Tag: God’s encouragment
Scripture reading for July 30th: Isaiah 44-48
Comfort is needed when people have been through the fire of judgment or discipline. God is a God of all comfort and one of the ways He comforts us is to encourage us not to be afraid. It is said that the term “fear not” or variations of this phrase is used 366 times in the Bible. This means that there are enough verses for every day of the year–even leap year! God knows we need this encouragement.
In Isaiah 43:1-3, God tells His people to not be afraid when they pass through the rivers or walk through the fire. He has redeemed them and they belong to Him. He promised to be with them and protect them no matter what the trouble. He will ransom them and redeem them and gives His word!
In Isaiah 44:1-5, God tells His people to not be afraid for their children! We can trust the Lord to pour out His Spirit on our offspring and His blessing on our descendants. When we follow the Lord and live by faith, God takes care of our kids. He is able to guide them and help them to choose to walk by faith too! Let’s say “amen” to this promise and live free from fear for our children’s future.
In Isaiah 44:6-8, God encourages His people to not be afraid of the future. He is their redeemer and is the Almighty Lord who has all power and knowledge. He knows the future and holds it in His hands. He is a Rock for those who are in fear of the future. Trusting in Him can make us truly free!
The last thing we can give up fearing is old age and the weakness and frailty associated with it. “Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, have carried since your birth. Even to your old age and gray hairs, I am He, I am He who will sustain you, I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” (Isaiah 46:3-4) Sounds like God can handle us in old age, too, doesn’t it? What’s there to be afraid of anyway? We are people of faith and please God by trusting Him in everything! “Fear Not!”
Scripture reading for June 27th: Acts 18:1-21
The apostle Paul always seemed to get in trouble as he preached about Jesus Christ in the synagogues. After leaving Athens and the confrontation with the intellectuals on Mars Hill, Paul went to Corinth and again went to the synagogue. There he encountered some interest at first, but soon was being opposed by some abusive Jews. Paul did as Jesus instructed, shaking out his clothes and stating, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles!” (Acts 18:6)
He went next door to the house of a man named Titius Justice, who was a worshiper of God. This means that he was a Gentile seeker who had attended the synagogue. Paul used his house to preach and the synagogue ruler Crispus and his entire household was saved! Many others were saved and baptized! (Acts 18:7-8)
Sometimes leaders need fresh vision and encouragement. Even though we are living life one day at a time, we need to know that we are in line with where God wants us. Sometimes we can feel His pleasure, but other times we feel the opposition and even fear. God knew that Paul needed encouragement to stay in Corinth for a more extended period of time so He gave him a vision. “Don’t be afraid; keep on speaking, don’t be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” (Acts 18:10) Many of God‘s mighty saints struggled with fear. The Holy Spirit gave them great boldness anyway and a vision and word of encouragement could keep them on track. Paul stayed in Corinth teaching for a year and a half.
As Paul left there, he went back to many of the churches he had started and preached to them. He had a ministry of encouragement and disciple making. He was particularly sensitive to the leading of the Lord. When asked by some Jews at Ephesus to stay and spend more time, he declined. He told them that he would come back if it was the Lord’s will. (Acts 18:21) God knows how to direct His disciples. We are all on a directed journey to accomplish God’s will and must finish our course! Are you listening to the Holy Spirit today?