Reading: Acts 15
If you’ve been in American church for very long, you’ve likely had to endure a church split. It’s an ugly reality in our American context. Conflict was handled radically different in the early church. Acts 15 provides us a terrific example to follow on how to handle disputes within the church as it relates to matters of church polity and doctrine. We would do well to pay attention to the principles outlined here. If we did, we might see more gospel advancement and less church splintering in our world today. To access today’s reading, please click here. To download a transcript of today’s podcast, please click here.
July 13, 2022
Reading: Acts 14
One of the most disconcerting trends over the past few years has been to witness the rise and fall of so many celebrity pastors. These men are put on pedestals and elevated high above the common man and when their humanity inevitably bleeds through the well polished veneer of their public persona, their kingdoms fall like a house of cards and the masses who hang on their every word are crushed by their sin. Many of those same people are the very ones who cast the stones of accusation and judgment on their once idyllic prophet. In Acts 14, the same people who lauded Paul and Barnabas as gods at the beginning of the chapter, by the end are the same ones calling to stone these men. We could learn a lot from this story about the trust people place in our leaders and the humility with which these leaders should channel that devotion to the God who is worthy of all of our praise. To access today’s reading, please click here. To download a transcript of today’s podcast, please click here.
July 12, 2022
Reading: Acts 13
A cursory reading of the book of Acts leaves no doubt that one of the unquestionable themes of the book is how the gospel goes. It never stays put. The entire book is a chronicle of the spread of the gospel witness. For the last two years we’ve been inundated with information about the spread of a flu-like pathogen that kept the world in its grips for months. The spread of the virus, regardless of how you feel about it, had global implications and will be remembered for it’s scope and spread. In many ways, almost like a pandemic, the book of Acts depicts the spread of the gospel to the known world, and it’s advancement is something of which we should pay attention. To access today’s reading, please click here. To download a transcript of today’s podcast, please click here.
July 08, 2022
Reading: Acts 12
There are several identifiable marks of maturity in the life of a disciple. One of the most important of these marks of maturity is a vibrant prayer life. The book of James tells us that the prayer of a righteous man availeth much. A disciple who is learning the character of Jesus will be like Jesus in that He understands the value of a desperate dependence upon God’s Spirit in his life. Sadly for most of us, our prayer life is rather tepid and unfruitful rather than vivacious and productive. In Acts 12, we see just how incredibly powerful audacious prayer can be and the peace and deliverance that it affords to those who desperately seek the Lord’s rescue and provision through the miracle of prayer. To access today’s reading, please click here. To download the transcript of today’s podcast, please click here.
July 05, 2022
Reading: Acts 11
Biologically, human life is dependent upon massive cell replication. Without it, our bodies would quickly die. It’s an ongoing process that never stops so long as we continue to live. Little wonder then that God likens the church to the body of Christ. As Christians, we should learn a thing or two about biology and we would understand how critical it is for us to replicate our DNA into the life of another believer so that they can do the same. It’s a truth demonstrated for us here in Acts chapter 11. To access today’s reading, please click here. To download the transcript of today’s podcast, please click here.
July 01, 2022
Reading: Acts 10
Acts 10 clearly records for us what I call a divine encounter. A divine encounter is a moment of spiritual transformation whereby someone comes to faith in Jesus. But behind that encounter is a beautiful story of God’s preparation and the main characters obedience. We see God quite intentionally working in the hard of His apostle Peter while at the same time moving the heart of a Roman soldier named Cornelius. This event is an important scene set in the midst of the Acts narrative because it clearly opens the door of faith to Gentiles. God is quite literally directing the scenes of this divine drama and we would do well to consider the implications of this scene in our own story. There is much to learn so let’s dive in together. To access today’s reading, please click here. To download the transcript of today’s podcast, please click here.
June 29, 2022
Reading: Acts 9
Faith always incites peculiar obedience. Just consider some of the radical examples of faith and outright bizarre obedience in light of that faith. Abraham and Sarah having a child, Noah building a boat, Moses commanding the sea to part, Joshua commanding the priest to walk into the Jordan or sound the trumpets expecting walls to fall. Consider Gideon’s conquest with three hundred men, a shepherd boy’s boldness against Goliath. Time and again, God asks us to obey in a peculiar way as a means of growing our faith. Acts 9 is no different. God asks a man named Ananias to go “join himself” to Saul, the official who had just arrived with authorization to persecute Christians, and yet God was telling Ananias to go speak with him. But where would we be in our storyline if Ananias had refused. Obedience is always risky, but also, always worth it. To access today’s reading, please click here. To download the transcript of today’s podcast, please click here.
