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Saturday, April 20, 2024

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Acts 9:31-42
Psalm 116:12-17
John 6:60-69

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steps right up

The Church “was being built up and was making steady progress in the fear of the Lord.” —Acts 9:31

The Lord leads us step by step, from grace to grace (see Jn 1:16, RSV-CE), and from glory to glory (2 Cor 3:18). For example, St. Peter took a very important step forward when he obeyed the ascending Christ by devoting himself to constant prayer prior to Pentecost (Acts 1:14). Then he took the giant step of receiving the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, and witnessing for the risen Christ to thousands of people (Acts 2:4ff). These steps prepared Peter to heal the man lame from birth (Acts 3:7). Peter grew through these various steps to the point that he let the Lord heal people even through his shadow (Acts 5:15-16). Later, the Lord used Peter to heal a man who had been paralyzed for eight years (Acts 9:33-34). This was an immediate preparatory step toward raising Tabitha from the dead (Acts 9:40).

After raising the dead, Peter may seem to have reached the top of the steps. However, a higher step was the conversion of the Gentiles, beginning with Cornelius and his family (Acts 10:44). To a Jew, this was more unthinkable than raising from the dead. Peter took still more steps, as when the Lord freed him from death row shortly before his planned execution (Acts 12:11). Eventually, the Lord took Peter up several other flights of stairs — all the way to martyrdom and heaven.

Keep stepping with Jesus. Since one step leads to another, not stepping means cutting ourselves off from God’s divine plan. Jesus says and keeps saying: “Step right up.”

Prayer:  Father, I will obey You by taking today’s step so I can be in position to take tomorrow’s step.

Promise:  “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe; we are convinced that You are God’s Holy One.” —Jn 6:68-69

Praise:  Jesus set Walt free from his addiction to pornography


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