December 14 a total of 1 readings for today
22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren:23 And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia:24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:25 It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,26 Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.27 We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth.28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.30 So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch: and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered theepistle:31 Which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation.
Exposure: Read the passage about an encouraging letter. Most of the New Testament is made up of letters. Buy or make a Christmas card for someone who has really been a blessing to you this year. Spend some additional time expressing to them what they mean to you. If a card won’t hold all you need to say, write out a whole letter like the early church did.
Exploration: Think of how meaningful letters like this must have been in the first century. What kinds of communications do you most often use to express these kinds of thoughts to those in your life? Expression: How do you think your card will make this person feel? Why do you think there is so much power in expressing love to someone?
Experience: Jesus wrote us a really long letter called the Bible expressing His love for us. What has been the most meaningful part of His letter to you?