Tag: God’s will

Paul’s testimony of Jesus

Scripture reading for May 5th: Acts 22

Key Scriptures: Acts 22:12-16 “”And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, came to me and standing by me said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And at that very hour, I received my sight and saw him. An he said, ‘The God of our fathers appointed you to know His will, to see the Righteous One and to hear a voice from His mouth; for you will be a witness for Him to everyone of what you have seen and heard. And now why do you wait: Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on His Name.'”

As Paul was brought by the Roman magistrate to stand before the Jewish council, he began to share his personal journey from a zealous Pharisee who personally rounded up followers of Jesus to a follower of Jesus. He shared how he met Jesus on the road to Damascus and how he was blinded by the light. He shared how another Jewish believer, Ananias, was sent to him to pray for him and how he immediately received his sight back. He told how he was appointed to know God’s will and see Jesus and become a witness of all he saw and heard. He also shared how he was baptized and saw Jesus in a trance while praying in the temple. Jesus warned him to get out of Jerusalem quickly because the Jews would not accept his testimony. Jesus then sent him to the Gentiles. At this, the murderous spirit against Christ and His followers manifested! Sounds like the ‘cancel’ culture of our day that tries to destroy what it opposes!

Acts 22:21-22 “And He said to me, ‘Go, for I will send you far away to the Gentiles.'” Up to this they listened to him. Then they raised their voices and said, “Away with such a fellow from the earth! For he should not be allowed to live.””

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Paul’s testimony and witness to me and the world. Thank You for my personal testimony of You calling me to preach and testify. Help me to boldly share Your Gospel love, even to those who may reject You or try to cancel me.

2nd Timothy 3:12-13 “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.”

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Do you have eternal life?

Scripture reading for November 26th: Zechariah 9-11; 1st John 5

Key Scriptures: 1st John 5:12-15 “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the Name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him.”

The devil always wants to get us into doubting our faith and our relationship with God. The aged Apostle John wrote to the early church to give them confidence. It is really quite simple: if you have Jesus Christ, God’s Son, you have life eternal. If you do not have Jesus Christ as Lord in your life, you abide in death. Having confidence in our relationship with Jesus Christ means knowing that what God’s Word says is true. Faith rests on God’s Word, not our feelings. We can now pray effectively and confidently to find the help we need to live victoriously by faith overcoming the devil!

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I am thankful for Your trustworthy Word and the confidence that comes as I believe that You are God’s Son and my Savior. I call on You daily to fill me with Your Holy Spirit and strength to do Your will.

Zechariah 10:1 “Ask rain from the Lord in the season of the spring rain, from the Lord Who makes the storm clouds, and He will give them showers of rain, to everyone the vegetation of the field.”

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God’s will be done!

Scripture reading for May 12th:  2 Samuel 1-2, 1st Chronicles 11, Psalm 96, 106, Acts 21

Key Scriptures:  Acts 21:10-14  “While we were staying for many days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.  And coming to us, he took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘This is how the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.'”  When we heard this, we and the people there urged him not to go up to Jerusalem.  Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart?  For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the Name of the Lord Jesus.”  And since he would not be persuaded, we ceased and said, “Let the will of the Lord be done.””

Paul was heading to Jerusalem where he knew that persecution and imprisonment awaited him, even possible death.  A prophet, Agabus, warned Paul of what would happen to him but God had directed Paul in his mission.  His friends tried to dissuade Paul from going, but Paul set his face towards Jerusalem and all agreed that God’s will must  be done!  Sometimes His will involves suffering, persecution, and eternal life through death!

Psalm 96:3 “Declare His glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples.”  

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to live faithful to Your Word and will, even if it will bring hardship.  I believe Your grace is sufficient for every trial and Your will is always best.

Psalm 106:47  “Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to Your Holy Name and glory in Your praise.”  

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Thankful for God’s Purposes!

Scripture reading for July 18th:  Proverbs 16-20

Key Scriptures:  Proverbs 19:21, “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”  Proverbs 20:5  “The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.”  Proverbs 20:24  “A man’s steps are directed by the Lord.  How then can anyone understand his own way?”

The writer of Proverbs understood a little of the mystery of God’s purposes and direction of men.  Men have many plans and dreams of the future and what it might hold.  They often try and work out those plans and purposes.  Men of insight into God’s will and Word draw out God’s purposes from the deep waters of the heart of God.  But sometimes, man’s steps are taken from the path of our will into new territory through events and circumstances beyond our control.  This is a mystery only understood as we seek God and walk with Him.

Our God leads us into His will:  “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.  And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.  And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”  (Romans 8:26-28)

 

 

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Doing God’s Will!

Scripture reading for May 12th: John 7:1-30

Timing is everything in God’s economy.  Solomon said that there was a time for everything under the sun.  (Ecclesiastes 3:1)   Jesus was a man who knew the proper timing for each part of His life because He was committed to do God’s will.   If we will learn to listen to the Holy Spirit and commit to do God’s will, we will learn that Jesus’ teaching is God’s will.

