Basic Devotional 2

Day 31: John 3:1-21

  1. Why do you think Nicodemus came to Jesus at night?
  2. What is necessary for one to see the kingdom of God? What would Nicodemus have to admit about himself if he were to believe in Jesus? What things did you have to admit about yourself when you came to know Christ?
  3. Notice how intentional Jesus was about coming into the world for the salvation of mankind in verses 14-17. What underlies the very essence of the Gospel?
  4. In verses 19-21, who lives in the darkness and why? Who lives in the light and why? Why does one need to do to go from darkness to light? Are there deeds, thoughts, feelings that you are ashamed of revealing?

Day 32: John 4:1-42, Jeremiah 2:1-19

  1. By tradition, Jews did not associate with the Samaritans; they considered them to be a “lower” race because they were only partially Jewish by blood. In light of this background, in what specific and detailed ways do we see Jesus approaching the Samaritan woman to bring her salvation?
  2. How did Jesus treat the Samaritan woman even though he knew everything about her? How do you respond to Jesus who knows everything about you, yet does not condemn?
  3. What are the “broken cisterns” that cannot hold water (Jeremiah 2:13) that one must forsake to find the living water Jesus offers? What things in your life have been “broken cisterns”?
  4. How did the Samaritan woman “witness” to the people of her town (verses 28-29)? How did the Samaritans come to believe in Jesus as the Savior of the world? Has this passage changed your view towards “witnessing”?

Day 33: Psalm 139

  1. How does it make you feel that all your thoughts are known to God?
  2. In what ways is it comforting and in what ways is it disconcerting that all your thoughts and moves are known to God?
  3. In verse 6, the psalmist says that “such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.” Why is this such a wonderful news? In what ways can you relate to the same longing to find someone who knows you to this extent?
  4. Even though God knows us completely, in verses 23-24 the psalmist invites God to search and know his heart and to lead him. What does this show about our relationship with God?

Day 34: John 5:1-15

  1. What does the invalid’s response to Jesus’ question in verse 7 reveal about the invalid’s attitude towards himself and towards healing? How should he have responded?
  2. What was this man’s greatest need? What do you think is your greatest need?
  3. Historically, the “stirring” of the water by angels is actually a natural occurrence. The pool was not actually going to heal the man even if he were the first to get into it. It was therefore only an illusion that the pool would heal him. What kinds of “pools” do the people of this world seek for “healing”?
  4. Trying to get into the pool (that could not really heal) was a competition. In what ways do you experience competitiveness over things that will not satisfy?
  5. What was the attitude of the invalid after he was healed by Jesus? In what ways are you like him that needs to change?

Day 35: John 9:1-41

  1. How does the blind man’s view of Jesus progress through this passage?
  2. How did this healing take place? What was Jesus’ role and what was the role of the blind man in the healing?
  3. This man has a clear testimony concerning Jesus. He says, “I was blind but now I see.” In what ways were you blind before you met Christ? In what ways did Jesus open your eyes so you were able to truly “see”?
  4. In what ways do the Pharisees refuse to acknowledge who Jesus is? Are there any areas in your life where you are refusing to acknowledge Jesus?
  5. What are the Pharisees guilty of (verse 41)?

Day 36: John 11:1-44

  1. Why did Jesus stay two more days after He heard that Lazarus was sick (verses 4-6)?
  2. Now that Lazarus is alive, Jesus tells them to take off the grave clothes he was wearing. Once we are alive in Christ, we must take off the old clothes we wore when we were dead. What are those old “grave clothes” for you ? (What are some habits, thoughts, values that you need to leave behind to follow Jesus?)
  3. Study Martha’s dialogue with Jesus in verses 20-40. How do you think her faith changed throughout this whole incident? What made her faith waver at certain points? What causes your faith (trust in Jesus) to waver?

Day 37: John 12:1-11

  1. What did the expensive perfume represent for Mary? Why did she pour it all out on Jesus?
  2. Contrast Mary’s and Judas’ view of the perfume. What does this show about their relationship with Jesus?
  3. What can you learn about the nature of love from Mary’s action in this passage? In other words, how should we love God and others?
  4. What is your perfume? And how can you “pour it” on Jesus today?

