Acts 2:1-21 – Happy Pentecost!

Read Acts 2:1-21

And Happy Birthday to the Christian Church! As I publish this in 2021, it is the eve of Pentecost. The date of Pentecost moves each year because it is dependent upon it’s proximity to the Passover celebration and/or Easter, which also move around the calendar. Pentecost was a Jewish tradition long before the events of our text today. But for the Christian church, Pentecost marks the start of a movement.

The Holy Spirit came in a mighty way. Jesus had promised his followers the Holy Spirit would come. Several weeks had passed since he made that promise before Jesus ascended into the sky. I’m sure the disciples were beginning to wonder when it was going to happen. They may have even been questioning whether they were going to recognize when it happened.

Continue reading “Acts 2:1-21 – Happy Pentecost!”

Acts 28:11-31: Serve and Love

Read Acts 28:11-31

Paul has arrived in Rome, just as Jesus told him he would. The journey there was a bit rocky, but he was safe. His ministry in Rome is now underway. I am always amazed at how news traveled in those days. The phone hadn’t been invented yet, and certainly, there was no email or texting. Yet believers knew and came to welcome and encourage Paul.

Who have you welcomed or encouraged today? Continue reading “Acts 28:11-31: Serve and Love”

Acts 28:1-10 – Hand of Protection

Read Acts 28:1-10

For being a prisoner, Paul seems to get along pretty well. He doesn’t have total freedom, but I don’t get the impression he’s in shackles or chains. I loved the snake bite story. The people jumped to conclusions that justice would prevail – death for his bad deeds. But miraculously God saved him again.

This just goes to show us how God’s hand of protection was on Paul’s life to complete the purpose he had for Paul. That same hand of protection is on our life, too. This brings to mind people who are killed by accident or in a mass tragedy. You might ask if their missions were complete or if God is now moving on to plan B to make something good out of the tragedy.  Continue reading “Acts 28:1-10 – Hand of Protection”

Acts 27:27-44 – Crash Bang!

Read Acts 27:27-44

Frightening. Panic is setting in. Paul takes command again. I can’t even imagine the fear that was coursing through the veins of those on that ship. I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced fear like that. I’ve had my share of adversity but never a shipwreck. That’s when circumstances are really out of your control. The men on the ship tried to avoid the inevitable.

We often try to throw out anchors in life to keep ourselves from sinking. We grasp at straws to avoid the inevitable. Getting older. It’s inevitable. I have spent a lot of time in nursing homes this past week, and seen a lot of old people. Sad old people. Their joy seemed to have vanished. I was sad.

We need to hold on to the things that matter. Our faith, for example. No matter what happens in life, God’s love never changes. His promises are always true. We can always rely on him. That is where we get our joy. Continue reading “Acts 27:27-44 – Crash Bang!”

Acts 27:13-26 – Stormy Seas

Read Acts 27:13-16

We have all had “I told you so”  moments in our lives. I’m sure one, in particular, sped through your mind as you read today’s reading. I know one did for me. However, Paul’s message was not to condemn but to comfort. Again, Paul’s integrity and leadership shine through the darkness of the moment.

When we are going through the storms of life, it is sometimes hard to focus on anything good. When we are lost in the moment of despair, there is nothing anyone can say that is going to lift us up. I wonder how it was for Paul’s shipmates. They had been frantically doing things to keep themselves safe–as if they had control.  Continue reading “Acts 27:13-26 – Stormy Seas”