Tasks for this week:
- Watch all three parts of Don’t Quit, Stay the Course!
- Complete daily Bible reading
- Memorize Acts 17:11 and Acts 17:24-25
Week 40: Day 1
This week’s sermon, Don’t Quit, Stay the Course!, with Jeff Borton, focuses on James 1:1-8. (Click HERE to download study notes for this week.) We have divided this sermon into three parts for you to watch throughout this week (Days 1, 3, and 5). Please watch the first part today.
Today’s F260 Bible reading: Acts 15-1615:1 Now some men came down from Judea and began to teach the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” 2When Paul and Barnabas had a major argument and debate with them, the church appointed Paul and Barnabas and some others from among them to go up to meet with the apostles and elders in Jerusalem about this point of disagreement. 3So they were sent on their way by the church, and as they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, they were relating at length the conversion of the Gentiles and bringing great joy to all the brothers. 4When they arrived in Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they reported all the things God had done with them. 5But some from the religious party of the Pharisees who had believed stood up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise the Gentiles and to order them to observe the law of Moses.” 6Both the apostles and the elders met together to deliberate about this matter. 7After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that some time ago God chose me to preach to the Gentiles so they would hear the message of the gospel and believe. 8And God, who knows the heart, has testified to them by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, 9and he made no distinction between them and us, cleansing their hearts by faith. 10So now why are you putting God to the test by placing on the neck of the disciples a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear? 11On the contrary, we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they are.” 12The whole group kept quiet and listened to Barnabas and Paul while they explained all the miraculous signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them. 13After they stopped speaking, James replied, “Brothers, listen to me. 14Simeon has explained how God first concerned himself to select from among the Gentiles a people for his name. 15The words of the prophets agree with this, as it is written, 16‘After this I will return,and I will rebuild the fallen tent of David;I will rebuild its ruins and restore it, 17so that the rest of humanity may seek the Lord,namely, all the Gentiles I have called to be my own,’ says the Lord, who makes these things 18known from long ago. 19“Therefore I conclude that we should not cause extra difficulty for those among the Gentiles who are turning to God, 20but that we should write them a letter telling them to abstain from things defiled by idols and from sexual immorality and from what has been strangled and from blood. 21For Moses has had those who proclaim him in every town from ancient times, because he is read aloud in the synagogues every Sabbath.” 22Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to send men chosen from among them, Judas called Barsabbas and Silas, leaders among the brothers, to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. 23They sent this letter with them: From the apostles and elders, your brothers, to the Gentile brothers and sisters in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia, greetings! 24Since we have heard that some have gone out from among us with no orders from us and have confused you, upsetting your minds by what they said, 25we have unanimously decided to choose men to send to you along with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul, 26who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas who will tell you these things themselves in person. 28For it seemed best to the Holy Spirit and to us not to place any greater burden on you than these necessary rules: 29that you abstain from meat that has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what has been strangled and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from doing these things, you will do well. Farewell. 30So when they were dismissed, they went down to Antioch, and after gathering the entire group together, they delivered the letter. 31When they read it aloud, the people rejoiced at its encouragement. 32Both Judas and Silas, who were prophets themselves, encouraged and strengthened the brothers with a long speech. 33After they had spent some time there, they were sent off in peace by the brothers to those who had sent them. 35But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, teaching and proclaiming (along with many others) the word of the Lord. 36After some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s return and visit the brothers in every town where we proclaimed the word of the Lord to see how they are doing.” 37Barnabas wanted to bring John called Mark along with them too, 38but Paul insisted that they should not take along this one who had left them in Pamphylia and had not accompanied them in the work. 39They had a sharp disagreement, so that they parted company. Barnabas took along Mark and sailed away to Cyprus, 40but Paul chose Silas and set out, commended to the grace of the Lord by the brothers and sisters. 41He passed through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches. 16:1 He also came to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple named Timothy was there, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but whose father was a Greek. 2The brothers in Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. 3Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him, and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was Greek. 4As they went through the towns, they passed on the decrees that had been decided on by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the Gentile believers to obey. 5So the churches were being strengthened in the faith and were increasing in number every day. 6They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been prevented by the Holy Spirit from speaking the message in the province of Asia. 7When they came to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to do this, 8so they passed through Mysia and went down to Troas. 9A vision appeared to Paul during the night: A Macedonian man was standing there urging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” 10After Paul saw the vision, we attempted immediately to go over to Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them. 11We put out to sea from Troas and sailed a straight course to Samothrace, the next day to Neapolis, 12and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of that district of Macedonia, a Roman colony. We stayed in this city for some days. 13On the Sabbath day we went outside the city gate to the side of the river, where we thought there would be a place of prayer, and we sat down and began to speak to the women who had assembled there. 14A woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, a God-fearing woman, listened to us. The Lord opened her heart to respond to what Paul was saying. 15After she and her household were baptized, she urged us, “If you consider me to be a believer in the Lord, come and stay in my house.” And she persuaded us. 16Now as we were going to the place of prayer, a slave girl met us who had a spirit that enabled her to foretell the future by supernatural means. She brought her owners a great profit by fortune-telling. 17She followed behind Paul and us and kept crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation.” 18She continued to do this for many days. But Paul became greatly annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!” And it came out of her at once. 19But when her owners saw their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the authorities. 20When they had brought them before the magistrates, they said, “These men are throwing our city into confusion. They are Jews 21and are advocating customs that are not lawful for us to accept or practice, since we are Romans.” 22The crowd joined the attack against them, and the magistrates tore the clothes off Paul and Silas and ordered them to be beaten with rods. 23After they had beaten them severely, they threw them into prison and commanded the jailer to guard them securely. 24Receiving such orders, he threw them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. 25About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the rest of the prisoners were listening to them. 26Suddenly a great earthquake occurred, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. Immediately all the doors flew open, and the bonds of all the prisoners came loose. 27When the jailer woke up and saw the doors of the prison standing open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he assumed the prisoners had escaped. 28But Paul called out loudly, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!” 29Calling for lights, the jailer rushed in and fell down trembling at the feet of Paul and Silas. 30Then he brought them outside and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him, along with all those who were in his house. 33At that hour of the night he took them and washed their wounds; then he and all his family were baptized right away. 34The jailer brought them into his house and set food before them, and he rejoiced greatly that he had come to believe in God, together with his entire household. 35At daybreak the magistrates sent their police officers, saying, “Release those men.” 36The jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, “The magistrates have sent orders to release you. So come out now and go in peace.” 37But Paul said to the police officers, “They had us beaten in public without a proper trial—even though we are Roman citizens—and they threw us in prison. And now they want to send us away secretly? Absolutely not! They themselves must come and escort us out!” 38The police officers reported these words to the magistrates. They were frightened when they heard Paul and Silas were Roman citizens 39and came and apologized to them. After they brought them out, they asked them repeatedly to leave the city. 40When they came out of the prison, they entered Lydia’s house, and when they saw the brothers, they encouraged them and then departed. (NET Bible)
Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible® (NASB),
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