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Daily Worship

Bible readings and resources for your time with God




Acts 22:2-16



About Paul

by David Thompson

It's interesting that the passage referenced today was discussed in my devotional from Wednesday, November 15. I will try not to repeat the points I made about the Damascus Road and about Paul's conversion, the words spoken by Christ and what happened to Paul in Damascus. Let me encourage you to go back and read Wednesday's post if you missed it.

For today I am going to talk about how Paul went about giving himself credibility with his audiences. That, along with his knowledge that all who heard him didn't get converted. Starting in verse two and going through verse five, Paul (originally called Saul until his conversion) spoke to Palestinian Jews in Aramaic. This was the common language of that group. When he spoke to Roman officials, he spoke Greek. This was their formal language and one that they would speak commonly in their community. Paul also retold the story of how he persecuted the people of the Way and how he was responsible for their imprisonment and even for many of their deaths.

He would also share the fact that he was a Roman citizen when the situation warranted it. Verses six through sixteen recount the Damascus Road experience including his conversion in Damascus.

The Life Application Bible states Paul knew that even after all the introduction and the dramatic conversion story that many would not respond. Often, we read that some in every crowd were unconvinced and wanted to kill Paul.

The LA Bible says that, "We must faithfully and responsibly present the Gospel, and leave the results up to God." Many of us, given an opportunity to present the Gospel, miss the opportunity as we have a lot of rationalizations why we are not prepared. We feel inadequate or if it doesn't go well, we feel rejected. If we look once again at the LA Bible statement, it becomes apparent that many of the rationalizations are about us (about me) and not about God. Our job as stated in 1 Peter 3:15 is to "...always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have." At that point, God takes over. That should be a relief. It is for me.


Dear God, thank you for our example in Paul. He never gave up on telling the Gospel and even when thrown in jail, he was instrumental with You and the Holy Spirit in converting the jailer. Help us be like Paul by giving a ready answer to those that notice something different about us. In Christ's name, Amen.

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1 Peter 3:13-22



Humble Yet Fearless

by Judy Webb

“For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than doing evil.” (Peter 3:17)

This statement seems like a no-brainer. But once we stop and think about it, is it ever better to suffer? Consider the times you were enduring pain, either physical or emotional, did it seem good to you? Dietrich Bonhoffer said, "suffering is the badge of a true Christian." Huh? What does this mean? Can anything worthwhile ever result from suffering? I understand that, yes, it can and often does.

Sometimes we suffer because we took a stand for someone. We spoke up in their defense and our words caused us to endure someone else’s anger. We live in precarious times and our faith could require us to be bold; to take a stand for righteousness. As Christians we should be humble yet fearless.

In suffering we can claim the promises of God. “Consider it pure joy, brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” (James 1:2) Did you notice the verse read many kinds. Not just persecution, or life-changing illnesses, or financial ruin, but many kinds. Heartache, dashed dreams, defiant children…many kinds.

Afflictions work for good; they make way for glory. Just as plowing prepares the earth for crops, so too our troubles make us look to Jesus.

God sometimes puts us on our backs to make us look up.–Anonymous

We must care for each other, stand firm in our beliefs, and do good. “Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Luke 6:28) We cannot avoid suffering, so seek to be a blessing. Our enemies might hurt us, but they cannot destroy us.


Dear Father,

We need courage and strength to plow through this life. There is always something just around the corner destined to trip us up. Give us eyes to recognize Satan and his minions as they attempt to rile us up. Give us your peace and a sense of your Presence all the time. Amen.

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Acts 19:1-8



The Holy Spirit

by David Thompson

Have you ever felt empty regarding spiritual things? I know I have. Like the twelve men in today's passage, they didn't even know they were missing a large piece of one of God's ultimate promises. It would seem from the passage that there was a cognitive act that was needed to have the "whole" presence of God as part of their lives.

Now I know that most reading became filled with the saving knowledge of Christ and also had an infilling of the Spirit. The experience left them with no doubt that the Holy Spirit was infilling them. However, through the years of talking with people, there have been a good number who felt a lack in this area. If we look at today's passage once again, we can see that the men Paul spoke to had John's baptism and a promise that there would be one coming after John that would have another baptism. That baptism was after that person realized Jesus Christ and this entity called the Holy Spirit. In verse 4 it states that, "John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. Paul told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus."

Verse 5 tells us that when they heard of their lack, they all were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Verse 6 is the key. It states that "When Paul placed his hands on them the spirit came on them." Now there is a lot of debate about what followed. The twelve men displayed some outward signs. Just what we, as Holy Spirit filled Christians, will display have caused arguments throughout the centuries. It's not in my "pay grade" to try to convince anyone what exactly they will feel or what signs they might display. Whole denominations have been formed with the perceived answer to this age old question.

For me, I look at Paul in his road to Damascus experience. As you remember from Acts 9, Paul was struck blind and after a number of days a Christian named Ananias came to Paul, laid hands on him and Paul's sight was restored. We know that Saul (as he was known before his conversion) was a mean man who persecuted the members of the Way and had them jailed and even killed. Saul was there when Steven was stoned to death. However, once Paul received the full Gospel that included the Holy Spirit, he was a changed man. We all know he is responsible for much of the New Testament.

The key is, it changed him, and I strongly believe when a person becomes a Christian and becomes filled with the Holy Spirit, there will be a change. That person will display the "fruit of the Spirit" as related in Galatians 5:22-23, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." Notice that the "fruit" is singular meaning you will have a degree of all the above. You might, and likely will, have some gifts as well. There are folks right here at UALC that have a survey of Spiritual Gifts you can take and find what your gifts might be. Mine include teaching, leadership and administration. I would be interested to hear what you have found or will find are your gifts. For a Spiritual Gifts Test - Click here


Dear Jesus,

Thank you for your faithfulness and love. Help all who read the above to take to heart that there is no need to feel empty in our Christian walk. Help us see the need of getting a full measure of your Holy Spirit in our lives. If the fruit of the Spirit is lacking touch those that long for that and some of your gifts. We ask all of this in Christ's wonderful name. Amen and Amen!

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