Again?

Acts 5:30-42

The apostles and disciples proclaimed Jesus everywhere, again and again, and again. Nothing stopped them because they had to do what God told them to do!

I want you to do something. Think back on the conversations you had this week. How many of them were about Jesus’ crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection, or ascension? How many conversations did you have that even mentioned Jesus? I’m not asking how many times you mentioned church; I’m asking how many times you mentioned Jesus.

What were the majority of your conversations about? Were they griping about something or somebody? If so, then guess what? You care more about griping about something or somebody than you do about Jesus.

There are times I feel like a stuck record. A friend of mine tells me that she likes listening to my sermons because I don’t say the same thing over and over again, but I do; I just don’t necessarily do it in the same sermon. As I write my sermons and prayers, I often feel like I’m saying the same thing week after week. But, as we work through Acts, I see that I am in good company. Peter and all of the apostles and disciples continued to preach and teach that God raised Jesus from the dead. God raised him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior so that He could bring people to repentance and forgive their sins. Because of Jesus’ ascension and our faith in him, we have the Holy Spirit within us who gives us the gifts we need to do the work God has given us to do. And, if that was the message of the apostles and disciples, then it’s my message too.

We may very well get exasperated or bored when dealing with things of the world, but if we are dealing with or talking about our passion, it’s exciting.

What is your passion? What do you get excited about? Cars? Sports? Grandchildren? Politics? Work?

Is God your passion? Do you get as excited talking about God and what Jesus did for you as you do talking about cars, sports, grandchildren, politics, work, or whatever else? If not, why not? If talking about God’s love and grace, if talking about Jesus doesn’t get you up on your soapbox, why not?

Download the Daily Prayers for the Week of Aug. 14-20

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Sunday, August 14
Daily Prayer
Acts 5:30-31

30 The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging him on a cross. 31 God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins.

Lord, you have assigned us our portion and our cup: you have made our lot secure, and for that and so much more, we praise You! (Psalm 16:5) Too often, we share everything under the sun with others but don’t share what we know to be true about your Son. Forgive us! Thank you for giving us opportunities to tell others about Jesus and the eternal life you want for all. Help our passion for Jesus grow to the point that we can’t restrain ourselves when your Spirit prompts us to speak Jesus! We pray this in the name of Jesus, Amen

Monday, August 15
Daily Prayer
Acts 5:32

32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”

Lord, you are the God who is in heaven. You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you! (2 Chronicles 20:6) The Holy Spirit in us continues to remind us that our purpose is to give witness to the power of Jesus, but sometimes, we are afraid. And because of that fear, we hold back and don’t share the good news with others. Forgive us, forgive me. Thank you for not taking your Spirit from me and helping me bear witness to everyone about Jesus. In His name, we pray, Amen

Tuesday, August 16
Daily Prayer
Acts 5:33-39

33 When they heard this, they were furious and wanted to put them to death. 34 But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while. 35 Then he addressed the Sanhedrin: “Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men. 36 Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing. 37 After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered. 38 Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. 39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”

Lord, you are the King of Glory, The Lord Almighty! (Psalm 24:10) So often, we treat the Gospel like any other news we hear and hold back our witness from some because we do not think they will receive it well. Forgive us! Lord, we know our message to others is from you and will not come back void. Help us to share your word with everyone, Lord! In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.

Wednesday, August 17
Daily Prayer
Acts 5:40

40 His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.

We raise our voices with the trumpeters and singers with one voice to give praise and thanks to you, Lord! (2 Chronicles 5:13) Father, give us the strength and bravery we need to proclaim Jesus as Lord and Savior even in the face of danger. What is more frightening, personal threats or the real possibility of someone we know going to hell because we never spoke? Help us remember our purpose Lord, always. In the name of Jesus, we pray, Amen.

Thursday, August 18
Daily Prayer
Acts 5:41

41 The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.

Lord, who do we have in heaven but you? And earth has nothing we desire besides you. Our flesh and hearts may fail, but God, you are the strength of our hearts and our portion forever. (Psalm 73:25–26) What can the world do to us that negates the glory waiting for us? Nothing! Help us hold on to that fact and glorify you even when facing persecution. Hear our prayer Father in the name of your son Jesus we pray, Amen.

Friday, August 19
Daily Prayer
Acts 5:42

42 Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.

