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Don’s Daily Devotions


Tuesday 15 September: Acts chapter 4: 5-12.

Tuesday 15 September:  Acts chapter 4: 5-12.

V5-6:  The next day the Jewish council gathered, the high priest and his family among them. These are the very ones who have so recently condemned Jesus to death, and pressurised Pilate into crucifying Him, remember, and the Sadducees, so bitterly opposed to all Jesus and now His apostles teach, dominate the council.

V7:  They demand to know by what power, in what Name, the apostles have been acting – they constantly demanded this of Jesus, but never accepted what he said, of course. Here the question is a mere strategy – v2 has made it clear they know full well.

V8-10:  Acts constantly reminds us that all the apostles do is because they are filled with the Holy Spirit. In His power, then, Peter replies uncompromisingly, the lame man has been healed and in the Name of Jesus – Jesus the Christ, i.e. the Anointed One, the promised Messiah. This Jesus, they have crucified ( i.e. they were instrumental in what was done ) but God has raised Him from the dead – the very things the Sadducees most deny are boldly asserted before them.

V11-12:  So, they have rejected Jesus, God’s Anointed – and remember Jesus itself means Saviour. Peter quotes from Psalm 118:22, which speaks prophetically of how ” the builders” have rejected the stone on which the whole building depends. The word is variously translated cornerstone or capstone, but in our terms the idea is better conveyed by thinking of the foundation stone – ( see Ephesians 2: 19-21; 1 Corinthians 3:11 ) This Scripture is fulfilled in their rejection of Jesus, but He is truly the foundation on which God’s church is built.  Then comes the great and absolute Gospel claim of v12. Jesus is the only way and source of salvation. God has given no other Name by which sinners can be saved – Jesus is the only Saviour. We too must never give in on this essential truth, must never compromise it – Jesus is the ONLY One who can save us and make us right with God.


Monday 14 September: Acts chapter 4:1-4:

Monday 14 September:  Read Acts chapter 4:1-4:

V1:  While Peter and John are still speaking to the crowd after the healing of the lame beggar, the Jewish authorities come to the scene, the priests with the captain of the temple guard ( so, potentially prepared to take action ) and others of the Sadducee party. They were the “liberals” among the Jewish leadership, denying much of the OT and many spiritual truths, notably the resurrection, and the high priest, and many other priests were of their party.

V2:  They are angry, then, to hear Peter teaching in the Name of Jesus and declaring the resurrection. The verse suggests that he had spoken not only of Jesus’ own resurrection, but of the resurrection to come. Remember that the sermons we find in Acts give only a selection of what was said.

V3:  So the apostles are arrested and put into prison until the Jewish council ( the Sanhedrin ) can be summoned on the next day. It was illegal to call the council together in the evening – so, their summoning to condemn Jesus was itself illegal by Jewish law.

V4:  Yet for all their opposition, God’s grace is at work, and very many who have heard Peter preach have come to faith, about 5000 we’re told. Truly God was displaying His power and grace in a remarkable way, as He established His church.


Sat 12th September – Acts chapter 3:24-26

Sat 12th September              Read Acts chapter 3:24-26

V24:  So Peter again declares how all OT prophecy spoke of Jesus, and of the days that have now come – the days of salvation, but also of judgement. ( Luke 24:27; John 8 :56-58.)

V25:  The Jews to whom he speaks are the descendants of the prophets, part of God’s OT covenant established with their fathers, above all with Abraham – but even in that first giving of the covenant, God spoke not only of Israel as blessed, but of  the whole world, through Abraham’s seed. ( Genesis 12:1-3.)

V26:  God has now fulfilled this promise, sending His servant/child Jesus ( see v 13.), yes, to the Jew first – but that “first”  points, of course to the blessing of the whole world through the One who is indeed the Saviour of all who believe, both Jew and Gentile. All those who believe will be blessed with salvation through Christ. Yes, the address here is first to the Jews, but as this book of Acts continues Acts 1:8 will increasingly be fulfilled.


Fri 11th September – Acts chapter 3:19-23:

Fri 11th September               Read Acts chapter 3:19-23:


V19-20:  Peter now calls on them to repent of their sin – to “turn back” -the literal meaning of ” to be converted”, to change direction, to turn your life around, only possible by the grace of God, of course. Then their sins will be blotted out ( Isaiah 44:22.) Not “brushed aside”, but covered over – covered by the blood of Jesus.The “times of refreshing” are surely God’s promise of forgiveness and new life, given through the sin-bearing death of Jesus to all who believe on the long-promised Christ.

