The readings this week have not been done according to the plan, but my normal schedule is off as I am on vacation. I am on a cruise so there is so much beauty around me that I have not made the time to really spend reading God’s word.
But I spent some time one afternoon just catching up with God. It was great to sit on the balcony and just read God’s word. There was no distractions, except the beauty of the scenery.
And God spoke volumes to me as I read through the chapters 10 to 14 in the book of Acts. As I read through these chapters, I tried to put a word or two at the bottom of my journal page to just summarize the chapter. It really helped with my focus!
Chapter 10 was all about listening to God’s voice and treating everyone as equal. Both of these are challenges for me. First listening for God’s voice is difficult as I have too much ‘stuff’ in my life. I really want this year to simplify things as much as possible. This message is coming through clearly in many of my readings. I can only hear God’s voice when I am quiet. So for those who really know me, know that this can prove a little challenging. The second lesson in this chapter for me was the reminder to treat everyone as equal. It is easy to have favourites or people I avoid, but that is not God’s plan. In this chapter, Peter shares that God does not classify anything that he created as unclean, so why should we. Good point. Everyone is created by God and should be treated as equal!
As I read through Acts, I am reminded of the opposition that Peter and others faced in preaching the Gospel message. In Chapter 11, God reminds me to stand up for what I believe. To preach his message and not be quiet. It is so much easier to tell the message to people who are interest and actually come to church to hear it. But what about people that need to hear the message, am I using every opportunity to tell it. I was really challenged to stay focus on God’s mission for me. I need to stand up for him and not be afraid to meet with opposition. This chapter tells of taking the time to explain your beliefs to those who don’t believe. People are not going to believe just because I tell them to!
The importance of remaining faithful to God came through very strongly in Chapter 12. No matter what situation I am in or am facing, I need to remain firm in my faith. God will take care of those who oppose me. This chapter tells of Peter’s time in prison and his escape from prison (with the help of an angel). Things can get really bad, but have faith that God is in charge and will rescue me in his time.
During all the opposition and trials that I am going face I need to be focused on the truth. That is the message in chapter 13. Focus on his message and preach to those who will listen. For those who are stubborn and don’t want to listen/accept the truth, then I am to just move on. Do not get tangled up in the world’s or their views, but stay completely focused on what God wants me to do.
The message in Chapter 14 is similar to the previous chapter. Keep Focused! In this chapter Paul & Barnabas spoke boldly for The Lord (verse 3) even though many Jews did not accept their message. They spoke boldly. Not something that is in my comfort zone. I know that I need to be more bold! I am reminded lately of our younger generation and how they are bold in their faith. They are in 100% and are not afraid to share their faith in their daily lives. We often look to older generations for examples, but I think there is a lot to be learned from our younger generations.
God is moving all around me. As I continue to read through the book of Acts, I am opening myself to God’s message for me.