Tag Archives: Peter

Bible study on Acts of the Apostles – Chapter 12

acts.jpg

Bible study on Acts of the Apostles – Chapter 12

Dear brothers and sisters,

In the Bible study on the 12th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles I will discuss:

  • Peter’s miraculous escape from prison
  • Herod’s death

Peter’s miraculous escape from prison

fc044ea390507df39b9bd57a16eabb2f

At this moment in time it was King Herod, which had arrested several persons belonging to God’s church, with the intend to persecute them. James, the brother of John, was already put to death by the sword. The most shocking thing is that King Herod decided to arrest Paul as well, not because of his own conviction in the matter, but because He saw that a part of the Jews were happy with the killing of James. This shows that we should always only rely on God in everything we do and not automatically expect that because someone calls himself (in Revelation they are called name-Christians) that He is actually a Christian in the sense that God considers someone to be a Christian.

His arrest took place during the Festival of Unleavened Bread, so after arresting Peter King Herod have him put in jail until Passover ended. Peter was sent to jail by four guards and during that time also guarded by four of them. At the moment of his imprisonment the church was praying for Paul. This shows that as soon as something is happening to on of our brothers and/or sisters, we should waste no time and start praying for them. If we do this than God will also here our prayers.

And indeed their faith was heard by God and He sent an angel to Paul. He woke Peter up and told Him to get dressed and get with him. It took Peter some time to understand what was happening, so the angel urged him to act immediately. This shows that when God Is busy in our life’s, that we should act immediately and not be hesitant. How often (also speaking for myself) do we have the tendency to first want to arrange and to do all sorts of other things, before doing that thing that God has asked us to do.

While walking out Peter was very amazed, because all guards were vast asleep. When the angel freed him, he went to the house of Mark. Exactly the house where everyone was that was praying for him. It is beautiful how God orchestrates things. They got to see the fruits of their prayer when Peter came in! At the same time the guards could not understand what had happened. See how God will confuse our enemies. Even it is seems that they have the upper hand and are on the point of defeating you, God will strike them a devastating blow. I pray that God will do the same for your and mine current enemies!

Herod’s death

stdas0377

Herod was so shocked by this news and ordered a thorough search for him, but he also was unable to find him. He also had the guards executed. After this Herod went from Judea to Caesarea and stayed there. First he had been quarrelling with people  of Tyre and Sidon. They joined together to get an audience with Herod to ask for peace, because they were depended on the king’s land for their food supply.

On the day set for this address he was dress in his royal attire and sitting on the throne to address them. Then someone shouted that a God was talking and not a man. Herod, as arrogant has he could be did not immediately gave praise to God and for this reason and angel of the Lord struck him down and he was eaten by worms and died. See how God can put you down if you uplift yourself. Don’t ever take the glory away from God, as God deserves all praise. God, I thank you for everything you have (and keep on doing) done in my life. Even when I am in very hard time of my life, I continuously see how you are guiding and protecting us. Keep us humble by never taking any of your praise or think that when other people boast about us, that we take that glory for ourselves.

Advertisements

Bible study on Acts of the Apostles- Chapter 10

acts.jpg

Bible study on Acts of the Apostles – Chapter 10

Dear brothers and sisters,

In the Bible study on the 10th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles I will discuss:

  • Cornelius calls for Peter
  • Peter’s vision
  • Peter at Cornelius’s house

Cornelius calls for Peter

Cornelius__comes_to_Peter

At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion from the Roman regiment. This man (and his family) was devout and God-fearing. They gave generously to those in need and prayed regularly. See how even people of which you wouldn’t expect it, can be children of God. Don’t assume that someone cannot be a Christian, just because of his or her job or status in life. Don’t judge people as we do not know everything. It also show how God can place Christians in influential roles.

On some day he received a vision on 3am in the night. He saw an angel, which called his name. He immediately knew that it was from God, and he acknowledged this by asking God what it was that he came for. When you know that God is calling you, always respond to him humbly and in obedience. The angel told him that his prayers and gifts to the poor were considered to have come up as a memorial to God. This shows that when we do good to others, then we are honoring God first and foremost. God told him that a man called Peter was in Joppa and that he was to meet him. He immediately sent 2 of his man to get Peter. Again we see that if God asks us something, that we need to act immediately. God also won’t wait to help us.

Peter’s vision

Peter's_Vision_1005-155

The next day Peter went to the roof of the house were he was staying and started praying. Because he was hungry, he let some dinner to me prepared. At the same moment he went into a trance. Peter saw heaven open and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds.

13 Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.” 14 “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.” 15 The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”16 This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.
While he was still trying to understand the vision, at the same time the three men sent by Cornelius were informing where Peter was staying. At that same moment God told Peter that three man were looking for him. And again we see a child of God immediately acted on God’s demand and he met with them and they both shared that God sent them to each other. God will always make sure that both parties will know when God is working.
Peter at Cornelius’s house
868e54f9434ad9860e9a34aacf3c2683
The next day Peter joined the three to meet Cornelius in Joppa. Peter told Cornelius that it is against the Jewish law for a Jew to meet with a gentile, but because God sent him, he did it, and that he also never call anyone impure or unclean. See again that God hates it when we judge people, certainly because we always do this on earthly reasons, never based on the Word of God. They discussed God’s word and in the end he baptized Cornelius as no one is exempt of being baptized when they want to follow God! Again I pray that we let God use us for His work, so others have the chance to come to God!
Thank you God for blessing us and making us humble by never rejecting someone just because we have been thought that someone is not able to be a follower of God.

Bible study on Acts of the Apostles- Chapter 9

acts

Bible study on Acts of the Apostles – Chapter 9

Dear brothers and sisters,

In the Bible study on the 9th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles I will discuss:

  • Saul’s conversion
  • Saul in Damascus and Jerusalem
  • Aeneas and Dorcas

Saul’s conversionSa

For me this chapter is definitely very powerful one. We see how God can even turn the most fanatic enemy of God to be saved and changed. Saul asked the synagogue in Jerusalem to travel to Damascus to also “hunt” on Christians there. But on the way there God sent all of sudden a light from Heaven that flashed around him. Then Saul fell on the ground and God asked him, why he was persecuting Him. Because if someone is persecuting us, because of our faith in God, than that person is actually persecuting God.

Then God told Him to go to the city and do exactly what God told him. And He also blinded him. Why? Because this enabled God to show Saul how powerful He is, by first taking his eye sight and later restoring it by prayer. At the same time he told a Damascus man called Ananias to meet a man called Saul (who was praying at that moment). First, Ananias was a little hesitant and told God about all the evil stories going on about Saul. But God eased his mind and told that Saul was a powerful instrument for God now. Also he told him that Saul would suffer for His name. When he entered the house where Saul was he prayed for him and restoring Saul’s eye-sight. After being able to see again, he was baptized. Never think that someone can’t change, because God even got Saul to be converted and to work for God! Wow!

Saul in Damascus and Jerusalem

After Saul regained his strength he wasted no time to start preaching about God in the synagogue. If God has a plan for us, He wants us to waste no time and start immediately. Even if your life is not yet as you had hoped, this is no reason for not starting to do God’s work! See how people are still shocked when someone comes to faith and even want to kill that person. Stay very close to God and He will protect you! That is why the plan of some Jews to kill him failed. Other Christians helped him to escape the city and he went back to Jerusalem to meet the Christians there. Some were still hesitant but soon saw that God really changed him!

Aeneas and Dorcas

Now we see Peter is travelling and went to the city of Lydda. There he found a man called Aeneas, who was bedridden for 8 years! See how we can command sickness or demons to go out of someone just to Command it in God’s name. I pray that God will use the Holy Spirit to let us grow in the gift of healing and see how God can and also will use us for this! Don’t think that you are not good enough to this in God’s name.

In Joppa there was a disciple named Joppa in Greek called Dorcas). She was sick and died. Peter was called and came. And again we see that not even death can stop God. Because in God’s name Peter told this woman to be alive again and she instantly was. Wow, God you are so amazing!

 

God bless you!

Bible study on Acts of the Apostles- Chapter 8

acts

Bible study on Acts of the Apostles – Chapter 8

Dear brothers and sisters,

In the Bible study on the 8th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles I will discuss:

  • The church scattered and persecuted
  • Philip in Samaria
  • Simon the sorcerer
  • Philip and the Ethiopian

The church scattered and persecuted

Here we read about Saul that approved of the killing. See how wicked people can be and kill people just for the fact that they serve our almighty Lord. But luckily we will see that Saul’s life is also a true blessed story of God’s amazing power.

Furthermore, it was not only enough to kill Stephen, but the devil hardened the heart of Saul and his men so much that they began persecuting all Christians. Know that if you decide to serve our Lord, that it is possible that you will be persecuted. Ask God for guidance and strength to stay true to Him in those time!

Philip in Samaria

Although the church was scattered by this persecution, see how these men did not let them stop them from sharing the Word of God. No matter what you are going through, don’t let anything stop you from do your work for God! One of them, called Philip, went to the town of Samaria and performed a lot of miracles in the name of God and people were amazed and healed. Amen!

Simon the sorcerer

Philip’s ministry in Samaria was not in vain, because the word of his healings / miracles through the guidance of God soon reached the apostles. They sent Peter and John to go there to see what was happening, but also to let the new Christians receive the Holy Spirit, because Philip only baptized them. This shows that it is vital for our life’s that we are not only baptized, but also receive the Holy Spirit. Don’t ever think that you do not need the Holy Spirit in your life. God makes it very clear that you cannot be a Christian and not be filled by the Holy Spirit.

At that time there was also a sorcerer called Simon performing all kinds of miracles, claiming that he received it from God. This is impossible, because God will never gives us wicked gifts! This Simon followed John and Peter and was amazed how God worked through them and offered them money to receive those gifts/miracles. They directly rejected this and told him that money would perish him. Luckily he understood that they only right thing to do was to ask God for forgiveness. He asked Peter and John to ask God to do it for Him. Although it is not mentioned how his life continued, I do believe that he needed to ask God for forgiveness himself and stop his wicked work. I truly hope that he came to God.

