Here are the notes for Acts 11:
God bless you.
That is the one issue between God and man – our sins.
God wants humanity to know that sin separates us from Him; however, He has made provision for our sins – His Son, Jesus Christ.
God has ordained Jesus Christ to be the Judge of the living and the dead. Jesus, our Judge, died on the cross for our sins – this was God’s will.
God wants to save us from the judgment that is coming for the world’s sins (all our sins combined) against Him. We will be condemned to hell if we chose not to be forgiven through faith in Jesus Christ. When we reject Jesus Christ as our God and Savior, we remain enemies of God. Instead of loving God, we chose to love our sin.
Our sins can only be forgiven “through His name” and “whoever believes in Him shall receive forgiveness of sins” – Acts 10:43. God will forgive us is we will believe in Jesus Christ: that He is God, that He died on the cross for our sins, and that He rose again from the dead on the third day.
Forgiveness can only be granted by God, Himself. He said that if we believe in His Son, Jesus Christ, then He will forgive
of our sins.
May you believe in the Son of God – Jesus Christ – who died on the cross for our sins and rose again from the dead.
He is alive. He is the truth. He is what you are missing.
May the Lord Jesus reveal Himself to you.
Revive Us O’ LORD!
I love You because You first loved me. I thank You for the glorious grace that You have given to me through faith in Your Gospel.
I repent for quenching the Holy Spirit in my life: because my love has grown cold and uncaring for the world around me – right where I live – in my own backyard.
I repent for grieving Your Holy Spirit in my life because I believe I am the only one doing “it” right.
I repent for the hardness of my heart in failing to seek out and fellowship with believers across the street from the “other” church that believes the biblical, true Gospel.
I repent because I have forgotten that there is only One Body of Christ filled with born again believers from different walks of life and espousing different views though solidly dedicated and faithful to the biblical Gospel – Your Gospel, to the Apostles’ Creed, to the inerrancy of the Word of God, to the work and power of the Holy Spirit, and to prayer.
I repent of the evil of my divisive and arrogant tongue that has promoted my agenda at the cost of hurting those who are truly born again.
I repent of the spiritual pride I often find in my own heart but am too weak to confront and too prideful to admit.
I repent of the bitterness I have spread and the grudges I have held against other believers who have wronged me, hurt me, gossiped about me, or shunned me from fellowship.
I repent for the ungodliness of my nation’s sexual perversion and its results: STDs, divorce, and abortion.
I repent for my nation’s idolatry: covetousness, greed, and corruption.
I repent because of ungodly leaders who have sacrificed this nation’s honor for self-aggrandizement and financial contributions.
I repent because of ungodly Supreme Court justices who uphold unholy laws.
I repent for my nation’s many, many sins against You.
I repent, Lord Jesus. I repent.
Help me see as You See. Make my heart as Your Heart. Make my life as Your Life.
Live through me, Lord Jesus.
Rule my heart today and always.
In Your Name, Lord Jesus,
The Holy Spirit is “the promise of the Father.” The Father could have sent us anyone or anything in this universe to be our Paraclete or helper, but He didn’t. He sent us the His only Vicar of Christ – the one and only Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is God.
The Holy Spirit is Holy.
The Holy Spirit is here.
You don’t need a spoon full of sugar, a beer, or a cigarette. You don’t need a larger house, a fancier car, or a vacation. You don’t need a larger salary, a new wife or husband, a bonus, a winning lottery ticket, or beach front property. You don’t need nicer clothing, blue suede shoes, or brownie buttons. The giving of the Holy Spirit is God the Father’s immediate priority – being filled with the Holy Spirit is His desire for all who call upon the Name of Christ.
You and I need the Holy Spirit; He, alone, is the promise of the Father. Our Father could have given us anything! He didn’t. He gave us the greatest thing – the only thing needed for spiritual vitality, spiritual significance, and eternal purpose – His Holy Spirit.
He came to fill us with Himself. If He is what the Father has given, then we should accept our Father’s gift.
God bless you.
Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand,
Upon the son of man whom You made strong for Yourself.
Then we will not turn back from You;
Revive us, and we will call upon Your name.
Restore us, O LORD God of hosts;
Cause Your face to shine,
And we shall be saved!
Lord Jesus Christ, let Your loving hand be upon us. Make us strong for Your sake and for Yourself. Make us turn back to You, for we can not produce a holy passion for You in our own power, in our own wisdom, or in our own strength. We need You to fill our hearts with Your love and passion for God the Father, love for one another, and compassion for the World.
Revive us, O’ Lord Jesus, and we will call upon Your name! We need You to revive our hearts because we are powerless to revive them in our own strength. When You revive us, we, Your Body, will call upon Your Name together in unity – corporately – fellowship to fellowship and house to house.
Restore us, O’ LORD God of Hosts! You are the only One who can restore us, renew us, and help us live passionate, holy lives for the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Cause Your face to shine upon us! Do not hide Your face from us; we come to seek Your face that we may reflect Your glory to all fellow believers and to all the world around us.
Holy Spirit, fill us once again.