June 28, 2022
Reading: Acts 8
You can learn a lot about the heart of a Jesus follower by watching their treatment of outsiders. One of the most interesting things about Jesus is that people who looked nothing like Jesus actually enjoyed being with Him the most. Jesus liked those who looked nothing like Him. He was called a “friend” of sinners. Jesus wore what was meant as a pejorative term as a badge of honor. For this was why He came, to reach those who were farthest from Him. He would say that those who think themselves to be well have no need of a physician. Jesus had come to those who were deeply in need of Him. Even if they were radically different from Him. I once heard Louie Giglio say, “Of course Jesus ate with sinners, who else would He eat with.” The truth is Jesus came to us when we could not have been more different from He was and if we are to follow Him, we will do the same with those who around us. To access today’s reading, please click here. To download the transcript of today’s podcast, please click here.
June 24, 2022
Reading: Acts 7
One of the most powerful events I’ve ever been a part of is a bible study called Secret Church. Gathering with thousands of believers across the globe to study the word of God together for an extended period of time is an incredible experience. The first time I attended this event, I was not prepared for how emotionally effected I would be knowing that I was part of a global event that included those in countries who at that very moment were risking their lives to study God’s word. As we prayed for the persecuted church that night, it was the first moment I had ever done that and it was a moving experience. What was so incredible was that these precious saints were not asking that we pray for their deliverance, but for their faithfulness to the gospel that put their lives at risk. I remember realizing just how deficient my faith was in light of theirs. I was so challenged by their attitude and their endurance. My life was forever changed that evening. As we’ll see today, that faithfulness is has been the legacy of martyrs for the faith since the very beginning. To access today’s reading, please click here. To download the transcript of today’s podcast, please click here.
June 22, 2022
Reading: Acts 6
If you've been in church for very long, you’ve likely spotted mismanagement of a dispute within the church. Churches are notorious for either ignoring problems or not efficiently correcting them and as a result the church’s effectiveness and witness is often hindered. But how were disputes handled within the early church? Do we have any precedent for how these controversies were dealt with in a manner such that the work actually progresses and is not hindered? We have just such a case today in Acts chapter 6. To access today’s reading, please click here. To download the transcript of today’s podcast, please click here.
June 21, 2022
Reading: Acts 5
The book of Acts outlines for us the story of an unstoppable church. Nothing could withstand the resolve and devotion of the followers of the Way. But what was it that was so powerful that it resulted in such exponential growth? In short, it was the power of the Spirit of God. The Lord pours out His Spirit on those who declare the gospel, and boldly depend on the Spirit. It was the source of their power and it will be the source of ours. To access today’s reading, please click here. To download the transcript of today’s podcast, please click here.
June 20, 2022
Reading: Acts 4
Have you ever been around someone who had the undeniable power and presence of God in their life? You couldn’t put your finger on it, but there was just something different about their spirit? Well, it is evident when someone walks in the Spirit of God, touched by His power, filled with His boldness, and marked by His grace. It’s noticeably different. It was noticed in Acts 4 by even the apostles enemies, and it was unstoppable and undeniable. To access today’s reading, please click here. To download the transcript of today’s podcast, please click here.
June 17, 2022
Reading: Acts 3
Has something unexpected ever happened at a church service and you weren’t expecting it? I’ll never forget hearing the story of a man who entered a church service walked in and picked up the offering sitting on the communion table and walked out the back door with all of the donations! When he was apprehended, he told the police that Jesus and John F. Kennedy told him to go get it. Needless to say the congregants were a bit stunned. It’s an emotion shared with the devoted Jewish followers who entered the Temple that day in Acts chapter 3. They were stunned at what was happening in their midst. But as we’ll see, this wasn’t just about a curious healing, but a powerful proclamation of the gospel. To access today’s reading, please click here. To download the transcript of today’s podcast, please click here.
June 16, 2022
Reading: Acts 2
What are the marks of a healthy church? There are any number of measures whereby men evaluate the effectiveness and growth of a church. But strictly speaking from the book of Acts there are specific qualities that were present in the early church that contributed to its exponential growth and impact. We’ll explore those today from Acts 2. To access today’s reading, please click here. To download the transcript of today’s podcast, please click here.
June 15, 2022
Reading: Acts 1
Motivational speaker and creator of the book series Chicken Soup for the Soul, once said, “You can't get the right answers if you’re asking the wrong questions.” As we open the curtain on the book of Acts, we find the disciples asking the wrong questions. But thankfully, Jesus sidesteps their foolish question and His response becomes the outline for the next chapter in the ONE Story of God’s purposes in the world. Before we dive in, let me encourage you to watch the video included in the ONE Story Reading Plan. I’ll link the video in the show notes for today’s episode. To access today’s reading, please click here. To download the transcript of today’s podcast, please click here. To watch the video for this section, please click here.
