Happy Monday! Praise God for the final Monday in November 2020 and last day of November 2020. If you struggled through this year, praise God, because He brought us this far and He never left us. Our circumstances may not be as we desire for them to be, but I believe God is going to turn it around in our favor. Last week before the Thanksgiving break, we finished reading Acts 21, which ended with Paul’s arrest and him addressing the crowd in Aramaic. Join me today as we begin our reading in Acts 22.
“Brothers and esteemed fathers,” Paul said, “listen to me as I offer my defense.” 2 When they heard him speaking in their own language,[a] the silence was even greater.
3 Then Paul said, “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, and I was brought up and educated here in Jerusalem under Gamaliel. As his student, I was carefully trained in our Jewish laws and customs. I became very zealous to honor God in everything I did, just like all of you today. 4 And I persecuted the followers of the Way, hounding some to death, arresting both men and women and throwing them in prison. 5 The high priest and the whole council of elders can testify that this is so. For I received letters from them to our Jewish brothers in Damascus, authorizing me to bring the followers of the Way from there to Jerusalem, in chains, to be punished.” – Acts 22:1-5 NLT
A Little Background
- Paul spoke Aramaic and Greek.
- Although Paul was a Roman citizen, he was brought up and educated in Jerusalem.
- Gamaliel was a member of the high council – the full assembly of the elders of Jerusalem. He was mentioned in Acts 5:34a,“34 But one member, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, who was an expert in religious law and respected by all the people,” Gamaliel was the one elder who stood against killing Peter and the Apostles in Acts chapter five.
Paul had a background/upbringing that many people in the region respected. He followed the lead of his leaders and understood the Jewish laws and customs. However, what I found interesting and heartbreaking was his zeal to persecute Christians. But, the Lord stepped in and heard the prayers of His children – on the way to Damascus the Lord turned it around in their favor, which we will read more on tomorrow.
Sisters and brothers, the Lord can and will use every detail of your life for His purpose and glory. Paul may not have known as a youth and young adult under the teaching of Gamaliel that he would eventually use those teachings to assist him in his mission to spread Christianity – the Good News.
Sisters and brothers, the Lord has been uniquely preparing you for your purpose. Do not be dismayed or discouraged by your upbringing or background, the Lord can and will use you and your life story to turn not only your situation around, but other’s situations too. He’s working it out in your favor. Trust Him.
Father God, we thank you for sending your son Jesus to save us. Lord, we would never be good enough on our own to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Lord, forgive us for any entitlement behavior we have exhibited, because apart from you the only thing we deserve is hell. Thank you for loving us unconditionally and for giving up your life for ours. Lord, we surrender every part of our lives to you…the good, the bad, the hidden, the shamed, the boastful and proud. Lord, we need you, our country needs you, our world needs you. Lord, we believe and trust You to turn everything around, to work it out in our favor, and to bring glory to Your name. Lord, help us to restore our relationship with you. Lord, help us to see and understand what truly matters to you. Lord, help us to care for those in need, pray for those who need prayer and surrender our self-directed lives to a life directed by You. Lord, take the lead as we faithfully follow after you. In Jesus name, amen.
Join us as we study lessons from the Bible through a video series authored by Priscilla Shirer. RSVP to: email@example.com and a member of our team will email you the Zoom link to join the study.
“Interruptions. They’re aggravating. Sometimes infuriating. But how we handle interruptions actually tell us more about ourselves. What do we do when God interrupts our lives? Many times, like Jonah, we run! Priscilla redefines interruption and shows that interruption is actually God’s invitation to do something beyond our wildest dreams. When Jonah was willing to allow God to interrupt his life, the result was revival in an entire city.” – Priscilla Shirer
- Location: Via Zoom (RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org for the Zoom link)
- Begins: Wednesday, November 18, 2020
- Time: 6:00 P.M. – 7:30 P.M.
- We purchased the Jonah Video Bundle for Group Use. You will need to purchase your personal Bible study book.
- Bible Study Book: Jonah Navigating Life Interrupted. 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/jonah-bible-study-book-P005264295
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Bible Reference: http://biblegateway.com
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