Tag: power

A Gospel of full conviction

Scripture reading for June 14th: 1st Thessalonians 1

Key Scriptures: 1st Thessalonians 1:2-7 “We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers loved by God, that He has chosen you, because our Gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the Word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and to Achaia.”

Paul commended the Thessalonian believers for their strong stand of faith and steadfast hope in Jesus Christ as Lord. He was convinced that God had chosen them for salvation through the Word of Christ that he and other brothers had preached. This Word came to them not just as words preached, but with the power of the Holy Spirit bringing a deep conviction of sin, righteousness and judgment. This godly conviction brought godly sorrow for sin and repentance as they received the Word of God with joy in the Holy Spirit. Their example spread to all believers in Macedonia and Achaia and brought many into Christ’s fellowship. Conviction is the necessary precursor to repentance which brings salvation and deliverance from God’s wrath.

1st Thessalonians 1:9- “For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, . . “

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the ‘full conviction’ of the full Gospel that brought me to know my need of repentance and faith. I give myself to use as an instrument to preach the Gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit and full conviction, offering deliverance from Your wrath.

1st Thessalonians 1:10 “. . and to wait for His Son from heaven, Whom He raised from the dead, Jesus Who delivers us from the wrath to come.”

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A new chapter of the Story

Scripture reading for April 6th: Acts 1

Key Scriptures: Acts 1:1-5 “In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up, after He had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom He had chosen. He presented Himself alive to them after His suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. And while staying with them He ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, which, He said, ‘you heard from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now. “”

The book of Acts is a continuation of Luke’s eyewitness account of the events and acts of the Holy Spirit through Jesus’ disciples following Jesus’ resurrection and ascension. He wrote these accounts to Theophilus, whose name means “lover of God”. He was a Gentile convert to Jesus and Luke wrote to give greater understanding to the Gentile church of how our Lord empowered witnesses to take the Gospel from Jerusalem to Judea and Samaria and the ends of the earth. Acts is the historical record of the growth of the early Church after the Promise of the Father came upon them. This book has inspired believers throughout history to be filled with the Holy Spirit and allow God to use them to further His mission to reach the ends of the earth before Jesus returns. It records the acts of the Holy Spirit, mentioned over 50 times, through Jesus’ followers. In a sense, it is still being written until Jesus returns.

Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for sending the Promise of the Father, the baptism in the Holy Spirit to empower me and all Your disciples to reach the ends of the earth. Use me to add to the “acts of the Holy Spirit” in my life on earth and to multiply disciples who will take the Gospel of Jesus to the ends of the earth.

Acts 1:10-11 “And while they were gazing into heaven as He went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, Who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw Him go into heaven.”

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Promise, power, preaching!

Scripture reading for April 5th: Luke 24

Key Scriptures: Luke 24: 44-49 “Then He said to them, “These are My Words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His Name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the Promise of My Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

While He was with His disciples, Jesus Christ had repeatedly explained the Scriptures and plainly told them of His coming death, burial, and resurrection on the third day. Now, after the resurrection, on the evening of the third day, Jesus met with His disciples and showed them His glorified body of flesh and bones. They were full of joy and amazement but struggled to believe it was really Him. Jesus then again explained everything about Himself from the Law and Prophets, opening their minds to understand. He explained the Gospel of repentance and forgiveness of sins that was for all nations and peoples, beginning with the Jews in Jerusalem. He declared them “witnesses” and told them to wait in Jerusalem until the “Promise of My Father” came upon them. This would clothe them with the power needed to fulfill His mission of reaching the lost world.

Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for fulfilling all the Scriptures, which are Truth. Thank You for Your amazing plan to reach the whole world with Your appointed “witnesses”. Fill me afresh with the Holy Spirit and power to do Your will on earth as in heaven! I open my mind and heart today to better know You through the Scriptures.

Acts 2:38-39 “And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to Himself.””

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Fanning the flame!

Scripture reading for January 12th: 2nd Timothy 1

Key Scriptures: 2nd Timothy 1:6-10 “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 gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self-control. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share in the suffering for the Gospel by the power of God, Who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of His own purpose and grace, which He gave us in Christ Jesus before the world began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, Who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel, . . .”

In his last letter before leaving this world, Paul affectionately addressed his son in the faith, Timothy with a reminder. Timothy had come from a line of people who were marked by their faith in God. Timothy also had come to faith and had been ordained by Paul through the laying on of his hands and had received the gift of the Holy Spirit and a holy calling to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit enabled Timothy to be bold and powerful in loving God and sharing God’s love with a hurting and sometimes hateful world. Paul reminded him of this Gift and encouraged him to fan the flames of God’s passionate love and power through the exercise of this Gift. Suffering would result, but life and immortality would flow for Timothy and those who received the Gospel message and God’s purpose would be fulfilled.

Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, Thank You for the Gift of Your Holy Spirit to give me boldness, power, and passionate love for You and for Your people. I want to fan into flames the Gift You have provided and that is in me. Give me more grace and power to live a holy life and reach the lost!

Leviticus 19:18 “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.”

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Anointed with the Holy Spirit and Power!

