Sunday, October 31, 2010

Points Of Contact Acts 13

Points Of Contact Acts 13

Focus: God wants you to make contact with him and others who need him.

I. God often SPEAKS at these points of contact: 13:1-3
A. While IN CHURCH 13:1
B. While WORSHIPING 13:2
C. While FASTING 13:2
D. While PRAYING 13:3

II. God PREPARES points of contact 13:4-5

III. There will be ATTEMPTS to DERAIL your point of contact 13:6-12

IV. CLEARLY COMMUNICATE God's Point 13:14-44
A. Show how PROPHECY
C. Don't be a DUMP TRUCK --Look for INVITATIONS to SAY MORE 13:42

V. Expect SUCCESS and OPPOSITION 13:45-52

VI. Be filled with JOY & the HOLY SPIRIT 13:51-52

Acts 13

1 Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." 3 So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.
On Cyprus

4 The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus. 5 When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. John was with them as their helper.
6 They traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus, 7 who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. 9 Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, 10 "You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? 11 Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind for a time, not even able to see the light of the sun."

Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand. 12 When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.

In Pisidian Antioch

13 From Paphos, Paul and his companions sailed to Perga in Pamphylia, where John left them to return to Jerusalem. 14 From Perga they went on to Pisidian Antioch. On the Sabbath they entered the synagogue and sat down. 15 After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the leaders of the synagogue sent word to them, saying, "Brothers, if you have a word of exhortation for the people, please speak."
16 Standing up, Paul motioned with his hand and said: "People of Israel and you Gentiles who worship God, listen to me! 17 The God of the people of Israel chose our ancestors; he made the people prosper during their stay in Egypt; with mighty power he led them out of that country; 18 for about forty years he endured their conduct [a] in the wilderness; 19 and he overthrew seven nations in Canaan, giving their land to his people as their inheritance. 20 All this took about 450 years.

"After this, God gave them judges until the time of Samuel the prophet. 21 Then the people asked for a king, and he gave them Saul son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled forty years. 22 After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: 'I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.'

23 "From this man's descendants God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as he promised. 24 Before the coming of Jesus, John preached repentance and baptism to all the people of Israel. 25 As John was completing his work, he said: 'Who do you suppose I am? I am not the one you are looking for. But there is someone coming after me whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.'

26 "Brothers and sisters from the children of Abraham and you God-fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent. 27 The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus, yet in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath. 28 Though they found no proper ground for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him executed. 29 When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the cross and laid him in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from the dead, 31 and for many days he was seen by those who had traveled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now his witnesses to our people.

32 "We tell you the good news: What God promised our ancestors 33 he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm:
" 'You are my son;
today I have become your father.' [b]

34 God raised him from the dead so that he will never be subject to decay. As God has said,
" 'I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David.' [c]

35 So it is also stated elsewhere:
" 'You will not let your holy one see decay.' [d]

36 "Now when David had served God's purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his ancestors and his body decayed. 37 But the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay.

38 "Therefore, my brothers and sisters, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. 39 Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses. 40 Take care that what the prophets have said does not happen to you:

41 " 'Look, you scoffers,
wonder and perish,
for I am going to do something in your days
that you would never believe,
even if someone told you.' [e]"

42 As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people invited them to speak further about these things on the next Sabbath. 43 When the congregation was dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked with them and urged them to continue in the grace of God.

44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. 45 When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy. They began to contradict what Paul was saying and heaped abuse on him.

46 Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: "We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. 47 For this is what the Lord has commanded us:
" 'I have made you [f] a light for the Gentiles,
that you [g] may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.' [h]"

48 When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.

49 The word of the Lord spread through the whole region. 50 But the Jewish leaders incited the God-fearing women of high standing and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. 51 So they shook the dust off their feet as a warning to them and went to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Love Reaches Out

Love Reaches Out
And other important keys to a healthy life
Acts Chapter 11 Part 2

Focus: Remain true to the Lord with all your heart. Acts 11:23

I. Change from RELIGION to RELATIONSHIP 11:1-18

II. Love REACHES out 11:19-26
B. Every believer needs a BARNABUS
C. Commit to multiple COMRADES!
D. Outreach is the HAND OF GOD

III. Love GIVES 11:27-30

THE HAND OF GOD Relationship Strands - Connecting Cord
Care Group

Connect -> Order -> Ready -> Do

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How to Face a Hopeless Situation

How to Face a Hopeless Situation
Acts 12

Focus: The best way to face hopeless situation is to look into the face of a loving God.

