God’s Road to a Bigger Life

12/09/10 12:43 PM

Sunday September 12, 2010

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, 12

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.  If one person falls, the other can reach out and help.  But someone who falls alone is in real trouble…Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken

Matthew 18:19-20

“If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you.  For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.”

Mark 9: 33-37

(Jesus’ disciples) came to Capernaum.  When he was in the hoouse, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” But they kept quiet because on the way  they had argued about who was the greatest.  Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”  He took a little child whom he placed among them.  Taking the child in his arms, he said to them “Whomever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”

Acts 6

But as the believers rapidly multiplied, there were rumblings of discontent.  The Greek-speeking believers, saying that their widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food.  So the Twelve called a meeting of all the believers.  They said, “We apostles should spend our time teaching the word of God, not running a food program.  And so, brothers, select seven men who are well respected and are full of the Spirit and wisdom.  We will give them this responsibility.  Then we apostles can spend our time in prayer and teaching the word.”  Everyone liked this idea and they chose the following: Stephen (a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit), Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas of Antioch (an earlier convert to the Jewish faith).  These seven were presented to the apostles, who prayed for them as they laid their hands on them.  So God’s message continued to spread.  The number of believers greatly increased in Jerusalem, and many of the Jewish priests were converted, too.  Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed amazing miracles and signs among the people.  But one day some men from the Synagogue of Freed Slaves, as it was called, started to debate with him.  They were… from Cyrene, Alexandria, Cilicia, and the province of Asia.  None of them could stand against the wisdom and the Spirit with which Stephen spoke.  So they persuaded some men to lie about Stephen, saying, “We heard him blaspheme Moses, and even God.”  This roused the people, the elders, and the teachers of religious law.  So they arrested Stephen and brought him before the high council.    The lying witness said, “This man is always speaking against the holy Temple and against the law of Moses.  We have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy the Temple and change the customs Moses handed down to us.”  At this point everyone in the high council stared at Stephen, because his face became as bright as an angel’s.

Leave a Reply