Category: Acts–BibleTrekToday

The secret to great power!

Scripture reading for April 29: 2 Chronicles 26-28

People are always curious when someone says that they know a secret that will make them young, rich, beautiful, successful or powerful.  Many people have gotten rich selling secrets relating to these popular desires.  Most of them are people who are playing on the selfish nature of man for their own benefit.  We would do well to avoid them.  But in today’s reading, we find a treasure from the Lord!

Do you want the secret of great power?  Lets look at the life of Jotham, the twenty five year old son of King Uzziah.  This king did right in the eyes of the Lord.  (2 Chronicles 27:2)  The main event recorded of this king was a war with the Ammonites and it says that Jotham conquered them. (2 Chronicles 27:5)  After the conquest, he got a large amount of silver, wheat, and barley for several years.

The secret of his power is found in one verse that makes up a paragraph!   “Jotham grew powerful because he walked steadfastly before the Lord his God.” (2 Chronicles 27:6)  It is so simple that anyone can grasp this concept.  Faithfulness is the first requirement of a good steward.  Jotham was faithful and he kept the faith all of his life!  He served the Lord his God.  God wasn’t just the God of his father or mother.  He wasn’t just his nation’s God or his wife’s God.  In order to serve steadfastly, you need to know God for yourself!

If you need to ask the Lord to be your God today, take time now and get right with Him.  The path to great power starts with a heart commitment to the Lord in faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.  (Acts 4:12)  We must humbly confess our sins and our need of His grace. (1st John 1:9)    We choose to believe in our hearts and confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and we will be saved.  (Romans 10:9-11)  We are saved by grace through faith in Christ and He has good works for us to walk in.  (Ephesians 2:8-10)  If you continue in the faith, steadfast to the end, you will experience the greatest power available to man–God will raise you from the dead and you will live forever with Him!  (1st Thessalonians 4:13-18)  May the Lord bless you with great power!

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Sunday rest and reflection: Moses and Christ

When we started our journey through the Bible, I began with Luke 24.  The resurrected Jesus taught his disciples on the road to Emmaus and again in the room in Jerusalem everything concerning Himself in the Law and the Prophets.  (Luke 24:27, 44) The Law refers to these Books of Moses that we have been reading.  As we take time to rest today, let’s think about these Books in relation to what they reveal about Jesus Christ.

Moses himself was a picture of Christ.  Moses was a prophet, a priest, a servant, a shepherd, a mediator, and a deliverer.  We find that Jesus is the final Word from God and holds the office of prophet and priest, as well as king (which Moses was not).  Jesus was a servant, (Matthew 12:18) the Good Shepherd, (John 10:11-14) the only mediator between God and man (1Timothy 2:5) , and our deliverer (1Thessalonians 1:10) In his character description, Moses was the meekest of men. (Numbers 12:3)  Jesus was humble of heart as well. (Matthew 11:28-30)  Moses was faithful and obedient as was Jesus Christ.  Like Christ, Moses was powerful in word and deed (Acts 7:22)!

In the account of Moses’ early life, he was a baby in Egypt and had to escape Pharaoh’s murder attempt.  Jesus, as a baby, was taken to Egypt to escape Herod’s murder attempt.  Both were providentially cared for by God to survive and fulfill their mission of deliverance!  Moses was rejected by his brothers and as a result obtained a Gentile bride while on the back side of the desert.  Jesus was rejected by His brothers and also has a Gentile bride, the Church!  Moses delivered God’s people from the death angel by the blood of a Passover lamb.  Jesus delivered God’s people from death by His own blood spilled on the cross! Moses was eventually accepted by his brothers.  Jesus will be when He comes again!  Moses led the people and fed the people and mediated their concerns.   Jesus Christ is our King, Provider and Intercessor!

Take time today to think of some other aspects of our Lord that he has revealed to you as you have read these Books of Moses!  May your heart burn with love for Jesus!  Have a blessed day!  Pastor John

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Grasshoppers for lunch?

Scripture reading for February 5th: Leviticus 11-15

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Confused Human efforts!

January 4th Scripture Reading: Genesis 10-11

God blessed Noah and told him and his family to be fruitful and multiply and fill the whole earth.  (Genesis 9:1)  Nimrod, Noah’s grandson born to Ham, led a rebellion around 100 years after the flood.  The rebellion consisted of gathering family members together on the plain of Shinar (Ancient Babylon, current Iraq).  They decided to build a tower that would reach to the heavens and to make a name for themselves and resist being scattered over the face of the earth as God had commanded.  God realized that with one language and rebellious leadership, nothing would be impossible for them.  He confused their language (babel) and scattered them over the earth.

Genesis 10 is a genealogy of the sons of Noah who repopulated the earth after the flood.  One of Shem’s grandsons, Eber, (father of the Hebrews) had a son Peleg.  Peleg means “division” and verse 25 states that “in his time the earth was divided. . “.  Some creation scientists believe that this is when God separated the continents following the judgment at the tower of Babel.  Those scattered people groups, represented by the 70 family groups of Genesis 10, formed the nations of the world that we see in existence today. 