V21:  Jesus is now risen and ascended, and heaven has received Him back until that last day, when He comes again and all will be restored as God has promised ( Ch 1:11; Isaiah 65:17; Romans 8:19-21.)

V22:  Peter quotes further OT prophecy, the promise that God would send another like Moses ( Deuteronomy 18:15,18.) – like Moses, but so much greater, of course, the fulfillment of which Moses was only a type. This is Jesus, whose Word must be heeded. (Consider John 6:68-69.)

V23:  Solemnly, to reject Jesus is to come under final condemnation ( see also John 3:18-19.) We must never fail to take seriously the full gospel, which speaks of the reality of judgement and condemnation – but praise God for the full salvation, which there is in Christ.



Thurs 10th September – Acts chapter 3:14-18:

Thurs 10th September                      Read Acts chapter 3:14-18:


V14:  So, Peter  declares how Israel rejected ” the Holy and Righteous One” – words that could only be applied to Jesus in His own right – asking instead for the release of the robber and murderer Barabbas ( Mark 25:6-11,)

V15:  Thus, they were instrumental in the death of Jesus, He who is ” the Author of life” – the source of all life, both physical from creation ( John1:3-4) and spiritual, through faith in His redeeming work ( John 1:12-13; 11:25-26.) 

V16:  The beggar has been healed through the Name of Jesus, called on by Peter in living faith. ( It is not clear if the beggar had faith in Jesus himself, perhaps, but we are told the man has received “perfect health” – complete healing, which in Christ is so much more than physical, it is salvation in the full sense, and suggests that by the grace of God, he did believe.)

V17:  And though Peter has pointed to their guilt in rejecting Jesus, he now says they were ignorant of the full enormity of what they did – even their rulers were ( though this may seem strange to us, when we consider the gospel records) – yet clearly even they failed to understand what they did fully ( though this does not deny their guilt.)

V18:  But all that happened was foretold in OT prophecy, and was of course the eternal plan and purpose of God in His amazing grace. The true Christ had to suffer these things ( Isaiah 53; Luke 24:25-27.) and this is now fulfilled in Jesus.



Wed 9th September – Acts chapter 3:11-13:

Wed 9th September              Read Acts chapter 3:11-13:


V11:  The healed man clings – perhaps literally – to Peter and John, as a growing crowd gathers around them. The specific details, such as ” Solomon’s porch”, remind us that this is first an eyewitness account, its source must be the apostle’s own testimony. What Peter wrote years later, specifically about the Transfiguration, ( 2 Peter 1:16.) is true of all the NT records.

V12:  Peter now addresses the crowd, as fellow Israelites, to turn away at once any idea that the power they have witnessed was that of the apostles themselves.

V13:  Rather, God – the God who revealed Himself to and through their fathers, the Patriarchs,- has acted to glorify Jesus, called here His servant ( the true servant of God, fulfilling all OT prophecies and promises , see e.g. Isaiah 42:1-4; 52:13; 53:11-12.) but the word can also carry the sense of ” His child” – Jesus, truly the Son of God. God has glorified Him through suffering and death, rejected by the Jewish people and handed over to Pilate, even putting pressure on him to condemn Jesus to death ( John 19:12-13.) Though this was specifically the leaders of the Jews, they represented the whole nation in this. (So ” whom you delivered…”)


Tues 8th September – Acts chapter 3:6-10.

Tues 8th September              Read Acts chapter 3:6-10.


V6:  So, how his hopes must have been dashed initially, when Peter and John told him they had no silver or gold to give – but how he must have then been amazed when Peter says he will give him something other than  ( and better than) money – and with the bold assurance of true faith, Peter then calls on him ” in the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth”  to do what he has never been able to do – to get up and walk.

V7:  The apostle reaches out, takes his hand, and lifts him to his feet – and he finds those feet can and do support him! This is not Peter’s own power, of course, but the Lord working through His servant – in those first days of the apostolic age, God is still showing signs and wonders, to point to the truth about Jesus. We are not to presume on such signs today, though God is always sovereign.

