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Acts Reading Plan | Week 11 | Day 5
Pause. Be quiet for a moment and let your body and mind be fully present.
In Joshua 1:9, God tells Joshua, “Be strong and very courageous…for the Lord your God is with your wherever you go.” Thank God as you spend time with him today, that He is with you wherever you go, whatever you face today.
Bible Reading: Acts 15:22-35
Read these verses three times slowly.
Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, men who were leaders among the believers. With them they sent the following letter:
The apostles and elders, your brothers,
To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia:
We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul— men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.
So the men were sent off and went down to Antioch, where they gathered the church together and delivered the letter. The people read it and were glad for its encouraging message. Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the believers. After spending some time there, they were sent off by the believers with the blessing of peace to return to those who had sent them. But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, where they and many others taught and preached the word of the Lord.
Reflection & Questions
In today’s reading, the apostles follow through with making sure that the believers understand that the “Jesus plus” gospel we read about yesterday is false. What is important to see is that once again we’re told that the apostles are making sure to “encourage and strengthen the believers.”
We need to pay attention to this constant emphasis of the Apostles. If we think we’re beyond needing encouragement and strengthening, we are in danger of falling into false teaching. Such is the brokenness of our hearts that we can easily fall into the traps we’ve read about this week. We can start believing we need to do things to be in right standing with God. We can start believing that if we really believed then we wouldn’t have hard times. We can start believing the “poison” of those who’ve rejected Jesus.
No one is beyond being deceived. And that is why we need each other. That is why we need Weekend Services, Growth Groups, Celebrate Recovery, and all the other ways we might find encouragement and strength from other believers.
- Where are you trying to live the Christian life on your own? What might Paul, Peter and the other Apostles say to you?
- Do you know someone trying to live the Christian life on their own? How might you encourage and strengthen them?
Talk to God in response to the reading today.
You might use this song today to worship Jesus today:
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