Message: Best Frenemies
Preacher: Japhet De Oliveira
Reflection: Japhet De Oliveira
Live Wonder: Zan Long
Live Adventure: Zan Long
Live Purpose: Jessyka Albert
Editor: Becky De Oliveira
Refresh: Begin today in prayer. Ask God for understanding through the Holy Spirit and for God’s character to be revealed.
Read: Acts 8:1-25 in The Message (MSG). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: This morning, just for one brief moment, think about all the circumstances that brought you to this point in time. Some of you are probably wondering where to even begin; others have already chosen a entry point into your story and have navigated through to this point in time before this sentence is even complete. No matter what starting point you choose, certain intersection points have brought you here today. This raises many questions—not least what is expected of you today? To imagine that what we do has no effect on others is a ridiculous and selfish proposition that has been sold to millions of people over countless generations. We are all entwined with each other. There are multiple streams running concurrently, crossing over in a most complex matrix. This is is called “life.” Within that mix is the plan of salvation, the same one that the Father, Son, and Spirit created for the Universe. While we love for everything to be about us in a personalized world, there is something much bigger going on—and it is beautiful. This is what Luke was trying to draw our attention to in both volumes of his work. The hand of Jesus is gently nudging us. Encouraging us. Working in us. Producing through us. Graciously activating love in us, creating the desire for others to know the Gospel. We spend far too much time in some local churches fussing about our mission statements. This seems to be more interesting (or maybe just easier) than living in the spirit and truth that we considered yesterday. When we start to be the church and see the activity of the spirit and truth in our lives, the transformation we experience is truly amazing.
It started in Jerusalem and Judea. In this text, it is moving to Samaria, and later on it will go to the Gentiles in Caesarea. It will come to us. The Gospel is always advancing—even in the face of opposition. Opposition, in fact, forces believers to go on to new places and share the Gospel. To share the Gospel in places that many consider impossible. Samaria was not only hostile to the message because of its history, but also because Simon the Magician had captured the imagination of all the people from the “least to the greatest.” It was within this context that Philip preached the name of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God.
Recalibrate: What makes your local context seem impossible to reach with the Gospel?
Respond: Pray for insights on how to reach your local community with all its challenges.
Research: Consider attending this conference on Urban Mission and Ministry.
The playground is so much fun until it’s not. Getting stuck on the top of the slide and not knowing how you will get down is tough. Follow someone who’s a little bit older than you are and who knows their way around the playground and who loves you. They will show you the way.
Ask someone older than you to teach you a game. While you’re playing, ask them to show you what you need to do to play the game well. Are there any special tricks? Any challenges you need to look out for?
If you could do one big thing to change the world what would it be? What is stopping you from accomplishing it? Write down on a piece of paper or in a journal the thing(s) you wish you could do to change the world. Below that, write one simple step you can take today in your local community.