Your Faith Journey 84

The religious leaders kept Peter and John in jail overnight. The next day they questioned them about what the two disciples had been saying and doing, including healing the man unable to walk since birth, as well as proclaiming forgiveness of sins and the resurrection of the death through faith in Jesus. Although they were warned not to speak in Jesus’ name, the two replied, “we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20 NIV). When they were released, Peter and John went to their friends to share what the religious leaders said (Acts 4:23). The response of the group was to lift “their voices together in prayer to God” (Acts 4:24 NIV). It is surprising that instead of praying for protection and safety, the believers prayed for “great boldness” in speaking God’s word (Acts 4:29). Have you ever prayed for “great boldness” to speak God’s message and Good News? The disciples also prayed, “stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus” (Acts 4:30 NLT). Perhaps you have prayed for God’s healing power to help someone you love or even for yourself, but have you prayed for the Lord to do “miraculous signs and wonders” in Jesus’ name? If you have not, are you willing to start? Read more…


Your Faith Journey 83

After healing a man who had been unable to walk since his birth (Acts 3:1-8), Peter noticed the crowd gathering around them, and took advantage of his opportunity to share the truth about the source of the man’s healing (Acts 3:11-26). The apostle didn’t pull any punches as he spoke, but instead he accused the crowd of sending Christ to the cross (Acts 3:13-15). Just as he had on the day of Pentecost, Peter invited the crowd to respond to the truth by repenting and turning towards God through faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 3:19-20). This greatly annoyed the religious leaders, so they arrested Peter and John (Acts 4:2-3). While the disciples were on trial, the religious leaders witnessed the strength of their faith and “the courage of Peter and John” (Acts 4:13 NIV). The strength and courage, along with the miracle everyone saw, “astonished” the ruling council of the Israelites, and “they took note that these men {Peter and John} had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13 NIV).
 
Christ can provide miraculous power, courage, and a supernatural faith for his followers through the Holy Spirit. But if he doesn’t perform miracles through you, is it obvious that you are a disciple of Jesus? Disciples are students or apprentices who learn from their Master. For disciples of Christ, we learn from our Lord, Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, and Savior of the world. Do others take note that you are a person who has “been with Jesus” because you think, speak, and act like Christ? If not, what needs to change in your heart, soul, mind, and life? Read more…


Your Faith Journey 82

After Peter healed a man who had been unable to walk, a crowd quickly gathered around “astounded” by what they were seeing (Acts 3:10). “Peter saw his opportunity,” then shared the truth with them (Acts 3:12 NLT). He explained, “For it is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the God of all our ancestors—who has brought glory to his servant Jesus by doing this” (Acts 3:13 NLT). The God of the ancestors of the crowd described in Acts 3 is our God as well. Just as the Lord brought glory to Jesus by working through the Holy Spirit to heal the man unable to walk, the Holy Spirit is activity at work within believers today. Many of us have had parents, grandparents, and great parents pass their faith along to the generations after them. It is our responsibility to share our faith in Christ with the generations coming after us. How are you intentionally sharing your faith in Christ with the next generations? Are you seeing your opportunities and responding to them? If not, now is a great time to pray for God to enable you to see the opportunities you have and to give you the courage to respond. Read more…



Your Faith Journey 81

Two of Jesus’ disciples were going to the Temple in Jerusalem to pray when their plans were interrupted. A man who was “lame from birth” was at the gate asking for money. The man had no idea that his life was about to be miraculously transformed. Peter and John heard his cry for help, “looked intently at him,” then offered him a helping hand. They did not give him money. Acts 3 reveals that Peter “took him by the right hand and raised him up” (Acts 3:7 NRSV). The story is a reminder that there are people in need of help awaiting Jesus’ followers to acknowledge them, listen to them, then extend a hand to “raise them up” from where they have been to where God wants them to be. The story in Acts 3 reveals the power of the Holy Spirit at work within believers to transform the situation and life of a man in need. This is a season in our nations history for all Christians to be listening to cries for help and extend a helping hand to raise others up as the power of God works through us to transform individuals, communities, and our country. For those who are white, this is a time to listen to minorities, especially our black and brown neighbors, then do something to help. Read more…



