Sunday, September 26, 2010

What's My Life For?

Acts Chapter 9

Focus: Knowing God's purpose for my life changes everything.

What's My Life For?
--A Poetic Outline--

I was made for MORE
What STOKES me?
What POKES me?
My life is TICKING so why am I KICKING?
He KNOWS my NAME and asks the SAME
Why are you PERSECUTING me?
Who are you?
Why are you IGNORING me?
Who are you?
Why are you RUNNING from me?
Why are you HURTING me?
Who are you?

Rise, I'll tell you WHO TO BE
You will if you FOLLOW ME
Acts 9   The Conversion of Saul
 1But Saul,(A) still(B) breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to(C) the high priest 2and asked him for letters(D) to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to(E) the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 3(F) Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting(G) me?" 5And he said, "Who are you, Lord?" And he said, "I am Jesus,(H) whom you are persecuting. 6But(I) rise and enter the city, and you will be told(J) what you are to do." 7(K) The men who were traveling with him stood speechless,(L) hearing the voice but seeing no one. 8Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened,(M) he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. 9And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
 10Now there was a disciple at Damascus named(N) Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, "Ananias." And he said,(O) "Here I am, Lord." 11And the Lord said to him, "Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man(P) of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, 12and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and(Q) lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight." 13But Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man,(R) how much evil he has done to(S) your(T) saints at Jerusalem. 14And here he has authority from(U) the chief priests to bind all who(V) call on your name." 15But the Lord said to him, "Go, for(W) he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name(X) before the Gentiles and(Y) kings and the children of Israel. 16For(Z) I will show him how much(AA) he must suffer(AB) for the sake of my name." 17So(AC) Ananias departed and entered the house. And(AD) laying his hands on him he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and(AE) be filled with the Holy Spirit." 18And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and(AF) he regained his sight. Then(AG) he rose and was baptized; 19and(AH) taking food, he was strengthened.

Saul Proclaims Jesus in Synagogues
  For(AI) some days he was with the disciples at Damascus. 20And immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying,(AJ) "He is the Son of God." 21And all who heard him were amazed and said, "Is not this the man who(AK) made havoc(AL) in Jerusalem of those who called upon this name? And has he not come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests?" 22But Saul(AM) increased all the more in strength, and(AN) confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving(AO) that Jesus was the Christ.

Saul Escapes from Damascus
 23(AP) When many days had passed, the Jews plotted to kill him, 24but their(AQ) plot became known to Saul.(AR) They were watching the gates day and night in order to kill him, 25but his disciples took him by night and(AS) let him down through an opening in the wall,[a] lowering him in a basket.

Saul in Jerusalem
 26And(AT) when he had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples. And they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. 27But(AU) Barnabas took him and(AV) brought him to the apostles and declared to them(AW) how on the road he had seen the Lord, who spoke to him, and(AX) how at Damascus he had(AY) preached boldly in the name of Jesus. 28So he went(AZ) in and out among them at Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord. 29And he spoke and disputed against(BA) the Hellenists.[b] But(BB) they were seeking to kill him. 30And when(BC) the brothers learned this, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him off(BD) to Tarsus.
 31So(BE) the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And(BF) walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit,(BG) it multiplied.

The Healing of Aeneas
 32Now(BH) as Peter went here and there among them all, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda. 33There he found a man named Aeneas, bedridden for eight years, who was paralyzed. 34And Peter said to him, "Aeneas,(BI) Jesus Christ heals you; rise and make your bed." And immediately he rose. 35(BJ) And all the residents of Lydda and(BK) Sharon saw him, and(BL) they turned to the Lord.
Dorcas Restored to Life

 36Now there was in(BM) Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which, translated, means Dorcas.[c] She was full of(BN) good works and acts of charity. 37In those days she became ill and died, and when they had washed her, they laid her in(BO) an upper room. 38Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him, urging him,(BP) "Please come to us without delay." 39So Peter rose and went with them. And when he arrived, they took him to(BQ) the upper room. All the widows stood beside him weeping and showing tunics[d] and other garments that Dorcas made while she was with them. 40But Peter(BR) put them all outside, and(BS) knelt down and prayed; and turning to the body(BT) he said, "Tabitha, arise." And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. 41And he gave her his hand and raised her up. Then calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive. 42And it became known throughout all Joppa, and(BU) many believed in the Lord. 43And he stayed in Joppa for many days(BV) with one Simon, a tanner.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Waterboy Reverse

