“Jesus, A Miracle Worker”/The Choosing of the Seven

A Christ Filled Life – Getting To Know Jesus

<p>”The Choosing of the Seven”, Acts 6:1) And in those days, when the number of the Disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. Acts 9:29; Acts 4;35. 2) Then the twelve called the multitude of the Disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the Word of God, and serve tables. 2Timothy 2:4. 3) Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. 4) But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the Word. Acts 2;42. 5) And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: Acts 9:31. 6) Whom they set before the Apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. 1Timothy 4:14; 2Timothy 1:5; Hebrews 6:2. 7) And the Word of God increased; and the number of the Disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith. Colossians 1:6; John 12:42. 8) And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. 9) Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines; and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. 10) And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spake. Isaiah 54:17. 11) Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God. 12) And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council, 13) And they set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this Holy place, and the law: 14) For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs (rites) which Moses delivered us. Daniel 9:26. 15) And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel. Revelations 10:1.

Nelson’s Compact Bible Commentary – v1, The Grecians (Hellenists) were those of Jewish descent who grew up outside the land of Israel. They spoke Greek and used the Greek Translation of the Hebrew Old Testament, the Septuagint (2:5). The Hebrews were Palestinian Jews who spoke Aramaic and used the Hebrew Old Testament. There may have been animosity between the groups, even among the new believers, which gave rise to distrust and tension over the care of the widows who were neglected. In Jewish law, a woman did not receive an inheritance. She was dependent on her husband or another relative. v2, should leave the Word of God: the issue here was not blame, but rather what could be done to remedy the problem. The Apostles were careful to recognize that they could not leave what God had called them to do–declaring and teaching the Word of God and establishing the Church in prayer. serve tables: The work of administration and distributing care to those in need would have been carried out over tables and thus was a ministry of service rather than a ministry of speaking. v3, seek out: The leaders of the Church included the congregation in the search process. The local council in Jewish communities usually consisted of seven men, known as the “seven of the town”. The men who would be chosen would be known among the people for their good reputation, because they were full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom. They knew the will of God and understood how to carry it out. v4, prayer and… word: Note the order here, prayer was primary for the Apostles (2:42). v5, they chose Stephen…..Nicolas: all these names are Greek. The selection of the Helenists no doubt was a wise and gracious gesture to the people who had raised the complaint about the widows (v1). v6, The laying on of hands was not for these men to receive the Holy Spirit, because the seven men were already “full of the Holy Spirit” (vv3, 5). Instead the Apostles were conferring on these men the responsibility of carrying the ministry. v7, The Word of God spread: Many people became Disciples in submission to Christ’s Lordship. Through people sharing with those who had yet to hear the Good News, the Church experienced dramatic growth. a great many of the priests: most priests were not of the high priestly families. They had ordinary vocations that permitted them to serve their turn in the Temple periodically. These were humble, devoted men of God who recognized Jesus as the Christ. v8, Stephen was full of wisdom (v3), full of the Holy Spirit (v5), and full of faith and power. He had the gifts, the boldness and the brilliance to be a powerful witness for Christ. v9, the Synagogue of the Freedmen (or men): A synagogue was a local place of worship, a community center for worship and studying the Scriptures. The one referred to in this verse was for Hellenistic Jews from outside Jerusalem. v12-15, The antagonists stirred up the Jewish people by convincing them that the essence of the Jewish faith–the Temple, the law, Moses and even God–was under attack by Stephen.

Quest Study Bible – v15, What does an angel’s face look like? Angels are messengers from God. The Bible frequently describes those who come from God’s presence as having shining faces. Stephen brought a message from God when he told the council about Jesus. Luke wrote: the one accused of changing the customs of Moses had a face that shined like Moses’ (Exodus 34:29). More to come and God Bless You.     

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“Jesus, A Miracle Worker”/Intercessory Prayer for Our Youth and the World

A Christ Filled Life – Getting To Know Jesus

Wonderful Sunday Service today.  The Pastor talked about believing in God and the reasons for believing in Him. 

Many thanks to all who read this Blog.  God’s Word, lifts me up and give me strength when I’m feeling that I am a failure because I have not achieved the material possessions that the world says I should have and that I never had the great love of my life or done anything important enough to be famous or attained a powerful position.  For our Enemy is busy telling me I will never be good enough.  And I worry about the young men and women who are killing themselves because of the disappointments of this life.  Only by the Grace of God have I been able to survive the temptations of this world and if I may say, I would tell them to STOP! WAIT! Be Patient!  Your whole life is ahead of you and if you don’t know what to do, don’t do anything!  And if I could go further I would say listen to your heart and if you Believe in God, ask HIM to help you and WAIT ON HIM and if you don’t know or Believe in God, WAIT anyway, because HE is REAL.  Listen, all of us for HIS STILL Small Voice to tell us what to do and WAIT for the HOLY SPIRIT to COMFORT us, because WE ARE NOT ALONE. “For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. ” John 3:16, 17.

