Jesus, The One and Only

Posts tagged ‘peace’

“Courage!”

Sheep looking

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“Sometimes we must read between the lines in the book of Acts to see Paul the man and not just his travels.  Acts 23:11 offers a perfect opportunity to read between the lines without stretching the text…”Have courage!” (1)

“The following night, the Lord stood by him and said, “Have courage! For as you have testified about Me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.” (Acts 23:11 HCSB)

Once again there were a group of men, more than 40, who were scheming to kill Paul.  Actually scripture tells us that they put a curse on themselves and would not eat or drink until Paul was dead! (vs. 12)  Aren’t you glad the Lord told Paul that he must go to Rome!  As we read on in scripture someone tells Paul what these men are planning!  YIKES… not again.  But aren’t you also glad that Paul had an ear to hear the Lord?

“Why did Christ draw so physically close to Paul at this particular moment?  I believe Paul was overcome with fear and may have been convinced he would not live much longer.  He had looked straight into the eyes of rage.  He was separated from his friends.  He was imprisoned by strangers.  I believe he was terrified.” (2)

“The Lord gave Paul motivation for courage by giving him confirmation: Paul was going to Rome.’ ‘Paul surely knew that Christ’s confirmation did not mean Paul wouldn’t suffer or be greatly persecuted.  He simply knew he could not be killed until he had testified about Christ in Rome.’” (3)

Which is HUGE!!!  Sometimes we feel the promptings of the Holy Spirit telling us to do something or not to do something.  And sometimes those promptings keep reminding us over and over.  What do you do with those times?   

In Paul’s case he knew if the Lord had told him that he would be testifying in Rome about Him, then there’s no way Paul would be killed!!  God orchestrated an escape for him and will provide the way for him to accomplish what He has asked him to do.  Fear can sometimes try to sabotage us!  But when we listen and understand carefully, we know that when the Lord puts something in our hearts … He will make a way where there may seem to be no way!  The word I would use because we KNOW He will make it come about and our hearts AND minds agree in unison . . . PEACE!!! :)

If nothing else, this is a good example why we all should have our ear tuned to the Lord!  For it is Him who leads us and guides us and in this case, for sure, protects us!!

What is He speaking to your heart today? 

My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me.” 

(John 10:27 HCSB)

Vicky

(1-2) Paul, 90 Days in His Journey of Faith / Beth Moore / B & H Publishing

“Legalist Action”

Strongman event: Yoke Walk (Heavy Yoke)

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 Read Acts 15:1-21

“Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear?” (vs 10 NIV)

Legalism has been one of the root causes for divisions and people to quit going to church.  “Like a leech, legalism saps the lifeblood out of its victim.  In enters the door in the name of righteousness to vacuum out all the dirt and ends us vacuuming out all the spirit.  Don’t confuse legalism with recognition and pursuit of godly standards.” (1)

Beth mentions 2 sets of legalists emerge from this scripture:

  • “Those that told the gentile Christians that they must be circumcised to be saved.
  • They must also obey the Law of Moses.  The statement of the Pharisees became the basis of the Jerusalem Council.” (2)

This would create 3 mistakes made in behalf of Gentile converts:

  1. “They drew universal standard from their personal experience.
  2. They tried to make salvation harder than it is.
  3. They expected of others what they could not deliver themselves.” (3) 

“When we paint the picture of our salvation for others to see, we may use different colors, textures, and shapes on the edges of the parchment.  But in the center can only be a cross.  Anything else cheapens grace and cheats the believer.” (4) 

There are many who do not understand “grace”.  Grace is the free gift that God offers to restore man back to Himself through faith in Jesus Christ.  This gift can sometimes come looking for you in your adversity to offer you an exchange of eternal life.  Instead of looking through the eyes of past sin/failures or through the eyes of others, look through the eyes of our Savior! 

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Math. 11:28-29 NIV)

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9 NIV)

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27 NIV)

Vicky

(1-4) Paul, 90 Days in His Journey of Faith/Beth Moore/B&H Publishing

Celebrating Christmas All Week!

Close-up of baby jesus

Image by wrenoud via Flickr

I hope you will ALWAYS remember why we celebrate Christmas  …

A baby born years ago that came into the world to save us … 

Not just for a day… but every day ….

To bring hope, peace, joy and most of all LOVE!

Today and forever more!

From our house to yours…

I hope you have a very blessed Christmas!

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