I. We still WONDER WHY 12:2-11

II. God still USES ANGELS 12:7-11, 15, 23

III. Prayer still CHANGES THINGS 12:5

IV. We're still SURPRISED 12:13-15

V. God still JUDGES PRIDE 12:21-24

Listen to this Passage:

Acts 12 - Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible
James was one of the sons of Zebedee, whom Christ told that they should drink of the cup that he was to drink of, and be baptized with the baptism that he was to be baptized with, Mt 20:23. Now the words of Christ were made good in him; and if we suffer with Christ, we shall reign with him. Herod imprisoned Peter: the way of persecution, as of other sins, is downhill; when men are in it, they cannot easily stop. Those make themselves an easy prey to Satan, who make it their business to please men. Thus James finished his course. But Peter, being designed for further services, was safe; though he seemed now marked out for a speedy sacrifice. We that live in a cold, prayerless generation, can hardly form an idea of the earnestness of these holy men of old. But if the Lord should bring on the church an awful persecution like this of Herod, the faithful in Christ would learn what soul-felt prayer is. (Acts 12:6-11)

Acts 12 James Killed and Peter Imprisoned
1About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. 2He killed(A) James the brother of John(B) with the sword, 3and when he saw(C) that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during(D) the days of Unleavened Bread. 4And when he had seized him, he put him(E) in prison, delivering him over to four(F) squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people. 5So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest(G) prayer for him was made to God by the church.
Peter Is Rescued

6Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers,(H) bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. 7And behold,(I) an angel of the Lord(J) stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell.(K) He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, "Get up quickly." And(L) the chains fell off his hands. 8And the angel said to him, "Dress yourself and(M) put on your sandals." And he did so. And he said to him, "Wrap your cloak around you and follow me." 9And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but(N) thought he was seeing a vision. 10When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city.(O) It opened for them of its own accord, and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel left him. 11When Peter(P) came to himself, he said, "Now I am sure that(Q) the Lord has sent his angel and(R) rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting."
12When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of(S) John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and(T) were praying. 13And when he knocked at the door of the gateway,(U) a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14Recognizing Peter's voice,(V) in her joy she did not open the gate but ran in and reported that Peter was standing at the gate. 15They said to her, "You are out of your mind." But she kept insisting that it was so, and they kept saying, "It is(W) his angel!" 16But Peter continued knocking, and when they opened, they saw him and were amazed. 17But(X) motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, "Tell these things to(Y) James and to(Z) the brothers."[a] Then he departed and went to another place.

18Now when day came, there was no little disturbance among the soldiers over what had become of Peter. 19And after Herod searched for him and did not find him, he examined the sentries and(AA) ordered that they should be put to death. Then he went down from Judea to Caesarea and spent time there.

The Death of Herod

20Now Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon, and they came to him with one accord, and(AB) having persuaded Blastus, the king's chamberlain, they asked for peace, because(AC) their country depended on the king's country for food. 21On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them. 22And the people were shouting, "The voice of a god, and not of a man!" 23Immediately(AD) an angel of the Lord struck him down, because(AE) he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last.
24But(AF) the word of God increased and multiplied.

25(AG) And Barnabas and Saul returned from[b] Jerusalem when they had completed their service, bringing with them(AH) John, whose other name was Mark.

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Beyond Coincidence

Acts Chapter 10

Focus: Trust that it is God, not coincidence, when detailed supernatural synchronization suggests a divine design rather than a random accident.

Alternate Focus: God's name is not "Chance" or "Coincidence."