   We can’t depend on the world, we must pray and ask God to forgive us of our sins (repent) and turn from the world.  Verse, 2Chronicles 7:14) “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from Heaven, and will heal their land (and their lives)”.  And Acts 10:43) “To Him give all the prophets witness, that through His Name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission (forgiveness) of sins.”  Life is full of disappoints but God through His Son Jesus Christ is FAITHFUL to see us through.  And Lamentations 3:21) “This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.  22) It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.  23) They are new every morning; great is THY FAITHFULNESS.  24) The Lord is my portion (inheritance, wealth), saith my soul; therefore will I HOPE in Him.  25) The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him.”  Amen.

This is good for me and I hope it is good for you.  Intercessory Prayer, to pray for another, is needed for the whole world; every man, woman, boy and girl.  Please let’s pray for each other as we pray for ourselves and our families. Philippians 4:6-7) Be careful (anxious)for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication (request) with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Proverbs 16:3; Matthew 6:25. v7, And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Numbers 6:26. Amen. 

I hope that there are others out there that believe as I do and will help in getting the message out there to our youth and young adults and to the whole world, that they have a Saviour.  

Listening to Rance Allen’s, “I’m Gonna Make It After All”.   Why, because the Lord is on OUR side.  Praise God!

More to come and God Bless You!

 

 

“Jesus, A Miracle Worker”/The Apostles Persecuted

A Christ Filled Life – Getting To Know Jesus

“The Apostles Persecuted”, Acts 5:17) Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees, who denied the doctrine (teaching) of the Resurrection) and were filled with indignation (or envy),  18) And laid their hands on the Apostles, and put them in the common prison.  Luke 21:12.  19) But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth and said,  20) Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.  Hebrews 1:14.  21) And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught.  But the high priest came, and they that were with him and called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.  Acts 4:5, 6.  22) But when the officers came, and found them not in the prison, they returned, and told, 23) Saying, The prison truly found we shut with all safety, and the keepers standing without before the doors:  but when we had opened, we found no man within.  24) Now when the high priest and the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these things, they doubted of them whereunto this would grow.  25) Then came one and told them, saying Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people.  26) Then went the captain with the officers, and bought them without violence:  for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned.  27) And when they had brought them, they set them before the council:  and the high priest asked them, 28) Saying, Did not we straightly command you that ye should not teach in this Name?  and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s Blood upon us.  29) Then Peter and the other Apostles answered and said, We out to obey God rather than men.  Galatians 1:10.  30) The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.  Galatians 3:13.  31) Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.  Revelations 1:5; Ephesians 1:7.  32) And we are His witnesses of these things, and so is also the Holy Ghost ( or Holy Spirit), whom God hath given to them that obey Him.  33) When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them.  34) Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee (whose main purpose was to preserve tradition), named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the Apostles forth a little space;  35) And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men.  36) For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves:  who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed (or believed) him, were scattered, and brought to nought.  37) After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him:  he also perished and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed.  38) And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone:  for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:  Proverbs 21:30; Matthew 15:13.  39) But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.  Genesis 24:5; 1Corinthians 1:25; Revelations 17:14.  40) And to him they agreed:  and when they had called the Apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.  Matthew 10:17; Mark 13:9.  41) And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.  Romans 5:3; Philippians 1:29; Hebrews 10:34.  42) And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary – v17-25, There is no prison so dark, so strong, but God can visit His people in it, and, if He pleases, fetch them out.  Recoveries from sickness, releases out of trouble, are granted, not that we may enjoy the comforts of life, but that God may be honoured with the services of our life.  It is not for the preachers of Christ’s Gospel (good news) to retire into corners, as long as they can have any opportunity of preaching in the great congregation.  They must preach to the lowest, whose souls are as precious to Christ as the souls of the greatest.  Speak as those who resolve to stand to it, to live and die by it.  Speak all the words of this Heavenly Divine Life, in comparison with which the present earthly life does not deserve the name.  These are the Words of life, which the Holy Ghost puts into your mouth, the Words of the Gospel, whereby, we may be saved.  How wretched are those who are vexed at the success of the Gospel!  They see that the Word and power of the Lord are against them, and they tremble in fear of the consequences, yet they will go on anyway.  v26-33, Many will do an evil thing with daring, yet cannot bear to hear of it afterward, or to have it charged upon them.  We cannot expect to be redeemed and healed by Christ, unless we give up ourselves to be ruled by Him.  Faith takes the Saviour in all His offices (Lord, Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, High Priest, Redeemer, etc.) , who came, not to save us in our sins, but to save us from our sins.  Had Christ been exalted to give dominion to Israel, the chief priests would have welcomed Him.  But repentance and remission of sins are blessings they neither valued nor saw their need of; therefore they would by no means admit His Doctrine (Teaching).  None are freed from the guilt and punishment of sin, but those who are freed from the power and dominion of sin; who are tuned from it and turned against it.  Christ gives repentance, by His Spirit working with the Word, to awaken the conscience, to work sorrow for sin, and an effectual change in the heart and life.  The giving of the Holy Ghost, is plain evidence that it is the will of God that Christ should be obeyed.  v34-42, Common sense tells us to be cautious, while experience and observation show that the success of frauds in matters of religion has been very short.  If we suffer ill for doing well, provided we suffer it well, and as we should, we ought to rejoice in that Grace (the kindness of God) which enabled us to do so.  The Apostles did not preach about themselves, but Christ.  This was the preaching that most offended the priests.  But it ought to be the constant business of Gospel ministers to preach Christ.  Christ, and Him Crucified; Christ, and Him Glorified (Beautified, Honored); nothing beside this, except what has reference to it.  And whatever is our station or rank in life, we should seek to make Him known, and to glorify His Name.  Amen. 