I am so very humbled by an article I read in the Jerusalem Post; in this article, a Christian woman from the Middle East who calls herself “Maryam” tells believers in the West, “Don’t pray for the persecution to stop, but pray for the Christians there: for their boldness, their encouragement, for their faith, and that they can all be witnesses for God’s work and for God.”
She continued, “We are not afraid or worried that the persecution will increase. We are just feeling that this is God’s time. God is working perfectly now in the Middle East. Even with all these crazy stuff happening, God is really working now… ” She also read a passage from her Arabic Bible: “But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad” – Exodus 1:12. WOW!
My heart was stirred up by this timely piece. I live in luxury, abundance, and comfort. I have everything I could ever want, need, or desire. I have so much “stuff” that I don’t know where to put it all. I am a complainer. When trials come my way, my first thought is to complain, grumble, or blame others. Rarely do I respond in prayer or love to the Lord when I first encounter difficulties. However, God has used Maryam’s bold testimony to move my heart to grieve over my hardened soul and to seek His loving grace to empower me to change.
There is no doubt that the power of the Holy Spirit is at work through men and women who remain true to Christ in the midst of terrible persecution. Rape, murder, human trafficking, kidnapping, and the plundering of our possessions are not things any of us look forward to, yet Maryam shared, “We are not afraid or worried that persecution will increase… God is working perfectly now in the Middle East.” O’ how I pray for this kind of faith! O’ how I pray to honor the Lord with such faith in Him alone! May we who name the name of Christ seek to be loosed from our calloused, hardened hearts and become renewed in our minds to the true purposes of God in the earth. May we like, Maryam, believe and profess in the midst of great suffering and persecution, “God is working perfectly now…”
May you know the love, grace, and power of Christ at all times my dear friends.
You wouldn’t think that being full of the Holy Spirit can get you killed, but it can happen and it has happened.
Stephen was a “Grecian” Jew – also known as a Hellenist; he spoke fluent Greek and was chosen to “serve tables” in order to meet the needs of Grecian, Jewish, Christian widows. He was known for being full of the Holy Spirit and power – I would like to have this reputation as well! In fact, every believer in Christ has the potential to have a reputation as a Spirit filled believer (isn’t that what we want?). However, the desire to have this kind of reputation among brothers and sisters can become a snare – pleasing men instead of God and seeking the praises of men instead of honoring God is a grave error, for we are to do nothing out of selfish ambition, vain glory, or conceit. (A friend of mine calls this “approbation lust.”) I wish I could say that I have never struggled with the desire to be important in the eyes of men, but I have and I have repented of this foolish desire many times.
Stephen, however, was void of selfish ambition because he was full of the Holy Spirit and power. Who wants to serve tables behind the scenes when there’s glory to be gained by hanging with the apostles? However, he faithfully served tables, and God used him mightily!
Stephen was brutally murdered – the Jewish supreme court condemned him and murdered him thinking they were doing God’s work. This is not unlike the Islamic terrorist, today, who murder, rape, and pillage Christians and others in the name of their god “Allah.”
Stephen’s martyrdom is a wonderful testimony to anyone who names the name of Christ. He was not persecuted for his faults (like me most of the time), but he was condemned because he was full of the Holy Spirit and rebuked the Jewish sages for always resisting the Holy Spirit. As a result, they dragged him out of the courtroom and murdered him.
While he was being murdered, he continued in the character for which his reputation was known. He was truly rooted and built up in Christ and established in the faith. Like a vibrant, fruitful tree planted in rich, nutrient soil, Stephen was rooted in Christ. As a human being rooted in Christ, he was nourished by Christ and built up in Christ – he became more and more like Christ in his heart and mind. This is what the Holy Spirit does in our lives – this is the work of the Holy Spirit! He is out to make us more and more like Jesus – Christlike.
We all have great potential if we are rooted and built up in Christ and established in the faith. The Holy Spirit is the One who makes this transformation in our lives and continues this work until we are with Christ. Praise the LORD!
There are awesome similarities between Stephen and our Lord Jesus. Stephen’s Christlikeness is both encouraging and contagious.
Look at his last words on earth:
I am amazed by the power of the Holy Spirit at work in Stephen’s life; through his example, I am encouraged to be filled with Holy Spirit – not so I can be like Stephen, but like Jesus!
The Holy Spirit changes us, and He gives us the power to love our enemies in forgiving them and praying for them – Luke 5:43-48. This is what it looks like to be filled with the Holy Spirit – Stephen exhibited the fruits of the Spirit even when his life was threatened and while it was being taken from him!
In Stephen, we see our own potential; we see how the Holy Spirit empowers Christ’s kids to serve. We see what the Holy Spirit can do through a common person – a waiter on tables who served old ladies (please, no offense to anyone) but this is probably how a non-Spirit filled person would view this kind of service but not Spirit filled Stephen! It is safe to conclude that he loved serving widows because he was serving Jesus and that is all that matters to one who is Spirit filled:)
I’m serving Jesus and that is all that matters!
May we, too, be filled with the Holy Spirit and encouraged by the life of Stephen.