All Jewish males were to appear before God in Jerusalem at the temple three times a year.  This was God’s instructions through the Law of Moses.  One of these times was for the Feast of Tabernacles, a celebration of Israel’s time in the wilderness when they lived in tents awaiting entry into the ‘promised land’. Jesus’ brothers tried to get Him to go up with them to Jerusalem, but Jesus told them that His time had not yet come to go up.  (John 7:4)  These brothers did not yet believe in Jesus. Jesus timing was always a part of God’s plan and will.

Later, Jesus went to the required celebration.  Everyone was looking for Him and there was much debate about who He might be.  Halfway through the feast, Jesus went to the temple and began to teach.  His words of wisdom amazed those who heard Him, especially the Jews.  They asked each other where He got such learning.

“Jesus answered, “My teaching is not My own.  It comes from Him who sent Me.  If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether My teaching comes from God or whether I speak on My own.” (John 7:16)  Jesus plainly told them before that He spoke for the Father.  Here He told them that a choice on their part to do God’s will would open their understanding about whether or not His teaching was from God.  This is a key to faith!  We must choose willingly to truly want to do God’s will, not just know about it!  When we make this choice from our heart, we come to know that Jesus’ teaching is from God the Father!

Today is the best time to choose to do God’s will and then listen to Jesus’ teaching.  It comes from God the Father, as He did.  Simple child-like faith will open a new world of eternal life and knowing God’s will and timing.

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What can I do for you?

Scripture reading for April 10th: 2nd Kings 1-3

As the prophet Elijah was about to depart from this earth, he asked Elisha: “What can I do for you before I am taken from you?”  (2nd Kings 2:9)  The understudy wisely answered: “A double portion of Elijah’s spirit.”  This is essentially the same question God asked Solomon a few years earlier. (1st Kings 3:5)  At that time Solomon asked for wisdom to rule God’s people.

Elijah had been instructed by God to tap Elisha to take his place some ten years earlier.  Elisha was the son of a farmer.  He was plowing with 12 yokes of oxen–a big rig of that day!  (1st Kings 19:19)  He was called when Elijah threw his cloak over him.  Scripture records that he left his oxen and ran after Elijah.  Then he sacrificed his oxen, burning his plowing equipment to cook the meat.  He set out to follow Elijah.

As the time for Elijah’s departure drew near, Elisha had to continually choose to stay near his mentor.  Elijah kept asking him to go away, but he kept insisting on staying.  Those who persevere to the end will reap a reward!  Elisha asked for the double portion of his mentor’s spirit.  Elijah could not give that himself.  It must come from the Lord.  Elijah gave him a word of knowledge–that if he could see him when he departed, he would have what he asked for.  (2nd Kings 2:10-12)  As they walked on together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and Elijah was taken to heaven in a whirlwind right before Elisha’s eyes!  It was an exciting exit for the prophet Elijah and an exciting transition for the prophet Elisha as he picked up the cloak and began to do greater things than his mentor!

Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the final word from God.  He had a mantle of the Spirit without measure. (John 3:34)  He has told us to ask Him for whatever we need and He will do it.  (John 14:14)  He has poured out the Holy Spirit to dwell in us and bring forth the gifts of the Spirit as they are needed to glorify the Lord.  He has told us that we will do even greater works because He has gone to the Father.  (John 14:11-14)  Ask God today for the things you need to follow Him and do His will!

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Living to please God!

Scripture reading for October 11th: 1st Thessalonians 4:1-5:2

“Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living.  Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.” (1st Thessalonians 4:1)  These believers had listened to Paul’s message of the Gospel and responded in faith.  They had observed his example and teaching about how to live and began to do it.  Paul’s letter was to encourage them to increase their obedience level.  This wasn’t to please him, but to please God.  This is how Jesus Christ lived!  (John 5:30)

A specific area of obedience was in sexual purity.  Sexual sin harmed others as well as a person’s own soul.  The pagan and idolatrous culture was full of sexual immorality.  Idol temples employed prostitutes and homosexuality and incest were common.  Paul reminded them of God’s will for sanctification.  Sexual purity would please the Lord and disobedience would bring His wrath.  “The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you.  for God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.  Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you His Holy Spirit.” (1st Thessalonians 4:6b-8)  God’s word is truth and the Holy Spirit lives in us to lead us into all truth.

Another area of obedience involved work.  A number of Thessalonians felt that because Jesus was coming soon that they could be idle.  What was the use of working, when the church members would take care of them?  “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” (1st Thessalonians 4:11-12)  Paul taught that a quiet life of work and caring for family was a good witness.  Idleness was causing strife and bad reputations outside the church and inside!

Christ would come back and those who trusted Christ, whether alive or in the grave, would be caught up to meet the Lord in the air.  No one knew the day or the hour, but they were all to be ready.  This kind of faith pleases God and gives encouragement and hope.

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