Philip’s miracles got attention

I was reading through Acts chapter eight this morning about Philip the evangelist. It is the passage that talks about Philip preaching in Samaria.

Acts 8:4-7 says, “Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ there. When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many, and many paralytics and cripples were healed”.

It is interesting that because of Philip’s preaching and miracles the people there paid close attention. The original Greek word used in this verse (Prosecho) means they really paid attention and it held on to their minds. They stopped what they were doing and focussed.

As we read on we see that once Philip had their attention he preached about the Kingdom of God and Jesus Christ and performed miracles. He didn’t just do the miracles in a stand alone format. The miracles got peoples attention and Philip was able to share the Good News of God’s salvation.

Let’s read on to verse 13 to see what happened. “But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women”.

So what can see from all of this? One thing is for sure that the miracles performed got peoples attention. They stopped what they were doing and listened intently. When they were listening, Philip preached the message of God’s Kingdom and people came to Jesus as a result. Even Simon the Sorcerer!

God performs miracles through us out of His compassion and mercy. However, there are a number times in the Bible we see the miracles are done to open doors to preach about the Kingdom of God and salvation through Jesus Christ.

ODB: Who you are

I really enjoyed this message from our Daily Bread today. I thought I would share it…

Who you are

1 Timothy 4:12,14 NLT
[12] Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. [14] Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received through the prophecy spoken over you when the elders of the church laid their hands on you.

In 2011, after a decade of childlessness, my wife and I chose to start afresh in a new country. Exciting as the move was, it required my leaving a broadcast career, which I missed. Feeling lost, I asked my friend Liam for advice.

“I don’t know what my calling is anymore,” I told Liam dejectedly.

“You’re not broadcasting here?” he asked. I said I wasn’t.

“And how is your marriage?”

Surprised at his change of topic, I told Liam that Merryn and I were doing well. We’d faced heartbreak together but emerged closer through the ordeal.

“Commitment is the core of the gospel,” he said, smiling. “Oh, how the world needs to see committed marriages like yours! You may not realize the impact you’re having already, beyond what you do, simply by being who you are.”

When a difficult work situation left Timothy dejected, the apostle Paul didn’t give him career goals. Instead, he encouraged Timothy to live a godly life, setting an example through his speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity (1 Timothy 4:12–1315). He would best impact others by living faithfully.

It’s easy to value our lives based on our career success when what matters most is our character. I had forgotten that. But a word of truth, a gracious act, even a committed marriage can bring great change—because through them something of God’s own goodness touches the world.

By: Sheridan Voysey

Keeping a healthy spirit

The Bible says in Proverbs 18:14, “A man’s spirit sustains him in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?”

This proverb contrasts a healthy spirit with a “crushed spirit”. The figure of a “crushed” spirit in this verse suggests a broken will, loss of vitality, despair, and emotional pain.

When a person’s spirit is healthy they are positive, alive, vibrant and are able to cope with most things that come their way. Even when facing major illness they seem to have the will to face it and overcome.

So what are some of the things we can do to maintain a healthy spirit? Here are a few that I have found helpful.

  1. Prayer – keeping connected with God by prayer keeps up spiritually in tune with Him.
  2. Bible reading – reading the Word of God regularly feeds our souls. It is our daily bread.
  3. Confession – none of us are perfect and we all sin at times. Confession helps to lift the load when we sin.
  4. Fellowship – spending time with positive faith filled people charges up our faith and lifts our spirit.
  5. Rest – getting enough rest is vital to keeping a healthy spirit. We can’t just keep going flat out and expect to be healthy.
  6. Recreation – if we want a healthy spirit we need to do things we enjoy and take us away from our everyday routines.
  7. Service – serving others takes our focus of ourselves. Get involved in serving God by serving others to keep a healthy spirit.

A life of hope

I like this insight from today’s Our Daily Bread…

First Peter 3:15 is often presented as a challenge to be prepared for opportunities to share one’s faith: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” But sharing our faith might be the secondary aspect. First, we’re to live a life of hope in a world that is largely hopeless. Notice that Peter said that people will ask about the hope we have. As we live hope-filled lives in this broken world, those around us will see the difference. Then we’re to be ready to answer them about the hope that marks our lives. Our hope distinguishes believers in Jesus from those without Christ, whom Paul described as “without hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12). He is our hope, and we’re challenged to live like it.