July 14

Acts 18

Paul continues his second missionary journey by traveling to Corinth. He meets Aquila and Priscilla, tentmakers. Aquila is a Jew that had recently relocated because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome in AD 49. It was a tumultuous time for the Jews underneath Roman rule.

Paul also was known to make tents to help support himself as he traveled and ministered. He was not opposed to a minister being provided for through offerings, which he mentions in his letters. How many would agree that Paul’s time would be better spent in ministry than making a tent? However, many ministers have done whatever they had to do in order to meet their needs and still fulfill their calling. Let’s make sure we are doing our part to tithe to our local church and give offerings to our church and other ministers as the Lord leads.

After Silas and Timothy arrived, the Holy Spirit motivated Paul to share that Jesus was the Christ. The Spirit “compelled” Paul. The Holy Spirit has a way of moving in and through us with what some call an “unction.” It’s an anointing that comes upon a person that constrains the person to go into action. It’s more than a human “want to;” it’s a deep compelling desire and strength to move, to act.

The Jews there opposed Paul, despising that anointing and message from God, so Paul says, “From now on I will go to the Gentiles,” meaning in Corinth. We know Paul does continue to reach out to Jews in other places. However, Crispus, a ruler of the synagogue believed, and many heard, believed, and were baptized. Leaders are influential. God targets them and so does Satan. Those leaders can be celebrities, politicians, business heads, pastors, etc. Let’s be sure to pray for our leaders, help them with the work load, help with financial responsibilities, support the vision, support their family, and more. I believe leaders and teachers will give account to the Lord for how they care for those under their authority, and more is required of them; however, I believe God will also hold people accountable for their obedience or disobedience to gather together and support one another, to tithe and give, and to serve.

After encountering opposition, the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, telling him not to fear and withdrawal from his message, but to speak up. God said, “for I have many people in this city.” Who had people? God had people. Paul stayed there 18 months, teaching the Word.

The Jews were violent. The opposition beats Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, trying to force and punish him for allowing Christianity to grow in their city. Paul continued in Corinth, teaching people God’s Word.

Paul then moves onto Ephesus, and Aquila and Priscilla go with him. He went into the synagogue to reason with the Jews. Then Paul went to the church in Caesarea, then home to Antioch.

Verse 23 begins Paul’s third missionary journey to the region of Galatia and Phrygia. In verse 24 we learn about Apollos and his ministry. We that Aquila and Priscilla were instrumental in instructing Apollos further in his faith and in the things of the Spirit. Apollos was said to have taught accurately about the things of the Lord. There are many different teachings then, as well as today, but finding an accurate teacher is finding someone who will lead others to truth and in truth, there is freedom.

Psalm 13-16

David would often start a song to express his feelings because of his troubles or the sin in the world, but by the end of the psalm he was declaring God’s praise. We can see this illustrated in our reading today.

In chapter 16, under the title it says, “A Michtam of David.” There are six michtams (16, 56-60), seeming to refer to deliverance from death. When David wrote Psalm 16, he may have been experiencing thoughts of his own concerns about dying, looking to God for salvation; however, this psalm is also about Jesus’ death and resurrection. God would sometimes call prophets to experience a touch of what He was communicating about Himself or His plan for His people, such as Hosea, a prophet instructed to marry a prostitute, used to prophesy God’s heart for adulterous Israel.

Psalm 16 is a prophecy Peter quotes from and refers to in Acts 2:25-31, speaking of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. Not only was Jesus raised from the dead, but Jesus’ spirit went to Sheol, or Hades. Jesus was separated from God in spirit when He “became sin” on the cross. Jesus was not only raised from the dead, but He was also born again (see my article “Did Jesus Die Spiritually?” under Bible Answers on growchurches.com).

In verse 2, it says, “You are my Lord, my goodness is nothing apart from You.” Anything that is good comes from the Lord. Because of the sin separation, we were distanced from God and what is good. Evil filled hearts and the world. Being separated from God is being separated from life and goodness. God chose to show His goodness to Israel, which also showed them how they fell short of it.

Since Jesus, sin was removed so that we can be the righteousness of God through Him. We can have right standing with God because Jesus paid the price and removed the penalty of death. Our hearts can be recreated and we can be with the Lord when we die, when our spirit leaves these bodies.

The last verse of this psalm says, “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” In context, we see that being saved, or made whole, results in joy. The Hebrew word for fullness describes a satisfaction. It means that there has been plenty; it’s sufficient and it satiates. It describes an abundant supply, filled or supplied with excess. Because of what He did, we can have JOY that overflows from the salvation we receive.

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July 23

Acts 23:12-35 Have you ever had a Christian brother or sister to discourage you from doing what you knew God was telling you to do? Paul did, and he chose to obey God. Has God...
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July 22

Acts 23:1-11 The commander that arrested Paul doesn’t understand what Paul has done wrong. He doesn’t want to interrogate a fellow Roman, so he decides to release Paul to the Sanhedrin. The commander does not...
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July 21

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