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Steven and Paul

Steven being full of the Holy Spirit asked Jesus to forgive his accusers.  This paved the way for God to appoint Paul for God’s glory.  Paul consented to Stevens death and yet what is bound on earth will be bound in heaven and what is loosed on earth will be loosed in heaven. Matthew 18:18 talks about this and it was given to the growing Church for instruction. Was Steven while being persecuted using his training from the church when he asked God to forgive his accusers?  Obedience paves the way for growth and promise.

We see God in action after his cherished soul was brought to his throne.  God answered Stevens prayer.

And it begins after Steven saw heaven open up, even then Paul went to the high priest to kill and jail more followers of the way in Damascus.  God avenged Stevens death by not killing Paul, but saving him.

Quickly God appeared to Paul with a great light blinding Paul. God could have allowed Paul not to be blinded but maybe God spared not this trouble in order to show this man his great strength. Paul was no regular man in his zeal for God!  I’m sure Paul was strong and prideful. Paul may have been short in stature, but God stopped his ways quickly, so others would not die as Steven with the face of an angel did. God did not hold back his power from Paul but God had mercy.  Paul did regained his sight. How many of Stevens killers turned to the Lord besides Paul. We don’t know but I would imagine that lives were changed and used by God.

God is an consuming fire!  He will not leave us where we are.  What does this mean for our everyday life?  He will reach us!  He will love us and carry us to the very end!  He will not forget us, but as a consuming fire will reach to the very bottom of our circumstances to make us more like him.  This brings peace and joy to us.  A work that takes time yes, but will it be done yes! Fear not!

Isaiah 41:10, “ Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

Hebrews 12:29, “ For our God is a consuming fire.”  If you have something that God needs to cleanse, he will!  If you need God to heal, he will!  His fire cleanses and heals.  Praise God!

 

David’s appeasement to his accusers.

Psalms 69:4, “They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away.”

David was being accused of sins that he did not commit.  His enemies were requiring justice.  David felt he must repay even though he did no wrong.

Paul also became everything to everyone.  1 Corinthians 9:22, “To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”

Christ paid The debt of sin his enemies required with his own blood.  The Spirit of God in David and Paul did the same as Christ did.  Christ paid the debt of sin even though it was our sin and won our salvation.

Praise God!

 

Mary at the tomb.

Imagine Mary looking for Jesus’s body.  Grief gripped her, and yet she still needed to take care of her loved one.  She tells the stranger that she will get the body wherever he may have taken it.  She was going to do what was necessary to take care of Jesus’s body.  Grief and strength are powerful allies.

John 20:15-16, “He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”  Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).”

God did not leave Mary alone.  He revealed himself to Mary and she cried Rabboni!  God will not leave us alone in our grief either!  Look to him because he is alive!

 

Foretold Lightning.

As lightning strikes from one side of the earth to the next, will be the Son of Man coming. Quickly and no pomp and stance.  Warning has already been given.

2 Corinthians 6:2, ” (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)”

In a split second it will be done.

Matthew 24:27, “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”

He is God and it shall be done immediately no questions asked.  Just as Jesus said ‘it is finished’ it was done.  Our salvation bought and so it shall be done forever.

John 19:30, “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”

It is interesting that lightning can be very dangerous to the human body.  Our bodies act as conduits for large amounts of energy. Be prepared!  Know Christ!

Pray everyday that those around us will be saved!  Don’t get angry at the lost, but pray for their salvation.  We were once lost, but remember when the time is no longer “today” as we know, it will be done.

Prayer:  God save the lost now and give us the strength to witness.  Give us the wisdom to know when and how to be the your light in this world.   Amen

 

P.S.  Jack Van Impe is now saying that Christ is coming on this Christmas Eve.  Well,  that is upsetting because I liked him.  Another one bits that dust.  I guess that is the name of the game for false prophets.  Meaning they lead you with truth up to the end and then the lies come.  God forgive him.

…Woodstock better away from that tree!  ha

Proverbs 13:20, ” He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”

 

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The Slough of Despond.

Do you have doubts regarding your faith? Do thoughts come into your head that make you question your faith?  The devil is a liar.  The Slough of Despond may be where your are at.  Creeping down its slippery slope without even realizing it.

The devil comes to kill and destroy.  The joy of the Lord is your strength!  All the devil has to do is make you doubt and your joy will be hindered.  Know what you are thinking because your thoughts may be bringing you down.  Every thought doesn’t have to be accepted, but turned over to the Lord.

John Bunyan wrote the Pilgrim’s Progress and the story tells of man called ‘Christian’ being in the slough of despond.  How does this happen?  When does this happen?  It happens when you doubt or don’t trust your faith.  It happens when you believe everything that comes into your mind.  If a man continually feels the conviction of sin (guilt), but doesn’t turn towards the Lord for forgiveness despair sets in.  Despair is not the place a Christian should be.

