"Man Shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God"- Matthew 4:4- "My mother and brothers are those who hear the Word of God and do it" - Mark 8:21
Having received this day as a gift, I (We) thank You Holy Trinity, for through Your goodness and patience You were not wrathful with me (Us), and idler (s) and sinner (s), neither have You cast me (Us) down in my (Our)sins...But You have shown Your love towards me (us) and have guided me (us) to keep my (our) daily watch to glorify Your power...Enlighten my (our) mind (minds) to study Your teachings in Scripture...Help me (us) to apply what I (we) learn and to praise You with all my (our) heart and glorify Your Holy Name, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and forever...Amen!!!
Shine within my (our) hearts, loving Master, the pure Light of Your Divine Knowledge, and open the eyes of my mind that I may understand Your teachings...Instill in me (us) also reverence for Your Blessed commandments, so having conquered sinful desires I (we) may pursue a spiritual way of life, thinking and doing all those things that are pleasing to You...For You, Christ my God, are my light, and to You I (we) give, glory, together with Your Father and Your Holy Spirit, now and forever...Amen!!!
CHANT PSALM 23
INTO YOUR HANDS LORD YESHUA (JESUS CHRIST) WE COMMIT OUR SOULS AND BODIES, BLESS US AND HAVE MERCY ON US AND GRANT US ETERNAL LIFE!!!
ACTS 5- STUDY GUIDE & BREAKDOWN
ANANIAS AND SAPPHIRA
5:1: ANANIAS AND SAPPHIRA: are accountable for allowing Satan to fill their hearts with lies, and for breaking the trust the integrity of the Church: Their sin is not only keeping back possessions but deception- (v. 4): Lying to the Church is equal to lying TO THE HOLY SPIRIT- (v. 3), THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH!!!
EVANGELISM IN THE SPIRIT
5:15: THE POWER OF GOD: rests in His Church: While many people had great faith, PETER is given a particular grace to heal in order to draw people to the unity of the Church- (see also-John 14:12-my notes posted to my page): This passage reveals how God works through the physical creation, for even light and SHADOW are given divine power: (see- Acts 19:11-19 & my notes):
THE APOSTLES ARRESTED
5:19-21: SIGNS AND WONDERS ARE GIVEN BY GOD: not as ends in themselves, but to encourage and strengthen the apostles to preach the gospel- (see-my Acts 4:24-31- notes):
5:29: See my Notes at Acts 4:19:
5:30: CHRIST'S CROSS IS OFTEN REFERRED TO AS A TREE: both because it is made of wood and because trees were often used to crucify criminals: There is also a deeper meaning to this term, for just as a living tree brought death to mankind through Adam- (Genesis 2:17), now a dead tree brings life to mankind through YESHUA (JESUS)- (see also Dt 21:23; Galatians 3:13):
5:12-20: This passage is read on the second Sunday of Pascha, called Thomas Sunday!!!
5:34: GAMALIEL: was a famous Rabbi under whom Paul studied- (Acts 22:3):
5:36-37: THEUDAS AND JUDAS OF GALILEE: were two many who made false messianic claims: They raised the sword of rebellion against Rome and were crushed, as reported by the Jewish historian Josephus!!!
5:41: REJOICING: (See Luke 6:22-23-Notes: suffering is not necessarily a sign of God's displeasure, as thought by many Jews): (see Luke 13:1-4-Notes and John 9:1-3-Notes): rather, Christians accept persecution joyfully, knowing that the rewards of the Kingdom far outweigh any sufferings on earth- (see also Romans 5:3-5):
ACTS 6 STUDY GUIDE & BREAKDOWN
6:1: THE HEBREWS: here are Jewish Christians in Jerusalem who spoke Aramaic: THE HELLENISTS WERE GREEK-SPEAKING JEWISH CHRISTIANS from other parts of the Hellenized world who had settled back in Jerusalem: St. John Chrysostom notes that this complaint shows a lack of order among the multitude of believers, even though the neglect was not malicious: So, the difficulties facing the Church arose not only from outside, but also by dissension from within:
6:2-4: THE TERM DISCIPLES IN ACTS: generally refers to all believers, and not only to THE TWELVE APOSTLES: while the ministries of THE WORD and serving widows are both important, they cannot be performed by the same people and still receive the proper attention: So, the Church develops diversified ministries: In the Orthodox Church to this day, the bishops and presbyters are called to focus on PRAYER AND THE MINISTRY OF THE WORD, with the other ministries being accomplished by the deacons and the laity: See servants to be chosen must not only be spiritual, but full of the WISDOM necessary to manage the BUSINESS they are called to do- (v. 3):
6:5-6: WHILE THE MULTITUDE: submitted the names of the seven deacons- (v. 5), the apostles were the ones to ordain them- (v. 6): So, the synergy between laity and clergy is demonstrated in the selection of Church leaders: It should be noted that there is a disagreement among the Fathers as to whether these men held the liturgical office of deacon, or whether this diaconate was more service-oriented: In either understanding, they nerveless received this office by ordination!!!
6:1-7: This passage is read on the third Sunday of Pascha (Easter), which commemorates the Myrrh bearing Women, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus!!!
6:7: THE NUMBER OF DISCIPLES MULTIPLIED GREATLY: This growth only happens when three great pillars of Church life are fully in place: These pillars are (1): WORSHIP (v. 4), (2) EVANGELISM (v. 4), and (3) CHARITY (v. 3): furthermore, this growth happens after the external and internal struggles have been addressed: THE PRIESTS here were Christians converts who had been Jewish priests; they had not necessarily been ordained to the priestly ministry within the Christian Church after their conversion:
EVANGELISM BY THE DEACONS
6:9: FREEDMEN: were Jews who had been formerly held captive under the Romans, often because of rebellion!!!
6:11: THIS CHARGE: is brought against Stephen because Christ, the liturgy and Law of the OT are fulfilled, and are changed and transformed- (Hebrews 7:12): To those who do not believe in Christ, these changes are blasphemous!!!
6:14: THE CHARGE THAT YESHUA (JESUS) WOULD DESTROY THE TEMPLE: was leveled against Him at His trial (Matthew 26:61) by false witnesses: this was a misinterpretation of two of His sayings: (1) "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will rise it up" (John 2:19)- referring to His own body; and (2): His prophecy of the destruction of the temple- (Luke 21:6, 20): This prophecy was fulfilled in AD 70, when the Romans destroyed the temple as punishment for a Jewish rebellion!!!
6:15: THOSE WHO BECOME ONE WITH CHRIST: receive this divine radiance revealed in Stephen's FACE: this is a preview of the glory of all believers will share in the age to come- (2 Corinthians 3:18)- see also (Exodus 34:29-35):
1 PETER 3:15-17
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil...
- A challenge for us all- to answer and have an answer about our hope in Christ with meekness and fear!!! Remember not all of our sufferings comes about because we have been righteous, shun evil do good, sometimes it's better to be punished for doing good in the eyes of the Lord, than doing wrong just to fit in but the wrong can't be hidden from the Lord our God!!! Witness to the world, I do everyday Christ has changed me for the better, stand with me today my brothers and sisters in Christ!!!
END WITH THE LORD'S PRAYER
JPCE SPIRITUAL TALK
NEVER HOLD BACK
THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD