God’s Word of Life
Acts 9:26-43: Saul tries to join the followers in Jerusalem, but they are afraid of him because they don’t believe he has changed. In time he becomes part of their community and preaches throughout Jerusalem. Meanwhile, Peter travels to Lydda and Joppa and heals a paralyzed man and restores a woman to life.
Saul in Jerusalem
26Saul went to Jerusalem and tried to join the disciples. But they would not believe that he was a disciple, and they were all afraid of him. 27Then Barnabas came to his help and took him to the apostles. He explained to them how Saul had seen the Lord on the road and that the Lord had spoken to him. He also told them how boldly Saul had preached in the name of Jesus in Damascus. 28And so Saul stayed with them and went all over Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord. 29He also talked and disputed with the Greek-speaking Jews, but they tried to kill him. 30When the believers found out about this, they took Saul to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus.
31And so it was that the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had a time of peace. Through the help of the Holy Spirit it was strengthened and grew in numbers, as it lived in reverence for the Lord.
Peter in Lydda and Joppa
32Peter traveled everywhere, and on one occasion he went to visit God’s people who lived in Lydda. 33There he met a man named Aeneas, who was paralyzed and had not been able to get out of bed for eight years. 34“Aeneas,” Peter said to him, “Jesus Christ makes you well. Get up and make your bed.” At once Aeneas got up. 35All the people living in Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord.
36In Joppa there was a woman named Tabitha, who was a believer. (Her name in Greek is Dorcas, meaning “a deer.”) She spent all her time doing good and helping the poor. 37At that time she got sick and died. Her body was washed and laid in a room upstairs. 38Joppa was not very far from Lydda, and when the believers in Joppa heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him with the message, “Please hurry and come to us.” 39So Peter got ready and went with them. When he arrived, he was taken to the room upstairs, where all the widows crowded around him, crying and showing him all the shirts and coats that Dorcas had made while she was alive. 40Peter put them all out of the room, and knelt down and prayed; then he turned to the body and said, “Tabitha, get up!” She opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up. 41Peter reached over and helped her get up. Then he called all the believers, including the widows, and presented her alive to them. 42The news about this spread all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord. 43Peter stayed on in Joppa for many days with a tanner of leather named Simon.
Today’s Key Verse: Acts 9:31b
Through the help of the Holy Spirit [the church] was strengthened and grew in numbers, as it lived in reverence for the Lord.
How do the followers in Jerusalem respond to Saul? Why are they afraid of him? Who speaks to the apostles on Saul’s behalf? When Peter is in Lydda and Joppa, what causes people to believe in the Lord? How are people brought to faith today?
Lord Jesus, as I grow in faith and in knowledge of you, open my eyes to opportunities to serve you. Grant me strength, wisdom, and courage that I may deepen my discipleship and live in reverence for you. Amen.
John 10:1-21: Jesus is the Good Shepherd