Tag: gift of God

Not for sale!

Scripture reading for May 16th:  Acts 8

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Acts 8:18-22  “When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostle’s hands, he offered them money and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”  Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money!  You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God.  Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord.  Perhaps He will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart.”” 

In this time of the last days, many false teachers are out for money.  They are seeking power, new fads, or something that will help them make money.  The apostles encountered Simon who had been making money off of sorcery.  Simon saw what the apostles were doing by laying hands on the people and the resulting baptism of the Holy Spirit and he wanted in on the action.  He offered money to get this power and was soundly rebuked by Peter for having a heart that was not right with God.  Peter emphasized that this power was not for sale at any price!  Simon’s best action would be repentance and prayer to God for forgiveness and a right heart!

Observations for over-comers:  Beware of those who want the gift of the Holy Spirit for the wrong reasons!  Don’t be quick to lay hands on everyone to receive this precious gift of power.  Repentance and salvation must come first!  “My son, pay attention to My wisdom, listen well to My words of insight, that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge.”  (Proverbs 5:1-2)

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Don’t let the fire go out!

Scripture reading for October 2nd:  2nd Timothy 1

Several years after his first letter, Paul was in jail and very probably facing execution for his faith.  He wrote a final letter to his son in the faith, Timothy, to encourage him.  These ‘last words’ should encourage us as we face increasing persecution and opposition in our world today.

“I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers.  Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy.  I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother, Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.  For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.  For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self discipline.”  (2nd Timothy 1:3-7)

Paul spent much of his last days in prison for his faith.  He used this time to pray and to write.  His heart was filled with thanksgiving and longing to see Timothy again.  Paul had known Timothy’s family and the faith that they shared and encouraged Timothy to keep fanning the flame of faith through the gift of the Holy Spirit.

It is the Holy Spirit that empowers us to witness and preach the Gospel with authority and to love those Christ puts in our lives.  It is only through the guidance of the Spirit that we can discipline ourselves to live the holy life that God calls us to and to pass our faith to the next generation.  Let’s fan the flame in our hearts today!  The fire of God’s Holy Spirit yearns to reach the lost!

 

 

 

 

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Grace delivers from sin!

Scripture reading for June 22nd:  Romans 6

Someone has said that ‘sin takes you further than you want to go, keeps you longer than you want to stay, and extracts a price higher than you want to pay.’  Sin is pleasurable for a season, but it always leads to bondage, darkness, and ultimately death–both physical and eternal!   When the Gospel of God’s grace was preached, some falsely claimed that we should sin all the more so that God could receive pleasure in forgiving the sinner!

Paul explained that the true message of the Gospel of grace was not freedom to sin, but freedom to ‘sin not’!  “What shall we say, then?  Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?  By no means!  We died to sin, how can we live in it any longer?   Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?  We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”  (Romans 6:1-4)  This new life was in Christ Jesus, the One who never sinned and was now alive forever!

Our baptism is a drama that we personally and intentionally testify of our faith in Christ’s death and resurrection.  As we are immersed in the water, we are saying that in Christ’s death, our old nature of sin was put to death through Christ’s sacrifice of His body and blood.  We are buried with Him in baptism, signifying death!  We are then raised from the water, signifying our identification with His resurrection to a new life!    The old nature of sin has been buried and a new man has emerged, free from the power and penalty of sin!

 

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