Teaching Series
Easter in Acts
Friday—Easter in Acts

Series: Advancing
Message: Easter in Acts
Preacher: Japhet De Oliveira
Reflection: Japhet De Oliveira
Live Wonder: Zan Long
Live Adventure: Zan Long
Live Purpose: Jason Calvert
Editor: Becky De Oliveira

Refresh: Begin with prayer. Ask for the Holy Spirit to open your heart to new understanding and for God’s character to be revealed.

Read: Acts 12:1-18 in the English Standard Version (ESV). Note 1–3 insights or questions.

Reflect: Perhaps this week, your Church or maybe your family have been reading the Gospel accounts leading up to the Crucifixion. Typically, there is a worldwide increase in Church attendance on Easter and Christmas. It seems that the call to connect resonates deep within us. No matter what is going on, at least twice a year we can stop what we normally do on Sabbath each week and celebrate that Jesus became a human to save humanity. As the apostle Paul wrote in Hebrews 4:14-16 (ESV):

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. 

That is our Jesus. 

The Church cannot be a movement unless it is doused with the Holy Spirit. The Church cannot be ADVANCING unless it responds to the call of the Holy Spirit to proclaim Jesus. All. 

We have only one question to answer this Easter: What is missing in your life for you to proclaim Jesus. All.?

Recalibrate: What is missing in your life to proclaim Jesus. All.?

Respond: Offer a prayer of acceptance in Jesus. 

Research: Join your local Church this evening for a Good Friday service and share Jesus with your community.

Japhet De Oliveira is senior pastor of Boulder Adventist Church in Boulder, Colorado.

This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it. When I wake up cranky, this is my do-over. I believe in a God who is love and who can take my rubbish in the morning and recycle it into a very good day.

God is the best at making good things happen in bad situations. He just wants to know if you want to be a part of helping Him do a good thing. Say yes to doing a good thing with your words and your actions today. Surprise someone with kindness.

Who do you know who is a complete control freak? I bet just now, right when you read the words “control freak,” a certain face immediately jumped into your mind. Maybe it’s you. As the story in Acts 12 makes clear, God is totally in the business of surprising His people. While there are several surprises in the story, they all seem to be connected to one central theme: God’s in control! The story ends with Herod, his leaders, and all the soldiers freaking out because their plan of controlling Peter totally failed. All the chains, armed guards, prisons, and locked gates—their plan for control—failed. When will we ever get it? Satan and his rulers of darkness try everything to control and shackle humanity. Maybe you’ve felt like you’re in chains. Maybe you’ve felt hopeless, like your prayers will never be answered. But this story shows us that God’s alive, that He loves us, and that He is pumped to supernaturally intervene and shock the junk out of us! In prisons of chains, He brings freedom. In grave situations, He brings life. While Peter’s life seemed to be over, God’s power, love, and control freed him to new life. God surprises both Christians and unbelievers. The only question is, what surprise does God have in store for you next?

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