the "ax" of the apostles
"A move was made by Gentiles and Jews, together with their leaders, to abuse and stone them." —Acts 14:5
The Acts of the Apostles begins with the Holy Spirit and healing. But then there's imprisonment, the murder of Stephen and James, and the attempted murder of Peter. And this is only the beginning.
When the Church sends out missionaries (Acts 13:3), all hell breaks loose. The first missionary journey begins with a monumental confrontation in Paphos. Riots break out in Antioch of Pisidia and Iconium. Vigilante parties from these two cities hunt Paul down and catch up with him in Lystra. Paul is then attacked by a mob, which smashes stones against his skull and literally beats him to the point of death (Acts 14:19). Miraculously, Paul is either raised from the dead or brought out of a coma (Acts 14:20). Then he goes back to Lystra and continues to proclaim the good news of Jesus' kingdom.
Read on, if you dare. The Acts of the Apostles describes a persecuted Church, so in love with Jesus that it will suffer anything to serve Him. Does this describe you and your church? Get your "acts" together this Easter season.
Prayer: Jesus, may I love You so much that I will choose to suffer for You and Your kingdom.
Promise: "Anyone who loves Me will be true to My word, and My Father will love him; We will come to him and make our dwelling place with him." —Jn 14:23
Praise: Inspired by the movement of the Holy Spirit found in Acts, Regina prays for new Pentecost after new Pentecost.
Reference: (Act on Jesus' word by helping others through the Bible. For encouragement, order our series on Biblical Counseling on audio AV 13A-1, AV 13A-3, AV 13B-1 or video starting with V-13A.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 16, 2006
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