Author: Stephen Ricker

BDBD is Acts 28:1-16

  No matter where Paul and the believers with him traveled -Malta, Puteoli, and Rome, they made new adult acquaintances and some even became friends. When hard times and bad circumstances came Paul did not hesitate to make new adult friends and help others.   Paul gathered wood on Malta. He showed kindness and compassion to […]

BDBD is Acts 27

   Paul exercised his Roman right to appeal his case to Ceasar. This meant that he would be given the chance to defend his case before Ceasar or one of Ceasar’s representatives. The modern-day equivalent in the USA would be a case going to the Supreme Court.   Once Paul was arrested and then he appealed […]

BDBD is Acts 26

The gospel was clearly presented to King Agrippa, Governer Festus, the high priest, and all those present. Jesus, the Messiah suffered, died, and became the first to rise from the dead (23). He died so that I could be freed from the power of that which separates me from God. He rose so that I […]

BDBD is Acts 25

Festus, Felix, King Agrippa, and the Jewish leaders were politically minded. A political mindset selfishly uses every chance, everything, and every one to maintain and gain power and control. A political mind uses power for selfish gain. Festus, Felix, King Agrippa, and the Jewish leaders were using Paul to either gain favor and thus power, […]

BDBD is Acts 24

   Paul, the High Priest, Ananias, and governor Felix represent three types of people in regards to hearing the truth.   Felix listened to Paul speaking about faith in Christ Jesus and was afraid. However, his fear did not develop into acceptance and repentance. He did not love and trust God. He did not love his […]

BDBD is Acts 23:22-35

  Paul didn’t have to walk to Caesarea! He was given a horse to ride, a pure luxury in his day. A modern-day comparable would be to be flown in a private Gulfstream V jet. Paul was also protected by a detachment of two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen, and two hundred spearmen. Then Paul was […]

BDBD is Acts 23:12-22

God is always working. His plans and purpose never fail. His will for Paul in this stage of his life was to witness to kings and in Rome was progressing very well in unexpected ways.  Paul passed the test. He trusted Jesus’s words to him.  When 40 devout Jewish men vowed not to eat nor […]

BDBD is Acts 23:1-11

Paul didn’t even bother to share the gospel with the Sanhedrin. Perhaps he realized their hypocrisy showed that they would not listen. The high priest by God’s Law was to be a direct descendant of Aaron and the oldest in the family. Ananias was not. He was appointed by Herod. Also, as Paul pointed out […]

BDBD is Acts 22:23-29

  Rome prided itself on its laws. Rome believed their laws were civil and just. However, all law has weaknesses and/or flaws.  Man-made laws are flawed because those who create them are born with and within the power of sin. As we grow the power of sin creates personal flaws that dictate our thoughts, and […]

BDBD is Acts 22:1-22

  Paul had been passionate his whole life for his people, the Jews. He had fully embraced their religion. He was all in. He learned under the brightest and the best. He wanted all Jews to worship Yahweh. This was Paul’s life passion and hope.   Any Jew who did not follow what he believed Paul […]

BDBD is Acts 21:27-40

   Paul was noticed by those who did not believe Jesus was the Messiah. False accusations were made and he was beaten. He would have been killed if the Romans didn’t get involved (31). The Romans arrested Paul falsely believing that he was a revolutionary (38). Neither Jew nor Roman investigated the reports to see […]

BDBD is Acts 21:17-26

The Jewish Jerusalem church elders decided Paul needed to publicly prove he still followed the Law and Jewish customs by going thru purification rites and paying for four others rites at the temple. This puzzles me. Why did they think this would persuade the believing Jews while not agitating the non-believing Jews? Why did Paul […]

BDBD is Acts 21:1-8

  Paul, after writing to the Roman congregations while in Corinth, made this way south-east to Jerusalem with some companions with the financial gift from the Gentiles. They stayed for a while at Philip’s house (8). He was one of the Seven (Acts 6:5). The Seven were young men chosen to wait on tables many […]

