Sunday, July 31, 2016

Salvation explained



July 31

Daily Bible Reading: Romans 1

Verse of the Day: Romans 1:7 – “to all that are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

We end this month in the beginning of the letter from Paul to the Roman believers. This is considered a prime example of a first-century legal treatise. Paul was trained by Gamaliel in all Jewish education. And he was well versed in the Greco-Roman thought patterns. He was the perfect choice of God for ministry to Gentiles.

In our readings this next month we will see Paul present a case for the Gospel doctrinally, nationally, and practically. He will deal with faith, hope, and love. 

In this letter, Paul works through the doctrine of God, humanity, and sin. All necessary for a proper understanding of salvation from God’s wrath to our peace with Him.

Prayer: Spirit, as I read this letter, guide me, instruct me, and provide me with a mind, will, heart, and determination to live in His Victory. 


Saturday, July 30, 2016

End of this Part



July 30

Daily Bible Reading: Acts 28:16 – 31

Verse of the Day: Acts 28:30 – 31 – “And he abode two whole years in his own hired dwelling, and received all that went in unto him, preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching the things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness, none forbidding him.”

What a way to conclude the book of Acts. After all that Paul had been through, he made it to Rome. While under arrest, no one came to bring charges against him. So for two years he was allowed to stay in a dwelling that he rented. This gave him total freedom to proclaim Jesus and the Kingdom of God.

The last words in this book speak of him being bold in what he said, and that no one stopped him. The plan of God came to a conclusion. We know from other books in the New Testament that ultimately Paul was rearrested, tried and executed. But this part of God’s plan spread the gospel right in the heart of the Roman government and city.

Prayer: Jesus, may I speak with all boldness about You and the Kingdom. I do not face what Paul did, I am blessed. Thank You. Amen.


Friday, July 29, 2016

God's Plan



July 29

Daily Bible Reading: Acts 28:1 – 15

Verse of the Day: Acts 28:14 – “where we found brethren, and were entreated to tarry with them seven days: and so we came to Rome.”

The Apostle and those with him were washed ashore on the island of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea. After a very short ministry on that island, Paul and the others were able to continue on their journey until, as we read today, they arrived safely in Rome.

One thing I take from these passages is that God may have a plan for us, He may make that plan clear to us, yet the way He accomplishes that plan may not be what we had anticipated.

God had told Paul that he would be able to go to Rome. God provided the means through Paul’s imprisonment and subsequent trials. And now, Paul will be able to reach those in Caesar’s household.

Prayer: Gracious God, I get impatient when I do not see things working out the way that they should. Help me to be open to You to see the methods and means that You will use. 



Thursday, July 28, 2016

Safe through and in trials



July 28

Daily Bible Reading: Acts 27:26 – 44

Verse of the Day: Acts 27:33 – 34 – “And while the day was coming on, Paul besought them all to take some food, saying, This day is the fourteenth day that ye wait and continue fasting, having taken nothing. Wherefore I beseech you to take some food: for this is for your safety: for there shall not a hair perish from the head of any of you.”

Yesterday, we spoke about Paul saying, “I told you so.” Today, we see that as they are soon to become shipwrecked, that Paul encourages them. These sailors were blessed because of Paul and didn’t know it. God had planned for Paul to go to Rome, and His plan will not fail. And, because Paul needed to be safe, they would be too. 

Still, they would all have to go through the consequences to arrive safely at the other side. Sometimes in our lives, we must go through the consequences of other’s choices before we can arrive safely in God’s plan. Trust Him.

Prayer: Jesus, I find that sometimes I am the victim of other’s choices. Yet, I can trust You to accomplish Your plan and will for me. Amen. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

I Told You So



July 27

Daily Bible Reading: Acts 27:1 – 25

Verse of the Day: Acts 27:21 – 22 – “And when they had been long without food, then Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have set sail from Crete, and have gotten this injury and loss. And now I exhort you to be of good cheer; for there shall be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship.”

Can you imagine the Apostle Paul saying, “I told you so.” The very thing that he had warned the sailors about was now taking place. And they were all in great throes of fear. Paul stands up and says, “I told you so.” 

But, he doesn’t use it against them, he is reminding them so that when he now tells them the good news that they will all survive, they will believe and listen to him. 

We must continually warn others about the destiny outside of Jesus, and then use it to share with them the truth of salvation through Christ.