Day 38: Luke 8:1-18

  1. Which kind of soil can your heart identify the most with? If you identified with the path, rock, or thorns, what are the specific hindrances in your heart that keep you from being a good soil?
  2. Verse 15 says that we need to hear the word, retain it, and through perseverance we produce a crop. Why is perseverance such an important characteristic in Christian life? Examine your life and identify one area in your life how you can practice perseverance.
  3. Our spiritual growth is dependent on daily practice of God’s Word (verse 21). Bible studies, sermons, and daily devotions (QT’s) are channels to hear and learn about God’s principles and commands and we need to respond with action. Is there anything you have been avoiding to practice?
  4. “Therefore consider carefully how you listen‚….” (verse 18). This warning reminds us that each of us has a will. We can choose how we will respond to God’s Word, to allow God’s Word to impact our lives and become a fruitful soil or remain barren despite hearing God’s Word. How we respond to God’s Word is crucial for our benefit or our detriment. Examine your pattern of listening to God’s Word. Are you heeding to this warning?

Day 39: Luke 8:19-39

  1. Faith is an important theme in this chapter. Jesus rebukes His disciples for their lack of faith. What is faith? Why does Jesus repeatedly emphasize “faith”? In what areas of your life do you need to exercise your faith? How?
  2. Everyone experiences “storms” in his life at one point or another. What are these “storms” in your life right now? Can you do anything about them through your own efforts? To whom or what do you trust in: your reasoning, common sense, competence? Who should you trust your life and future with?
  3. The demon possessed man was a person enslaved by many desires (many demons can be symbolic for many desires) that crippled him from having a meaningful life. How are you similar? Jesus wants to purge these desires away, knowing that they are harmful to you, and wants to replace them with Himself. What is your response to this?
  4. Examine the demon possessed man after he met Christ? How did he transform?
  5. Meeting Christ ought to be the starting point of transformation in your life. What are some natural responses following this encounter? According to verse 39, what is the one thing Christ asks the man to do? Christ is telling you to do the same. What are the ways you can actively be a witness of this good news?
  6. Jesus is not always welcomed by people. After healing the demon-possessed person, the towns people actually ask Jesus to leave them. Why do these people ask Jesus to leave? What do they fear? What are some reasons why you might push Jesus away? What are your fears?

Day 40: Luke 8:40-56

  1. Why did Jesus insist on finding the person who touched Him when He knew that there were many people crowding and pressing against Him?
  2. The woman had been bleeding for 12 years and no one could heal her (verse 43). How is this condition of the bleeding woman similar to the condition of mankind?
  3. How do you think the woman’s view of herself was before and after she was healed by Jesus? How do you think her view of herself changed further after being personally addressed by Jesus as “daughter?” What was the woman’s view of Jesus before and after being personally addressed? Do you often see God as just a provider of things you need or do you see Him as someone who wants to have a Father and son/daughter relationship with you?
  4. In life we face situations that simply seem impossible. Jairus’ impossible situation was the death of his beloved daughter. One voice told him to not bother the teacher any more (verse 49) but Jesus said otherwise. What are the voices that compete with Jesus’ voice when you face difficult or impossible situations?

Day 41: Luke 9:18-27, 14:25-35

  1. Jesus asks, “Who do you say I am?” What is your personal testimony of who Christ is in your life?
  2. Christ invites you to take up your cross daily and partake in His suffering (verses 9:23; 14:27). Taking up the cross means that we must die to ourselves. Why is the cross so central to Christian life? What is your “cross” that you need to take up daily?
  3. In verse 14:25, Jesus is not advocating “hatred toward your family.” Think about the degree in which our devotion to Christ ought to be in comparison to our families. In what ways are you being challenged to place Christ before other valued relationships?
  4. Why does Jesus want us to count the cost before making the decision to follow Him (verses 14:28-33)? Jesus knows that we see things in terms of its absences, so while he wants to give us a banquet, we cling on to scraps. In the same way, counting the cost is actually realizing that what we have to surrender is actually not much. Therefore, giving up is not really giving up, but rather opening up our lives for all that God wants to bless us with. What are some things in your life that you are struggling to surrender? Pray that God would show you the true value of these things so that you would surrender them to Him.

Day 42: Luke 15 (Part 1 of 2)

  1. Jesus is said to be one who “welcomes sinners and eats with them (verse 2).” This is such a comforting thought that Jesus would want to be with us sinners. Why do you think “sinners” came to Jesus and were willing to come close to Him in comparison to the self-righteous Pharisees who disdained Jesus from the beginning? Why is it so important that we recognize that we are sinners?
  2. This chapter has three parables on things “lost and found” and the theme is “joy.” Can you recall one incident in your life when you lost one valuable thing and found it later? Recount the emotions and feelings that you had back then. In the same way, God found you, His long-lost child. If we would rejoice greatly at finding a lost object that was so precious to us, how much more would God rejoice over finding us, His precious children. Why would there be “more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent”?
  3. Each of us can identify with the story of the prodigal son. In verse 31, we see how generous the father is: “My son, you are always with me. Everything I have is yours.” Why did the younger son choose to leave if the father was so generous? Read Genesis 3. How do these two passages parallel? What is the source of man’s rebellion? Is there an area(s) in your life that you are rejecting God’s will and seeking your will?

Day 43: Luke 15 (Part 2 of 2)

  1. The younger son finally came to his senses after he had squandered everything. How did you come to your senses?
  2. The father had been waiting for his son every day. As soon as he saw him, the father ran to the son. God has been waiting for you. God is more than ready to embrace you when you choose to return. Even though you have squandered everything, you are still the precious child of God. What was the first thing that the son said to his father and how did the father respond? How would you describe God’s character from this? What descriptive words come to your mind? This is analogous to what happens when we repent and return home from being lost and separated from our Heavenly Father.
  3. Why was the older son not happy when his younger brother returned? How does this older son see his present life? How does the older son view his father? What keeps the older brother from joining the celebration?

Day 44: Luke 18:1-17

Note: This passage does not analogize God to an unjust judge. In fact, God is just the opposite of that. The point of this parable is that if an unjust and uncaring judge can be wearied into giving a persistent widow justice, how much more will God hear the persistent requests of His children.

  1. Our God is not a reluctant God. Prophet Malachi assures us that God is more than willing to “throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” (Malachi 3:10) Jesus is encouraging us through this parable to not be discouraged in prayers. Are there any prayer requests that you have not been faithful in bringing them to God because you felt discouraged by the requests not being answered?
  2. What are some differences between the Pharisee and the tax collector? What does this passage teach you about how we ought to pray and what kind of heart’s attitude is pleasing to God?
  3. Jesus welcomes little children. What are some things you observe in little children? Why does God commend these characteristics of children? It is often emphasized that being “child-like” is not the same as being “childish.” What is the difference? What are the child-like qualities that you need to emulate in you life?

Day 45: Luke 18:18-43

  1. The rich young ruler was unable to take Jesus’ invitation to “Come, and follow me.” This rich young ruler had observed the law since he was a boy, but he missed the opportunity to follow Christ because he was unable to give up his wealth. What is wealth that he could not give up? What does wealth symbolize for his life? Tragically, the rich young ruler trusted in his wealth more than Jesus as his basis for security and identity. As a child of God, Jesus ought to be our only source of security and identity. Examine your life and identify if there is anything outside of Jesus that you are holding on for security and identity.
  2. Despite all the rebukes and ridicules from other people, this beggar shouted to Christ and begged for mercy. Why was this beggar so desperate? When Jesus asks him, “What do you want me to do for you,” the beggar replied with a seemingly impossible request, “Lord, I want to see” but receives sight. One lesson we can learn from this blind man is to overcome all hindrances (i.e. the crowd) and go to Jesus to receive healing. This man suffered from physical blindness, but we often suffer spiritual blindness. In your spiritual journey, is there something that you cannot clearly see or understand? Have you been coming to Jesus for help or have you been overcome by hindrances (i.e. cynicism, doubt, discouragement, your own desires, etc.)?
  3. Observe the crowd. They are the ones that rebuked and discouraged the beggar from approaching Jesus, the only One who can help this poor man. There is no compassion for the blind beggar, just annoyance. It is easy to think that we are not like the crowd. However, we behave like the crowd when we don’t recognize that everyone needs Jesus, that Jesus is the only solution to every person’s problem. Have you been behaving like the crowd to anyone in your life? Have you been lacking compassion on others and displaying annoyance instead?