More to come and God Bless You.

“Jesus, A Miracle Worker”/The Apostles Heal Many

A Christ Filled Life – Getting To Know Jesus

“The Apostles Heal Many”, Acts 5:12) And by the hands of the Apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch. 13) And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them. 14) And Believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.) 15) Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. 16) There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.

Quest Study Bible – How could a shadow heal people? v15, God used many means to heal hurting people. The passing shadow of an Apostle was just one. God works in different ways at different times. When
people respond in faith to God’s work, He can respond in various ways to their needs. We may not see God healing through shadows, but we can see Him at work in other ways; a doctor’s kindness, a supportive friend, a charitable agency, a supernatural answer to prayer and so on.

Matthew Henry Concise Commentary – v12-16, The separation of hypocrites by distinguishing judgments, should make the sincere cleave closer to each other and to the Gospel Ministry. Whatever takes care of the purity and reputation of the Church, promotes its enlargement; but that power alone which works such miracles by the Apostles, can rescue sinners, and add Believers to His worshippers. Christ will work through all His faithful servants, and every one who applies to Him shall be healed. Amen.

I have often wondered why there aren’t more “Healers” in the world. You know, when someone from the Church tells you there is a “Healing Evangelist” at a particular Church or place and you gather family and friends to go that you might be blessed by this person. And then I remember that I can go straight to “The Healer” or “The Doctor” in prayer myself and be healed if I will only believe and have faith. In Old Testament times, Exodus 15:16 If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in His sight, and wilt give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee. Isaiah 53:5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. In New Testament times, Matthew 9:22 But Jesus turned Him about, and when He saw her, He said, Daughter be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour. (The woman with the issue of blood). Luke 17:19. Matthew 14:36 And besought Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment: and as many as touched Him were made perfectly whole. (Jesus and the people at Gennesaret after He had walked on water). James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth (benefits) much.
And Today, there are those that have “Spiritual Gifts” and the “gift of healing” is one of them. 1Corinthians 12:9 To another faith by the same Spirit, to another the gift of healing by the same Spirit.
And there are more scriptures encouraging us to believe that our Lord Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Hebrews 13:8. Amen

More to come and God Bless You.

“Jesus, A Miracle Worker”/Ananias and Sapphira

A Christ Filled Life – Getting To Know Jesus

“Speak Lord”, The Clark Sisters – Speak Holy Ghost, speak to my soul.  Speak Lord speak, speak Lord speak, to my soul.

Ananias and Sapphira”, Acts 5:1) But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, 2) And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought  a certain part, and laid it at the Apostles’ feet.  3) But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie (or deceive) to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?   4) Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.  5) And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost:  and great fear came on all them that heard these things.  Numbers 14:37.  6) And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.  John 19:40.  7) And it was about the space  of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.  8) And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much?  And she said, yea, for so much.  9) Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.  Psalms 95:9; Hebrews 3:8, 9.  10) Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost:  and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.  11) And great fear came upon all the Church, and upon as many as heard these things. 