Prayer: Father, help me to warn others about the end of those who reject Christ, but in love, let me tell them how to avoid this end.



Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A Witness



July 26

Daily Bible Reading: Acts 26

Verse of the Day: Acts 26:16 – “But arise, and stand upon thy feet: for to this end have I appeared unto thee, to appoint thee a minister and a witness both of the things wherein thou hast seen me, and of the things wherein I will appear unto thee;”

In Acts 26, Paul shows us how to witness to others. A witness simply tells what they have experienced or seen. It is a word about the greatest Hope in all the world.

Paul starts with his pre-Christ life, then describes what happened at his conversion, and then shares about his life after conversion. Really, any of us should be able to do the same thing. And when we do, a person can’t argue about what was, and now is. It is simple and easy to talk about what God has done for us.

And the results, we leave them up to God. Even Paul did not lead everyone to accept Christ. Verse 28 states, “And Agrippa said unto Paul, With but little persuasion thou wouldest fain make me a Christian.”

Prayer, Father give me boldness to speak. 


Monday, July 25, 2016

Ambassador Commission



July 25

Daily Bible Reading: Acts 25

Verse of the Day: Acts 25:11 – “If then I am a wrong-doer, and have committed anything worthy of death, I refuse not to die; but if none of those things is true whereof these accuse me, no man can give me up unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.”

The Roman Empire was the ruling power (on earth) in Paul’s day. Paul was born a Roman citizen. Being a citizen carried certain rights, responsibilities, and status. When it suited his needs, Paul would use his citizenship status to frustrate his enemies. Other times he would use his status of a Jew trained under the great Gamaliel.

We are citizens of Heaven. We have gained this privilege by receiving Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. We should use our status as children and citizens of the King rightly. He has sent us as ambassadors for Him. Let us stand proud and strong in His commission today.

Prayer: Sovereign King of Creation, as Your child and citizen, I bow humbly before You and You alone. I am sent to be Your Ambassador, may I humbly stand in this commission. Amen.



Sunday, July 24, 2016

A Clear Conscience



July 24

Daily Bible Reading: Acts 24

Verse of the Day: Acts 24:16 – “Herein I also exercise myself to have a conscience void of offence toward God and men always.”

What a great thought for us to seek. The importance of a clear, free from blame conscience is undervalued today. We must beware, when we continue to allow the little things that are not right to be accepted, we harden our conscience. We lose the ability to be blameless before others and before God.

Paul says he exercised himself, and anyone who follows an exercise regimen knows that it takes willpower and work to accomplish it. God has forgiven us, we are clean before Him because of the blood of Christ, but are we truly exercising our will to be blameless before Him? I rest in Christ’s provision, but I also have the balancing need to seek to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus (2 Peter 3:18).

Prayer, Gracious Heavenly Father, I seek to have a clear, blameless conscience before You. I will fail, but with Your help I will seek to walk in Your path and follow my example, Jesus Christ. May what I do be for His Glory. Amen.


Saturday, July 23, 2016

God's Hand and God's Plan



July 23

Daily Bible Reading: Acts 23:12 – 35

Verse of the Day: Acts 23:14 – “And they came to the chief priests and the elders, and said, We have bound ourselves under a great curse, to taste nothing until we have killed Paul.”

I dare say that I have not been so much of a threat to the kingdom of darkness as Paul was. More than 40 Jews bound themselves under an oath to kill Paul. They came to the religious leaders and shared their plans. They requested them to get the Roman commander to bring Paul to them for a hearing.

Paul’s nephew heard of these plans and brought them to Paul. Paul had the boy taken to the Commander, who then took the threat so seriously that he used almost half of the garrison under him to transport Paul out of the city at night.

As we think on this account, we can see that God’s Hand was set to deliver Paul to Rome. Nothing or no one would hinder His plan.

Prayer: Father, may I place myself totally in Your Hand for Your Plan. Use me. Amen.



Friday, July 22, 2016

When I Can't See His Way



July 22

Daily Bible Reading: Acts 23:1 – 11

Verse of the Day: Acts 23:11 – “And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer: for as thou hast testified concerning me at Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.”

Paul’s friends had all warned him not to go to Jerusalem. Agabus had prophesied that Paul would be bound in Jerusalem. Paul knew that God wanted him to go there.

Yet, as the events played out, perhaps Paul began to question his decision. He had written to the Roman believers of his desire to come to them. Now, it appeared that he was facing his possible demise.

