a heart hungry to receive salvation. Hungry hearts need Jesus.
For you can understand with your mind the humble offer that Christ makes to you as the only servant to salvation yet it is with your heart that by faith you believe. Then the Holy Spirit convicts your heart in such a way that you find that all your hopes, dreams, and desires are actually met in Christ. Christ is everything and His Kingdom is revealed. At Baptism you are sealed in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Good News began when God came down from heaven with a babe in His arms out of His love for you. That child, born to a virgin woman, was God’s own beloved Servant Son. Read aloud, learn with your heart from Scriptures, which also tell of the suffering Servant at the Cross. After Jesus Christ’s glorious Resurrection and at Pentecost abundant life in Jesus is given to us. Christ breathed the Holy Spirit (His real Presence) into believers back then and into hungry hearts now.
How is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You did not lie to us but to God. Acts 4:4
I read yesterday that between the ages of six and ten years old a child forms their platform for telling lies. The child will lie and see if they get away with it and proceed from there to learn to lie better or learn to stop lying. Believers know that they can never get away with a lie because God always knows. Acts 4 shows us that the majority of help from the Holy Spirit is to bond heart of the believer to Jesus Christ the Truth, thus believers are not to tell lies.
You tell the truth and live in Truth (Jesus Christ) by relying on the advocacy of the Holy Spirit to give your heart and mind instant correction.
This is a matter of your heart. Any lie, small or large, is wrong. Best example is given in Scripture today. Ananias and Sapphira sell a piece of land to give to their community of believers and yet they hold back a portion of the land’s proceeds for themselves. When Peter asks them if they are giving the entire proceeds of the land to Jesus’ community of believers they both lie and say that they are giving all, then God strikes them dead for lying.
We previously studied the book of John where Jesus says, “… there is no truth in him (the devil). When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44) Jesus speaks to hard-hearted folks who wholeheartedly reject him and are obeying their father the devil. The lie you tell is the red flag of your hard-heartedness. Any lie can align you to the devil. This is why it is wrong to lie. You are lying to God when you tell a lie.
All the people saw him walking and praising God and they recognized him as the one who used to sit and ask for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. Acts 3:9-10
They all knew this 40 year old man who had been lame from birth [now healed] as they watched him leap up, jump around, and sort-of dance before them praising God. What wonder they must have felt indeed! Surely most of these faithful temple worshippers had shared their money, prayers, and kindness with this man.
Joy is contagious when the Spirit moves within our groups. In response, Peter preaches a second sermon. Remember that now every time Peter preaches he points us to Christ’s Resurrection Joy. Joy is contagious when Spirit shows you what our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is visibly doing within others to heal them, transform them to be more like Him, and fill them with His compassionate Love.
Just as you were tickled as a child, the joyous Love of the Spirit causes you to laugh with delight, wonder, and amazement. Spirit desires that your heart be lifted up to God in praise as Spirit shows you events in others that are holy experiences– sometimes sized tiny and other times just grand like the 40 year old man. Spirit will show you today, each day, all day long what our wondrous Lord Jesus is delightfully doing for others. And what He’s doing for others He will do for you.
Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved. Acts 2:46-47
Day by day we live in expectation of who is next to be saved by Holy Spirit power. Knowing that in Christ you can do all things, having your soul redeemed, and having Spirit guide your speaking, teaching, and holy living brings the gladness of your generous living. All that you have belongs to God and is to be shared with believers who have need.
Goodwill to each person you meet is the key to discipleship. Out of the fount of God’s love your generosity flows into lives of others who need to see Jesus in action through your life’s example. Using the power of the Spirit, grow in your understanding of how to be His disciple through Scriptures and Grace.
Day by day expect miracles, His holiness to work, and blessings to shower. In constant conversation with Jesus be led. And through the breaking of bread know Jesus’ delightfully alive Presence with you.
