Good morning! Some days we have the best laid plans. From the time we wake up we know what we will wear and what we are going to do. However, those plans don’t always work out as we planned. Sometimes we see better plans unfold before us and other times we are picking up pieces – trusting God has a better plan in mind. Join me this week as we continue to read Acts chapter 11 and understand God’s greater plan.
“19 Meanwhile, the believers who had been scattered during the persecution after Stephen’s death traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch of Syria. They preached the word of God, but only to Jews. 20 However, some of the believers who went to Antioch from Cyprus and Cyrene began preaching to the Gentiles[f] about the Lord Jesus. 21 The power of the Lord was with them, and a large number of these Gentiles believed and turned to the Lord.” – Acts 11:19-21 NLT
A Little History
Stephen was mentioned in Acts chapter six, verse five, “Stephen (a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit),” and he was murdered for sharing the Good News of Jesus in Acts chapter seven. After Stephen’s death, persecution against the church forced many believers to scatter and as a result the message of the gospel spread to Gentile lands (Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch).
The city of Antioch in Rome was the third largest city. It was known as a large Jewish community, a vile city with gross immorality and ritual prostitution as part of its temple worship. But look at God, the Good News of Jesus was being spread to the region moving Gentiles (non-Jews) to believe.
The word of God was being scattered across the regions. Jews and Gentiles were hearing the Good News, a large number of Gentiles turned to God.
Sisters and brothers, many things will come up against the body of believers, but in the midst of confusion and persecution lets not forget to keep pressing on and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with others. No one was prepared for all the things that God was about to do or how He was going to use one death to scatter the message throughout the regions/world. However, God prepared the way. He sent His Son Jesus Christ so that we would all be saved.
God’s plans are greater than our own. While our world is influx with so much division, let us remain true to the things God has command of us starting with:
- John 15:12 “This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.”
- Matthew 28:19-20 “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,[b] baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.””
Lord Jesus, thank you for conquering sin and death at the cross, and for making a way for us to have our sins forgiven and to be reconciled to God. Lord, you are all mighty and are greater than anything we face. Lord, today we ask that you calm our anxiety, remove all doubt and fear from our hearts and minds, and pour out your spirit of peace within us. Lord, we are facing new challenges at work, school, in our homes and communities. Lord, Coronavirus is still active and the leaders that have been put in place are extremely divided – they are not always seeking Your will for Your people. Lord, we humbly come before you and ask that You break the chains of depression, anxiety and stress. Lord, breathe peace into our hearts and minds. Remind us of Your presence and help us to trust Your greater plan. Lord, heal our nation and align our will and the will of those in leadership to Your will. Help us to seek You and remain focused on Your plans for our lives. We trust that You are with us. In Jesus name, we pray – Amen!
JOIN US ON A BIBLE STUDY JOURNEY AS WE EXPLORE “GIDEON: YOUR WEAKNESS, GOD’S STRENGTH.” By Priscilla Shirer.
- Location: Via Zoom (RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org for the Zoom link)
- Begins: Wednesday, August 19, 2020
- 8 Week Session: August 19 – October 7, 2020
- Time: 6:00 P.M. – 7:30 P.M.
- We purchased the Gideon Video Bundle for Group Use. You will need to purchase your personal Bible study book.
- Bible Study Book: Gideon: Your weakness, God’s Strength. The author of the book is Priscilla Shirer.
Note: If you purchase your book online through LifeWay, you can subscribe to their website and get a 20% discount on your purchase. Here’s the link to the Bible study book via LifeWay: https://www.lifeway.com/en/product/gideon-bible-study-book-P005538485
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