Acts 9

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“Peter traveled from place to place, and he came down to visit the believers in the town of Lydda” (Acts 9:32 NLT).

June 14, 2018

After Paul’s conversion there was a season of peace for the church. During this time, the apostle Peter traveled throughout Judea, Samaria and Galilee visiting the new believers and strengthening them in the faith. In the town of Lydda, which goes by the name “Lod” today, Peter healed a paralytic named Aeneas. This caused a great number of people to turn to the Lord after hearing Peter’s preaching. From there, Peter continued on the Jaffa (Pronounced “Yaffa”) highway to the sea coast town of Jaffa. Peter healed a woman named Dorcas in Jaffa and a great number of people believed in Jesus there. Peter made Jaffa his base of ministry for a long time, staying at the home of Simon the Tanner.

Can you imagine having the apostle Peter come to your town? He and the other apostles had great freedom during this season. Peter became known for his ministry among the JBBs (Jewish Background Believers).

“I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting!” (Acts 9:5 NLT).

June 13, 2018

Saul encountered the glorious Christ on the road to Damascus. Saul was going there to arrest any followers of Jesus that he might find. Yet, he was instead found by the Lord Jesus Himself. The question Jesus asked was informative, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?” Saul asked who it was that was speaking, to which he was answered, “I am Jesus.”

The one who persecutes a follower of Jesus, persecutes Jesus Himself. For the Church is the body of Christ and He is its Head (Col.1:18, Eph.1:22-23).

“Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God” (Acts 9:20 NKJV).

June 13, 2017

Saul the persecutor became Paul the preacher. Within days of his Damascus road experience with Jesus, Saul was preaching Christ in the synagogues. His passion for killing Christians had been replaced with a passion for making them. Why? Because he had encountered the risen Christ and believed. And he wanted everyone to know what Christ had done for them.

Are all believers immediately called to making disciples for Jesus? Paul certainly thought so.

“But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles and declared to them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who spoke to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus” (Acts 9:27 ESV)

June 14, 2016

After Saul the Persecutor became Paul the Preacher, he sought to meet with the disciples, but they were afraid. But Barnabas, whose name means “Son of Encouragement,” vouched for Paul and presented him to the apostles. What a great friend to have! Someone who will mediate for you and put their own name on the line for you, so that you can have a second chance at life. How like Jesus was this Barnabas who encouraged both Paul and the apostles to be reconciled to one another.

“But the Lord said, ‘Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel'” (Acts 9:15)

June 13, 2012

God called Saul to a very specific ministry. Do you think God still calls people today? Are we “chosen instruments” to a certain family, city, school, workplace, nation, people group, etc? If God still does this, then don’t you want to be that “chosen instrument” in His hands?

“Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord” (Acts 9:31)

June 14, 2011

This season of peace followed one of persecution. Seasons are not coincidental. The Gardener uses them to make the Vine’s branches more fruitful.

“Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord” (Acts 9:31)

June 14, 2010

God sets the seasons. Farmers don’t go to conferences to learn how to grow their fields during a winter season. They learn early on to work and rest with the seasons.
The record of the early church in the book of Acts reflects a seasonal movement of peace and persecution, gathering and dispersion, all under the Spirit’s leadership.
How can we become like farmers who know the times? How can we do the right kind of work and find the right times to rest?
Lord, help us to recognize the seasons and to work when the Spirit works and rest when He rests. Help us move with the rhythm of Your Spirit.