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March 13, 2018

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year

Text: Joshua 9 – Joshua 11
Audio: Joshua 9 – Joshua 11

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

Memory Verse of the Week

“And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.”
(Acts 13:52 ESV)

Acts 11 (ESV)

Now the apostles and the brothers who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcision party criticized him, saying, “You went to uncircumcised men and ate with them.” But Peter began and explained it to them in order: “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision, something like a great sheet descending, being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to me. Looking at it closely, I observed animals and beasts of prey and reptiles and birds of the air. And I heard a voice saying to me, ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’ But I said, ‘By no means, Lord; for nothing common or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ But the voice answered a second time from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, do not call common.’ 10 This happened three times, and all was drawn up again into heaven. 11 And behold, at that very moment three men arrived at the house in which we were, sent to me from Caesarea.12 And the Spirit told me to go with them, making no distinction. These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. 13 And he told us how he had seen the angel stand in his house and say, ‘Send to Joppa and bring Simon who is called Peter; 14 he will declare to you a message by which you will be saved, you and all your household.’ 15 As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning. 16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 If then God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?”18 When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.”

19 Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except Jews. 20 But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Hellenists also, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord. 22 The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, 24 for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. 25 So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.

27 Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 And one of them named Agabus stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world (this took place in the days of Claudius). 29 So the disciples determined, every one according to his ability, to send relief to the brothers living in Judea. 30 And they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.

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Next: Acts 12

Back: Acts 10

This Post Has 6 Comments
  1. Read it.  I am not getting the purpose behind Acts so far.  I read it but have no clue the importance of each chapter.  Getting flustered reading and not understanding.

    1. Hi, Bonnie! The book of Acts comes directly after the four gospels because it’s about what happened after Christ was resurrected and ascended into heaven. Specifically, it shows us how the Church grew by the power, leading and gifting of the Holy Spirit!

      Without the Holy Spirit, the Church (universal, local, and individual members) is DEAD, and will not GROW (because dead things don’t grow). And I don’t necessarily mean in numbers (because a church can be filled with people who don’t know Jesus), but growing in faith, grace, the fruit of the Spirit, etc.. The growth in numbers of believers is also by the Holy Spirit, and you’ll see that happening throughout Acts. That, to me, is the coolest part of this book! Watching the church be born and grow even as the enemies of the gospel are doing everything they can to stop it!! No one can stop the gospel, because it is the power of God (Romans 1:16).

      If you’ve read the Old Testament, you’ll see the “Acts of the Apostles” is really a continuation of the ongoing history of God’s interaction with and intervention in the world since He created man. The Holy Spirit has been with us since Creation (Genesis 1:2), and was always active and alive, but in Acts we see man receiving the Holy Spirit in a different way, and then continuing to be filled with the Spirit to exalt Jesus Christ for God’s glory. The Spirit gifts and empowers disciples and Apostles for whatever works He calls them to as they take the gospel into the world. Today, that same Holy Spirit empowers and gifts us to reach the world with the gospel as we continue to be part of His story!

      The rest of the New Testament after Acts — except Revelation — are letters written from Apostles to Christians, either to groups/churches (the Corinthians, for example) or to specific people (like Timothy). You’ll recognize some of those churches and people in Acts. 🙂

      I hope this helps!

  2. Acts 11:26b "And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians."

    Christians. Christ's people. People "belonging to Christ." 

    We are also known as saints, disciples, believers, the "church", the "body of Christ", brothers, Nazoreans and the people of the "Way." 

    The term Christian appears to have come from people outside of the church – perhaps meant as a derogatory term. 

    A Christian has counted the cost of following Jesus and has committed his life to following Jesus. Whatever the sacrifice. Whatever the cost. 

    A Christian is someone who is born again, has the Holy Spirit and is committed to fulfilling the Great Commission (making disciples). 

    Paul sums this up in Galatians 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

    Having you been crucified with Christ? Are you a Christian?

  3. Thank you, Scott & Michelle, for your explanations – they help me as a relative "newbie" to really reading and understanding the Bible, as I have the same trouble as Bonnie. Your guidance is so appreciated! 

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