Scripture reading for April 27th:  1st Samuel 14, Psalm 124, Acts 10

Key Scriptures:  Acts 10:38-42  “. . how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power.  He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.  And we are witnesses of all that He did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem.  They put Him to death by hanging Him on a tree, but God raised Him on the third day and made Him to appear, not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with Him after He rose from the dead.  And He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that He is the One appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead.” 

Peter proclaimed the miraculous ministry of Jesus Christ.  Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit and power to perform miracles and heal.  His disciples and apostles who walked with Him were witnesses of all He did.  Jesus was put to death by crucifixion but raised from the dead on the third day by God’s power.  His witnesses were commanded by Jesus to preach this Good News to all.  Jesus is appointed by God to judge the living and the dead!

Faith confession and prayer:  I believe in Jesus Christ of Nazareth, anointed by God with the Holy Spirit and power for miracles and healing and forgiveness of sins.  Open doors to preach the Good news today!

1st Samuel 14:6 “Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised.  It may be that the Lord will work for us, for nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few.” 

Psalm 124:8  “Our help is in the Name of the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.”   

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The promise of power!

Scripture reading for May 6th:  Acts 1, Psalm 90, Proverbs 28

Key Scriptures:  Acts 1:6-9  “So when they had come together, they asked Him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”  He said to them, “It is not for you to know times and seasons that the Father has fixed by His own authority.  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”  And as He had said these things, as they were looking on, He was lifted up, and a cloud took Him out of their sight.”

Jesus’ disciples asked Him, right before He ascended to heaven, if He was going to restore the kingdom to Israel.  They were expecting Jesus to soon establish His kingdom.  Jesus told them not to be concerned.  The Father had fixed them time and that was His to know.  Their main need would to received the infilling of the Holy Spirit and be empowered to share the gospel with the world.

Faith Confession:  Lord Jesus, thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit and  power to be a witness to the world.  Teach me to treat each day as an opportunity to work for You and Your kingdom.

Psalm 90:11, 17 “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”  . . .”Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!” 

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God is impartial!

Scripture reading for May 17th:  1st Chronicles 10-13, Acts 10

Key Scriptures: Acts 10:34-39  “So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears Him and does what is right is acceptable to Him.  As for the word that He sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ(He is Lord of all), you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power.  He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”  

Peter preached Jesus Christ as Lord of all to Cornelius, the Roman Centurion and his family.  God graciously saved them and filled them with the Holy Spirit.  God shows no partiality to those who will surrender to Him!  He makes them mighty warriors for Christ, the Son of God, Son of David.

1st Chronicles 12:38 “All these, men of war, arrayed in battle order, came to Hebron with a whole heart to make David king over all Israel.”  

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Power for witnesses!

Scripture reading for May 4th:  2nd Kings 3-5, Acts 1

Key Scriptures: Acts 1:6-8  “So when they had come together, they asked Him, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”  He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by His own authority.  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.””

 

2nd Kings 5:13-14 “But his servants came near and said to him, “My father, it is a great word the prophet has spoken to you; will you not do it?  Has he actually said to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?”  So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God, and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.” 

Prayer:  Lord, Fill me with the Holy Spirit today that I might obey You and walk in the power needed to reach lost people with the Gospel. Amen.

 

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Expectations exceeded!

Scripture reading for May 9th:  Acts 3

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Acts 3:2-8  “Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts.  When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money.  Peter looked straight at him, as did John.  Then Peter said, “Look at us!”  So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.  Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you.  In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”  Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong.  He jumped to his feet and began to walk.”

A crippled man was begging for money as Peter and John came by going to the temple.  They heard his plea and looked at him asking for his attention.  The man looked at them expectantly.  But what they gave him was not what he was expecting!  They spoke the name of Jesus Christ over him and commanded him to get up and walk!  They even took him by the hand and helped him up!  As he responded, he stood up and began to walk.  Next he was leaping and jumping and praising God!  There is power in the name of Jesus!

Observations for over-comers:  Faith has great expectation.  God honors faith in those who call out in Jesus’ name!  “For when You did awesome things that we did not expect, you came down, and the mountains trembled before You.  Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides You, who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.” (Isaiah 64:3-4)

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The coming of the Son of Man!

Scripture reading for February 26th:  Mark 13

As Jesus and His disciples were leaving the temple for the last time, the disciples were admiring the beautiful buildings.  Jesus remarked that, “Not one stone will be left upon another, every one will be thrown down.”  (Mark 13:2)  This shocked the disciples and they asked Jesus when this would happen and what would be the signs that this prophesy would be fulfilled.  Jesus proceeded to warn them about their need to be watchful and the signs to come!

“Watch out that no one deceives you.”  (Mark 13:5)  Jesus warned them that deception would come and many would fall for the false instead of waiting for Him.  Many would claim to come as the Christ.  Wars and earthquakes, conflict with nations, and famines would precede the coming as the ‘beginning of birth pains.’   (Mark 13:8)

“Brother will betray brother to death and a father his child.  Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death.  All men will hate you because of Me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”  (Mark 13:12-13)  Times would become perilous for disciples of Jesus.  Persecution and hatred would be normal for His followers before the end and His return.  Jesus warned them in advance!

“But in those days, following that distress, ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’  At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.  And He will send His angels and gather His elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.”    (Mark 13:24-27)  We who believe in Jesus Christ long for that Day!

 

 

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