Check out all the previous Acts readings here.

Acts Reading Plan | Week 14 | Day 1



Prayer


As you come to spend time with Jesus, calm your mind and body until you feel fully present.

Psalm 118 says, “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? The Lord is with me; he is my helper. I look in triumph on my enemies.” Open your time with a prayer thanking that God is with you, that He is your helper, and give Him your fears.

Bible Reading: Acts 18:1-17


Read these verses three times slowly.

After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.

When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah. But when they opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent of it. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”

Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard Paul believed and were baptized.

One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” So Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.

While Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews of Corinth made a united attack on Paul and brought him to the place of judgment. “This man,” they charged, “is persuading the people to worship God in ways contrary to the law.”

Just as Paul was about to speak, Gallio said to them, “If you Jews were making a complaint about some misdemeanor or serious crime, it would be reasonable for me to listen to you. But since it involves questions about words and names and your own law—settle the matter yourselves. I will not be a judge of such things.” So he drove them off. Then the crowd there turned on Sosthenes the synagogue leader and beat him in front of the proconsul; and Gallio showed no concern whatever.

Reflection & Questions


The courage of Paul in sharing the gospel at times may seem like it’s invincible, or that he’s not “human.” He seems to have no fear. However, we get a clue that this is not the case in today’s reading.

As he faces continued opposition and abuse, the Lord comes to him in a vision and says, “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.”

Truth is, you don’t say “do not be afraid” to someone who’s not afraid. It seems Paul is experiencing fear. Jesus’ answer to Paul is the same he gave to His people throughout the generations: “For I am with you.”

What are you afraid of today? Is there a step the Spirit is leading you to take, but it feels like a mountain? Are you trembling at the thought of taking it? Maybe it’s a confession, a radical decision, standing up to abuse (and doing something about it), or like Paul, it might be sharing your faith with someone who might reject you. Whatever it is, Jesus says “Do not be afraid for I am with you.”

      1. What is the Spirit leading you to do that you are afraid of?
      2. How do you think Paul would encourage you in your fear?

Prayer


Pray in response to today’s reading, talking to God about your fears.

Worship Song


You might use this song today to worship Jesus today:


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Questions?

Ed Applegate

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  Series Archives Coming Soon Week 2: No Strings Attached Week 1: The Ultimate Server Week 5: The King’s Legacy: David And Solomon Week 4: The King Is Crowned: King David Week 3: David and Saul Pause Week 2: The Boy Week 1: King Saul Week 5: What Is Truth? (EASTER) Week 4: Is Jesus God (Good Thursday)

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