Peter at Cornelius’s House (Acts 10:23b-48)

Sadly today our series will come to a conclusion. Thanks so much to everyone who’s joined in for the past couple of weeks, I truly hope you’ve enjoyed our time together as much as I have. And I hope those of you in Australia (besides QLD & WA) are excited for the long weekend coming up!

Today’s passage is a rather long one, so buckle up and hold-on tight, we’re in for a bumpy (but relatively fun) ride.

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Peter’s Vision (Acts 10:9-23a)

Today’s passage is about one of my favourite topics – FOOD!! I often suffer from what is known as being ‘hangry,’ you know when you reach that place where you’re just so hungry you start getting angry at everything because you can’t stop thinking about food? Most of my friends know this about me and are quick to encourage me to eat when I reach this point. Whenever I’m in this state of being hangry, it’s not uncommon that I start imagining things about food, especially delicious food that I would really like to be consuming in that very moment.

It’s been less than 24 hours since Cornelius sent messengers to fetch Peter as the angel had instructed him. Let’s find out what was happening for Peter at this same time, and how he responds when he wants to eat.

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Cornelius Calls for Peter (Acts 10:1-7)

It’s Wednesday! We’re half way through another week together. Today’s passage is a bit of a shorter one where we meet someone new named Cornelius; let’s find out a bit about who he is:

Acts 10:1-4a At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!”

Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked.

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Aeneas and Dorcas (Acts 9:32-43)

Welcome to Tuesday!  Today we are reunited with our good friend Peter. We last saw Peter in Samaria a few days ago. Now we’re going to hear a bit more about what he’s been up to, and I should warn you, it’s pretty epic.

Acts 9:32-35 As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the Lord’s people who lived in Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas, who was paralyzed and had been bedridden for eight years. “Aeneas,” Peter said to him, “Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and roll up your mat.” Immediately Aeneas got up. All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.

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Saul in Damascus and Jerusalem (Acts 9:19b-31)

Welcome to a new week! I hope you all had an amazing weekend, I certainly did.

Last week we finished up with Saul’s conversion experience and baptism. Now that he’s a believer, let’s find out what happens for him next.

Acts 9:19-25 Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.

After many days had gone by, there was a conspiracy among the Jews to kill him, but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.

What a turn of events. Can you imagine the reactions from the believers in the town? They would’ve heard about Saul coming with approval from the high priest to take them to prison, and yet now he’s turned up declaring that Jesus is the Son of God!

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Saul’s Conversion (Acts 9:1-19a)

Welcome back! We’ve made it to the end of our first week together, and I’m pretty excited about today’s passage. Today, we get introduced properly to Saul who we briefly met at the beginning of the week. Saul’s a very significant person in the New Testament, and we’re about to witness possibly the most famous conversion in church history.

Let’s get into it:

Saul’s Conversion

Acts 9:1-6 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.

“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

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Philip and the Ethiopian (Acts 8:26-40)

This is one of my favourite quotes: “The problem with the world today is communication. There’s too much communication.” ~ Homer Simpson.

I love this, first of all because it speaks a lot of truth about our digital world which is inundated with communication, second of all because it was spoken by my favourite cartoon character, and thirdly because my first degree is in communications (thus a joke about communication appeals even more to my sense of humour).

Today we’re going on another adventure with Philip and there’s a lot of communication going on. Let’s take a look.

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Simon the Sorcerer (Acts 8:9-25)

Today’s passage is slightly longer than the others in this series have been so far. To make it easier, we’re going to look at it in smaller chunks to try to decipher what’s going on here.

Simon the Sorcerer

8:9-13 Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great, and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, “This man is rightly called the Great Power of God.” They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his sorcery. But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.

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Philip in Samaria (Acts 8:4-8)

Hello again! Welcome back. Yesterday we heard about how something humans had intended for evil (the severe persecution of Christians), God instead used for good (the spreading of his good news throughout the world). Today we get up close and personal with one of these Christians and hear about how God used him in an amazing way.

Philip in Samaria

Acts 8:4-8 Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. So there was great joy in that city.

Philip was one of the Christians who was forced to leave Jerusalem amidst the persecution, and he found himself in Samaria. I don’t know about you, but I think if I’d been forced to leave my home because my life was in danger most of my following actions would be pretty selfish. I’d want to find safety, shelter, food, clothing and an array of other things to help keep myself protected. I think I’d probably try to stay low, to keep out of sight of any potential bounty hunters who had been sent after me. But instead of looking out for himself, we find Philip doing the exact opposite and drawing crowds to come as he proclaims Christ to the people he encounters in Samaria.

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The church persecuted and scattered (Acts 8:1b-3)

Today we’re beginning a new series and for the next 10 days, and I (Sheree) get to take over Coffee with the King (and give Tim a break). In this series we’ll be looking at Acts 8-10, honing in on the formation of the church in the first century and also the conversion of the apostle Saul.

But first, let me introduce myself. Some of you may remember me, I was one of Tim’s preaching students in 2015 (view my previous blog here). More importantly than that however, for the past 4 years I’ve had the privilege of being one of Tim’s colleagues at Morling College where until recently I was the Marketing Manager. I have been studying theology at Morling on and off since 2005, and I am so excited to get into God’s word with all of you. I also enjoy photography, I am currently attempting horse riding lessons, and once I fed a kangaroo while I was dressed as a kangaroo.

Let’s get into it!

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