Yet, he was under the Sovereign care of God, Paul’s chains in Jerusalem would take him to Rome. He would have his opportunity to spread the Gospel again.

Prayer: Sovereign God, I often cannot see how I can accomplish what You have called me to do. I must learn to trust Your Heart when I cannot see Your Hand. You can bring about Your glory in ways that I cannot imagine. Amen.



Thursday, July 21, 2016

My life is different because...



July 21

Daily Bible Reading: Acts 22

Verse of the Day: Acts 22:3 – 4 – “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city, at the feet of Gamaliel, instructed according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God, even as ye all are this day: 4 and I persecuted this Way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.”

People may attack our doctrinal beliefs, our church, and our stance on issues. They may not seek to hear what we have to say about truth. They may not want to hear about Jesus, but one thing they can’t deny is the fact that our lives have been changed.

The best method of evangelism is simply sharing our testimony. This may be about what we have gone from in our past, or it may be about what God has kept us from. We all have a testimony, and no one can dispute that.

Prayer: Savior, I come to You today asking You to place someone in my path that I can share my testimony with. You have changed me, and kept me, and now I need to tell others what a great Savior and Lord You are. Amen.



Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Paul's Heart for Israel



July 20

Daily Bible Reading: Acts 21:15 – 40

Verse of the Day: Acts 21:39 – 40 – “But Paul said, I am a Jew, of Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city: and I beseech thee, give me leave to speak unto the people. And when he had given him leave, Paul, standing on the stairs, beckoned with the hand unto the people; and when there was made a great silence, he spake unto them in the Hebrew language, saying,”

As we read in today’s passage, the city of Jerusalem rose up in an uproar over Paul. They literally started a riot, and it was so bad that the Roman commander brought troops to quell this violent disturbance. The people were beating Paul with the intent to kill him because of his teaching about Christ.

Yet, we see Paul’s heart and compassion for his fellow Israelites. After all they had just done to him, his number one desire was to speak to them about salvation. Could we do the same?

Prayer: Jesus, may I so have Your heart like Paul did, that even when mistreated and attacked I want to see all men come to salvation. Give me Your heart. Amen.


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Center of His Will



July 19

Daily Bible Reading: Acts 21:1 – 14

Verse of the Day: Acts 21:1 – “And when it came to pass that we were parted from them and had set sail, we came with a straight course unto Cos, and the next day unto Rhodes, and from thence unto Patara:”

“That we parted from them” in the Greek can also be rendered, “after tearing ourselves away from them.” We see over and over again the heart of Paul for those that he ministered to. His love and concern for them ran deep, and is visible in his interactions.

It must have been hard and difficult for Paul. He over and over again would develop friends and family among those he ministered to, only to leave them to follow God’s leading to proclaim the Gospel. We can be thankful that God allows us to remain where we are to do the same. The question is, “Are we doing it?”

Prayer: Holy God, we are often trying to find out Your Will for our lives while we are living in the center of it. Father, we thank You that You will use us where we are, and move us when You need to. May I spend my days serving where You have placed me. Amen.



Monday, July 18, 2016

All IN!



July 18

Daily Bible Reading: Acts 20:17 – 38

Verse of the Day: Acts 20:22 – “And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:”

Paul is telling the Ephesian elders that he is going to Jerusalem. He admits to them that he has no idea what may happen to him there, yet as he goes on to explain he is strictly following the Holy Spirit. In reality, that is what this Christian life is all about. Going… yet not knowing. That is being all in, trusting completely, totally surrendered. I need to check my stance. Am I all in?

In verse 24, Paul goes on to say, “But I hold not my life of any account as dear unto myself, so that I may accomplish my course, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”

Prayer: Grace giving God, may I be in total submission to Your Will and mission. May I follow Paul’s example and not count my life and plans more important than Yours. May I too be able to finish the course and ministry You give to me. All is Yours. Amen.



Sunday, July 17, 2016

The New Sabbath



July 17

Daily Bible Reading: Acts 20:1 – 16

Verse of the Day: Acts 20:7 – “And upon the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul discoursed with them, intending to depart on the morrow; and prolonged his speech until midnight.”

This account of Eutychus falling asleep and then falling out of the window takes place in Troas. Paul was teaching them that evening before he would depart to go to Jerusalem to deliver the offering that the people of Gentile churches had provided for the suffering there.