June 14, 2022
Reading: Matthew 28
It's one of the most well-known passages in the Bible. It is Jesus’ final command to "go and make disciples of all nations," yet a new study shows a shocking number of American Christians have never heard of what is commonly known as "the Great Commission.” Christian researcher George Barna discovered that half of U.S. churchgoers, a staggering 51 percent, said they had never "heard of the Great Commission" term and among those who had, only 17 percent were familiar with the Biblical passage reference. Shockingly only 1 in 10 millennials who go to church regularly are familiar with the term. This belies the alarming truth that if most believers can’t identify what it is, how many church-goers are actually doing it? No wonder our society is in shambles. The church must reverse this trend if it is to be a light in an ever darkening world. To access today’s reading, please click here. To download the transcript of today’s podcast, please click here.
June 13, 2022
Reading: John 21
John 21 is one of the most beautiful and elaborately constructed moments in all the of John’s gospel. Every single detail in John 21 is intentionally developed to strike a chord with the disobedient disciple. The way in which Jesus lovingly and gently rebukes and restores Peter is sparklingly brilliant. Let’s consider it together today from John 21. To access today’s reading, please click here. To download the transcript of today’s podcast, please click here.
June 10, 2022
Reading: John 20
Have you ever thought something was too good to be true? Somehow we believe that when something advantageous occurs in our lives, we struggle to believe it is true. This phenomenon is precisely what happened with the greatest news in all of history. The fact that Jesus was alive was as preposterous to these disciples as it was to those who had murdered Him just days earlier. Yet here He was, standing in their midst! They couldn’t believe their eyes, and maybe that’s the whole point as we’ll see. Genuine faith always predates sight and this nature of faith is the core tenant of our relationship with the Father through Jesus. To access today’s reading, please click here. To download the transcript of today’s podcast, please click here.
June 09, 2022
Reading: Luke 24
What if you had the privilege of being in a modular class with none other than the Son of God? I would think that would be a pretty enthralling Bible class. Yet this is precisely what Jesus did for these disciples here in Luke 24 on the road to Emmaus. That had to have been a survey of the Old Testament that these disciples would never forget! Jesus was systematically showing them that every page of the Old Testament testified of His work for them. What a remarkable privilege to behold. To access today’s reading, please click here. To download the transcript of today’s podcast, please click here.
June 08, 2022
Reading: Mark 16
Taking up serpents? Drinking poison? Are these really the distinguishing marks of a disciple? Well, if you read the end of Mark 16 they sure sound like it. What are we to make of these bizarre “signs?” Are there other distinguishing marks of disciples that are present in this text that are more in keeping with orthodox theology? We’ll talk about it all today on the podcast from Mark 16. To access today’s reading, please click here. To download the transcript of today’s podcast, please click here.
June 03, 2022
Reading: John 19
In the Greek language, it’s the word "tetelestai." The word is translated, “It is finished” and it’s a word that is theologically loaded with import for the believer. On today’s podcast, we’ll consider what it means for us when Jesus hung on the cross and cried, “it is finished.” To access today’s reading, please click here. To download the transcript of today’s podcast, please click here.
June 02, 2022
Reading: Luke 23
If you grew up in church like I did, you likely pretty familiar with the account of Christ’s death. Somehow close dozens of years of Good Friday and Easter Sunday services have seared these accounts into our brain and if we’re not careful, we can miss the marvel of just what happened for us at the death of Christ. I want to challenge you today not to gloss over this story but ask God to give you “fresh ears” to hear of all that God has done for us. It’s worthy of our meditation today. To access today’s reading, please click here. To download the transcript of today’s podcast, please click here.
June 01, 2022
Reading: Matthew 27
One of the most compelling aspects of Jesus’ trial and execution is the attitude in which Jesus carried Himself. Isaiah says that He would be “like a sheep before her shearers is dumb.” The prophet’s point was that Jesus would do little to defend Himself amid the injustice He suffered. Jesus entrusted Himself to the One who judges justly Peter would say. But just because Jesus’ words were few, the evidence speaks for itself. Pilate asks Jesus, “are you the King of the Jews?” The internal evidence and the body of prophetic utterances fulfilled in this chapter alone confirm that this Jesus is exactly who He said He was and He had come to die and that death would bring forgiveness for all who receive Him. To access today’s reading, please click here. To download the transcript of today’s podcast, please click here.
May 26, 2022