Tuesday, November 27, 2012

November 27, 2012 … Passing the Torch of Truth

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 332

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Acts, Chapters 18-19 To study these chapters, go to this link -

[Click on photo to see a larger version]

Highlight Passages: Acts 18 [please use the link above and read the entire chapter!] : [NLT] … {Reading Chapter 18 of how the Gospel torch of truth gets passed from an evangelist like Paul to a dedicated Christian couple like Aquila and Priscilla, who studied God’s word and were even expelled from Rome by Emperor Claudius for their faith. Then this couple, coming to Asia-Minor as tent-makers, located in Ephesus and opened their home to share the Gospel with others. In this process, they encountered Apollos, a traveling preacher who preached the message of John the Baptist. So, this couple, recognizing his preaching talents but seeing that his message was incomplete, took Apollos into their home and they mentored and taught him about the truth of the Gospel. And sometime thereafter Apollos took his God-given speaking talents on the road for Christ; and many were saved as the torch of truth was passed along from person-to-person just as it should be in today’s church.}

Highlight Passages: Acts 19: [NLT] … {Please use the link above and study Acts 19: 21-41, the story of how the Gospel message, being preached by Paul in Ephesus, became a confrontation with the business people in Ephesus. And one of those local business men, a Greek silversmith named Demetrius, whose business was selling silver statues of the Greek god Artemis, stirred up a riot against Paul and the Christians in Ephesus, speaking against them in a local arena, which now has been uncovered by archeologists in Ephesus from the rubbles of earthquakes there; and the arena is pictured in the attached photo [1st posted above].  However, in those days, when the people perceived that these Christians and their faith would hurt the commerce of Ephesus, a riot against Paul had to be quelled against Christians in Ephesus had and Christianity had to go “underground,” especially during the rule of Nero, which occurred about the time that these chapters in Acts were documented by Luke. Also note the 2nd photo of the Christian symbol, an indicator of underground Christianity, still found in the archeological digs in Ephesus – the photos taken by yours truly with my wife on a trip to Ephesus in 2011.}

My Journal for Today: Today my chronological reading segment took me into Acts, Chapters 18-19, where Luke was describing the spread of the Gospel as his traveling companions, men like the Apostle Paul and Silas, and other men, like Apollos as well as others, witnessed in their times and in their environs, often risking their lives, to be Christians and especially to witness their faith in the truth of the Good News of the Gospel.

In one of the photos [the 2nd above] I’ve attached in this journal entry, taken a couple of years ago is a picture of a symbol which the early Christians in Ephesus carved into walls (in this case, a street in Ephesus), and like the early Christian symbol of the fish, it signified/witnessed that Christianity was thriving in that area. And as these two Chapters in Acts document, Paul, when he reached Ephesus, became a force which the local merchants, especially the local Greeks, Romans, or Jews could not abide.

 And when you read in Acts 19, verses 21-41, it’s easy to see how the values of Christianity would conflict with those of the world in those days. In that passage one local merchant in Ephesus had a business crafting and selling silver statues of a Greek God; and Paul’s message about the one, true, God simply compromised his profit margin. So, this wealthy Greek merchant, Demetrius, stirred up the people of Ephesus, even speaking against Paul and the Christians in a very large arena in Ephesus, the ruins being depicted in the photo attached.

And is this not still the same conflict we find in today’s world? … Even today we see that the values of Christianity do not conform with the values of the world; and quite often the powers of the world do all they can to eradicate the values of Christ from the culture. And we certainly see that conflict playing out in the world today, … over 2000 years after what we read of in Acts 18-19. And I would pray that we stand up for Christ as did Paul, and the couple, Aquila and Priscilla, and the young evangelist, Apollos, about whom we read in today’s bible study. These witnesses for Christ, passed the torch of truth, onward and outward in their world; and we certainly have been called (by the Great Commission) to do so in our world.

My Prayer Today: … Lord, help me to be and become the torch of truth for the Gospel You have called me to be. Amen

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