Father, we exalt you among the nations and on earth! (Psalm 46:10) Father, even in the face of rejection or losing friends and people in our lives, let our passion for Jesus and His message burn to the point that we can’t not speak of His greatness. Let everything in our lives take a backseat to glorifying and praising what Jesus has done and is doing in our lives. In his name, we pray, Amen.

Saturday, August 20
Daily Prayer

Lord, we praise you! 2 Chronicles 34:37 tells us that if our hearts are responsive to you and we humble ourselves before you, you will hear us. May the hearts of all who say this prayer grow in responsiveness to you, and may we all bow to your greatness. Help our souls be ready to hear your word tomorrow. Let us put any failures out of our minds as we prepare to gather to worship you. Send your Spirit to fill your servant with your word, and let us put everything aside to hear your word for us. In the name of Jesus, we pray, Amen.

Heart and Soul

Acts 4:32-5:16
Sunday, July 31, 2022

The early believers lived, breathed, and immersed themselves into the truth of Jesus’ crucifixion, death, burial, and ascension. They were thoroughly convinced of the mission of Christ, of the great commission; therefore, they gave all they were to speak the Word of God. Nothing, not even threats and persecution could keep them from proclaiming the Word and carrying out the mission of Christ.

The early church grew because the believers were united in their desire to reach others for Christ. As we see from the example of Ananias and Saphira, God knows who is united and who isn’t.

Think for a second about what disunity does to a church. It tears it apart. Maybe not obviously, maybe not quickly, but if we are not in unison working toward the mission God has given us of reaching others with the transformative power of Jesus Christ, we might as well be a social club.

If you are in a social club working on a project, little cliques are going to form in the group. This clique is going to talk about that clique, personalities are going to clash. If you miss a club meeting, no biggie. Y’all know what I’m talking about; social clubs prove that the high school mentality stays with us long past graduation.

But these ways of the world don’t work in God’s Church. We are called to be different from the world. Are we going to get under each other’s skin? You betcha! But if we are filled with the Holy Spirit in union with each other and with God focusing on our mission, the problems of man – those things that we let come between us and each other – will fall by the wayside.

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Daily prayers for July 31-August 6

Sunday, July 31, 2022
Acts 4:32-35

32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

Lord, how awesome are your deeds, how great is your power! (Psalm 66:2) Not only do you provide for us, you give us our church family to help and be helped by, thank you. Meeting the personal demands we have can make us hesitant to give back to you what your Holy Spirit leads us to give and for those times, we ask your forgiveness for not listening to your Spirit. Help us trust in you in all things. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Monday, August 1, 2022
Acts 4:36-5:6

36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet. 1 Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2 With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet. 3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.” 5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6 Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.

God of all, all of the earth bows down to you. We sing praise to you and praise your name! (Psalm 66:4) You are all seeing and all knowing. We can’t hide from you Lord because you do see all. Your omniscience lays us bare before you. Forgive us for the times we try to hide things from you. Help our trust in you grow daily. In the name of Christ we pray, Amen

Tuesday, August 2, 2022
Acts 5:7-11

7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?” “Yes,” she said, “that is the price.” 9 Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.” 10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.

Lord, we sing for joy to you, the rock of our salvation! (Psalm 95:1) God, we read these verses and they sound harsh! But, they do show the possible outcomes when we try to hide things from you. Satan tries to make us believe that we can do our own thing even when your Spirit is leading us in your way. Help us listen to your Spirit and follow your lead always. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022
Acts 5:12-13

12 The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people.

We bow down in worship of you God, our Lord and our maker! (Psalm 95:6-7) Do we ever put people off from joining us in worship Lord? We know that your Spirit can guide us in our conversations about you and lead us to say the words that will speak to the need in others to worship you. Guide us, lead us, and direct us we pray in the name of Jesus, Amen!

Thursday, August 4, 2022
Acts 5:12-13

14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.

Lord you are good and your love endures forever, your faithfulness continues through the generations all the way to us. (Psalm 100:5) You can use us to bring others to you even when we feel that we aren’t an effective witness to Jesus. We know that our efforts cannot do justice to the sacrifice He made for us Father, but help us keep trying even when we fail. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Friday, August 5, 2022
Acts 5:12-13

15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.

