Day 177 – June 26

Today’s Readings:

2 Chronicles 3-4
Acts 8:1-25
Job 21

…when Simon (the magician) saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, “Give this authority to me as well, so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! . – Acts 8:18-20

In today’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles, the church is starting spread out because of the persecutions taking place in Jerusalem. How, what is intended for evil actually brings about good, because disciples like Philip are taking their love for Jesus with them as they disperse, bringing the good news that they cannot keep for themselves. They went forth with the power of the Holy Spirit in them and worked many signs through prayer, that even Simon the magician was converted.

But Simon also shows us that even in the Church we can have misunderstandings of how to obtain power. It isn’t something earned, or something we can purchase with good works. The gifts of the spirit are just that, gifts, freely given for us to use for God’s glory.

Let us seek to do God’s will using our gifts. Not for our glory, or power, but that God and His love may be revealed to the world.

May God bless you.

Day 178 – June 27

Today’s Readings:

2 Chronicles 5-6
Acts 8:26-40
Job 22

“When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against You, and they pray toward this place and confess Your name, and turn from their sin when You afflict them; 27 then hear in heaven and forgive the sin of Your servants and Your people Israel…” – 2 Chronicles 6:26-27

Notation: in the audio, King David is mentioned as the one praying for the people; it is in fact his son, King Solomon, in the dedication of the temple.

May God bless you.

Day 176 – June 25

Today’s Readings:

2 Chronicles 1-2
Acts 7:44-60
Job 20

When they had driven him out of the city, they began stoning him; and the witnesses laid aside their robes at the feet of a young man named Saul. – Acts 7:58

Today we witness the first recorded martyrdom in the Church, and the reality of the life of the Christian faithful. Stephen is brought to trial because he makes the Jews uncomfortable in their living the Law. Stephen’s authentic living of faith and his bold proclamation of Jesus is too much for them, and they find reason to kill him. Here, at Stephen’s death, another man enters the picture. Saul, a zealous Jew, is to rise to be one of the great persecutors of the Christians, until He is confronted with Jesus.

Stephen’s death was senseless, and so seems to suffering of Job. Again we see God working his tapestry from the underside, the picture of His masterpiece hidden in the confusion of our daily life. Let us offer our lives like Stephen, trusting that God will use our small sacrifice to the benefit of His masterwork.

May God bless you.