Old Testament: 1 Samuel 9 & 10
Poetry: Proverbs 6
New Testament: Acts Introduction below
Saul was looking for Samuel and Samuel was looking for Saul but for different reasons! At first, Saul was looking for his father’s donkeys, and Samuel for the king of Israel – then, all was found. Not only was Saul (tall and handsome) anointed the first king of Israel, but the Spirit of God came upon him. It even says, “He’d be turned into another man (1 Samuel 10:7) … God gave him another heart.” (10:9) Imagine to go looking for donkeys and to be anointed the first king of Israel, what a shocking surprise! Honestly, I’m not too surprised he was hiding amongst the equipment. That’s probably where I would’ve been too. But the LORD knew right where he was and whom He had chosen.
Sometimes things turn out differently than we’d planned, actually a lot of times. My motto around the house is we need to be flexible or we’ll break as our plans are often shifting. 😊 After the time of the judges, authorities will shift to kingship. Yet, ‘Thus says the LORD God of Israel: I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all kingdoms and from those who oppressed you. But you have today rejected your God, who Himself saved you from all your adversities and your tribulations; and you have said to Him, ‘No, set a king over us!’” (10:17-19) It is sad that the people rejected God as their king and yet God was gracious and granted them one anyhow.
“These are six things the LORD hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brothers.” (Proverbs 6:16-19)
“My son, keep your father’s command, and do not forsake the law of your mother.
Bind them continually upon your heart; tie them around your neck,
When you roam, they will lead you; when you sleep, they will keep you;
And when you awake, they will speak with you.
For the commandment is a lamp, and the law a light. Reproofs of instruction are the way of life.” (6:20-23)
- Is there something in our lives that we’re failing to acknowledge God for doing for us? Let’s keep a thankful heart and thank Him for three things that happened today.
- Are we aware of the 7 things God hates and hopefully not doing any of them?
- Are we keeping God’s ways close to us throughout the day and letting them guide us even while we lie down to sleep?
The Book of Acts, also known as The Acts of the Apostles, is a sequel to the Gospel of Luke. Luke, a physician who traveled with the apostle Paul, wrote both. In fact, Luke wrote more of the New Testament than any other author, including Paul. The book of Acts covers the period of time from just after the resurrection of Jesus until just before the death of Paul, and tells the history of the early Church. Because the story about Paul ends abruptly with his house arrest and awaiting trial before Caesar, it’s likely the Book of Acts was written at that time, likely around 62 or 63 AD.
The first half of the Book of Acts focuses primarily on Peter, who taught mostly Jews, while the last half is about Paul, who taught mostly Gentiles. Luke detailed the expansion of Christianity from being centered in Israel, to reaching worldwide (in the known world of that day). Luke recorded several sermons, from Peter’s on the day of Pentecost, to Stephen’s, and multiple of Paul’s. By using the word “we” in parts of the second half of the book, it is obvious that Luke traveled with Paul.
From Chapter 1, we can see several things the early church believed:
- The reality of Jesus’ resurrection (Acts 1:3a)
- The promise of the coming kingdom (Acts 1:3b)
- The power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8)
- Jesus will return the same way he left (Acts 1:11)
- Prayer was important, and they spent lots of time in prayer (Acts 1:14)
- They believed in God’s leading (Acts 1:24-26)
Some of the more well-known information in Acts includes:
- Jesus’ ascension into heaven (Acts 1:7-11)
- The Holy Spirit being poured out on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2)
- Peter and John healing a crippled beggar (Acts 3)
- Peter and John before the Sanhedrin (Acts 4)
- Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5)
- Stephen’s sermon and the stoning of Stephen (Acts 7)
- Philip and the Ethiopian (Acts 8)
- Saul’s conversion (Acts 9)
- Peter and Cornelius (Acts 10)
- Peter’s miraculous escape from prison (Acts 12)
- Paul’s missionary journeys (starting in Acts 13)
As you can see, Acts is a very exciting and well-known book.
I love Acts 4:13, which says, “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” As you study the book of Acts, and ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit, I pray that people will notice you and be astonished, and will take note that you have been with Jesus.