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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Unstoppable God (Acts 5:38-39)

"For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God."

Joseph's brothers learned that God's plan is unstoppable.

Moses learned that God's plan is unstoppable. God spoke to Abraham hundreds of years earlier about their 400 year sojourn in Egypt and their departure, therefore Pharaoh was powerless to prevent Israel from leaving Egypt.

Nebuchadnezzar, comes to understand this same truth in Daniel 4:35 when he says "All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, 'What have You done?'"

God uses even Gamaliel's speech to inform the high priest that God's plan is unstoppable and to prevent the chief priest from killing the disciples even though Gamaliel isn't a follower of Jesus Christ.

Biblical history proves that God can be trusted to accomplish His will even in the midst of trouble, economic instability, and persecution. With this truth tucked away in their hearts the disciples boldly proclaim Jesus as the Messiah and one of His first deacons, Stephen, doesn't worry about being politically correct as he preaches his last message.

How would the church look today if her men (and women) believed and acted on this truth and preached and taught as if they serve an unstoppable God, even if it meant that their message was their last?

"Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying 'My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure'" (Isaiah 46:9-10). Oh, glorious truth! Tuck it away in your heart and live it out in all that you do. He is the unstoppable God!

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
Acts 5:17-7:53
  • Why are the apostles imprisoned?
  • How and why does the Lord deliver them?
  • What does Gamaliel recognize about the situation?
  • How do the apostles view their suffering?
  • What causes division in the early church? What does this tell you about the first Christian community?
  • How is the dispute resolved? What happens as a result?
  • What is the apostles main role?
  • How do the enemies of the Gospel begin their attack on Stephen and the gospel?
  • How does Stephen begin his defense?
  • Why does Stephen mention Joseph's brothers and their jealousy?
  • How are the people under Moses' leadership similar to the people in Jesus' day?
  • How does Stephen apply Israel's past with what is taking place in the present?
  • What does this narrative teach about people in general?
Turning truth into prayer
Praise the Lord for His wisdom and might. Praise Him for His ability to accomplish His purposes even in the midst of persecution. Ask the Lord to make you, in this generation, like His men and women of old.