Day 46: Luke 19:1-27

  1. In the eyes of the world, Zacchaeus had achieved everything: power and wealth. What clues from the narration suggest that Zacchaeus might not have been fulfilled despite all of his power and wealth? Why do you think that was the case?
  2. Being a short man, Zacchaeus had to climb a sycamore-fig tree to see Jesus. What does this action state about his desperation to see Jesus? Can you think of some reasons that might have dissuaded others from taking such similar actions? What fears and concerns do you have today that prevent you from taking the necessary steps to approach Jesus?
  3. Zacchaeus made concrete changes that clearly demonstrated the sincerity of his repentance. Genuine repentance always involves actions and must go beyond just good intentions. What are some good intentions that need to be lived out in your life?
  4. In the parable of the Ten Minas, who received praise for being “good” and “trustworthy” servants? What is the one clear message of this parable? Identify all things (minas) that God has entrusted you with: the Gospel, time, money, health, youth, talents, etc. How can you be a “good” and “faithful” steward of these?

Day 47: Luke 19:28-48

  1. Why did the crowd welcome Jesus? History tells us that many people welcomed Jesus because they thought He would deliver Israel from the control of the Roman Empire. In which ways have you welcomed Jesus because you have unfulfilled dreams that you want Jesus to fulfill?
  2. Why did Jesus weep for Jerusalem? What is this “peace” that Jesus talks about?
  3. Why did Jesus drive out the merchants at the Temple? What kind of behavior and attitudes found in today’s churches do you think would anger God in this way?
  4. What motivated the chief priests and the teachers of the law? What is the danger of being overly conscious of people’s opinion rather than God’s opinion?

Day 48: Psalm 40

  1. “Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.” (verse 4) Why is such a man blessed? What is an alternative to trusting God that this verse mentions? Can you identify with having to struggle between these two options?
  2. “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have pierced, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require. Then I said, “Here I am, I have come – it is written about me in the scroll. I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.” (verses 6-8) Why did King David say that these offerings are not required? What does God desire instead?
  3. God does not allow trials and tests that we cannot not bear. When undergoing trials, it’s natural to feel afraid and anxious as David did. What does David do in the midst of these times?
  4. King David’s heart before God is one who is “poor and needy” and he sees his need for God who is his “help and deliverer” (verse 17). In what ways can you identify with this self-assessment of David? Looking at your own life, what examples can you think of in which God has demonstrated Himself to be your “help and deliverer”?

Day 49: Matthew 13

  1. In the parable of the weeds, who is the sower? Who is the enemy? What did Jesus mean when He said, “Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn”?
  2. Weeds and wheat can look very much alike. According to Luke 6:43-45, what is the best way to distinguish weeds from wheat? How does this apply to us today?
  3. What is the main message of Jesus’ parable of the mustard seed and the yeast (verses 31-32)? How does this address someone who wants quick growth and overnight changes in their lives?
  4. Jesus compares the Kingdom of God to the hidden treasure and the pearl of great price (verses 43-44). Salvation is free and yet it costs everything. How can you explain this paradox using this parable? [Hint: “In his joy he went and sold everything.”]
  5. Death is the common destiny of all men and one day everyone will be caught by the “heavenly net” and face judgment. Who will be accepted as good fish? Who will be rejected? What happens to those that are accepted and what happens to those that are rejected? How does this impact your view of your current life?
  6. What lesson can we learn from the people in Jesus’ hometown? Can you relate to a similar sentiment of thinking you have God and Christianity “all figured out”?

Day 50: Matthew 16

  1. Why did Jesus say, “A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” [c.f. Matthew 12:39-40 regarding “sign of Jonah] In John 20:29, Jesus also said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” What did He mean by this? What might be some limitations of bolstering one’s faith through physical miraculous signs?
  2. Elsewhere Jesus compares the kingdom of God with yeast (Matthew 13), and now He warns His disciples about the yeast of the Pharisees. What characteristics of yeast resemble Pharisees’ teachings?
  3. Jesus declares that “On this rock I will build my church and the gates of Hades (hell) will not overcome it.” Jesus is saying that church will be active in fighting against Satan so as to not be overcome by the defense of Hades (hell), as gates were used as a defense. The church ought to be active to the point that Satan can only passively defend himself. In what ways are you concretely participating in the advancement of the kingdom of God through our church?
  4. Soon after Christ praises Peter for his confession, He calls him Satan. Why did Jesus rebuke Peter so harshly? In the context of verses 24-26, how was Peter tempting Jesus?

Day 51: John 13

  1. Christ has shown us an example of how to love one another. What qualities is Jesus encouraging us to develop in our relationship with others with this particular example?
  2. In verse 24, Peter states, “Ask him which one he means.” What does this statement imply about Peter’s confidence regarding his own loyalty towards Jesus? In Matthew 26:35, Peter says, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” Was Peter’s confidence warranted? What can we learn from Peter’s example?
  3. Who was Judas? The one who betrays Jesus is one of the disciples who had the privilege of being of the Twelve and actively participated in Jesus’ public ministry for three years. He was one of the inner circle of people whom Jesus spent bulk of his time with. What sobering warning can we learn from Judas’ life?
  4. Read John 13:34-35. What is the new command that Jesus gives us? Not only is this the way Christ wants us to live, but it is also an effective way to witness. Witnessing is not just verbal transmission of the messages. Most importantly, witnessing comes from how disciples actually live out their lives. What are some concrete ways by which you can love others?

Day 52: John 14

  1. Read verses 1-4. How did Jesus comfort His disciples as He warned them about His death? What did He promise? What is the one hope that all Christians look to?
  2. In verse 6, what does Jesus mean when He states, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me?” How does this contradict the popular notion that there are many ways to God?
  3. How do the verses 13-14 apply to our prayer life? What does it mean to ask for something in His name?
  4. What are the descriptions of the Holy Spirit? What is the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives? [Please also read 1 Corinthians 2:10-14 as reference.]

Day 53: John 15:1-17

  1. Galatians 5:22-23 states, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” What do you think Jesus means by “bearing fruit?” What is the one thing required to bear fruit?
  2. Fruit-bearing or changing oneself can never be the focus. People interested only in change see Christianity as some self-improvement program and get down on themselves when they don’t change. Fruit is born as a natural byproduct of remaining in Christ. Please pray that God will transform you from the inside out as you grow more and more intimate with Him. Identify some weaknesses or areas of fruitlessness in your character that you want Christ to help you work on developing.
  3. Please refer to verses 12-13. What is the direct command Jesus has given to us? What quality should be evident in our love towards others?

Day 54: John 15:18-26

  1. Have you found others hostile to your decision to being a Christian? What are some encouragement you find in these verses when faced with hostility?
  2. Have you begun to share your faith with others? If so, then you may have encountered friends who were hostile towards God “without reason.” Pray for these friends.
  3. What is God asking you to share with others? What are the specific ways that God has worked in your life?
  4. Christians are in constant tension with the world because we have different values than this world. What kind of tensions have you been facing lately?

Day 55: John 17

  1. Jesus’ in his prayer is making several requests for his disciples and for all believers. List those requests.
  2. From verse 3, how does Jesus describe eternal life and given this definition, when does it begin?
  3. Sanctification means to be set apart for sacred use or to cleansed and made holy. How are we sanctified (verses 17-19)? What is the purpose of our sanctification?
  4. In verse 15 Jesus asks that his disciples not be taken out of the world but that God would protect them form the evil one. Jesus wants them to be in the world. Why does Jesus desire from His disciples as we are to be in the world?
  5. God and Jesus were perfectly unified in their love for one another and His prayer for the disciples was for their unity. In fact, Jesus’ desire for all of his disciples was that we become one. Although we are from different backgrounds and sometimes different cultures, how can we become one in Christ? What are some ways that we can become divisive?

Day 56: John Chapters 18-21 (Part 1of 2)

  1. In John 18:11, Jesus rebukes Peter for cutting off a servant’s ear as he tries to prevent Jesus’ arrest. Later in the same chapter, Jesus tells Pilate that if His kingdom were of this world, all of His servants would fight for Him, but because it is not, He will not use His power to save Himself. What notion did Peter have about Christ regarding power? How did Jesus come to reverse the world’s notions of power?
  2. Peter was the disciple who said He would follow Jesus to death. He was so full of lofty promises. What do you think was going through his mind when he heard the rooster crow? How do you react and handle yourself when you become sorely disappointed in yourself?
  3. The characters in chapter 18 have a peculiar reaction toward truth. Caiphas doesn’t know what to say so he sends Jesus away. Pilate’s response is “What is truth?” Each time, as they are confronted by truth, they don’t know how to react and they either send him away or in the case of Pilate allow the crowds to decide in the case of Pilate. How do you react when you are confronted by some truth from the Bible or about yourself? Does your life reflect your view of the Bible as your only source of truth and sole authority?