Quest Study Bible – v5, 10, Why did Ananias and Sapphira deserve death for one lie?  If all who lied were struck down as Ananias and Sapphira were, who would be left?  Perhaps this happened because their situation was unique.  The young Church was extremely vulnerable,  Unchecked hypocrisy and deception – always destructive in a Church – could have undermined the community of the Believer’s.  God’s swift, severe judgment helped all to maintain a healthy respect for the truth and for God’s Power in the Church (v11). 

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary – The sin of Ananias and Sapphira was, that they were ambitious of being thought eminent (distinguished) Disciples, when they were not true Disciples.  They were covetous of the wealth of the world, and distrustful of God and His Providence, divine care and guidance.  They thought to deceive the Apostles.  The Spirit of God in Peter discerned the principle of unbelief reigning in the heart of Ananias.  They crime of Ananias was not his retaining part of the price of the land; he might have kept it all, had he pleased; but his endeavoring to impose upon the Apostles with an awful lie, from a vain desire to make a vain show, joined with covetousness.  How sad to see those relations who should quicken one another to that which is good, hardening one another in that which is evil!  And this punishment was in reality mercy to vast numbers.  It would cause strict self examination, prayer and dread of hypocrisy.  Let us learn hence how hateful falsehood is to the God of Truth.   Amen.  

More to come and God Bless You. 

    

“Jesus, A Miracle Worker”/The Believers Share Their Possessions

A Christ Filled Life – Getting To Know Jesus

 Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, what a wonder you are.  Oh Jesus, what a wonder you are.  Beautiful Rose of Sharon, what a wonder you are.   Lion of the tribe of Judah, what a wonder you are.  Oh Jesus, what a wonder you are.  You can do anything but fail.  You’re a doctor in the sick room and a lawyer in the courtroom.  Oh Jesus,  what a wonder you are.  Oh, Oh, what a wonder you are.   “Jesus, What A Wonder You Are”, Juanita Bynum. 

“The Believers Share Their Possessions”, Acts 4:32) And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul:  neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.  33) And with great power gave the Apostles witness of the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus:  and great Grace (God’s Blessing) was upon them all.  Mark 16:20; 1Thessalonians 1:5; Hebrews 2:4.  34) Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, 1John 3:17.  35) And laid them down at the Apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.  Acts 6:1.  36) And Joses, who by the Apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,  37) having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the Apostles’ feet.  1Timothy 6:19.

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary – The Disciples loved one another.  This was the blessed fruit of Christ’s dying precept (commandment) to His Disciples, and His dying prayer for them.  Thus it was then, and it will be so again, when the Spirit shall be poured upon us from on high.  The Doctrine preached was the Resurrection of Christ; a matter of fact, which being duly explained, was a summary of all the duties, privileges, and comforts of Christians.  There were evident fruits of Christ’s Grace in all they said and did.  They were dead to this world.  This was great evidence of the Grace of God in them.  They did not take away others’ property, but they were indifferent to it.  They did not call it their own; because they had, in affection, forsaken all for Christ and were expecting to be stripped of all for cleaving to Him.  No marvel that they were of one heart and soul when they had given up the wealth of this world.  In effect, they had all things common; for there was not any among them who lacked, care was taken for their supply.  The money was laid at the Apostles; feet.  Great care out to be taken in the distribution of public charity, that it be given to such as have need; those who are reduced to want for well doing, and for the testimony of a good conscience, ought to be provided for.  Here is one in particular mentioned, remarkable for this generous charity; it was Barnabas.  As one designed to be a preacher of the gospel, he disentangled himself from the affairs of this life.  When such dispositions prevail, the testimony will have very great power upon others.  Amen.

More to come and God Bless You.          

 

A Christ Filled Life – Getting To Know Jesus

Sunday Service was one of the best services I’ve ever attended. We had a special speaker, a visiting Pastor and he preached Acts 4:12 “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” I had just blogged this verse before I went to service and I was filled with the wonder of the Holy Spirit. The Pastor preached that a lot of people are willing to add God and Jesus Christ to their other gods; but that the scripture was clear in that none other can save us but Jesus the Son of God. He also spoke on FORGIVENESS and that we must forgive if we want to be forgiven. Forgiving the person or persons does not make them innocent but it frees us from the sin of unforgiveness. The Lord’s Prayer found in Matthew 6:9-13, v12 And forgive us our debs, as we forgive our debtors. And v14, For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you, v15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses. neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew Henry CC – v12, 14, 15, Hear is a promise. If you forgive, your Heavenly Father will also forgive. We must forgive, as we hope to be forgiven. Those who desire to find mercy with God, must show mercy to their brethren. Christ came into the world as the great Peace-maker not only to reconcile us to God, but one to another. Amen.

“Jesus, A Miracle Worker”/Sunday Morning Service