Category Archives: Daily Devotional

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 50/260: Read Acts 26

The Herods were rarely seen in a good light in the New Testament, but that did not stop Paul from reasoning with Herod Agrippa II. The gospel was so powerful that Agrippa declared, “You almost persuade me to become a Chrsitian.”

Almost. Such a sad word.

Philip Paul Bliss wrote the hymn “Almost Persuaded” in the nineteenth century. The fourth stanza shows the sad condition of one who stops at “almost.”

        “Almost persuaded,” harvest is past!
        “Almost persuaded,” doom comes at last;
                “Almost” cannot avail;
                “Almost” is but to fail!
                Sad, sad that bitter wail—
                        “Almost—but lost!”

Do you have friends who are “almost—but lost”? Are you yourself resisting the love of God?

        Turn now with heart and will,
        Peace will your spirit fill—
                Oh, turn today!

Memory (Recite to a friend without looking)

Acts 22:16. And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

Pray

Pray for those who are waiting for that convenient season, for those who are almost persuaded. Pray that they will come to their senses before it is eternally too late.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 49/260: Read Acts 25

No one likes to get into trouble, but the apostle Paul used these situations for the glory of God. Falsely accused by the Jews and knowing that he would not receive fair treatment in Jerusalem, the apostle appealed to Caesar.

Paul was going to preach the gospel to the most powerful man in the world. Have you ever thought about how you would handle such a situation?

If you had the opportunity to sit down with the President of the United States, would you share the gospel with him? Would you tell him what Jesus accomplished on the cross, and the power He wielded over the grave? Or would you focus more on the President’s own accomplishments and power? As impressive as his life might be, the President’s power pales in comparison to the Christ’s.

Paul did not waste any opportunity to tell others about the Savior, regardless of how powerful those others thought they were. He knew that true power rests in the gospel.

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

Acts 22:16. And now why are you waiting? _______________ and be baptized, and _______________ away your sins, calling on the _______________ of the Lord.

Pray

Pray for those with whom you have shared the gospel message. Pray that they will recognize Christ’s strength and their own weakness, and that they will see their need for the cleansing power of Jesus’ blood.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 48/260: Read Acts 24

Are you waiting to be good enough to follow Jesus? Are you waiting for a convenient time? That time will never come. Felix listened to Paul and had a “more accurate knowledge of the Way” than he had previously. But he was not ready to act. The time was not “convenient” for him.

The time will never be “convenient.” The decision to follow Christ is not a frivolous one. You will have to give up some things (but you will gain so much more). You will have to say goodbye to old friends (but the new ones will encourage you). You may even have to sever ties with family (but your new family will be eternal).

Following Christ is not convenient, but it is vital. Your eternal soul depends on it. The Scriptures teach about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come. Such topics rightly caused Felix to fear, but it was not convenient for him to make a decision.

Learning the good news about Jesus is important, but we also must be aware of the bad news. In the end, all will be raised and stand before God in judgment. Let’s not wait for a convenient time, but take advantage of the time we have right now.

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

Acts 22:16. And now why are you _______________? Arise and be _______________, and wash away your _______________, calling on the name of the Lord.

Pray

Pray for your friends who have not yet made the important decision to become disciples. Pray for the confidence to share with them both the good news and the bad news.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 47/260: Read Acts 23

What are your plans for tomorrow? Next week? Next year? Have you consulted the Lord about those plans?

God does not talk to us directly today like He did in times past, like He did to Paul. Jesus said, “Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.” Jesus had a plan for Paul. He was using the former Pharisee to spread the testimony of Christ, the Son of the Living God, throughout the world in the first century.

He has plans for us today as well. While we do not receive direct revelation from Him, we can live for Him each day in whatever circumstance we are found.

Paul testified in Jerusalem, and in every city he visited during his missionary journeys. Are we spreading God’s good news wherever we go? At work, at school, at home, we should be shining our light for Christ so others can glorify God.

Be of good cheer, reader! Jesus has a plan for you; live faithfully for Him and bear fruit!

Memory (Copy into a notebook 5-10 times)

Acts 22:16. And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

Pray

Pray for opportunities to demonstrate the love of God to those around you today. Praise Him for His blessings.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 46/260: Read Acts 22

Many in the religious world point to the “sinner’s prayer” as the means to salvation. “Just ask Jesus into your heart, and you will be saved,” say denominational preachers. But what do the Scriptures say?

I find it interesting that Paul was told to stop praying! In the first retelling of his conversion, Jesus told Ananias that Paul was praying (Acts 9:11). Paul was waiting for someone to come and tell him what to do. In the meantime, he prayed and fasted. What happened when Ananias showed up? He told Paul he was wasting time!

“And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”

Stop waiting! Get those sins washed away! Your prayers are worthless if you are still in your sins!

The same is true today. The “sinner’s prayer” has never saved a single soul. It didn’t save Paul, and it won’t save anyone today.

If you have never been baptized to wash away your sins, why are you waiting? Do what Jesus commands, let Him save you the way He said He would, and become His faithful servant.