Your Faith Journey 80

Immediately after the day of Pentecost, when the believers became filled with the Holy Spirit, the community of Christians began to live their lives guided by God’s will revealed through the Spirit, the teachings of Jesus, and the experience of life together as the newly formed church. They were committed to Christ, which included loving God and one another. The description of life for the earliest believers is a living example of what the church could and should be. They were devoted to Jesus’ teachings and commandments, life together, sharing meals, prayer, living generously, worshiping God daily, and leading others to Christ (Acts 2:42-47). For Avon UMC to become an Acts 2 kind of church for our community and the world, we have to share the same commitments as the earliest Christians. What needs to change in your life so that you can be committed to experiencing life within the church as it could and should be? What needs to change in your life to enable our community and world to encounter the transforming power of Christ through AUMC? Read more…


Your Faith Journey 79

On the day of Pentecost the Spirit of God came like a mighty wind and the believers “were all filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:3 ESV). A crowd of thousands of people in Jerusalem were “amazed and perplexed” by what they experienced that day. Peter quickly addressed the crowd and informed them that the resurrected Jesus had sent the Spirit of God, just as he had promised. The response to Peter’s message was a question, “what should we do?” (Acts 2:37 TLB). Their question applies to each of us no matter if we are a believer or not. What should we do? If you have not placed your faith in Jesus Christ, what should you do? If you are a Christian that knows the Spirit of the Living God dwells in you, what should you do in response to Jesus’ commission (Matthew 28:18-20) and commandments (Matthew 22:34-40)?

 

You can download the Worship Guide from the Avon UMC website: www.avonumc.com

 

The Your Faith Journey Bible verses for this week are listed below: Read more…



Your Faith Journey 78

The resurrected Jesus told his disciples, “in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:5 NLT). He went on to let them know that when the Holy Spirit was with them, they would be his witnesses “in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8 NLT). We, Jesus’ 21st-century disciples, are his witnesses in our homes, families, and circles of influence. We are witnesses of the resurrection power of God transforming lives, including our own. As the people of Avon UMC, we have been commissioned to be Christ’s witnesses in Avon, Brownsburg, Danville, Indy, and Plainfield. We are empowered by the Holy Spirit to share God’s Good News and make new, maturing, and fruitful disciples of Christ (Mark 16:15 & Matthew 28:19).
You can download the Worship Guide from the Avon UMC website: www.avonumc.com Read more…


Your Faith Journey 77

The resurrected Jesus told his disciples, “stay here in the city {Jerusalem} until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven” (Luke 24:49 NLT). They were told to wait. Waiting is not easy. Most of us don’t wait well. We want things according to our timing, but Jesus told the disciples to wait for God’s timing. Perhaps the season we are in right now is a reminder to wait for God’s timing instead of seeking our own timing and will. Perhaps the season we are in right now is also a reminder that we need the Holy Spirit to fill us with power from heaven. When Jesus’ followers are empowered by the Spirit of God, “repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed to all nations” (Luke 24:47 NRSV). When is the last time you proclaimed a message of repentance, “turn to God,” and receive forgiveness of your sins? As we wait for God’s perfect timing, prayerfully consider who needs to hear the message of repentance and forgiveness of sins. Trust the Holy Spirit to give you the right words at the right time.
You can download the Worship Guide from the Avon UMC website: www.avonumc.com Read more…


Your Faith Journey 76

The resurrected Jesus, in bodily form with “flesh and bones”, appeared to his disciples and ate with them (Luke 24:36-43). Look for ways that Christ is present with you this week as He works in and through the flesh and bones of other people. As you search for the Lord’s presence and his work in your life, you are invited to use this Your Faith Journey Guide as a weekly checklist to help you love God, yourself, and others daily (Mark 12:29-31). You can download the Worship Guide from the Avon UMC website:
 
The Your Faith Journey Bible verses for this week are listed below: Read more…


Your Faith Journey 75

Sometimes we do not recognize God’s presence and work in our lives. When two disciples were walking and talking with the resurrected Jesus as they traveled to the village of Emmaus, eventually Christ was “at the table with them,” yet they did not know it was Jesus (Luke 24:30). While they were with him for a meal, Jesus “took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him” (Luke 24:30-31 NIV). Look for ways that Christ is present with you this week. As you search for the Lord’s presence and work in your life, you are invited to use this Your Faith Journey Guide as a weekly checklist to help you love God, yourself, and others daily (Mark 12:29-31). You can download the Worship Guide from the Avon UMC website:

www.AvonUMC.com

 

The Your Faith Journey Bible verses for this week are listed below: Read more…



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