We start this Bible study with an introduction to Paul. We learned about his miraculous conversion, and his mission to unite both the Jews and the Gentiles under one covenant through Jesus Christ.
What struck me the most was how God used a well-known enemy of the cross to show the power of His forgiveness and saving grace. It teaches me that any one of us can be used by God. It doesn’t matter where we have been or what we have done–His grace is more than sufficient.
I knew that Paul had suffered much, but I didn’t realize to what extent. He was stoned and beaten and left for dead. He was shipwrecked and hungry and cold, but He rejoiced in suffering, “knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope.” (Romans 5:3-4)
I got to thinking about my own life and how every time I’ve been stressed out, upset, or depressed, I found the strength to push through. And not only that–I’m left with a hope that there’s more to this life.
Regardless of our circumstances, however dark they might be, we’re not abandoned, and we’re not destroyed. There’s an incomparable power within each one of us that can’t be shaken when we’re grounded in Christ.
Certainly we’ll have days that bring us down to our knees in tears, but the same power that raised Christ from the dead gives us the strength and the hope to get back on our feet and get back in the race.
“For the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Cor. 4:18)
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Until Monday… have a great weekend!
You are loved by an almighty God,
The Time-Warp Wife
P.S. Don’t forget to grab a copy of the coloring page below. 🙂
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Acts 9:1-31 – “Paul’s Conversion”
Conversion can happen to anyone at anytime. No one is beyond saving.
God took a well known sinner to show the mercy and power of His saving grace.
Anyone who thinks they are beyond saving, can see the transformation of Paul and how God used him in mighty ways.
Don’t ever let your past stand in the way of your mission. God uses the broken, He offers grace to the sinner, and He equips those He calls.
I also learned the importance of God’s voice in our lives and our obedience to His call. He spoke to Ananias through a vision, telling him to go to Paul. It took incredible courage and faith for Ananias to obey.
Paul’s Mission to the Gentiles
Ephesians 3 & Ephesians 2:11-2 – “Paul’s Mission to the Gentiles”
God had a covenant with the Israelites. We read about that covenant in the Old Testament. We read about the laws, the commandments, and the regulations. We saw two sides at war with each other—the Jews and the Gentiles.
The word “Jew” originates from the Biblical Hebrew word, “Yehudi” meaning “from the tribe of Judah.” Today it is used to describe all of the physical and spiritual descendants of Israel (Jacob).
A “Gentile” (Gr. Ethnos) is similar to our word “Ethnic.” It meant “non-Jew.” Gentiles were also referred to as strangers, foreigners, or “uncircumcised.”
When Jesus fulfilled the law through His death, the wall between the two sides came down. He formed a new covenant between God and His people. He brought both sides together, and together we have access to God.
After the death and resurrection of Christ, it was necessary to bring the message of the new covenant to the early church.
Both the Jews and the Gentiles needed to understand the importance of unity and how it was made possible through the death of our Lord.
Even some of the disciples weren’t as enlightened as Paul. Peter was corrected in Galatians 2:11-14, when we drew back and separated himself from the Gentiles because they were “uncircumcised.” And so they had to be taught the significance of circumcision and how it was a spiritual practice rather than a physical one.
The Sufferings of Paul
He worked hard
He was often in jail
Had been beaten severely
Close to death many times
39 lashes five times
Beaten with rods 3 times
Shipwrecked 3 times
He spent a day and a night in the open sea
He was in danger from rivers, bandits, fellow Jews, and Gentiles.
He went without sleep and food and water
He was naked and cold
He carried around a concern for the church
Regardless of our circumstances, however dark they might be, we’re not abandoned, and we’re not destroyed. There’s an incomparable power within each one of us that can’t be shaken when we’re grounded in Christ. Certainly we’ll have days that bring us down to our knees in tears, but the same power that raised Christ from the dead give us the strength and the hope to get back on our feet. “For the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Cor. 4:18)
This Week’s Coloring Page
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