The Big Read – Daily Read
v1-3: The persecution that broke out against the church was seen as a providential sign telling them to scatter. “The time had come for them to think about the needs of other places, because their Master had told them that they must be his witnesses in Jerusalem first, and then in all Judea and in Samaria , and then to the uttermost part of the earth.” Persecution must not stop us from working for the Lord, but it may send us to do so elsewhere.
v4-13: It is good when people “start to take notice of what is said to them abut spiritual matters and about eternity.” It is even better when they realise that the word of God concerns them and pay closer attention to it and believe what is said and give themselves “to its direction and rule.”
v14-25: “It is possible for a person to remain under the power of sin but still to put on a form of godliness.” There are many who profess to be Christians, but have “no part in Christ, no part in the heavenly Canaan.” Who are those whose hearts are not right in the sight of God? They are those “who are not enlivened by a right spirit, nor guided by a right rule, nor directed to the right ends.”
v26-40: It is good to have “a great deal of contact with the Holy Scriptures” and to read and hear about what it says about Christ. But reading and hearing is not enough, our concern should be to understand what we have read and heard. “To correctly understand the Scripture, we need someone to guide us; we need some good books and some good people, but above all we need the Spirit of grace to lead us into all truth.”
v1-9: Let us not despair that our friends and family have not yet come to Christ. Consider Saul when God’s grace saved him and brought him to faith in Christ. He was breathing “death to the Christians wherever he went; he puffed at them in his malignant pride, spitting out his venom at them in his anger.” There are times when “the grace of God works on sinners when they are at their worst, when they are most desperately engaged in the most sinful pursuits.” The convincing and converting work of Christ continues to take place every day.
v10-22: For the first time Saul was praying prayers. Though he had spoken long prayers in the synagogue and the street corners, “then he had said his prayers; now he prayed them.” This was noticed by heaven. “Christ was so pleased to find Saul praying that he wanted others to take notice of it: Rejoice with me, for I have found the sheep which I had lost.” Behold the wonder that “the one who only the other day was breathing out nothing but murderous threats is now breathing out nothing but prayer.” This is what the regenerating grace of God does.
v23-31: There are good reasons for Christians “to be cautious as to whom they admit into their fellowship (membership).” It is important to strike the right balance between the two extremes of “suspicion on the one hand and gullibility on the other.” Yet it is safer to err on the side of charity because “it is better that weeds be found among the wheat than that any of the wheat be uprooted and thrown out of the field.”
v32-35: “Every sincere believer in Christ is a saint” not just some particular eminent Christian.
v36-43: There are many people who are full of good words but lacking in good works. Not Tabitha, she was “a great doer, not a great talker. She did not talk great things, but lived them.” Doing good was her constant way of life as it should be ours.
Quotes from Matthew Henry’s Commentary.
(Photo: Brad Neathery)