Stirring the People

Thursday of the Sixth Week in Easter, Year B    Acts 17

Nick reads the one-minute Firestarter.

I draw your attention to a Greek word that occurs only two times in the New Testament. In verse 6, the word anastenazo is used for the accusation that Paul and Silas are “stirring up” the people. The only other time this word is used is in Mark 8:12 where Jesus “sighs deeply” at the demand of the Pharisees for a sign from Jesus. The word connotes a welling up of intense emotion. May the Spirit do the same to you, loosening, and freeing you to be wholly dedicated to God.

The journeys of Paul and Silas continue. They reach Athens, center of pagan religion in the Roman Empire. You will read the sermon that Paul delivered on the Areopagus located on the famous Parthenon. However, no faith comes from Athens. Its pride in being the center of philosophical thought in the ancient world prevents it from being stirred up to faith. There would be no subsequent “Letter of Paul to the Athenians!”

The Reading for Today


Thursdays in the Easter Season are dedicated to the Book of Acts.



Daily Bible Breaths

This week: version for Children and Families

The Gospel Comes to Europe

Thursday of the Fifth Week in Easter, Year B
Acts 16

Nick reads the one-minute Firestarter. Click the image.

Paul’s disciple is the young Timothy. This is the second missionary journey of Paul. Models of leadership abound. People learn about leadership by becoming spiritual apprentices.

Remember that all of the Holy Lands at this time are part of the Roman Empire, which is divided into provinces. In addition to the names of cities, there are provinces such as Galatia, Asia (not the continent), Bithynia, Mysia, Phrygia, Macedonia, and Achaea (modern Greece). Soon into this journey, Paul receives a vision during the night to cross over into Macedonia. This would be the first time that the Gospel is preached in Europe.

One of the loveliest stories in Acts is the account of what happens when Paul and Silas are in prison. May your heart sing along with theirs as you too become open to the power of God in your life.


Thursdays in the Easter Season are dedicated to the Book of Acts.

Daily Bible Breaths

Version for Children and Families for this week


Prostrate in Prayer

Thursdays: The New Testament
Acts 9

Click or touch “Firestarter”
To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.

Our reading from the Acts of the Apostles this year ends with the conversion of St. Paul. Then he was Saul, with one driving compulsion—to persecute those who follow Jesus. Jesus shakes his very being. Enter the scene. Experience the profound shift in Paul to a fire that burns for love and joy, no longer for death.

Are you also ready to be shocked and astonished by the call of God on your life? As you pray, you are bathed in the same light that threw Paul to the ground, rising as a new creature. You might physically prostrate yourself in prayer. Welcome the gifts for ministry that the Spirit pours into you.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Meeting You along the way v. 3
Only led by inner Light v. 8
An instrument in Your hand v. 15
Joyful healing in Your name v. 32ff

Click or touch the image
for the version for children and families.

This is the Seventh Week in Easter, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Thursdays are dedicated to the New Testament, except the Gospels.

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

Artwork: Conversion on the Way to Damascus (1601), by Caravaggio

The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.

A Path Through the Word

Thursdays: The New Testament
Acts 8

Click or touch “Firestarter”
To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.


Photo Courtesy – http://theblogofkevin.wordpress.com

The church grows as an explosion in the Book of Acts. The rage of persecutions only fans the flames of fervor. Joy expands.

There is saying of Tertullian from the second century: “The blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians.” Saul was present at the blood bath of Stephen. It quickened his personal resolve to persecute. However, this is the last chapter about Saul; in the next one, he is Paul with energies transformed for Christ.

Simon is a wheeler and dealer, reminding us to beware of turning the power of the Spirit to selfish ends. Give God all the glory for the wonderful things God wants to do in you and through you. May the Spirit guide you through these daily readings, as Philip guides the eunuch on his path through the Word of God.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
“Blood of martyrs, seed of faith.” Tertullian
Joy in the healing of God v. 8
Laying hands, Spirit received v. 17
Spirit guiding through Your word v. 31

Click or touch the image
for the version for children and families.

This is the Sixth Week in Easter, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Thursdays are dedicated to the New Testament, except the Gospels.

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.

Stephen the Martyr

Thursdays: The New Testament
Acts 7

Click or touch “Firestarter”
To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.


Pietro da Cortona – “The Stoning of St Stephen” c. 1660
Oil on canvas, 102.8 x 35.4 inches – The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Stephen gathers the entire history of rebellion of the people of Israel into one place. This same history stares at him in the faces of his accusers. However, even more intently present to him are the glory of God and the sight of Jesus sitting at God’s right hand as he is being stoned to death. In words and disposition of heart the same as Jesus, Stephen commits his spirit to the Lord in today’s verse.

Jesus lives in his disciples and in you. The Holy Spirit fills you as you immerse yourself in the scene of Stephen’s martyrdom. Empty your hands of stones to throw, for you are not without sin. No more accusing others, or yourself. Open yourself to awesome love.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
My heart the place of God’s rest v. 49
Seeing the glory of God v. 56
Jesus, receive my spirit. v. 59
Holding no sin against them v. 60

Click or touch the image
for the version for children and families.

This is the Fifth Week in Easter, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Thursdays are dedicated to the New Testament, except the Gospels.

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.

Joy and Suffering

Thursday – The New Testament
Acts 5—6

Click or touch “Firestarter”
To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.


Photo Courtesy – http://www.aholyexperience.com

Though the death of Ananias and Sapphira did not come as violently as did the idolaters in Monday’s reading from Ezekiel, it came as swiftly. Do not lie to God!

Water and oil do not mix; but joy and suffering can. Be aware of this blending in today’s reading.

How do you suffer? Is it with anger and complaints as a victim asking, “Why is this happening to me?” Give a name to the suffering and let this name turn into the name of Jesus. Offer your pain and suffering for others who do not have the faith that gives meaning to their pain. The joy of the Lord is your strength, making sense out of your suffering, which brings power in intercession for others.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
You working signs and wonders 5:12
Lord, obeying only You 5:29
Joy to suffer for Your name 5:41
Stephen’s face like an angel’s 6:15

Click or touch the image
for the version for children and families.

This is the Fourth Week in Easter, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Thursdays are dedicated to the New Testament, except the Gospels.

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.

Power in the Name

Thursday – The New Testament
Acts 3—4

Click or touch “Firestarter”
To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.


Gustave Doré: The Bible Illustrations

Perhaps Jesus often saw this lame man sitting by the door as Jesus went in and out of the Temple. He might have said to himself, “This one will be healed soon through my Spirit in Peter and John.” The Acts of the Apostles are the continuation into the Church of the ministry of Jesus’healing, loving, teaching.

The evidence of the resurrection is immediate in the lives of the Apostles. Jesus lives in them. Not only has he died and risen, but so have the first Christians died and risen in him. Nothing can keep them from being with Jesus, for his Spirit dwells in them. They draw forth riches for healing, calling on the Name of Jesus that brings the power of this presence.

Easter power is yours.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Rise and walk in Jesus’ name. 3:6
Walking, leaping and praising 3:8
Speaking Your word with boldness 4:29
My life laid at Jesus’ feet. 4:37

Click or touch the image
for the version for children and families.

This is the Third Week in Easter, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Thursdays are dedicated to the New Testament, except the Gospels.

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.