I. DOUBLE VISION makes things clear
   A. If you want a glimpse, get IN SYNC
   B. Don't expect the EXTRAORDINARY if you don't make PRAYER ORDINARY

II. God's TIMING confirmed his WILL
   A. Even good men need to be SAVED; INVITE JESUS into your life
   B. Love GOD (MAKE and KEEP your daily APPOINTMENTS)
   C. LOVE and REACH all people

Acts 10

Acts 10:1-48 (NET) Peter Visits Cornelius

[10:1] Now there was a man in Caesarea named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort. [2] He was a devout, God-fearing man, as was all his household; he did many acts of charity for the people and prayed to God regularly. [3] About three o'clock one afternoon he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God who came in and said to him, "Cornelius." [4] Staring at him and becoming greatly afraid, Cornelius replied, "What is it, Lord?" The angel said to him, "Your prayers and your acts of charity have gone up as a memorial before God. [5] Now send men to Joppa and summon a man named Simon, who is called Peter. [6] This man is staying as a guest with a man named Simon, a tanner,Û whose house is by the sea." [7] When the angel who had spoken to him departed, Cornelius19 called two of his personal servants and a devout soldier from among those who served him, [8] and when he had explained everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.
[9] About noon22 the next day, while they were on their way and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. [10] He became hungry and wanted to eat, but while they were preparing the meal, a trance came over him. [11] He saw heaven opened and an object something like a large sheet descending, being let down to earth by its four corners. [12] In it were all kinds of four-footed animals and reptiles of the earth and wild birds. [13] Then a voice said to him, "Get up, Peter; slaughter and eat!" [14] But Peter said, "Certainly not, Lord, for I have never eaten anything defiled and ritually unclean!" [15] The voice spoke to him again, a second time, "What God has made clean, you must not consider ritually unclean!" [16] This happened three times, and immediately the object was taken up into heaven.
[17] Now while Peter was puzzling over what the vision he had seen could signify, the men sent by Cornelius had learned where Simon's house was and approached the gate. [18] They called out to ask if Simon, known as Peter, was staying there as a guest. [19] While Peter was still thinking seriously about the vision, the Spirit said to him, "Look! Three men are looking for you. [20] But get up, go down, and accompany them without hesitation, because I have sent them." [21] So Peter went down to the men and said, "Here I am, the person you're looking for. Why have you come?" [22] They said, "Cornelius the centurion, a righteous and God-fearing man, well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, was directed by a holy angel to summon you to his house and to hear a message from you." [23] So Peter invited them in and entertained them as guests.
On the next day he got up and set out with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa accompanied him. [24] The following day he entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting anxiously for them and had called together his relatives and close friends. [25] So when Peter came in, Cornelius met him, fell at his feet, and worshiped him. [26] But Peter helped him up, saying, "Stand up. I too am a mere mortal." [27] Peter continued talking with him as he went in, and he found many people gathered together. [28] He said to them, "You know that it is unlawful for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile, yet God has shown me that I should call no person defiled or ritually unclean. [29] Therefore when you sent for me, I came without any objection. Now may I ask why you sent for me?" [30] Cornelius replied, "Four days ago at this very hour, at three o'clock in the afternoon, I was praying in my house, and suddenly a man in shining clothing stood before me [31] and said, 'Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your acts of charity have been remembered before God. [32] Therefore send to Joppa and summon Simon, who is called Peter. This man is staying as a guest in the house of Simon the tanner, by the sea.' [33] Therefore I sent for you at once, and you were kind enough to come. So now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to say to us."
[34] Then Peter started speaking: "I now truly understand that God does not show favoritism in dealing with people, [35] but in every nation the person who fears him and does what is right is welcomed before him. [36] You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, proclaiming the good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all) – [37] you know what happened throughout Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John announced: [38] with respect to Jesus from Nazareth, that God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power. He105 went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, because God was with him. [39] We are witnesses of all the things he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, [40] but God raised him up on the third day and caused him to be seen, [41] not by all the people, but by us, the witnesses God had already chosen, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. [42] He commanded us to preach to the people and to warn them that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead. [43] About him all the prophets testify, that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."
The Gentiles Receive the Holy Spirit
[44] While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all those who heard the message. [45] The circumcised believers who had accompanied Peter were greatly astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles, [46] for they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, [47] "No one can withhold the water for these people to be baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?" [48] So he gave orders to have them baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay for several days.