Memory (Read aloud 5-10 times)

Acts 22:16. And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

Pray

Pray…if you’re a child of God. If you have not yet obeyed the gospel through repentance and immersion, stop waiting. Obey, then pray, thanking God for His grace and mercy.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 45/260: Read Acts 21

How do you react when you receive bad news about something that is going to happen in your life? Do you start thinking about how you can prevent the bad news from taking place?

A prophecy was given through Agabus that Paul would be bound by the Jews in Jerusalem and delivered to the Gentiles. Immediately, his friends tried to convince him to change his plans; they didn’t want the bad news to come true!

Paul, however, said, “What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” What faith!

Now, think again about your reaction. There is bad news concerning Jesus: if you faithfully follow Him, you will lose friends. Family members may get mad. You will be mocked and persecuted.

Are you ready for that? Are you willing to endure the hard-ships of the Christian life? Believe God when He tells you that the blessings far outweigh the bad!

Memory (Recite to a friend without looking)

Acts 20:28. Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.

Pray

Pray for a faith like Paul’s, for the boldness to stand for the truth of God’s Word, to claim Christ. Pray for an attitude that recognizes the blessings of being a child of God and thank Him for those blessings!

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 44/260: Read Acts 20

False teachers have always been a part of the religious world. It is just as true today as it was in the first century.

Paul warned the elders in Ephesus that after he left, “Savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.” He is not talking about literal wolves here, but men who would come in and tear the church apart by false teaching. “Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.”

Paul spent much time preparing them for these attacks. He taught privately and publicly, and he did not hold anything back. “For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.”

People generally do not like “the whole counsel of God.” They want to hear about His love and grace and mercy, but the wrath of God is every bit as real as His love. If we don’t know about His wrath, we don’t know “the whole counsel of God.”

Don’t gloss over the warnings of hell. Don’t be deceived by those who preach tolerance toward sin. Stand faithfully with the Word of God.

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

Acts 20:28. Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy _______________ has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of _______________ which He purchased with His own _______________.

Pray

Pray for wisdom to discern right from wrong using the inspired Scriptures. Pray for those misled by false teachers.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 43/260: Read Acts 19

There are many false notions about baptism in the religious world. Some view the act as nothing more than a ritual, “an outward sign of an inward grace.” That phrase is found nowhere within inspiration.

The men in Ephesus had been baptized, but for the wrong reason. They were baptized into John’s baptism, which was “a baptism of repentance” that pointed to the coming Messiah. The problem is that when these men were baptized, Christ had already come, been crucified, resurrected, and ascended into heaven. John’s baptism was no longer valid.

The reason for baptism was important then, and it is important now. Why were you baptized?

What is the reason for baptism, according to the Scriptures?

  • For salvation (Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21)
  • For the remission of sins (Acts 2:38)
  • To wash away sins (Acts 22:16)
  • To reenact Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:3-5)
  • To get into Christ (Galatians 3:27)

Were you baptized for these reasons? If not, talk to a member of the church of Christ in your area. Study. Learn. Obey.

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

Acts 20:28. Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the _______________, among which the Holy Spirit has made you _______________, to shepherd the _______________ of God which He purchased with His own blood.

Pray

Pray for the boldness to obey Christ’s commands for the right reasons.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 42/260: Read Acts 18

Is it possible that you have been wrong about some spiritual matter? That you have been unintentionally misled, or perhaps not fully informed?

Consider Apollos. He was “an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures.” This had reference, of course, to the inspired writings of the Old Testament. Yet, he was not completely up-to-date. Jesus had come and fulfilled the Scriptures. Apollos had been taught John’s baptism, but had not yet been informed of the new covenant instituted by Christ on the cross.

Aquila and Priscilla heard him and discerned that Apollos was sincere in his belief. Sincerity, however, is not enough. So they taught him privately; they “explained to him the way of God more accurately.”

Is there someone in your life that is honest and sincere, but misinformed? Can you, with love and gentleness, explain to them the gospel more accurately?

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

Memory (Copy into a notebook 5-10 times)

Acts 20:28. Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.

Pray

Pray for a spirit of gentleness within you as you reach out to the sincere, yet misinformed, people in your life.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 41/260: Read Acts 17

When Paul traveled, he always gravitated to people who were spiritually-minded. Usually that was at a synagogue; after visiting the synagogue in Athens, he was taken to the Areopagus where many pagan idols were worshiped. Luke says, “For all the Athenians and the foreigners who were there spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or hear some new thing.”

Paul directed their attention to the altar inscribed: “To The Unknown God.” He proceeded to tell the Athenians of the one, true God of heaven, who was unknown to them.

What was the result of Paul’s preaching? Some mocked him, but others were willing to listen more. When Paul left Athens, Luke says, “However, some men joined him and believed, among them Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.”

Paul was doing what Jesus commanded: as he was going from place to place, he was sowing seed of the gospel. Results varied as each individual had to make his own decision, but Paul continued doing what he was meant to do.

Are you scattering seed wherever you go?

Memory (Read aloud 5-10 times)

Acts 20:28. Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.

Pray

Pray for open and honest hearts as you spread the Word to your family, friends, co-workers, classmates, neighbors, and everyone else within your sphere of influence.