HERO CENTRAL August 7-11 Vacation Bible School

June 6/ Acts 22

Hey blog readers my vacation is over and after 4400 miles and 100,000 calories I am ready to get back into the word of God. Thank you for praying for me. No problems and no weight gain! I stand in awe of the wonderful creativity of God. I saw a lot of marvelous scenery. I am refreshed. In other words I had a blast!

We left off in Act 9 where Saul gives his life to Jesus and everything changes for him. He loves Jesus instead of hating him. He begins to love the Christians that he was killing and locking up in jail. He even begins to love Gentiles > non Jews which before he gave his life to Jesus, was totally unthinkable. He was willing to suffer for Jesus instead of making others suffer because of their allegiance to Jesus. He travels many miles by foot and ship just to tell people about Jesus. He isn’t worried about his own reputation instead he spends his time defending the reputation of Jesus as the Son of God. He was no longer working for his righteousness; he was now trusting Jesus for his righteousness. What he did for Jesus was out of a grateful heart for what Jesus did for him. Jesus became the center of Paul’s life. Jesus was the force behind all that he did. Yes he truly was a changed man. Listen to what he says about himself.

Galatians 2:20 (NLT) — 20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Here are a few questions to ponder. Are you a changed person since you met Jesus? How so? Example: can you love those who you used to  hate.? Are you still changing? > maturing. If not why not? What would Jesus like to change about you but you are resisting? Will you quit resisting and yield to his will?

Paul was warned not to go to Jerusalem because he would be thrown into prison. He goes anyway. Was this the will of God for Paul? I don’t know.  But even though he is warned, off he goes. Sometimes our stubbornness can get us into trouble. Have you ever been warned about something and then gone ahead anyway and got burned?

In Jerusalem Paul is falsely accused of bringing Gentiles into the Temple. This starts a riot and people are ready to kill Paul and he has to be rescued by Roman soldiers. He wants to defend himself before the people and this is where we pick up story in Chapter 22. It took me a long time to get into the chapter didn’t it? Aren’t you glad I’m back:)

Most of this chapter is Paul telling the Jews how he gave his life to Jesus. He is telling them his story. He is being a witness. When you don’t know what to say to others tell them your story of how you gave you life to Jesus. It is your story and they really can’t argue about it. It may not influence them one way or the other. But it doesn’t matter because you can’t save people only Jesus can. He just asked us to be witnesses and he would do the rest. No pressure on us.

When I was in Missoula this past week spending time with my sister and her family I had a chance to share my story of how I gave my life to Jesus. It happened like this. My sister and her husband wanted to take me out to my favorite restaurant in Missoula called the Mustard Seed. They invited along another couple who are their best friends. As far as I know these people are not Christians. I do know that church is not a part of their lives. So as the five of us are eating our meal I started telling them my story of how I yielded my life to Jesus. I was totally relaxed because this was my story and they wanted to hear. The lady of the other couple was glued to my every word. I ended my story and not much else was said. We finished our meal and left for home. Later my sister told me that the other lady had said to her, “I wish I could sit down with your brother and pick his brain; I have so many questions.”

I believe the Lord used my story to begin something in her life. I now continue to pray for her and her husband that Jesus will get a hold of their hearts. I am also praying about what book I could send her to read.

Verse 10 > you know you have changed when you want to know what the Lord wants you to do.

Verse 14 > God wants us to know his will and hear his voice. He gave us the scriptures which is his will and his voice.

Verse 15 > Witnessing is pretty simple. Just tell what you have seen God do in your life and what you have heard him say.

Verse 16 > What are you waiting for? Find someone to tell your story.

Verse 17 > Praying is always a good thing to do. Jesus did a lot of it. Pray for someone to tell your story to.

Verse 28 > Jesus paid with his blood for our citizenship in heaven! We are citizens by birth > by being born again!

Be Inspired Hilltop!

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Mark Gundersen says:

    In this chapter Paul asks the guard whether it is right to flog a Roman citizen who has not had a formal trial. The guard bought his citizenship but Paul was born a citizen. That is an important concern for a Christian. Are you a citizen of the world or of heaven. If you are a citizen of heaven then the judgement of the world has no impact on eternity and you are awaiting the judgement of heaven.