Showing posts from September, 2019

Our Story With God, Episode 39: The Last Disciple

My church, like many others, has devoted a considerable amount of time focused on the concept of discipleship.  What does it mean?  For one Jew, it meant a radical call away from a zealous life of persecuting the followers of Jesus into a new reality of self-sacrifice and obedience.  God had a specific plan for Saul of Tarsus, as He does for each of us, but to get him started it was necessary for Jesus to get the young man's attention.  What followed was an amazing story of rebirth, redemption, and spiritual growth that has affected nearly every Christian for 2,000 years.  Our Story With God, Episode 39

Our Story With God, Episode 38: Are We Kosher?

It was a question with incredible ramifications for the first-century church, and the answer remains crucial for Christians today.  Do Gentiles need to follow Mosaic Law to be saved?  Can they receive the Holy Spirit?  Are Jewish believers still held to the standards that God gave His people at Mount Sinai?  When God commanded Peter in a vision to eat unclean food, He was making a much larger point than just what His disciple was allowed to eat.  Peter's journey to visit a Roman centurion named Cornelius became a seminal moment to all believers as God continued to reach out to all mankind with His love and salvation. Our Story With God, Episode 38

Our Story With God, Episode 37: Philip

The persecution that followed Stephen's death was supposed to snuff out the followers of Jesus, but it had the opposite effect.  As the believers fled Jerusalem they took the good news with them, and in a time before printing presses, phones, or mass communication their enthusiastic word-of-mouth was extremely effective.  The Bible tells us of one man who went one step farther - Philip began reaching out to the Gentiles.  Through his efforts, news of Jesus began to spread beyond the confines of Jewish communities, and even reached a new continent.  What God told Abraham had come true - through him all nations would be blessed. Our Story With God, Episode 37

Our Story With God, Episode 36: Stoning Deacons

What do we do when problems arise?  How should Christians respond to difficulties?  The very first believers encountered internal conflict as well as external persecution.  It should be no surprise that they handled both with the wisdom and strength provided by the Holy Spirit.  When guidance is needed to properly distribute funds, a new job description in the church is created: deacon.  Their words and works showed that spiritual gifts weren't only for the apostles, but for all followers of Christ. Our Story With God, Episode 36