Do you ever wonder about how all the nations and languages came to be? What is God’s plan to unite all mankind? Take time today to thank Him for your heritage and for showing mercy in judgment at the tower of Babel.

“From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.  God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out and find him, though He is not far from each one of us.” Acts 17:26-27

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Blessing sowed–blessings reaped!

Scripture reading for March 2nd: Acts 28, Psalm 44, Proverbs 13

Acts 28:7-10 “Now in the neighborhood of that place were lands belonging to the chief man of the island, named Publius, who received us and entertained us hospitably for three days. It happened that the father of Publius lay sick with fever and dysentery. And Paul visited him and prayed, and putting his hands on him healed him. And when this had taken place, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases also came and were cured. They also honored us greatly, and when we were about to sail, they put on board whatever we needed.”

Paul and the 275 on board the ship were all safe on an island and wintered there. Soon after escaping the shipwreck, the chief man of this island took Paul and several from his party into his house and showed them hospitality for three days. During this time, Paul found out Publius had a sick father. He asked to go pray for him and God healed him. This brought people from all over the island to receive prayer and God healed them. When they were ready to set sail after winter, these islanders loaded Paul and those of his party with all they needed for their journey! The law of sowing and reaping is demonstrated here! Bless and you will be blessed–abundantly! We give You thanks forever and ever!

Psalm 44:7-8 “But You have saved us from our foes and have put to shame those who hate us. In God we have boasted continually, and we will give thanks to Your Name forever.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for showing such love for the lost that You would even send one of Your servants to them through such a manner as this: a prisoner on a ship that wrecked! Thank You for the healings and many who were blessed with the Gospel message in that remote place. Thank You that the law of sowing and reaping holds true. May I always sow blessings and our Lord bring in a harvest!

Proverbs 13:12 “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”

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Words of wisdom and encouragement

Scripture reading for March 1st: Acts 27, Psalm 43, Proverbs 12

Acts 27:33-38 “As day was about to dawn, Paul urged them all to take some food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day that you have continued in suspense and without food, having taken nothing. Therefore I urge you to take some food. For it will give you strength, for not a hair is to perish from the head of any of you.” And when he had said these things, he took bread, and giving thanks to God in the presence of all he broke it and began to eat. Then they all were encouraged and ate some food themselves. (We were in all 276 persons in the ship.) And when they had eaten, they lightened the ship, throwing the wheat into the sea.”

Paul was a prisoner of Rome under the control of a centurion named Julius. He had favor with him and Paul was allowed to visit his friends before boarding the ship. It was nearing winter, and sailing was treacherous. Paul warned them about possible loss, but the ship’s owner and captain called the shots. During the trip, a storm arose that caused them to despair of life! For fourteen days they drifted in the gale winds. Paul spoke up as the time of approaching land drew near. He encouraged the men to take heart and eat. He told them not a hair of their head would perish. He blessed the bread and ate, along with the 275 others on this ship. He gave a word of wisdom–light and truth making souls glad.

Psalm 43:3-4 “Send out Your light and truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to Your dwelling! Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding Joy, and I will praise You with the lyre, O God, my God!”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for giving words of wisdom to Your servants to be a blessing and encouragement to all people and to show signs to the lost of Your love and care. Your Word brings light and truth to my soul. It leads me to Your holy dwelling and lifts anxiety from my heart replacing it with joy and gladness. Let Your Word bring hope, salvation and encouragement through my lips!

Proverbs 12:25 “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.”

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Paul speaks boldly to authority!

Scripture reading for February 28th: Acts 26, Psalm 42, Proverbs 11

Acts 26: 24-29 “And as he was saying these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind.” But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking true and rational words. For the king knows about these things, and to him I speak boldly. For I am persuaded that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this has not been done in a corner. King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.” And Agrippa said to Paul, “In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?” And Paul said, “Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I am–except for these chains.””

God gave Paul the opportunity, at King Agrippa’s request, to hear Paul’s defense. Paul spoke boldly to King Agrippa, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, he presented the Gospel message of his own testimony and Christ’s resurrection. He directly appealed to King Agrippa, and even to Festus, the governor, to become followers of Christ. There was resistance as Festus accused Paul of being mentally unstable, and King Agrippa and his wife felt pressure and resisted action of faith. But Paul boldly proclaimed the Gospel message to those God had set before him, a prisoner of Jesus Christ!

Psalm 42:1-2 “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirst for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your amazing care to place Your people where they may reach even those in authority with Good News. I ask for open doors today and each day to present my testimony of Your saving grace in my life and the forgiveness of sins through Your Son Jesus Christ. May my life bring glory to You and much fruit in souls partaking of Jesus Christ the Tree of Life Eternal!

Proverbs 11:30 “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever captures souls is wise.”