Lord, we hold on to hope in you and praise you more and more. (Psalm 7:14) Others in the community see our church Lord, but do they really see it? We long to be the church where people come to find healing from the sickness of living without you. You alone provide the healing for the emptiness that comes from not have total faith in you. Show us ways to touch those in our communities with the joy that comes from a life with you. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Thank you for bringing us to the end of another week Lord, by your mercy, we will gather in your house tomorrow and bow down and worship you with reverence for who you are. (Psalm 5:7) Help us let go of the things that come between us and worshiping you, things such as worry, depression, and anger, God. Let us lay down everything except our love for you and give ourselves over to the joy of worshiping our God! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

In Unity and in One Accord

Acts 4:23-31
Sunday, July 24, 2022

Peter and John went back to their own people after being put in jail, questioned by the Jewish leaders, and ordered not to speak of Jesus anymore. Once back with other believers they told what the leaders had said and then they prayed. They didn’t do what so many of us do when we feel that mistreated by others. They didn’t gripe and grumble about the people who mistreated them; they didn’t talk ugly about the leaders. No, they went back and prayed with the other believers in unity with each other and with God. They didn’t let the threats from the Jewish leaders stop them. They didn’t let the apparent futility of the task God had given them stop them. They prayed.

What they prayed was different from our prayers as well. Often, when confronted with obstacles, we pray and ask God to remove those obstacles. We ask God to smooth the way for us, but that is not what the early church prayed for that day. Together they prayed that God would enable them to speak His word with boldness. 

Unlike the early church, we don’t face a threat of crucifixion or being jailed and beaten. The only thing we face is rejection, but we allow that threat to hold us back from speaking Jesus when the Spirit leads us and presents us with an opportunity. We need the boldness that the early believers had if we want to reach our world for Jesus like they did. And, having that boldness means we need to be praying for it in unity with one another and in one accord with each other.

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Sunday, July 24, 2022
Acts 4:23-24

23 On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them.

Everlasting God, Creator of the ends of the earth who does not grow tired or weary (Isaiah 40:28,) we praise you. You alone are Sovereign of our lives. You made the heavens, earth and sea, and Lord, you made us. You made us to be your people and to speak of the greatness of Jesus. As we go through this week, help us glorify you in all that we say and do. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen   

                                                                            

Monday, July 25, 2022
Acts 4:25-26

25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: “ ‘Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? 26 The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed one.’

Our hope in you Lord renews our strength (Isaiah 43:31) you alone are Holy and worthy of our praise. You send your Spirit to speak through your people and your people listen for what and when to speak. Sometimes we shrink our witness when in front of those in power, give us the courage to speak of your Son and our Savior Jesus. In his name we pray, Amen.

                                                                                  

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Acts 4:27

27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed.

Lord, we are confident of this, we will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. We wait for you (Psalm 27:13.) There are still those who conspire against you and the message of Jesus. Forgive us when we don’t respond with boldness. Help us stay strong and dedicated to telling others about your Son who loves us all. Let us respond to any ridicule with standfast faith. We love you Jesus and dedicate our lives to serving you, in your name we pray, Amen

                                                                                  

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Acts 4:28-29

28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. 29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.

Sovereign Lord, you have begun to show to your servant your greatness and your strong hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do the deeds and mighty works you do? (Deuteronomy 3:24) What a mighty God you are that even those who work against you do so in accordance with your plan. The fact that you include us in your plan is an honor beyond measure. With your Spirit and the power of Jesus let us measure up to the honor of witnessing to others about the greatness of our Savior. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

                                                                                  

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Acts 4:30

30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

Lord, your outstretched arm created the heavens and the earth, nothing is too hard from you (Jeremiah 32:17.) We know Father that you can do anything. If it is your will to use us to show your greatness to draw people to you, let us not ignore the prompts from your Spirit. Mold our will to your own Lord, In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

                                                                                  

Friday, July 29, 2022

31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

Lord Almighty, you are the King of glory (Psalm 24:10) and your presence shakes our spaces and our lives. We confess that we don’t always open ourselves and allow you to shake us. We like our normal lives Lord and are hesitant to let the Holly Spirit fill us where we can speak of your majesty. Forgive us and help us recognize even the smallest tremors you send. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

                                                                                  

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth, sing praise to the Lord, to him who rides across the highest heavens, the ancient heavens, who thunders with mighty voice. Proclaim the power of God, whose majesty is over Israel, whose power is in the heavens. You, God, are awesome in your sanctuary; the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God! (Psalm 68:32-35) Father, we anxiously await the opportunity to gather with your saints in worship. As we reflect on this past week Lord, we remember and repent of times when we failed to be the people you call us to be. We praise you for the times that we were able to share with others the joy we have in our relationship with Jesus. We lift up your servant who will bring your word tomorrow. Let our minds be clear to hear your message through them. In the name of Christ, Amen.

