Reading Scripture helps us know God's Love. Every Bible verse is written for you. Jesus Christ is all mankind's Light. John 1!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Acts 4:23-31 ~ Gentiles + † +

Acts 4:23-31

The Believers Pray for Boldness

23 When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant,
said by the Holy Spirit,

“‘Why did the Gentiles rage,
and the peoples plot in vain?

The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers were gathered together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed’ —

27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. 29 And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

We have talked about being able to say "God bless you", "I will pray for you" and "Merry Christmas."

We live in a time where one news source says a few weeks back, "Trump was cleared of Russian Interference with USA Voting." Then the next news source says more about Trump and the USA Election. Add to the complications the recent voting IN Russia. We all have strong opinions on a very new Presidential Style. With rather Historic Presidential Approval after President Trump's own Town Hall. Not to be confused with the CNN Town Hall. And then D.C. sit-ins and protesting. We always did this. Rome wasn't the only time soldiers arrived in the Capital. Washington D.C. after the Civil War. And the War for Independence, President Washington dealt with the Whiskey Rebellion. And taxed - himself.

We are arriving at the idea - The United States has a better and dearer Christianity than we Nationally Believed. And really the true idea would be - we Love Jesus. And we consider Him. And know, know, know in our Knower - Jesus helps me and helps you - personally.

Acts 4 is addressing a New Identity in Jesus Christ. Perfect.

We have forgotten something. Jesus is baptized by John the Baptist. Jesus feeds the thousands in the next breath after hearing His Cousin John the Baptist died. A funeral meal. And we find Jesus prays that night, walks on water - and our Peter - is lifted up out of the water. A good thing. Very immediately a very good thing. The Rock is the Church. We need our Jesus-told-us-in-Caesarea this Church would be born.

Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, does something. He always has a 2nd. He had John the Baptist. Ok, yes, loosely. But then the day after John the Baptist died, Peter is raised up.

If we want to say "God Bless you" we might be further encouraged to have assistance. It's not complicated, this is Biblical. We learn this in one of the few organizations held together for 2,000 Years. With a very, very clear history. The first leading mankind out of huddling in city/state/fortresses. Church - planting outside the city walls deliberately; increasing trade. Promoting communication. Church - the first to feed the starving around the world. On many levels. The first to have hospitals during the-why-help-them-they-are-really-going-to-kill-you plagues. The first to bring aid. The first to bring reading. The first to bring education.

How unfortunate that 2,000 years of amazing Acts of Jesus have been beaten down by this phrase, "The Crusades."

Yes. Human beings. Flawed.

Governments with the same problems are 'history'. Not the Church. Relevant fact. Important. We've seen the United States Northeast leave the Church. And everyone said TK. Instead - better words replaced TK. Forgiveness. Redemption. Restoration. Mercy.

Matthew 11:12

12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence, and violent people have been raiding it. 13For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John.

Speaking of Violence. Let's jump right into Netflix. Television is amazingly better. Game of Thrones. Versailles (Princess Elisabeth Charlotte married to Philippe I, Duke of Orleans is a hoot). Medici. Even Borgia. And The Last Kingdom - the rise of Alfred the Great and his real love for Jesus Christ.

And for fun - let's throw in Pirates of the Caribbean. Justified.

Let's be honest. Let's be real. Let's be genuine.

Are we going to head off to Church and talk about what we watch at home. Yes. Tackle the way, the truth and the Life. Handle the difficult topics. We are going to say the Crusades. We are going to look people in the eye and say war is just terrible. Always. And we are not going to say the Church is the center of darkness. When all Nations and all Empires have - FLAWS.

So, let's talk about Revisionist History.
Now I know, you expected me to say something about immorality. So let me not disappoint. Television is amazingly better. And lewd. We can even do better. Especially not watching this with children. Really. Ratings - please fall. For content to be clean.  When I read 3 or 4 of the first Game of Thrones books, I thought this is the most depressing book I have ever read. Evah. And I gave the current set at the time to my friend, Kurt. And I swore up and down I was never going to spend time "watching the most depressing sets of books I'd ever read." Edward watched and every time I passed through the room someone was having some - kind of - sex. I said I don't think the books had that much sex. Edward said they seem to put a lot of sex in it. Yeah. Months and 2 seasons went by. And I began to watch because Edward said it couldn't be missed. And a few others said you have to watch this. And we found we could fast forward. Pretty soon we had to sit down and watch all the seasons. With fast forward. Our fast forward works speedily.