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The ‘religious’ Jews plot murder!

Scripture reading for February 27th: Acts 25, Psalm 41, Proverbs 10

Acts 25: 1-5 “Now three days after Festus had arrived in the province, he went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea. And the chief priests and the principal men of the Jews laid out their case against Paul, and they urged him, asking as a favor against Paul that he summon him to Jerusalem–because they were planning an ambush to kill him on the way. Festus replied that Paul was being kept at Caesarea and that he himself intended to go there shortly. “So,” said he, “let the men of authority among you go down with me, and if there is anything wrong about the man, let them bring charges against him.””

Paul considered himself a ‘prisoner of Jesus Christ.’ Paul knew that God had sent him to Jerusalem and that he also would go to Rome as well because the Lord Jesus had spoken to him. But the ‘religious’ leaders of the Jews had their own plots in mind. More than 40 men had pledged an oath to neither eat or drink until they had killed Paul. Religion may appear to be legitimate, but hearts that are not humble before God but proud and manipulative are being controlled by the devil. God watches over His people in every situation to work out everything for His good and His purposes. Paul’s imprisonment and this conflict enabled Him to witness to Roman authorities in Caesarea and to be taken to Rome for ministry and the government protected him and footed the bill.

Psalm 41:11-12 “By this I know that you delight in me: my enemy will not shout in triumph over me. But You have upheld me because of my integrity, and set me in Your presence forever.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for delighting in Your people and protecting them from enemies bent on destruction. You are the One who spins over me in delight and brings me into the rest of Your righteousness and joy. You are my stronghold in trouble and the One who will ultimately bring justice. Use me and my humble trust in You to bring Your Word of salvation to those who are lost and dying.

Proverbs 10:28-29 “The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish. The way of the Lord is a stronghold to the blameless, but destruction to evildoers.”

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Paul’s faithful preaching!

Scripture reading for February 24th: Acts 24, Psalm 40, Proverbs 9

Acts 24: 24-27 “After some days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, and he sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Jesus Christ. And as he reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment, Felix was alarmed and said, “Go away for the present. When I get an opportunity I will summon you.” At the same time he hoped that money would be given him by Paul. So he sent for him often and conversed with him. When two years had elapsed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. And desiring to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul in prison.”

Proverbs states that the fear of man is a snare. Worldly leaders like Felix were always looking for political advantage or personal advantage as with a bribe. They were not guided by the integrity that comes from God’s Word, but by their flesh. Godly people are sometimes, like Paul, placed by God under their authority. God loves them too and gives all people opportunity to hear the truth of Jesus and allows them freedom to chose who they will serve. God’s message of deliverance shows no partiality and He desires all to be saved an enter into His salvation. Wise people are teachable. Fools and scoffers turn sour and hateful.

Psalm 40:9-10 “I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; behold, I have not restrained my lips, as You know, O Lord. I have not hidden Your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your steadfast love and Your faithfulness from the great congregation.”

Prayer: Father God, Thank You for the ‘Glad News’ of salvation given to your Church to share in the great congregation of mankind. Forgive me when I have restrained my lips and not told of Your faithfulness and salvation. Use me like Paul, to faithfully and fully declare Your Son, Jesus Christ, to all You send me to. May none be lost or suffer as scoffers and fools. Help me to faithfully declare the Gospel to all nations!

Proverbs 9:8-9 “Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.”

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Religious divisions!

Scripture reading for February 23rd: Acts 23, Psalm 39, Proverbs 8

Acts 23:6-10 “”Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of a Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.” And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all. Then a great clamor arose, and some of the scribes of the Pharisees’ party stood up and contended sharply, “We find nothing wrong in this man. What if a spirit or an angel spoke to him?” And when the dissension became violent, the tribune, afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him away from among them by force to the barracks.”

As Paul was brought before the religious Jews who were seeking to kill him, God gave him insight into the division of these leaders. They were divided into sects, Sadducees and Pharisees, according to what they believed about the supernatural world. One group, the Sadducees, were anti-supernatural, doubting in what was not visible. The Pharisees, of which Paul was a part, believed in the resurrection of he dead and angels and spirits. Paul wisely chose to identify with those believing the supernatural. God’s message of grace and mercy towards sinners involved resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Sharp and violent disagreement took place around these issues. This also happens today when the Gospel is preached.

Psalm 39:7-8 “And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You. Deliver me from all my transgressions. Do not make me the scorn of the fool!”

Prayer: Father God, deliver me from religious divisions around traditions of men. Help me to discern, like Paul, how to answer and to rightly and kindly confront those in error. You have promised us Your wisdom and deliverance by faith and trusting in You to help us. Thank You for always being true to Your Word! Help me to wait on You for direction in each circumstance of persecution or misunderstanding.

Proverbs 8:8-9 “All the Words of My mouth are righteous; there is nothing twisted or crooked in them. They are all straight to him who understands, and right to those who find knowledge.”

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