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Acts 20

vs. 12
"The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted."

I believe "comforted" refers to the whole evening, not just "comforted" by the boy being alive.

Gk. "parakaleo" is word translated "comfort". In its root words - the idea is of "calling by name" - in a more specific translation:

"to address, speak to, (call to, call upon), which may be done in the way of exhortation, entreaty, comfort, instruction, etc."

I can see Paul's instruction (preaching) of the Gospel being peppered with people's names (one way to keep their attention over a long sermon :)

In the end - people were personally strengthened and encouraged in the "Word", and their strength was reinforced by the tangible sign of a miracle. The miracle was a testament as to what they heard - that it was true.

Bob says:
"I believe that both Luke and Paul were firmly convinced that while miracles would come and go, but that the Word of God would be eternal. I believe that both were convinced that while miracles will not sustain faith, the Word of God will. This is why Paul and Luke deal briefly with the miracle and deal emphatically with the teaching. Faith is not based upon what is seen (miracles, for example), but on the Word of God (see Hebrews 11). Thus miracles will not sustain our faith, but the Word of God will."

The miracle just deepened the impact of the Word. I felt the same thing when my arm was healed by prayer. My faith is strong, but it was attested to by God's continued interaction in my life.
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vs. 27
"For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God." NIV

We also must demand that we are being taught the whole counsel of God; not just interesting topics, not just what we want to hear, not just the things that will “grab” people, but what God says to all of our lives. - David Guzik

It seems like "prayer" comes up a lot in Acts. I always feel convicted that I need to "pray" more. If I had one prayer request it would be that my "prayer efforts" be strengthened and more consistent.

I really appreciate your creativity and the visuals and excellent commentary on the daily readings. Makes the one year journey doable and fun. Thanks for the investment of time that you make in keeping us 'meditating on the Word of God day and night'.

2Kings17

Random notes:

God's patience: 204 years after the division into Judah and Israel, God's punishment has come to an Israel thaht has been idolatrous throughout.

"When God brings judgment, He first brings warning – and often many warnings over a long period. It is only after these warnings are rejected that the judgment comes." - David Guzik

i. 200 years and 19 kings after the time of Solomon (the last king over a united Israel), the northern kingdom of Israel fell. It was not because the God of Israel was unable to help them, but because they had so forsaken that God and ignored His guidance and correction that He finally stopped actively protecting them and let them rot and degrade according to their desire.

ii. As they carried Israel away to Assyria, they followed their typical custom. When the Assyrians depopulated and exiled a conquered community, they led the captives away on journeys of hundreds of miles, with the captives naked and attached together with a system of strings and fishhooks pierced through their lower lip. God would make sure they were led in this humiliating manner through the broken walls of their conquered cities (Amos 4:2-3).

iii. This shows another principle of God’s judgment: When it comes, it is often humiliating and degrading.

iv. It seems that Sargon II, the brother and successor of Shalmaneser, finished this siege or at least took credit for it: “The men of Samaria with their king were hostile to me and consorted together not to carry out their vassal obligations and bring tribute to me, so they fought me . . . I clashed with them and took as booty 27,280 people with their chariots and their gods in whom they trusted. I incorporated 200 chariots into my army. The rest of the people I made to dwell within Assyria. I restored the city of Samaria and made it greater than before.” (Inscribed Prisms of Sargon II from Nimrud, cited in Wiseman)

http://www.enduringword.com/commentaries/1217.htm

God cast out the Canaanite nations in the days of Joshua because of these sins. Now He had cast out the northern kingdom of Israel for the same sins. God’s judgment was not against the ancient Canaanites because of race or ethnicity; it was because of their conduct. As Israel shared the same conduct, they would share the same judgment.

They followed idols, became idolaters: The NIV translates this, “They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless.” The NASB has it, “They followed vanity and became vain.”

i. “The original is more accurate at this point: ‘They worshipped emptiness and became empty.’ The word here is hebel meaning ‘air,’ ‘delusion,’ or ‘vanity.’ The idea is that they became like the gods they worshipped. They bowed down to nothingness and became nothing.” (Dilday)

Yet, it is a mistake to think of these ten northern tribes as lost. Far back in the days of Jeroboam and his original break with the southern kingdom of Judah, the legitimate priests and Levites who lived in the northern ten tribes did not like the Jeroboam’s idolatry. They, along with others who set their hearts to seek the Lord God of Israel, then moved from the northern kingdom of Israel to the southern kingdom of Judah (2 Chronicles 11:13-16). So actually, the southern kingdom of Judah contained Israelites from all of the ten tribes.

Spiritually speaking, Judah was more faithful to God than the northern kingdom of Israel. Yet they also began to imitate their sinful neighbors to the north.

i. Judah had the lesson right in front of them – the conquered nation of Israel was evidence of what happened when hearts turned from God. Yet they ignored these plain lessons and imitated the sins of Israel.

http://www.enduringword.com/commentaries/1217.htm

We see now the background of Samaria and why it was never accepted by the Jews after the return from Babylonian captivity, even until Christ's time.

It seems that God was more lenient with these Samaritans of corrupt belief than He was with disobedient Israel. This teaches us that those with more revelation from God are held to stricter account before Him. - David Guzik

Even to the point that Jesus went and taught in Samaria, as did the apostles in "Acts".

I have really enjoyed beginning to read through the Bible in one year. I have had the One Year Bible since the beginning of the year but I have only stumbled across this Website recently. It has been such an encouragement to me and has helped me to continue my daily readings. The comments, reflects, illustrations and songs have help me understand the Word of God in an even deeper way. I thank God for this valuable resource and the people who invest their time and talents into making this an exciting journey through the Bible!

"I'm completely in the dark about what will happen when I get there. I do know that it won't be any picnic, for the Holy Spirit has let me know repeatedly and clearly that there are hard times and imprisonment ahead. But that matters little. What matters most to me is to finish what God started: the job the Master Jesus gave me of letting everyone I meet know all about this incredibly extravagant generosity of God."

isn't that so common. We are clueless as to what lies ahead of us but we trust that whatever happens we will keep fighting the good fight.

I pray that like Paul even if I know hard times are ahead, I will still cling to my Lord and God.

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