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Acts Reading Plan | Week 10 | Day 4
Daniel 9:9 says, “The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him.” Thank God as you come before Him today, that he is merciful and forgiving, that you can have a relationship with Him even though we have been stained by sin.
Bible Reading: Acts 13:13-43
Read these verses three times slowly.
From Paphos, Paul and his companions sailed to Perga in Pamphylia, where John left them to return to Jerusalem. From Perga they went on to Pisidian Antioch. On the Sabbath they entered the synagogue and sat down. After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the leaders of the synagogue sent word to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have a word of exhortation for the people, please speak.”
Standing up, Paul motioned with his hand and said: “Fellow Israelites and you Gentiles who worship God, listen to me! The God of the people of Israel chose our ancestors; he made the people prosper during their stay in Egypt; with mighty power he led them out of that country; for about forty years he endured their conductin the wilderness; and he overthrew seven nations in Canaan, giving their land to his people as their inheritance. All this took about 450 years.
“After this, God gave them judges until the time of Samuel the prophet. Then the people asked for a king, and he gave them Saul son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled forty years. After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’
“From this man’s descendants God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as he promised. Before the coming of Jesus, John preached repentance and baptism to all the people of Israel. As John was completing his work, he said: ‘Who do you suppose I am? I am not the one you are looking for. But there is one coming after me whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.’
“Fellow children of Abraham and you God-fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent. The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus, yet in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath. Though they found no proper ground for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him executed. When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the cross and laid him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead, and for many days he was seen by those who had traveled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now his witnesses to our people.
“We tell you the good news: What God promised our ancestors he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm:
“‘You are my son;
today I have become your father.’
God raised him from the dead so that he will never be subject to decay. As God has said,
“‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David.’
So it is also stated elsewhere:
“‘You will not let your holy one see decay.’
“Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his ancestors and his body decayed. But the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay.
“Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses. Take care that what the prophets have said does not happen to you:
“‘Look, you scoffers,
wonder and perish,
for I am going to do something in your days
that you would never believe,
even if someone told you.’”
As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people invited them to speak further about these things on the next Sabbath. When the congregation was dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked with them and urged them to continue in the grace of God.
Reflection & Questions
Paul had a strategy when he went to a new town on his missionary journeys. He would start by going to the synagogues, where the Jews and God-fearing Gentiles would gather, and he would preach the gospel first to them. Today, we read his sermon to the people in the synagogue of a town in modern day Turkey.
Telling the story of the Jewish faith, he demonstrates how Jesus is the fulfillment of all they have been waiting for. He wants them to see the wait is over. Look at some of the words he uses to explain this:
- “It is to us that this message of salvation has been sent.”
- God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as he promised.
- “Yet in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath.”
- ”What God promised our ancestors he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus.”
He concludes his sermon with the incredible good news: “Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.” We live in a special time. For thousands of years people waited for what we simply receive. We don’t have to wait for Jesus – we get to live with Him in our hearts. We don’t have to hope for forgiveness – we know that Jesus dealt with our past, present and future sins on the cross. “Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin.” And now we have the opportunity to tell the good news to others!
- Do you consider yourself privileged to live after Jesus came, died and rose? Why or why not?
- Are you hoping that your sins are forgiven or do you know that they are forgiven? What difference would that make in the way that you live?
Talk to God in response to today’s reading.
You might use this song today to worship Jesus today:
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