Day 57: John Chapters 18-21 (Part 2 of 2)

  1. Pilate is fascinated with Jesus and asks some provocative questions and make some challenging statements, like he has the power to free or crucify Jesus. How does Jesus respond to this? Who is the one in control?
  2. Read John 21 and the account of Peter’s reinstatement. First, he comes to Peter while he is fishing, reminding Peter of how he was called to be a disciple. Then, the breakfast over the fire, reminding him of when he was warming himself by the fire in the midst of his three denials. And finally, Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him three times, as if to reverse each of the denials. When you are discouraged in your walk, remember how you were called; remember the life from which Jesus saved you. Do you see yourself as a promise breaker, so full of words but little action? When you fail Jesus and fall into sin, be encouraged to know that Jesus is waiting to forgive and reinstate you. Thank Jesus for His mercy.
  3. What is the final command that Jesus gives to Peter? It’s to feed His lambs. How can you apply this? Who are the “lambs” of your life whom you can feed? What does it mean to feed Jesus’ lambs? What are some tangible, concrete steps that you can make.

Day 58: Passion account fromLuke Chapters 22-24 (Part 1 of 2)

  1. In Luke 22, we have an absurd scene of a bunch of disciples arguing about who is the greatest among them. Not only was this the wrong moment for such a discussion (during their Last Supper with Jesus), what they failed to see is that they are all equally condemned by sin and thus, there is no significant difference among them. What external qualities or gifts do you use to make yourself seem greater than others? Do you envy those that seem greater than you?
  2. How does Jesus define greatness in Luke 22:27?
  3. Why do we celebrate the Lord’s Supper? What does it symbolize?
  4. (Please refer to Luke 22:31-32.) Jesus told Peter in advance that He would be praying for him, knowing that Peter will deny him. Jesus knew how difficult it would be for Peter to repent after his betrayal when he saw himself for who he is. Thank Jesus for being our intercessor who prays for us always. Are you going through tough times? Be strengthened knowing that Jesus is interceding on your behalf.

Day 59: Luke Chapters 22-24 (Part 2 of 2)

  1. (Please refer to Luke 22:41-42.) Even Jesus struggled for a moment when he thought about having to go to the cross. In Hebrews 12:2 , it is said that Jesus endured the cross because of the “joy set before him.” And this joy refers to the joy of seeing all believers saved unto Him. But in that moment of struggle, He prayed and again had His will conformed to the will of God. In what ways is God asking you to come to Him and have your will conformed to His?
  2. The disciples failed to pray with Jesus in Gethsemane due to their physical fatigue and exhaustion. What are the obstacles or hindrances that get in the way when you try to pray? How can you overcome them?
  3. Pilate didn’t want to crucify Jesus, but it says that the shouts of the crowd “prevailed” (Luke 23:23). Pilate’s failure to make a decision enabled the crowds to decide for him. From his example, we learn that there is no position of neutrality. What is something that you are remaining neutral about and you find the shouts of the world pulling you in a certain direction?

Day 60: Acts 1

(Background from Life Application Bible): The book of Acts continues the story Luke began in his Gospel, covering the 30 years after Jesus was taken up into heaven. During that short time the church was established, and the gospel of salvation was taken throughout the world, even to the capital of the Roman empire. Those preaching the gospel, though ordinary people with human frailties and limitations, were empowered by the Holy Spirit to take the Good News “all over the world”. Throughout the book of Acts we learn about the nature of the church and how we today are also to go about turning our world upside down. Verses 1-11 are the bridge between the events recorded in the Gospels and the events marking the beginning of the church. Jesus spent 40 days teaching his disciples, and they were changed drastically.

  1. When the Holy Spirit comes upon you, what happens to you? What does the Holy Spirit enable you to do? Jesus commanded for us to be witnesses starting with what is closest to us and stretch our hearts to reach to the ends of the earth. Identify your “Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth.”
  2. Although Judas was one of the inner circle of Jesus’ twelve apostles, Judas didn’t understand the message of Gospel. Instead of turning to Christ for mercy, he turned to himself. Humility is turning to Christ to confess our sins to seek forgiveness, no matter how grave the sin is. Is there any sin in your life that you are ashamed of that you haven’t yet turned to Jesus? Or, is there any worry, anxiety, fear, or problem that you haven’t yet turned to Jesus for help but have been trying to resolve it by your own efforts?
  3. In verse 24, the eleven apostles through prayers turns to God who knows everyone’s heart to select either Matthias or Barsabbas to take Judas’s place. Is there any important decision that you or your family or someone close to you are facing? Our Heavenly Father knows our future and He is the best judge over every decision we need to make. Turn to Him in prayers for His guidance before making any decisions.
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