Acts Wednesday: Chapter 9, Breakthroughs

You know how it feels to be stuck? You can’t see any way out, and you sure wish you could get out. This onramp at the end of Acts chapter 9, leading to Acts chapter 10, is all about breakthroughs, Peter willing to cooperate with God as God began to expand the church and take it in new directions.

Mercy and Grace

Some warm to the largely comforting and hopeful philosophy that babies are born pure and innocent, and it’s the morally unhealthy culture, surrounding society, that inclines us to sin. Others argue that to believe such a theory takes a person off the hook—my sin is always someone else’s fault, rather than owning we are born sinful.

Perversion

In thinking about the conditions the Flood story conveys about humanity, our own culture may not seem quite so grim today! And yet, this is one of the truths this ancient account imparts–the nature of what the Bible calls sin. Scripture explains that sin defiles, sin damages, and sin grieves and offends the heart of God.

Avenged Sevenfold

What does a civilization without God look like? Activity, growth, progress, technological advancement, wealth, sophistication, an appreciation for towering intellect, and powerful art. All stem from God’s grace to humankind, yet without God, civilization degenerates.

Blessings and Curses

Moses was describing a basic principle of life, life goes well for us when living God’s way, by God’s law. Even for Job. In the middle of his story, life was awful. At the end of the book God not only restores Job’s fortunes, they’re even better than when the book starts out. Job successfully endured the ordeal God permitted in his life, and he was blessed.

Who Does God Punish?

I think we call it the Fall of Humankind because the first humans were at the pinnacle of human experience, where everything was good, their relationships were healthy and filled with love, their work was satisfying and productive, their resources were ample, the world was their oyster, and their spiritual communion with God and each other was full.