SMART IDEA: We read in v7 that because the proconsul was an intelligent man, he wanted to hear the word of God. There is a perception in our day and age that having faith in Jesus is a sign of intellectual weakness, and that the more educated people become the less likely they will be to accept outdated belief systems like Christianity. This is a lie. Some of history's smartest people have been solid Christians. Remember, The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction (Proverbs 1:7).
WHAT WAS HIS NAME AGAIN? Is it Saul or Paul? Yes. Actually, it's both. Many people in this time had both a Jewish name & a Roman name, and such is the case for Saul/Paul (just as Bar-jesus and Elymas (v6 & 8) are the same man). Many people think that his name was changed upon his conversion, but that's not the case. It is simply because he is the apostle to the gentiles that he begins using the Roman version of his name. But from this point forward Luke calls him Paul, so we will too.
THESE GUYS DID WHAT YOU'RE DOING: These guys read scripture (v15). They gathered together each Sabbath day for worship (v14 & v44). Isn't it amazing that in v44 "the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord?" We need to be praying for this to happen in Worthington!
BUT THE POPULARITY DIDN'T LAST: Every preacher wants to have the fullest church in town, but a full church is not always a faithful church. Just like the crowds following Jesus in Mark's gospel soon faded away, Paul & Barnabas' message rubbed the wrong people the wrong way and they were thrown out of town. The amount of people in the pews each Sunday is not necessarily the measure of a church's success, rather a church ought to be measured by how faithfully it proclaims God's Word.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: The God who has power over death (v34) and who forgives sins through Jesus (v38).
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that God would be the foundation of your knowledge & wisdom.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: Ask to be filled with joy and the Holy Spirit (v52) as these disciples were.
Worthington CRC members are preparing to celebrate communion this coming Sunday.
MONDAY: Examine your faith. Are you fully trusting in Christ for your salvation? By this faith we take to ourselves Christ and all his benefits, so that for us to live is Christ.
TUESDAY: Examine your hope. God's children rely wholly upon the merits of Christ, find in him their strength and victory, and confidently expect his return in glory.
WEDNESDAY: Examine your love, both for God and your neighbors. Consciously determine to live a life of loving service to him, through Christ our Lord.
THURSDAY: If these marks of spiritual life are not evident in us, we may not presume to approach his table. Yet we should not be deterred by any sin lingering within against our will. As we find faith, hope, and love within us, we ought gladly to obey our Lord's command and come with full expectation to God's open house of mercy.
FRIDAY: Pray - Gracious God, we love and adore you in Christ our Lord. We thank you for reconciling us to yourself in him. We rejoice in being received as your children.Prepare us by your Holy Spirit for the sacrament. Help us to come in the assurance that by it we shall be spiritually revived, and strengthened in faith, hope, and love, through Christ our Lord. Amen.