V8:  Overjoyed, the man goes into the temple with them, ” walking and leaping and praising God” – praising God, note, not praising Peter – the apostles must have pointed away from themselves to their Lord, as we should all do in our Christian witness.

V9-10:  Those who see this, and recognise him as the lame beggar they have seen so often, are amazed and left wondering how this could be – as yet they have no way of explaining or understanding it.


Mon 7th September – Acts chapter 3:1-5:

Mon 7th September              Read Acts chapter 3:1-5:


V1:  Still worshipping as devout Jews, Peter and John are going to the temple at one of the set times of prayer for pious Jews – the 9th hour is our 3pm. Presumably, they do this daily – as Jewish believers who have found the true Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ – but He who is also “the Saviour of the world” ( John 4:42; 1 John 4:14.)

V2:  They encounter a lame beggar, lame from birth, so friends carry him every day to the temple gates, where he would beg for alms – no doubt believing the devout on their way to worship would more readily give.

V3:  So, observing Peter and John, he asks them for their charity, as he does to all who enter the temple.

V4-5:  Peter tells the man to look at them, and no doubt this raises his hopes of receiving something from them. Remember, for such as him in that day, such gifts were his only means of support.


Sat 5th September – Acts chapter 2:42-47:

Sat 5th September                Read Acts chapter 2:42-47:

V42:  The chapter ends with a glimpse of the priorities in the early church. They “devote themselves” – give themselves whole-heartedly and without reserve – to 4 things in particular: the Apostle’s teaching – literally for them, of course – what the Apostles teach them, under the leading of the Spirit ( preserved for us in the NT ); the fellowship ( i.e. to one another in Christian love ); the breaking of bread – probably the Lord’s supper, in obedience to His command (  1 Corinthians 11 :23-25.); and to the prayers, suggesting specific times of gathered prayer. These should still be our priorities!

V43:  God continues to work through the Apostles, confirming His work with ” wonders and signs”, and causing a holy awe in many who see this.

V44-45:  The oneness of that early  church is emphasised – they loved being together, they shared everything, and the wealthier among them used their wealth now to benefit others – many of them were no doubt poor and had little, if some were slaves, they had nothing.. The specifics of this practice were for that age, but the principles behind them should always mark the church of Christ.

V46-47: As yet, they still worshipped in the temple, as well as fellowshipping together in their homes. They saw everything they had as God’s blessing, and received it thankfully and joyfully – Do we? Their lives were full of praise, and this was clearly part of their witness, and people were touched by it and responded to them positively. And God used their faithful witness to bring others to faith every day. Oh that it might yet please Him to work like this again, to His glory.


Fri 4th September – Acts chapter 2:36-41:

Fri 4th September                  Read Acts chapter 2:36-41:

V36:  So, let these Jews, representing in some sense all of Israel, truly know that the One they crucified has indeed been raised, exalted and vindicated by God the Father, showing Him to be the true Christ, the promised One, the Lord – only to God does this title truly belong in the NT – and to His Son, equally God with the Father ( and the Holy Spirit.)

V37:  Under the power of the Holy Spirit, at work through His Word, the hearers are ” cut to the heart” – convicted of their sin in rejecting Jesus. They cry out to Peter and the others, as “brothers” – fellow Jews – ” what shall we do?”  Oh to see God work like this in our day, convicting people of their sin, causing them to ask believers what they should do!

V38-39:  The answer is uncompromisingly declared – Repent and turn to Christ in faith ( clearly implied in the command to be baptised, for this is more than John the Baptist’s baptism of repentance, it is “in the name of Jesus Christ”, speaks of forgiveness of sins, and with it the promise of the Holy Spirit given to them, and to all who believe – all future generations, all from afar, whom God will call to Himself in living faith. It is clear, then,  that the Holy  Spirit is given to all believers.

V40:  Much else is said, though not recorded here. In it all, Peter earnestly exhorts his hearers to believe and be saved. God’s grace is sovereign in salvation, but never forget He works through the faithful witness and gospel testimony of His people. ( See Romans 10:13-15 )

V41:  And in a wonderful work of grace ” about 3000 souls” believe, repent and are saved that day, and added to the company of believers – remember, just 120 before this happened ( ch1:15.) What an increase! Oh that God would do such a work again in our day – but how would we receive it, if He did?