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Archive for May, 2016

Verses 22-23: “And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’ From this man’s seed, according to the promise, God raised up for Israel a Savior – Jesus –”

DC Comics published a wide-ranging storyline before the turn of the 21st century called “DC One Million”. In summary, the descendants of the Justice League, who still fought crime in the 853rd century, had a celebration and traveled back in time to invite the current/original Justice League. Of course, with any story involving superheroes, you got some supervillains messing up the works!

In Action Comics #1,000,000, Superman’s 853rd century celebration showcasing his powers was sabotaged by a sentient sun computer named Solaris. Solaris spread disinformation that the original Superman was really a Bizarro clone. Fleeing pursuit, Superman was captured by a security force of the 17th Thanagarian Fusiliers working for Lexcorp Interplanetary. They were commanded by Mahol Toj. During their conversation, Superman mentioned to Toj his adventures working side-by-side with the legendary Hawkman of his era, Katar Hol. This gave Mahol Toj pause, as he explained to Superman that, even in the 853rd century, the name Katar Hol was revered, honored, and legendary. Superman took this cue to explain how he worked with Katar and admired Katar’s qualities of justice, integrity, and honor. Mahol Toj understood then that a Bizarro couldn’t comprehend these traits, and began to believe that this was the genuine Superman. He and his fellow Fusiliers then strove to aid Superman in his plight to prove he was the Superman-Prime.

When called upon to speak in the Jewish synagogue, Paul began to establish his message by giving a brief history lesson of the Jews as God’s chosen people. He mentioned the respected name of King David, “a man after God’s own heart”. Having “connected” with his audience, Paul used that base as a springboard to proclaim the Good News, that Jesus came to earth, born of the line of David, and was God in human form. He told them how He was the perfect sacrifice for our sins, and was resurrected and sits at God’s right hand, to come again in the final days. By the way, Paul’s mention of “the promise”? It’s 2 Samuel 7:12-16, where the prophet Nathan relayed God’s promise to raise up a descendant from David’s line…that descendant, in human form, was Jesus!

Jesus “connected” with us sinful humans, by becoming human Himself, but sinning not. Just another reason He is the Savior we can identify with.

Something to think about.

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Verse 12: “Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.”

Quoted directly from the Secretary of State of Missouri’s website (http://www.sos.mo.gov/archives/history/slogan.asp): “Why Is Missouri Called the “Show-Me” State? There are a number of stories and legends behind Missouri’s sobriquet “Show-Me” state. The slogan is not official, but is common throughout the state and is used on Missouri license plates. The most widely known legend attributes the phrase to Missouri’s U.S. Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver, who served in the United States House of Representatives from 1897 to 1903. While a member of the U.S. House Committee on Naval Affairs, Vandiver attended an 1899 naval banquet in Philadelphia. In a speech there, he declared, “I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me.” Regardless of whether Vandiver coined the phrase, it is certain that his speech helped to popularize the saying.”

In Willard Duncan Vandiver’s case, he was saying that “you got to show me”. He wasn’t one to take flowery speeches lightly. He had to see it to believe it.

Paul and Barnabas (and by the way, it is in verse 9 that Saul is called Paul from now on) are in Paphos and were called by the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. He wanted to hear the gospel message, but a sorcerer who was with the proconsul, Elymas by name, sought to turn the proconsul from the Good News of Jesus Christ. Paul, through the power of the Holy Spirit, caused Elymas to be blind for a while. Verse 13 reads, “Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.” Paulus still heard the teaching from the early church missionaries, but the miraculous blinding of the sorcerer was indeed “a clincher”, showing the power of the Holy Spirit.

How blessed it is, for those who believe by faith alone. And, yet, God still shows His miracles when they are needed…in His time.

Something to think about.

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Verse 2: “As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.””

When I was a little boy, I used to love to go to my grandmother’s house. She and my mother were great cooks. When my grandmother would make her homemade cinnamon rolls, I used to love to watch how she made them. She’d roll and cut the dough, and they’d come out of the oven as these perfect circles. Sometimes though, she’d call me into the kitchen and ask me to eat one or two rolls that didn’t come out perfectly circular. Now, they didn’t taste any different, but my grandmother always set aside her best-looking cinnamon rolls as the ones to serve family and guests. She knew though that we grandkids would eat them, no matter what they looked like! We didn’t eat the ones that were set apart, until we got through “disposing” of the less-than-perfect rolls. As a matter of fact, I used to try and pull a fast one on her; I’d insist that some of the best rolls didn’t “look right, so I better eat those too.” She’d look at me, smile, and loving say, “Oh, get out of my kitchen.” :-)

The church was focused on worshipping God and fasting. The Holman Concordance on Acts, page 209, even states something more eye-catching: “Notice the climate in the congregation – worship and fasting. Not frantic activity with programs burning out everybody in the congregation. In an attitude of worship and fasting they understood the Spirit to select missionaries for God’s work.” God calls us to be holy. The definition of “holy” means “set apart”. The Holy Spirit had called Barnabas and Saul to be separated, set apart “for the work to which I have called them.”

We are called today to that same work: to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and make disciple-makers.

Something to think about.

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