Philip and the Ethiopian

Here we read how God was really working through the life of Philip. He told Philip to go to a road to Gaza, where he would meet an Ethiopian eunuch on a chariot. And indeed on his way there he indeed met this person, so he started talking with him. If God tells you to do something specific than God will make sure that that person of thing is exactly where God tells Him.

This Eunuch was reading the prophecy of Isaiah and the Ethiopian asked him to teach him. We now see why God sent Philip to this man to let Him receive Christ and to be baptized. After this we also see that God doesn’t want us to stay somewhere for to long when He needs us somewhere else. So all of a sudden Philip was taken away by God to another place where he needed to continue his ministry for God!

 

 

My view – Persecution of Christians

2786405_G

My view – Persecution of Christians

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today I want to write this blog with my view on the persecution of Christians. God really gave this subject on my heart as more and more we see how Christians are openly persecuted in all sorts of way.

Momentarily the most shocking way is by the terrorist organisation ISIS, that is openly targetting Christians in Iraq. They way they kill Christians by beheading them and killing babies! But also more and more we see that just being a Christian in our society is becoming more and more difficult. Just being open about the fact that you are a Christian can bring a lot of hostile reactions from others, while even Islamic terrorist groups don’t get that kind of treatment. Why? I firmly believe that because God is real and we have chosen to follow Him, they feel because of their sinful nature they feel threatened by our God!

What does the Bible say about persecution?

2 Timothy 3:12 says:

12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,

First of all God tells us that we should not fear persection, but that we need to know that persecution will come. Why this warning? To scare us? No, I believe it is to prepare us for it. Because we are living in this sinful world and more and more the devil will try and get us to reject our faith.

1 Peter 4:12-14 says:

Suffering for Being a Christian

12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

Also in Peter God lets us know that we never should be taken by suprise when suffering will come. In the midst of that suffering praise God and don’t let those circumstances dictate your happiness. Also God will bless all those that are persecuted and insulted in His name. We are not on this world for other people, but for our Lord!

These two parts of the Bible confirm that suffering is part of being a Christian. The devil hates everyone that decides to follow Christ and he will do anything to get us to reject our faith and to get us to reject Christ. But never let that happen as anyone that dies in Gods name will be rewarded in heaven. And I am not saying it is easy to give your life, but as we have seen with these beheadings by ISIS all those people did not reject Christ so they are a testimony that when in that situation is possible (very possible) to not give up your faith!

Don’t get discouraged by all the ways that we are being persecuted. Not only by ISIS but also by atheist and homoseksuals (those groups in particular) that will attack Christianity at every way they see possible. Even trying everywhere to marry (while this is Christian institute) with someone of the same sex is already a clear attack from them on Christian values. In the Netherlands they (on purpose) target Christian workers at City Hall when they want to marry. In my country you can choose your own person to do the wedding for you and in a lot of instances gays have deliberatilly chosen a Christian person, because they knew that he or she would reject. And we have laws here that if you reject to same-sex marriages then you have to leave that job.

Please put your trust and find peace in God especially in situation where you are being persecuted. God has not forgotten you and will give you the strength to endure that storm!

God bless you!

Daily word 3 October 2014 – Hosea 14:9

Daily encouraging word

Daily word for 3 October 2014

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today I want to encourage you with the words from Hosea 14:9, which says:

9 Who is wise? He will realize these things. Who is discerning? He will understand them. The ways of the LORD are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.

This verse shows how important it is to not be rebellious to God, but to trust on Him and walk in the ways of the Lord. God will bless your life if you set yourself open to follow Him!

Daily word 1 October 2014 – Romans 15:1-3

Daily encouraging word

Daily word for 1 October 2014

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today I want to encourage you with the words from Romans 15:1-3, which says:

1 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. 3 For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.”

As Christians we need to always put our own desires after helping out someone near you. Jesus showed this to die for us on the cross and by following this example of serving others, then you will see how this will not only bless the other person, but also your own life! God bless you all!

Daily word 21 September 2014 – Habakuk 3:17-19

Daily encouraging word

Daily word for 21 September 2014

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today I want to encourage you with the words from Habakuk 3:17-19, which says:

17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. 19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.

Even in times when everything in life seems to go wrong, don’t stop trusting the Lord, because He is always your strength. And He will guide you out of that moment and bring you blessings in abundance!

Daily word 15 September 2014 – Mark 9:35-37

Daily encouraging word

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today I want to encourage you with the words from Mark 9:35-37 which says:

35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.” 36 He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”

Following Christ also means that the way we are should be different from the world. To follow Christ means that you need to be able to serve others and don’t expect only people to serve you. Also when we welcome people and help them, then we know that God will also welcome you! So don’t look how others can serve you, but how you can serve others! Amen!