Scripture Union Daily Guide 17th August 2020 – Nurturing The Church
TODAY’S TOPIC: NURTURING THE CHURCH
OPENING PRAYER: Let me know more of you today dear Lord as I meditate on your word.
SCRIPTURE: Acts 8:14–25
14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:
16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,
19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.
22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.
24 Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.
25 And they, when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.
• Is there any example for me to follow or not to follow?
• Is there any warning for me to heed?
TODAY’S OUTLINE: DAILY GUIDE 17TH AUGUST 2020 DEVOTIONAL
Why was it necessary for Peter and John to meet the new believers in Samaria? See their actions in vv.15–17 and 25 and Paul’s response to the growing faith of the Ephesians (Ephesians 1:15–18). Joint–prayers, follow–up visits, phone–calls, and personal or pastoral letters are methods of nurturing new believers. The two Apostles introduced the Holy Spirit to the new believers (vv.15,16).
The Holy Spirit in church life is so indispensable that Jesus instructed his disciples not to leave Jerusalem until they were baptized with him. The power they received at Pentecost helped them become effective witnesses (Acts 1:5,8). Why did Simon want power (v.17)? We need to answer the question for ourselves. Spirituality, salvation, or God’s favour cannot be bought with money or fame.
In these days when wealth is glorified as the god of life, believers need to be careful that our actions are not controlled by materialistic considerations. We serve the Lord not for dishonest gain (1 Peter 5:2,3). Peter’s sharp rebuke of Simon and Simon’s reaction to the rebuke (vv.20–24) hold important lessons for us. What should be our reaction when we are rebuked for our misbehaviour? Do we become angry, defensive, retaliatory or repentant?
⁂ Any new insight or reinforcement of what you already know?
• Meditation: Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Prov. 9:8KJV.
• Pray for new converts and new congregations that you are acquainted with, using an example of Paul’s prayers in Ephesians 1:15–18.
• Thank God for His love, making the way for the gospel train to keep moving on in spite of oppositions. Pray against laws in Europe, U.S.A. and Canada that are repressing Christians, under the false guise of freedom, diversity and inclusiveness.
• Offer a prayer of faith in line with I Chronicles 22:12
Read the Bible in one Year
Psalms 100–102; Gal. 3
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