BDBD is Romans 16

The letter ends with a long list of names and greetings from the Corinthian (Cenchreae) and Roman congregations. Seemingly boring at a quick glance. Not so boring with some inspiration. These people at one time did not know each other. Yet, in Christ, they came to know each other. They included men and women, leaders […]

BDBD is Romans 15:14-33

   I am convinced from studying Paul’s life and plans found in his letters and the book of Acts that Proverbs 16:1-3 is true even in the lives of the most blessed of Jesus’s believers. “We humans make plans, but the Lord has the final word. We may think we know what is right, but […]

BDBD Is Romans 15:1-13

How is it possible to have hope and peace in troubled uncertain times, with people in power who only think of themselves at the expense of the weak and helpless? Looking at the terrible actions of many can suck hope out of anyone. The answer to the question is in verse 5. God gives endurance […]

BDBD is Romans 14:13-23

  The freedom in Christ’s kingdom is so grandeur and extensive. God’s kingdom is about pleasing God, living in peace, and true happiness (17). It’s not about dietary plans and laws. In fact, it has nothing to do about any law.   I read a book by a man who thought he knew what heaven was […]

BDBD is Romans 14:1-12

  Every day I make decisions that concern matters of my faith in Jesus just like many of Jesus’s followers (1). Interesting is that we have many different ideas on how to express and exercise our Christian faith. Put 100 Christians in one room to discuss matters of faith on a particular subject and they […]

BDBD is Romans 13:1-7

Paul is clear in these verses on something that takes faith in God more than most Biblical subjects, especially these years, “The authorities that exist have been established by God. (1)”  We ask, “What? God established that person with authority over me? That parent, teacher, husband, pastor, supervisor, judge, mayor, governor, the president? They are […]

BDBD is Romans 12:9-21

Paul gives good advice at the end of this chapter. These are not new laws. Most deal with generalities. All deal with interactions with people. If I want to know what to do with others, I need to read these. I am in part encouraged, delighted, and compelled. I see places I could have done […]

BDBD is Romans 12:1-8

  God’s mercy has given me eternal life in Christ, freedom from the sinful nature, and his Spirit will always be with me. I have a new life. Jesus has given me gifts (6-8).   What to do with all the gifts God has given me in his mercy? I can use my life and gifts […]

BDBD is Romans 11:25-36

   God’s ways are often hard to comprehend (33-36). Paul calls the ones in these verses a mystery. All the interweaving complexities of everything and everyone is hard to comprehend. They are humanly impossible to mentally grasp let alone understand how God is organizing all of them for good.  Paul is talking here about how […]

BDBD is Romans 11:11-24

The olive tree is often used in the Bible to represent Israel. Jesus is the root that holds up and supplies nutrition and water to the tree. The branches are God’s people.   Throughout the history of Israel, some people believed in God and others rejected God. When they were rejected God cut them off the […]

BDBD is Romans 11

When I read verses on partially hard and controversial subjects like these verses I first remember core Christian beliefs. A core Christian belief is one that I have found in line with multiple Bible passages, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. I am still learning what it means to believe in Jesus and his teaching, never […]

BDBD is Romans 10

The good news is that “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” and “anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” Believe in the heart and say with my mouth (8). Believe, say (9). That is it.   I have heard and read where people and groups have […]

BDBD is Romans 9

Romans chapter 9 is about God’s sovereignty, a subject that makes many uncomfortable and others angry. Why is it so hard to accept the reality that “God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden?” (15, 18) And why is the truth about God’s sovereign election […]

BDBD is Romans 8:30-39

God’s purpose for me ends in glory (30), in receiving the whole world as a Garden of Eden in bliss and peace (31). This purpose can only be generated and maintained in love (31, 32). God predestined my glory to come. Being predestined means he planned my glorious future in eternal bliss even before I […]

BDBD is Romans 8:18-30

Are verses 18 and 28 in conflict with each other?   “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us,” (18) Consider, “present sufferings”.   “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according […]

BDBD is Romans 8:1-17

Jesus has done so much for me. These verses mention some mighty great things.1) I have no condition (1)2) the law of the Spirit gives me life (2)3) the law of the Spirit set me free from the law of sin and death (2)4) God sent his Son for me (3)5) Jesus is a sin […]