The Power in the Name

Sunday, July 10, 2022
Acts 4:1-21

As Peter states in Acts 4:12, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Now, just as then, some find this truth offensive. But a truth doesn’t become a lie just because some find it offensive. We, on our own, are not good enough for God. There is only one road to God. Have you ever considered the fact that if there was another way to God, God refused Jesus’ request? In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed to His Father, “If there is some other way, let this cup pass from me.” (Matthew 26:39) There is no other way. If there were, Jesus died in vain and there is no truth or power in the name of Jesus. Peter and John understood this, they lived by faith in the Son of God who loved them and gave himself for them. That is why, when the rulers warned them against speaking Jesus they replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! 20 As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”Let us live as Paul wrote about himself, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Gal 2:20)

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Daily Prayers for July 10 – July 16

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Acts 4:1-3

1 The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. 2 They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. 3 They seized Peter and John and, because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day.

Dear Lord, because of your greatness we praise you! Sometimes we don’t tell others about Jesus because we are afraid of their reaction, forgive us. Thank you for your grace in forgiving us when we fail. Help us Lord have the courage to speak even when speaking puts us at risk. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Monday, July 11, 2022

Acts 4:4

4 But many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand.

Lord, there is no-one holy like You: there is no-one besides you; there is no Rock like our God (1 Sam 2:2.) The apostles proclaimed Jesus to 1,000s and we often fail to proclaim Jesus to one, forgive us. You continue to give us opportunities to witness of the greatness of Christ. Help us recognize the opportunity to speak and give us the words to say. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Acts 4:5-7

5 The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. 6 Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and others of the high priest’s family. 7 They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?”

Lord, we delight greatly in You; our souls rejoice in our God (Isaiah 61:10.) It is only through the power of our Lord Jesus Christ that we can overcome our fear of repercussions for speaking His name. Thank you for sending your Spirit to fill us and make us one with you and one with your Son. Father, let all that we do and say proclaim Jesus as Lord over our lives. In his name we pray, Amen.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Acts 4:8-12

8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 Jesus is “ ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ 12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

Thank you, Lord, for teaching us your ways. Let us walk in your truth with an undivided heart knowing your awesomeness and fearing only your disapproval (Psalm 86:11.) Let us always proclaim Jesus and credit Him with any goodness that we do. Give us the strength to speak Jesus even to those in authority over us. In his name, Amen.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Acts 4:13-17

13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. 15 So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together. 16 “What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. “Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign, and we cannot deny it. 17 But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn them to speak no longer to anyone in this name.”

Jehovah-Shammah, “the Lord who is there” (Ezekiel 48:35) we praise you! Forgive us for the times we forget that you are always “there.” You are always with us and, through your Holy Spirit, prompting us to speak of the greatness of you and Jesus. As Peter and John show us, it isn’t our education that gives us the words we need, it is you. Help us call on the power in the name of Christ to speak Jesus even when facing adversity. In his name, Amen.

Friday, July 15, 2022

Acts 4:18-21

18 Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! 20 As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” 21 After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened.

You, God, are our God and we earnest seek you (Psalm 63:1.) Let us always do what is right in your eyes; let us always listen to you. When some try to hush us, let us stand on the firm foundation of our cornerstone Jesus and choose to please you and not humans – even our own selves. Fill us with a desire to share our Jesus with all. In his name, Amen.

Saturday, July 16, 2022

God of our lives, thank you for bringing through another week. Help us let go of any hurts from the week that we are holding on to; any anger, animosities, fears, or sadness that interferes with our ability to come into church tomorrow with a heart that is ready to receive your word. Place on our hearts a burning desire to gather with other believers in your church to refresh and renew our tired spirits. We lift up our speaker tomorrow and thank you for their willingness speak your word. In Jesus’ blessed name we pray, Amen.