God’s Guiding Word: Discipleship
Acts 9:26–43: Saul goes to Jerusalem to meet with the disciples. Peter travels to Lydda where he heals a paralyzed man, and then summoned to Joppa where he restores a woman to life.
26 Saul went to Jerusalem and tried to join the disciples. But they would not believe that he was a disciple, and they were all afraid of him. 27 Then Barnabas came to his help and took him to the apostles. He explained to them how Saul had seen the Lord on the road and that the Lord had spoken to him. He also told them how boldly Saul had preached in the name of Jesus in Damascus. 28 And so Saul stayed with them and went all over Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord. 29 He also talked and disputed with the Greek-speaking Jews, but they tried to kill him. 30 When the believers found out about this, they took Saul to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus.
31 And so it was that the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had a time of peace. Through the help of the Holy Spirit it was strengthened and grew in numbers, as it lived in reverence for the Lord.
32 Peter traveled everywhere, and on one occasion he went to visit God’s people who lived in Lydda. 33 There he met a man named Aeneas, who was paralyzed and had not been able to get out of bed for eight years. 34 “Aeneas,” Peter said to him, “Jesus Christ makes you well. Get up and make your bed.” At once Aeneas got up. 35 All the people living in Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord.
36 In Joppa there was a woman named Tabitha, who was a believer. (Her name in Greek is Dorcas, meaning “a deer.”) She spent all her time doing good and helping the poor. 37 At that time she got sick and died. Her body was washed and laid in a room upstairs. 38 Joppa was not very far from Lydda, and when the believers in Joppa heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him with the message, “Please hurry and come to us.” 39 So Peter got ready and went with them. When he arrived, he was taken to the room upstairs, where all the widows crowded around him, crying and showing him all the shirts and coats that Dorcas had made while she was alive. 40 Peter put them all out of the room, and knelt down and prayed; then he turned to the body and said, “Tabitha, get up!” She opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up. 41 Peter reached over and helped her get up. Then he called all the believers, including the widows, and presented her alive to them. 42 The news about this spread all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord. 43 Peter stayed on in Joppa for many days with a tanner of leather named Simon.
Today’s Key Verse: Acts 9:31b
Through the help of the Holy Spirit [the church] was strengthened and grew in numbers, as it lived in reverence for the Lord.
Why were the disciples in Jerusalem reluctant to receive Saul (verse 26)? Who spoke up for him? Is there someone who needs you to speak on their behalf? How is Tabitha (Dorcas) described (verse 36)? Why did the believers summon Peter? What did they show him (verse 39)? What did Peter do? What outreach ministries take place within your community of faith?
Lord God, thank you for those who speak up for others and nurture them in faith. Like Barnabas, help me to be a source of encouragement to others and proclaim your message of love and salvation. Like Tabitha, grant me a servant’s heart to serve others in your name. Amen.
Acts 10:1–33: The apostle Peter and a Gentile have visions from God.