1 “Brothers and fathers, hear the defense that I now make before you.” 6 “As I was on my way and drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone around me. 7 And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ 8 And I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And he said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’ 9 Now those who were with me saw the light but did not understand[c] the voice of the one who was speaking to me. 10 And I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Rise, and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all that is appointed for you to do.’ 12 “And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, 13 came to me, and standing by me said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And at that very hour I received my sight and saw him. 14 And he said, ‘The God of our fathers appointed you to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear a voice from his mouth; 15 for you will be a witness for him to everyone of what you have seen and heard. 16 And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’ 17 “When I had returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, I fell into a trance 18 and saw him saying to me, ‘Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about me.’ 19 And I said, ‘Lord, they themselves know that in one synagogue after another I imprisoned and beat those who believed in you. 20 And when the blood of Stephen your witness was being shed, I myself was standing by and approving and watching over the garments of those who killed him.’ 21 And he said to me, ‘Go, for I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’” We have a story to tell; the birth, the life, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ our King. We have a story to tell; our new birth, our new life, and the reality of the hope we have in eternal life with our Savior, Jesus Christ our King. Pray that we not be “ashamed of the testimony about our Lord but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling…” (2 Timothy 1: 8-9b). Pray that we not be “ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” (Romans 1:16)
October 22, 2021 • Frank Emrick
October 30, 2021 • Frank Emrick
35 Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. 36 Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. 37 For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.” John 4:35-38 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Matthew 9:37-38 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[b] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 Lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. Pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.
October 29, 2021 • Frank Emrick
Acts 29 is the history of the church and mission since Luke ended his writing with Act 28. The history of the Church is still being written and we are part of that history. The Lord continues to call out to us, commanding us to make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20) until he comes. Revelation 21: 22-27 22 And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.23 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, 25 and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. 26 They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. 27 But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life. Pray, that as a church, we will be of one accord, led by the Holy Spirit to reach people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ from Palmer Alaska to the ends of the earth.
October 28, 2021 • Frank Emrick
7 Now in the neighborhood of that place were lands belonging to the chief man of the island, named Publius, who received us and entertained us hospitably for three days. 8 It happened that the father of Publius lay sick with fever and dysentery. And Paul visited him and prayed, and putting his hands on him, healed him. 9 And when this had taken place, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases also came and were cured. 23b From morning till evening he expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. 24 And some were convinced by what he said, but others disbelieved. 25 And disagreeing among themselves, they departed after Paul had made one statement: “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet: 26 “‘Go to this people, and say, “You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.” 27 For this people's heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed; lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’ 28 Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.” Lord God, move us to touch the lives of others, knowing well, believing, that Your Spirit will touch them. You are able to heal whole communities. May we love sinners as You love them, as you love us. Cause us to respond to this truth; “… that this salvation of God has been sent to the [peoples of the world]; they will listen.” Send us Lord! “’ [Jesus] said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”’ Mark 2:17