As in the story of Christian, we also have a way out of the slough of despond.  The Lord gives us steps out of the pit.  The word of God leads us into all truth.

John 16:13, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”

Are you struggling?  Assess your situation and pray for the Lord to show you the way out!

Let’s keep praying for each other!

Praise God!

 

Loathing ourselves

Ezekiel 20:43, “And there you shall remember your ways and all your doing with which you were defiled; and you shall loathe yourselves in your own sight because of all the evils that you have committed.”  Israel will continue to be gathered and one day will turn to Jesus.

Jesus doesn’t want us to loath ourselves, and maybe that is a strong word for how you have felt about yourself.  But remember THERE IS NO CONDEMATION IF WE ARE IN CHRIST!!

Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

God is good!

Hebrews 4:7, “…Today, if you will hear His Voice, Do not harden your hearts.”

He lowered His Head.

John 19:30,  “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”

Being crucified, Jesus held his head up.  When he gave up the ghost, he then lowered his head.

Let that sink in.  Meaning even as a human he was stronger then any of us could have been.  God did all this for us! Jesus bowed his head at the end and won our victory.

Praise God!

Look and Live!

Palms 32:8 says, ” I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.”

“Dr. Barnhouse and the Bible” radio program tells us a story,  After dinner a guest told him that his son was the politest boy she had ever met.  Before the dinner guests arrived, he spoke to his son and told him to keep an eye on him throughout the evening.  The Father would give the boy hints on either passing the butter or milk to the guests.  If the son didn’t keep his eye on his Father, then he would not have been able to know what to do.

Keeping our eyes on Jesus is critical.  I find that I need to consult God on almost every detail in my life.  With a relationship that is pleasing to God, He will raise us up to everlasting life!

Like the song says “look and live” (William A. Ogden, 1887)

I’ve a message from the Lord, hallelujah!
This message unto you I’ll give,
’Tis recorded in His word, hallelujah!
It is only that you “look and live.”
Refrain:
“Look and live,” my brother, live,
Look to Jesus now, and live;
’Tis recorded in His word, hallelujah!
It is only that you “look and live.”
I’ve a message full of love, hallelujah!
A message, O my friend, for you,
’Tis a message from above, hallelujah!
Jesus said it, and I know ’tis true.
Life is offered unto you, hallelujah!
Eternal life thy soul shall have,
If you’ll only look to Him, hallelujah!
Look to Jesus who alone can save.
I will tell you how I came, hallelujah!
To Jesus when He made me whole—
’Twas believing on His name, hallelujah!
I trusted and He saved my soul.

Paradise

Even in paradise we would disobey God. The Edenic covenant that was broken proves this. Adam and Eve disobeyed God even in paradise. What have we to say except we are utterly sinful. As humans we need God to save us. As Paul said in Romans 7:21-25, “So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

By sin we are dead in the body, but in the spirit we have life through Christ.

Our sinful nature must be explained so that forgiveness can occur through Christ. Adams sin came to all men. Romans 5:12.

Praise God we have this great salvation!!!

As David Limbaugh so appropriately puts it in his book, “Finding Jesus in the Old Testament” p. 92, Adam fell for the temptation of the devil , but the second Adam while in the wilderness did not. Christ did what man could not. How amazing is our God!!!

Where would we be if God never called for Adam in the garden knowing he sinned? God came after us and set the redemptive plan in motion the moment we sinned. God could have left human kind alone to their own devices after they disobeyed him.

Genesis 3:9, “But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

Our Creator loves us!  Keep praying for each other! I am praying for you also.

Our wisdom and Satan’s plan

Peter asked Jesus not to face death on the cross and the Lord rebuked him.  Mark 8:33

Satan asked Jesus to except his bargain offer thereby escaping death on the cross and being given all the nations.  Matthew 4:1-11

The two plans man’s wisdom and Satan’s schemes were in unison. Stay close to the word and obey Jesus and then our wisdom will not be in unison with Satan’s schemes.

This is why we need the Lord deeply guiding us every day. Before we became Christians we were groomed by this world thinking we were right in our own eyes.  Even now as Christians we need to have a close relationship with Christ so he can teach us anew!

The Institute for Creation Research “Days of Praise” for October 6th says,

The steadfast “dwelling” in Christ promises to produce a confidence in our eternal relationship—the word choice especially emphasizes freedom in speaking, an unreservedness in speech. As Peter freely spoke at Pentecost (Acts 2:29) and the disciples received boldness to speak the Word of God (Acts 4:31), so our “plainness of speech” (2 Corinthians 3:12) in witnessing sets the stage for our “boldness in the day of judgment” (1 John 4:17).

So not only staying close to God produces fruit while on this earth, but also boldness in the day of judgment!  Praise God!

Let’s keep praying for each other!