Water Boy LogoThe Waterboy Reverse
Focus: God, the master strategist, moves his players to winning positions on the playing field.
I. When things look OUT OF CONTROL, don't BELIEVE it. 8:1-3
A. Often we have to be UNCOMFORTABLE before we make our MOVE. 8:4
B. God has SPECIAL TASKS for each of us. 8:5; Ephesians 2:10
C. God WANTS to HELP you. 8:6-13; I Chronicles 16:7-9
II. Believe the GOSPEL is GOOD NEWS for EVERYONE! 8:14-17
III. You can't EARN IT or BUY IT. 8:8-25
Acts 8
Simon the Wizard
1-2That set off a terrific persecution of the church in Jerusalem. The believers were all scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. All, that is, but the apostles. Good and brave men buried Stephen, giving him a solemn funeral—not many dry eyes that day!
3-8And Saul just went wild, devastating the church, entering house after house after house, dragging men and women off to jail. Forced to leave home base, the followers of Jesus all became missionaries. Wherever they were scattered, they preached the Message about Jesus. Going down to a Samaritan city, Philip proclaimed the Message of the Messiah. When the people heard what he had to say and saw the miracles, the clear signs of God's action, they hung on his every word. Many who could neither stand nor walk were healed that day. The evil spirits protested loudly as they were sent on their way. And what joy in the city!
9-11Previous to Philip's arrival, a certain Simon had practiced magic in the city, posing as a famous man and dazzling all the Samaritans with his wizardry. He had them all, from little children to old men, eating out of his hand. They all thought he had supernatural powers, and called him "the Great Wizard." He had been around a long time and everyone was more or less in awe of him.
12-13But when Philip came to town announcing the news of God's kingdom and proclaiming the name of Jesus Christ, they forgot Simon and were baptized, becoming believers right and left! Even Simon himself believed and was baptized. From that moment he was like Philip's shadow, so fascinated with all the God-signs and miracles that he wouldn't leave Philip's side.
14-17When the apostles in Jerusalem received the report that Samaria had accepted God's Message, they sent Peter and John down to pray for them to receive the Holy Spirit. Up to this point they had only been baptized in the name of the Master Jesus; the Holy Spirit hadn't yet fallen on them. Then the apostles laid their hands on them and they did receive the Holy Spirit.
18-19When Simon saw that the apostles by merely laying on hands conferred the Spirit, he pulled out his money, excited, and said, "Sell me your secret! Show me how you did that! How much do you want? Name your price!"
20-23Peter said, "To hell with your money! And you along with it. Why, that's unthinkable—trying to buy God's gift! You'll never be part of what God is doing by striking bargains and offering bribes. Change your ways—and now! Ask the Master to forgive you for trying to use God to make money. I can see this is an old habit with you; you reek with money-lust."
24"Oh!" said Simon, "pray for me! Pray to the Master that nothing like that will ever happen to me!"
25And with that, the apostles were on their way, continuing to witness and spread the Message of God's salvation, preaching in every Samaritan town they passed through on their return to Jerusalem.
The Ethiopian Eunuch
26-28Later God's angel spoke to Philip: "At noon today I want you to walk over to that desolate road that goes from Jerusalem down to Gaza." He got up and went. He met an Ethiopian eunuch coming down the road. The eunuch had been on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and was returning to Ethiopia, where he was minister in charge of all the finances of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. He was riding in a chariot and reading the prophet Isaiah.
29-30The Spirit told Philip, "Climb into the chariot." Running up alongside, Philip heard the eunuch reading Isaiah and asked, "Do you understand what you're reading?"
31-33He answered, "How can I without some help?" and invited Philip into the chariot with him. The passage he was reading was this:
As a sheep led to slaughter,
and quiet as a lamb being sheared,
He was silent, saying nothing.
He was mocked and put down, never got a fair trial.
But who now can count his kin
since he's been taken from the earth?
34-35The eunuch said, "Tell me, who is the prophet talking about: himself or some other?" Philip grabbed his chance. Using this passage as his text, he preached Jesus to him.
36-39As they continued down the road, they came to a stream of water. The eunuch said, "Here's water. Why can't I be baptized?" He ordered the chariot to stop. They both went down to the water, and Philip baptized him on the spot. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of God suddenly took Philip off, and that was the last the eunuch saw of him. But he didn't mind. He had what he'd come for and went on down the road as happy as he could be.
40Philip showed up in Azotus and continued north, preaching the Message in all the villages along that route until he arrived at Caesarea.
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Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Perfect Church

church coloring sheet

Acts 6
Focus: God gave us everything we need to be a HEALTHY church.
Six Characteristics from Chapter Six

The Healthy Church...
1. ... Has PROBLEMS 6:1
2. ... PRIORITIZES 6:1
3. ... DELEGATES 6:3
4. ... Has many SPIRIT FILLED PEOPLE 6:3
5. ... GROWS 6:7
6. ... experiences OPPOSITION 6:9-15

Acts 6
The Choosing of the Seven
1In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. 2So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, "It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. 3Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word."
5This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. 6They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.
7So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.
Stephen Seized
8Now Stephen, a man full of God's grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people. 9Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)—Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia. These men began to argue with Stephen, 10but they could not stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke.
11Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, "We have heard Stephen speak words of blasphemy against Moses and against God."
12So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin. 13They produced false witnesses, who testified, "This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place and against the law. 14For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs Moses handed down to us."
15All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel..

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