Summarize what you read in one paragraph:
Acts act 1 comes to a close while the Jesus community grows in Jerusalem. Ananias and Sapphira suddenly die while presenting profane offerings in a almost certain callback to the priests Nadab and Abihu (Lev 10:1-2). The apostles make waves as they heal and teach in Jerusalem and are targeted by jealous religious leaders. Angelic jailbreaks and a wise old man’s speech holds off the religious leaders for a short time but jealous animosity is growing towards the early Jesus community. All of the disciples are called together and seven are appointed to administrative servant leadership within the community. One of the seven, Stephen is executed by the high priest and religious leader and the Jesus community scatters to Judea and Samaria.
What is one key verse?
“But if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!” Acts 5:39
How does what you read change your vision of God?
God is sovereign and there is much I don’t understand about what he does or allows. I can imagine the pain of Peter standing over the graves of Ananias and Sapphira wondering why their deceit called for their lives. I can imagine being one of the men who buried Stephen and tended to the families he served in his absence wondering if I would have a similar fate. The church is not absent of great pain and times of trouble. I may struggle with the problem of evil but will sing “Bless the Lord” knowing there is not trouble he is not aware of.
How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others?
This is a good reminder of my dream to be like the seven who served the church in Jerusalem. How can I intentionally strive to be a man of good repute, full of the Spirit and wisdom?
How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?)
I am going to be more organized so I can have the time/mental space needed to serve.
Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think about Jesus?)
Jesus on the cross said “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” and Stephen said “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Stephen was an incredible person because he followed Jesus so closely.