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October 18 + Daily readings & notes

DAY 291 DAILY READINGSActs 25-26 & Psalm 131 DAILY NOTES Acts 25 The new governor, Felix, hears Paul.  It is the same cycle of accusations from the Jewish religious leaders to Paul's defense.Favors!  The Jewish religious leaders ask a favor (and will owe one).  Felix wishes to grant the favor to them.  But there is no basis for their claims; Felix is unable to convict Paul.  Remember when Jesus went back and forth between rulers? Acts 26 Paul is now before the Roman Emperor, Agrippa.  Notice Paul's telling of his conversion.  We haven't heard the words about goads before.  This is an illustration, perhaps, to a sort of cattle prod. Does this mean God had been prodding Paul for a while before his conversion?Verse 18 demonstrates the nature of Paul's mission.  Felix still tries to influence, for the sake of his favor, Paul's outcome.An apostle can't help him/herself!  Paul asks the emperor if he believes.  Paul is finally determined to be innocent. OTHER OBSER…
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October 17 + Daily readings & notes

DAY 290 DAILY READINGSActs 23-24 & Psalm 130 DAILY NOTES Acts 23 Paul addresses the Council as "brothers."  Is this a part of his argument?  Is he speaking boldly?Paul's clear conscience is note worthy because here it upsets the high priest; he has Paul stricken on the mouth.  In the next chapter, as part of his defense before Felix, he mentions it again.The whitewash tomb's reminds us of what Jesus said in Matthew 23:27.Paul's charge against them seems accurate since they begin fighting about what they're fighting about Paul (Verse 9)--even though it seems to be part of Paul's plan.The tribune is probably worried what would happen to him if something happens to Paul.  Paul's nephew, obviously, cares for Paul's life.  Both of them become agents of God as they protect Paul from the council and the 40 who were ready to kill him.Paul wasn't being sent to a safe place, necessarily.  Felix was known for his cruelty.  We also read about his gree…

October 16 + Daily readings & notes

DAY 289 DAILY READINGSActs 21-22 & Psalm 129 DAILY NOTES Acts 21 Just like Jesus' travel to Jerusalem was an important theme, we see Paul's journey there was significant, too.None of his companions wanted him to go.  None of the other disciples wanted him to go.  Even those in Jerusalem, seemingly, thought it was a mistake to be there.  Paul understood their concern.  He was committed to doing what he felt God called him to do.Paul goes through a public ceremonial cleansing to show that he was not against the law.  But the people do not accept that.  He is accused of even bring a Gentile into the temple; that was not allowed, punishable by death (the Gentile).  His arrest didn't just mean being sent to prison.  They tried to kill him.Paul is allowed to give a defense to the people. Acts 22 Paul gives a recount of his ministry.  It is Paul's Roman citizenship that saves him.   OTHER OBSERVATIONS No matter how far into ministry you are, the most faithful prayer to off…

And they praised God

The passage that this song is based upon is in Galatians. But, in today's reading, I thought of it as I read that "God did extraordinary miracles through Paul..." (19:11). I hope the song inspires you today.



Stay blessed...john

October 15 + Daily readings & notes

DAY 288 DAILY READINGSActs 19-20 & Psalm 128 DAILY NOTES Acts 19 Paul continues to teach.  The topic of being baptized "into John's baptism" vs being baptized with the Holy Spirit is important for Paul (Luke?).The Way of Christ begins having a financial impact on some people, particularly those who make idols.  The riot that results in Ephesus seems strange. Most people don't know why they're gathering and yelling.  Still, there was a real threat to Paul's companions and to Paul himself, even though he was prevented from going into the crowd.God used the town clerk's adherence to the rules of the city to further advance the mission of the apostles. Acts 20 We get a glimpse into Paul's feelings about what he endures.  Verse 19 says that he has served the Lord, "with all humility and tears, enduring the trials that came to me..."  The tears remind us this was a real person who struggled through the pain and sorrow of his ministry.Paul's…

October 12 + Daily readings & notes

DAY 285 Find out how the second half of the the book of Acts is outlined in today's Bible Project video.
DAILY READINGSActs 13-14 & Psalm 125 DAILY NOTES Acts 13 I've heard many people talk about Saul's name change to Paul and that it fits a common practice after experiencing a calling from God.  However, we don't get that in Acts.  Jesus, when he appears to Saul, addresses him as Saul.  In Chapter 13 Luke says Saul was "also known as Paul."  Saul (Paul) and Barnabas are commissioned by the church to spread the good news of Christ.The message is the same that we have heard so far.You can hear Paul's turn in Verse 46: Since you (unbelieving Jews) reject it (message of Christ) and judge yourselves to be unworthy of eternal life, we are now turning to the Gentiles. Acts 14 Reaching the Gentiles has its own issues.  As Paul and Barnabas heal a man, the people respond by worshiping them. Not only did the two spread the message, they "made many disciple…

October 11 + Daily readings & notes

DAY 284 DAILY READINGSActs 11-12 & Psalm 124 DAILY NOTES Acts 11 Everyone has to report to someone else!  Peter's report to the council begins with their criticism of his inclusion of Gentiles.  Peter tells them his dream and boldly asks, "who was I that I could hinder God?"Luke reminds us that the believers were scattered after Stephen's death.  Barnabas and Saul find themselves in Antioch.  It is there, we're told, that the term "Christians" is first used.  The term might mean something like Jesus-ites, Jesus People or Christ-ones.Was it a negative name?  Remember how Methodist used to be a way to ridicule Wesley and others? Acts 12 Luke's parenthetical observation that Peter's arrest happened during the festival of Unleavened Bread reminds us of what happened to Jesus.Peter believes he is seeing another vision.  I wonder how he would have interpreted it.Peter's first thought after being freed from prison is to visit the church.  Joseph…