My 3 favorite things from Acts were:
- 12:5 “So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.” Over the past few weeks I have been really appreciating the prayers of my friends (mostly from Navs) and also from Church. I mentioned it in a post a few weeks ago. But experiencing being prayed for is really encouraging to me, and also the fact that I get to pray for other people. This week I have been challenged to make an effort to pray “earnestly” for my friends as they finish off their exams… One other thing about this verse is that the Church collectively prayed. How cool is that! And what a privilege to be the subject of those prayers, and also stand side by side with other brothers and sisters and pray for others in their difficulties. “So [x was going through a tough time], but [there was a group of believers who were praying earnestly to God for them].” I get to be that “But” when I stand in prayer. Ramble over.
- 18:18 In this verse it explains that Paul had his hair cut because of a vow he had taken. It was this verse that really captivated my imagination for most of this week. I kept thinking about how Paul had made a decision/commitment to God from the heart and he was expressing it physically. It made me think of stories I’ve heard where people become a Christian and then change their name. I understand that Godly change doesn’t work outside-in, but starts from the heart and changes our outward life. Whilst I haven’t got any idea of vows I would like to make to God, it does make me wonder if my outer life displays the decisions I’ve made in my heart.
- 19:30-31 I was struck when reading through Acts this week by Paul’s enthusiasm for the Gospel. Here we have a riot in Ephesus where a bunch of people have gathered in a theater to stop Paul from ruining their businesses with the Gospel. They are so riled up that in v35-40 the city clerk has to step in to calm them down to prevent a Roman intervention. What is Paul’s attitude, he wants to use this opportunity, while the crowd are all gathered together, to preach to them. His friends and officials have to hold him back. I was challenged because when it comes to sharing my faith, I cannot remember a single time where I have had to be “held back”. I want that kind of passion for God’s work, that I forget about my own safety, dignity, reputation etc.