Acts 8:9-25 (AD 31) This looked like it was shaping up to be a great conversion story. Then it wasn’t. And we don’t even know how it ended. By avoiding a neat narrative, God emphasised that the lessons are elsewhere. For example: No-one is so far gone that God can’t reach them (v.13) People who … More Day 156: Holy Spirit as Marketing Tool
Acts 7:54-8:8 (AD 31) In his big sermon (chapter 7), Stephen told hard truths to an unfriendly audience. Truths that he knew – barring a miracle – they would not accept. Truths that he further knew would enrage them. There had not yet been a Christian martyr, so most likely he wasn’t expecting that their … More Day 155: Where is home?
Acts 7:37-53 (AD 31) Stephen gave it to the Sanhedrin as bluntly as Peter had given it to the general population of Jerusalem. Stephen was not even one of the apostles – he was ‘merely’ a newly-minted deacon But he was given boldness and wisdom from God to deliver these stinging rebukes to any notions … More Day 154: You murdered God
Acts 6:8-7:38 (AD 31) A short devotional today, because it’s a long reading and getting that done is, of course, the priority. Two things for us to focus on: 1. Hate-filled opposition is inevitable. We don’t want it, we don’t court it, and we certainly shouldn’t deliberately provoke it. But as if the example of … More Day 153: Of Hate & History
Acts 1:12-26 (spring, AD 30) “Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem…they went upstairs to the room where they were [all] staying…They all joined constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers” (1:12-14) So much was going on for the disciples (now termed ‘apostles’ as Jesus was … More Day 142: Constantly in Prayer
Matthew 28:16-20; Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:1-11 (AD 30: during the 40 days after resurrection) After his resurrection, Jesus was on earth for forty days before he returned to heaven. He made a number of appearances, including the following, more or less in chronological order (we don’t know when all of them were): Mary Magdalene Peter … More Day 141: The things that Jesus began to do
John 21:1-25 (spring AD 30: during the 40 days after resurrection) Peter denied – three times – that he was a friend of Jesus. The third time he was asked, Peter got agitated and swore angrily. Jesus asked Peter – three times – whether Peter loved him. The third time he was asked, Peter got … More Day 140: Like a dog greeting its owner
John 20:29-31 (spring AD 30, a week after the resurrection) “Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his … More Day 139: The reason for the Bible
Matthew 28:9-15 (spring AD 30, Sunday morning of Passion Week) It is truly astonishing that a bald-faced lie – debunked immediately – would still be so popular, but you still hear it: “The disciples must have stolen the body”. Never mind that they didn’t have any weapons, but the 10-20 guards were fully armed. Never … More Day 135: An awkward reality
John 20:1-18 (spring AD 30, Sunday morning of Passion Week) Jesus is alive! No seriously, he really is! This passage, other than containing the best news in history, also continues to provide evidence for that great news, despite so many people trying to debunk it. We looked at three alternatives to the reality of Jesus’ … More Day 134: JESUS IS ALIVE!