In Acts 8, two kingdoms collide as one kingdom’s representative (Philip) interacts with the other kingdom’s representative (Simon). In the verses that ensue, and Simon apparently switches teams, the question soon becomes, “Where does his allegiance really lie?” Does he actually want Jesus, or does he just want the power to do some cool things?
The church in Acts continues to grow, is marked by generosity and is experiencing the grace and favor of God at every turn. But when a certain husband and wife try to play games and get in on the favor, God acts in a unique and decisive way to make sure everyone knows – God will not be mocked.
Peter, John and the healed man end up spending a night in jail and then being put on trial before the Sanhedrin. But it’s not only in the miraculous where the Holy Spirit is evident. Peter stands up to speak, and he is filled with the Holy Spirit to boldly confront these religious leaders with their sin. What will their response be?
As the 120 disciples of Jesus are gathered in the Upper Room, they are together for morning prayer, praying for the Holy Spirit to come, and suddenly, without warning, the Spirit came in power!
Luke starts out his second narrative like a new driver adjusting the rearview mirror, remembering where we've come from in terms of Jesus' life, death, resurrection, and ascension. He reminds us of the promise of the Father, and gets us ready for the mission: Be My Witnesses. And then he ascends.
Jesus wraps up his conversation with the disciples with a beautiful 3-part prayer – Part one for himself, part 2 for the disciples, part 3 for all who would believe. Key takeaway: Jesus wants us to know the Father, to know his love, and to be unified with each other.
Jesus warns the disciples that when he goes back to the Father, the “world” (anyone who rejects Jesus as God’s Messiah) is going to turn and aim their hostility at Jesus’ followers instead. But even though they will face all kinds of hardship, they can be confident that they are never alone. The Counselor will be right there with them wherever they are.
Josh Krueger, one of our Men's Ministry leaders, brings the message today from John 15, under the main idea that "Mandated, glory producing fruit can be produced one way: sap from the true vine." Throughout the message, Josh will address these questions: What is fruit and how is it produced? What is sap and how do we get some? Why are fruit and sap so important?
If you’re seeing a counselor, the idea is that you’ve called in someone to help you do something you are unable to do on your own. To help you. To intercede for you. An advocate that fights for you. That’s the word Jesus uses to describe the Holy Spirit. So, according to Jesus, the Holy Spirit is like having a perfectly wise Counselor, who knows everything about you and everything about God and his commands, his plan, and his will, which means he’ll only ever give you perfect advice, inside of you to help you live your life and obey Christ’s commands. You never need to schedule an appointment!
The resurrected Jesus now begins appearing to his disciples, giving them convincing proofs that he really is alive. Then, he opens their minds to understand the scriptures, gives them their mission, and encourages them to wait for the gift of the Father.