Matthew 3-4 and Acts 4-6

(from The Message paraphrase)

Observations from Matthew 3-4:

  • Jesus is baptized by John and then he gets tested by Satan.   Prior to being tested Jesus fasted and prayed for 40 days.   He was very hungry but he told Satan “It takes more than bread to stay alive.   It takes a steady stream of words from God’s mouth.”
  • So many times when I get discouraged by my circumstances all I hear is doom and gloom and it’s frightening.   I’m learning that I need to fill myself up with the voice of truth — God’s Word.   He speaks life and hope into my circumstances.   And just like Jesus I need to say, “Beat it, Satan!”
  • Jesus begins his ministry in Galilee and calls disciples to follow him.   Interesting to read how they just left everything they were doing and followed him.   Amazing!

Observations from Acts 4-6:

  • Peter and John are arrested by the religious authorities.   Peter speaks boldly, full of the Holy Spirit.
  • “Salvation comes no other way; no other name (Jesus) has been or will be given to us by which we can be saved, only this one.”   A bold declaration that to this day is still true.   Truth is truth and you can’t change it.   You either accept it or you don’t, but not accepting it does not make it untrue.
  • All the people who believed came together in one heart and mind, sharing everything they had.   This is how it should be, but it takes serious dedication and complete trust in God.   Obviously some were in it because it was popular and not because they wholeheartedly believed.   Those who were false suffered serious consequences.   (Ananias and Sapphira)
  • The apostles are arrested again and put in jail, but an angel of God released them and told them to go out and take a stand.   Again they are brought before the religious leaders, but one of them realizes they need to act with caution.   If what these men are doing is really from God then nothing that you do can stop them.   “…you better not be found fighting against God!”
  • Everyone has to do their part in the body of believers.   Some are devoted to prayer and preaching while others need to take care of those in need.   What I see though is that each one is empowered by the Holy Spirit to do what God has called them to do.