Now, this is what I'm saying -
we discovered as more people were intent on Game of Thrones - we had MORE CONTENT. This is filler. Just like music repeating, "yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah." We all liked Game of Thrones more and more with - more - content. Therefore, because a Nation is watching all of this Television - Let's all decide fast forward works really well and ask for over and over and over and over - surprisingly - More Content.

Back to Revisionist History. And before we get too far into Revisionist History, the next topic is going to be Why Christianity in Hollywood suddenly has two faces.

Revisionist History we have discussed several times has Biblical roots with Jeremiah getting hopping mad the culture was repressing the Exodus and Egypt because they didn't want to admit slavery. Lying about History.

How about the Borgia Family. I am for further historical study done on Historical Subjects. Boring. Oh no, not at all. We can always find political topics repeating and repeating. We don't have to lean on sex. We don't have to erase children for lack of actors. Refer to them. Sex isn't what makes people all that interesting. We have ideas of then and now to look at. To learn.

My son's good friend and former Employer where they had amazing travel all over the world together is the Historical World Leading Authority on Coins of Antiquity. He was telling me about Professors who study nothing but lace to identify the town where the art was made. There are profound histories and politics to learn of. Historical Television Content is worthy.

The Borgia Family. History discovered a ring capable of poisoning people. Therefore we are told this probably belonged to Lucrezia Borgia. I doubt she killed people - she obtained divorces in the 1400s and the early 1500s. Very terrible at the time. She did have a very, very violent and psychopathic killer brother. And if we look at the Borgia's "Official" History we find it's bland enough for school children. Murder went unresolved.. So we have gaps to fill. Letters to be read.

Now - Revisionist History. Pope Alexander VI, born Rodrigo de Borja, the Bad Borgia Pope. In seeing him legitimize his children. Love them. Acknowledge them. Have basically one wife and a divorce and then another. We are seeing someone when History reexamines him for terrible Christianity - is rather shocked to find he took risks Jesus might be able to say, "And this is Rodrigo." It's worthy of discussion, or maybe, just interesting to find this -

Pope Alexander VI, as he died, convinced many his faith was very devout. When one faces death with calm and assurance - there is Jesus going on.

Pirate of the Caribbean.
"Bible-thumper on this ship?"
"A missionary is the story. What I heard, was he got captured in a raid. The rest on the ship got killed, but not him. First Mate wouldn't let it happen, on account his premier standing with the Lord."
―Jack Sparrow and Scrum concerning Philip Swift

"You are different."
"Are you not? You protect."
―Syrena and Philip Swift

And then the Christian gives up all for a mermaid.

Several of the shows have a Hollywood repeat. It's not gasp with relief, it's to be examined with a not-real-world-c'mon. Face A Thundering Rev. Cotton Mather. Ripe with Finger Pointing. Thundering Sin. And he convinces no one. And then there will be Face B another repeat - the Christian who loves. And Loves.

Face A is a myth these days. It's 18th Century. And for the unchurched - they fear they would hear this. Sad to think. Let it not become typical type content. Doesn't happen. (If it does happen - it's unusual.)

The Bible-thumper who gave up all for the mermaid. The Thundering Cotton Mather. The Christian who loves. We are back to looking for Content... No one comes in good health to a thundering Love of false god Zeus who would strike you down for false god Zeus' pleasure and indifference. No one is going to be blessed if the answer is always roll over for smiley type content. The Peace is Hard Won. It's not a nicey peace. To truly explain Father God, one has to know of the amazing depth of God who loves you as you are.

Routinely, Historically - people have found Joy in having Jesus Christ.