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. Acts 2:1-4
Jesus is Glorified by God again and this is the Glory which seals His Presence within us ! Remember back in our study of John when Jesus, referring to the Heavenly Father, said, “He will glorify Me, because He will take what is Mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:14). This day is His declaration, perpetual each day forward. In giving you the Holy Spirit you are able receive the declaration of all of Christ as the Holy Spirit seals you securely in Jesus Christ’s compassionate loving wonderful Presence.
The Holy Spirit within each of us is what makes us Christ’s Church united in Him. The Kingdom of God is within our hearts and minds. Now when the Holy Spirit first came on Pentecost there was a dramatic visual and auditory announcement through tongues as of fire and the violent wind. When the Holy Spirit comes to you it is an unmistakable moment of history in your life as Spirit transforms you to make within you the true connection to Jesus Christ. Sealed, Spirit refreshes you with Christ’s Presence continually. Holy Spirit praying is naturally now very personal, between you and Christ, and Holy Spirit continues to give you everything of Christ.
This day, Pentecost, is seven weeks after Jesus Christ arose from death. Believer’s Pentecost is rooted in the Jewish faith as the day that Moses was given the Law on Mount Sinai. This day of Pentecost’s fulfillment through the Holy Spirit in Acts 2 is honored in Church seven weeks after Easter Sunday,
In those days Peter stood up among the believers (together the crowd numbered about one hundred twenty persons) and said, “Friends, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit through David foretold concerning Judas, who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus– for he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.” Acts 1:15
What deep grief the disciples experience from the fact that Judas, one of their own, betrayed Jesus into the hands of sinners. Yet Peter had listened closely as at the institution of Holy Communion Jesus had said, “satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31).
Similarly, Jesus Christ is praying for you (affirm in John 17) and gives you the charge to strengthen your brothers and sisters in Christ once you have turned back. Peter is strengthening others as he vigilantly describes Judas, who first tried to hang himself, spills his bodily fluids onto a piece of land bought with the pieces of silver given for His betrayal. Would that Judas would have turned back from denying Jesus as he remembered that there is no sin unredeemable in our souls except the total denial of Jesus’ Presence within us.
Peter is speaking before Pentecost. They will choose Matthias as disciple and after Pentecost the Holy Spirit will instead choose Paul– to widely spread Christ’s Kingdom Good News of salvation and New Birth by the Spirit of Truth. Both disciple’s ministries are blessed by Christ. Undoubtedly, Love in Jesus Christ’s shall win in your life. To keep your faith from failing turn to the Holy Spirit yielding as Spirit takes you, shakes you, makes you better than you have to be for Christ. Stay Christ’s
Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared to ask Him, “Who are you?” Because they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after He was raised from the dead. John 21:12-14
Gathered beside a charcoal fire with the wind off the sea as reminder that He will soon give the Wind of the Holy Spirit to His followers, Jesus breaks bread and then serves. Our Suffering Servant Lord Jesus Christ will feed them until they want no more food. He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” as He is true to His word. He hands each of them the cooked bread and the toasted fish and as His arms extend giving sustenance they plainly view the fresh marks of the nails which brutally pierced His Sacred flesh.
The memories of His death on the tree have not been erased. They remember well and so do we. Evil within humanity hung our Savior on the Cross. He took that evil onto Himself and vanquished it. Evil never had any power over Him then, now, and in time to come. Yet evil may have a hold on the hearts of men and women who have not yet His Power within them to overcome it. For when your faith in Him quickens, belief in Christ transforms your heart and you’ll find time and time again that the source of your strength is directly in Savior Jesus Christ’s heart as His arms extend to you.
Christ’s heart is compassion, Holy mercy, kindness, patience, pure love, and the charcoal fire of your hope each day. He never stops serving His believers as we learn more from Scriptures, rely on His Holy Spirit to guide, and commune with each other to place our hope in Him. Just as the embers of the fire will die out when moved away from the main fire, so our faith may falter. Choose your times to be with other Christians and share faith’s witness in hope. Make this a spiritual habit. Christ prepares a table before us near the charcoal fire and then He serves, giving faith.
Let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them. Psalm 5:11