Tuesday, January 02, 2007

What Else I read today

I also read from Matthew 2, Ezra 2, and Acts 2.

First Matthew 2
Wisemen came looking for Jesus. And they stopped off at King Herod's to get further directions. Hmmm... makes me wonder.. you know...all those stories they tell about how the wisemen followed the star RIGHT to where Jesus was? If it did, then why did they have to stop to ask directions? Shows the importance of actually knowing your bible well. Also shows how heresy starts. People think they have the story right, and then get a little bit wrong and it all spirals out of control from there UNLESS one actually knows scripture and calls people back on track.

I also found it interesting reading this passage. Reminded me of how God talks to people who don't even really know him. These wisemen knew that someone of significance had been born BUT they didn't know how important he was, just that he was very important. They didn't know the scriptures at all. They weren't Israelites because they left for their own country. BUT when God talked with them in a dream...they paid attention, they obeyed. Shows God at work among the gentiles. :)

Jesus was taken to safety in Egypt out of Herod's grasp. What a horrid time for the moms and dads who stayed behind. All those toddlers and babies killed because of the fear of one man. This too fulfilled scripture. When Herod died, Jesus came back to live among his own people. He became a Nazarene. This too, fulfilled scripture.

In Ezra we learn about the people who returned from exile under King Nebuchadnezzar. Citizens of Israel from all the different provinces, plus priests, levites, temple servants, The son's of Solomon's servants (though I"m not sure why this is an important detail), and even some who could not prove they were Isrealites. These last were not allowed into the priesthood because they could not prove their genealogies.

In Acts we read that The Day of Pentecost had arrived. All the disciples were in one place, and then life changed for them! Imagine it...the wind, the fire, the speaking in different languages! Must have shocked and amazed them. They began talking as the Holy Spirit allowed them too.
100's of devout men heard them, from "Every nation under heaven". These men were stunned at the ability of these Galileans to speak their language telling them of all the mighty works of God.

you know...sometimes I wish I could have been around back then. To see it, to hear it. Just to know the workings of God in such an obvious manner. I don't think I would have been among the mockers.

But Peter preached to all these devout men. He explained they were not drunk....it was too early in the day for that. He told how what was happening was foretold in the prophets. He explained scripture to them, and he explained who Christ was.

When the people listening heard these words, they were cut to the heart. They wanted to know what they should do, and Peter said
"Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself."
Three thousand people became Christians that day.

But they didn't stop there. These new believers devoted themselves to learning more about God. They cared for each other. Signs and wonders were done. And more and more people were saved.

This is what it was like
44And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
Makes me wonder what would happen if the church today lived as the church back then? What would happen if we truly lived like a people who cared about each other, a people who were willing to sell our "stuff" in order to meet the needs of fellow believers?

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