Astonishingly like a Parent. Completely informed as you the real you. Parents sometimes thunder. It's called relationship. But if the parent wants your cringing, your guilt, you star-ship, then you have not discovered Jesus and His Abba.

BUT we will not turn Jesus Christ, Abba, the Holy Spirit and the Amazing Incredible Wonder of God miracle - the Bible - in your hand into - thou shalt not Preach. Every Word of God - is - valid. The God of the Old Testament is the God of the New Testament. The Old Testament is preaching the Ten Commandments. God does not sanction the killing of human beings. Which the false gods do.

If we considered all the potential Children of God as Believers - we should see a St. Augustine. His mother told the party-goer, prostitute-loving, a good evening of wine, "I cannot go to Heaven without you. It would not be Heaven without the unique person you are. You must find Jesus loves you and know His Love."

The closest we can come to telling someone how loved they are in Jesus Christ and His Father to tell them of their virtues, their compassion, their tender moments. Their heart-felt desires of Life. The Light they bring to Life. The Magnificent Forgiveness exists because we Love and Trust this person to display their goodness. We believe with them they are worthy in God's eyes. We believe they should Love our Jesus because our Jesus assures us He lives in their lives now - merely unknown. This is the depth of Love and Forgiveness we need to have explained in our Jesus characters. Not limiting real relationship and real opinion and not assuming there is one opinion. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Why? Because not all can understand a Father's Love. A Son who seeks all His Ministry to find the lost lamb we all have in us. The Holy Spirit who has wanted to live closer - an essence of God - a mystery - a desire of God - some need the glimmer of God to understand first the Presence of our Father God Almighty. Even Father God says between Timothy and Paul Letters that faith is a mystery. We don't have to understand all of the Holy Spirit to allow others to look and find the Beauty and Mystery of God and His Presence in our lives.

We know in the early Church some ran far to bring the Gospel further, but bravely they went with the Word of God, knowing this would be a danger for being killed. We know some stayed and died bravely. Both of these were led by God and brave. We can keep expressing our choices, Honoring Jesus, not accepting that Christians who are too forward - and would put off the hope of God for others. We have no need of, "Oh. look at least one of the Christians looks vaguely Christian." Why? Because being a Christian today requires courage. The screaming zealot - is almost a myth.

When we shake out this all out to the basics, it's like giving seeds Light.

Our Jesus, like our David, would Dance in the Vineyard. With Joy.

Our Father, Abba,

We cover in and all our needs with an urgent plea for "Jesus."

And Your Words to us.

Our Father, Who is in Heaven,
Holy is Your Name
Your Kingdom comes
We want Your will to be done
on earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day,
our Daily Living Bread.

Forgive us our sin,
as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation.
Deliver us from evil.

As John saw,
For thine is the Kingdom,
thine is the Power,
thine is the Glory.

Forever and ever. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.

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We believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He has saved all who call upon His name and rely on Him for His Grace. The Scriptures are living & active and are for understanding the Lord Almighty. Biblical readings are chosen from the Ecumenical Christian Church and the Nicene Council, 325 A.D., approved Apocrypha. People remember not just from reading, but by sight and orally- an image has been added as well as audio readings. God tends to link the passages together with fascinates - this blogger, Anne-Laurel Gardere

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Email registry at bottom.! “All Scripture is inspired by God” (2 Timothy 3:16). Men “moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Peter 1:21). The Holy Spirit carried men along, moving and guiding them as they wrote in their own words what God wanted them to say. The Bible is unique; comprised of 80 separate books, & written over a period of thousands of years by more than 40 writers with one Author, spanning the centuries, different states of peace & war & different situations in life. The Bible answers the question: of who is God, who is man & what can their relationship can be. Although the Bible was written on perishable material and copied by hand for many centuries, its accuracy is not in doubt, proven by Dead Sea Scrolls and papyrus from 2,000 years. The Bible has survived persecution & criticism to be read with great interest in each generation. The Bible gives witness to the greatness of the Creator. A loving Father concerned for all of his creation. With each verse of the bible witnessing to God is love and the multitude & vastness of His attributes. The Bible was written for you. <><

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