July 4

Acts 12

At the time Gentiles began to embrace salvation through Christ, King Herod Agrippa (AD 37-44), grandson of Herod the Great, began to harass Christians. Herod martyred James, John’s brother. He was the first of the twelve to be martyred.

The traditional Jews were pleased that King Herod killed James, so the king captured Peter and imprisoned him. It was during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and Passover was soon to follow.

CONSTANT PRAYER was made by the church. An angel freed Peter from prison and walked him out. Peter didn’t know if he was having a vision or if the experience was real. Some visions can seem like reality. In verse 11, it says that Peter “came to himself.” When under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, our natural senses are sometimes altered. When the supernatural invades the natural, something is likely to manifest. It can take a bit of time for that power to lift where we are fully functional in the natural again.

Peter goes to Mary’s house, the mother of John Mark. A young girl goes to answer the door, hears Peter’s voice, and runs to tell everyone. They don’t believe her. Even though they had been praying nonstop, the idea of Peter freed from prison doesn’t even seem to be a point of consideration.

Then they say it must have been his angel, so we know that angels are assigned to us. Peter, an escaped convict if you will, if you can imagine, kept pounding on the door. They were astonished to open up the door and see Peter. He motions to them to keep the noise down because he is a wanted man.

Peter instructs them to tell James, Jesus’ brother. James was the leader of the church in Jerusalem and the author of the New Testament book of James.

God noticed Herod; He notices all of us. As a feared king, the people call out that this man is a god. Herod does not give glory to God, but takes it for himself. A messenger of God strikes the man so that worms eat him from the inside out, then he dies.

God’s word, the message of salvation, continues to spread quickly. Many believe and make Jesus the Lord of their lives. The early church is growing beyond borders! God is able to use any of us to spread the message of salvation. There are no limits to how God will use the man or woman who surrender all to Him.

Job 29-30

Job continues his final response to his friends, defending himself against their accusations. Confrontational conversations are not comfortable, but sometimes they are worth it. When you love someone, you hope to gain and share understanding. We don’t always see eye to eye with differing viewpoints; however, if you save the relationship, you’ve won much more than a debate. Today in a world of social media, people seem to find in easier to withdrawal from relationships and build walls of separation instead of having the hard face-to-face conversations that work to resolve conflict and find solution. People should be worth the effort, and communication is a skill worth developing.

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