Week 16: April 14-20, 2013 We hope you are reaping great blessings of faith as you read about "The Acts of the Holy Spirit." Have you experienced that closer relationship to God's powerful Spirit? Are you more aware of His activity in every aspect of your daily life? Then and now, God’s people today are always in Spirit-directed action, acting out their faith in their risen Lord Jesus. May we boldly act out our faith in these post-Easter days.
Read the sameverses from Acts each day this week.
Read the question for each day before several times.
Make a few notes about your reading and reactions each day.
Finally consider some of the prayer thoughts offered.
We pray He will move you to greater faith and action.
Week 16: April 14-20
Read Acts 19:23 – 20:38 each day this week! Review Missional Moments in Acts 19:23 – 20:38 19:23 - A riot in Ephesus, because Paul’s preaching of Jesus ‘cut into’ the trade of the Ephesian silversmiths who profited from silver images of the goddess Artemis (Diana). Paul reminded them that man-made gods are not gods at all! They were concerned that they would lose money and that their famous temple would lose some of its standing. The God Paul preaches made the world!
19:28 – The anxiety caused “the whole city to be in an uproar.” Their long-standing superstition held that the image of Artemis/Diana had “fallen from heaven.” God used their anxiety to direct them to His grace in Jesus.
20:1- Paul traveled through Macedonia and Greece, and his intent to return to Syria is redirected because of a plot against his life. A number of his faithful traveling companions are named.
20:7-12 - During one of Paul’s long sermons in Troas, a young man name Eutychus fell from a third-story window and apparently died. Paul restored his life, and the people were greatly comforted – because Eutychus was alive, or because they had witnessed a resurrection?
20:6-13 – Notice the pronoun “we.” “Luke, the beloved physician,” (Colossians 4:14) wrote portions of the book of Acts as he accompanied Paul during parts of his journeys, and provides first-hand accounts of parts of their adventures. These are called the “we-sections” of Acts.
20:13-38 – In a hurry to return and report the Spirit’s amazing movements among the Gentiles, Paul sends for the Ephesian elders to meet him part way at Miletus. Here, in an emotional speech he bids them farewell: “I am going to Jerusalem . . . I consider my life worth nothing to me . . I only wish I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me . . keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.”
20:35 – The origin of an oft-quoted phrase is here attributed to Paul, as he encourages servanthood: “It is better to give than to receive.”
Questions for each day
Monday - When have you heard these words before? What "pops out" at you today? Like Paul, are you ever inclined to provide report God’s marvelous activity in your life?
Tuesday- At this time in your life, in these verses, what is God saying to you personally? Serving rather than being served.
Wednesday - In these verses, what is God saying to Mount Olive Lutheran Church? How can you help make our church even more servant-oriented?
Thursday - How do these "Missional Moments" speak directly to you this week? Note the “giving” nature of God’s early followers.
Friday - What do you think God is saying to our country and world in these verses? How are we witnesses to the fact that “God does not play favorites?”
Saturday - How could you apply these verses to the next week of your life, as lived "in Christ?"
Post Easter Prayer thoughts . . . .
Father, help me see Your presence and Your Spirit’s power, especially in difficult times. Help me to cast my cares on You.
Jesus, in today’s uncertain world continue to assure me of your presence now and until the end of time. Help me be Your servant.
Holy Spirit, enliven us today through the Word. Remind us of all of it’s truths and promises. Keep me faithful.
Heavenly Father, bless and strengthen our congregation members as we “live to love people to Christ.”