The Jewish believers still celebrated their Sabbath on Saturday, but the Gentile believers met to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the grave each week. In Hebrews 4:8 – 10, we are reminded that Christ finished His work on the first day of the week and it is our Sabbath (rest).

Prayer: Jesus, may I remember that the reason we devote the first day of the week to You is because You have finished the work of our rest. Amen.



Saturday, July 16, 2016

Riot or Revival



July 16

Daily Bible Reading: Acts 19:21 – 41

Verse of the Day: Acts 19:40 – “For indeed we are in danger to be accused concerning this day’s riot, there being no cause for it: and as touching it we shall not be able to give account of this concourse.”

Someone once remarked that everywhere that Paul went he either evoked a revival or a riot. There was no middle ground. You loved him or you hated him. However, it was not Paul personally that caused this, it was the message that he brought. The Gospel of Jesus Christ.

If we seek to live like the first century church did, we will also be placed in this situation. If we speak the truth of God’s Word, we will find that in general people will either welcome us or want us gone. We will either comfort or convict. We will bring restoration or cause division. So, let us think, how am I looked at in my part of the world.

Prayer: Jesus, I want to be a true witness for You. Help me not to be offensive personally, but if Your Truth is offensive, may I be willing to face whatever may come from it. Amen.


Friday, July 15, 2016

Do the Demons Know You?



July 15

Daily Bible Reading: Acts 19:1 – 20

Verse of the Day: Acts 19:15 – “And the evil spirit answered and said unto them, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?”

This is an interesting account in the Book of Acts. In that day the use of magical names in incantations was commonplace. Jewish mystics enjoyed prestige because they claimed to know the sacred name of God and use it to release the full power of God.

In our account today, 7 sons of a Jewish priest were exorcists, and they grabbed hold of Jesus’ name to use in their incantations. When they sought to use this incantation against a real demon in a man, this demon spoke out, attacked them, and then sent them running. They learned a vital lesson for us even today, it is not enough to know the name of Jesus; we must know Him personally.

Prayer: Jesus, I know a lot about You. I am in awe of You. I praise You. But, I realize that this is worthless unless I know You personally. Check my heart, may I know not only about You but may I know You personally. Cleanse me, draw me close, I trust You for my eternity.



Thursday, July 14, 2016

How is Your Tentmaking?



July 14

Daily Bible Reading: Acts 18

Verse of the Day: Acts 18:3 – “and because he was of the same trade, he abode with them, and they wrought; for by their trade they were tentmakers.”

Tentmakers. When Paul went to Corinth we find that he connected with Aquila and Priscilla who had come here because the Jews were sent out from Rome by the Emperor. Aquila and Paul both made their living by tentmaking. 

All young Jewish lads, even the Rabbinical students were required to learn a trade to support themselves. Paul often supported himself entirely from the trade he had learned. Even today, many groups refer to bi-vocational ministers as tentmakers. 

All of God’s people, believers, are called to be “tentmakers” in the sense that we 24/7 are called to be a witness for Jesus in our lives. How is your trade going?

Prayer: Jesus, may I serve You wherever I am called to work. All I do with my hands, mind, and heart are ministries for You each day. 



Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Biblical Worldview - Worldly Worldview



July 13

Daily Bible Reading: Acts 17:16 – 34

Verse of the Day: Acts 17:11 – “And certain also of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, What would this babbler say? others, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached Jesus and the resurrection.”

The philosophers in Athens spent time discussing various views from their own personal worldviews. The Epicureans and Stoics were from schools of philosophy that were popular in that day. The followers of Epicurus believed that chief end of life was pleasure and happiness and that if gods existed they were not involved in human affairs. The Stoics were followers of Zeno. They were pantheists and that the universe was ruled by an Absolute Purpose and Will. The perfection of virtue was if a person could be unmoved by circumstances and change. It was a philosophy of arrogance and self-will. Can we see these philosophical basics in life today?

Prayer, Spirit of God, protect my heart and mind from the false philosophies of today. May I walk only in the Biblical Worldview You give.



Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Noble Character



July 12

Daily Bible Reading: Acts 17:1 – 15

Verse of the Day: Acts 17:11 – “Now these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, examining the scriptures daily, whether these things were so.”

Being is more important than doing in the Scriptures. Doing is part of our challenge by Jesus, but He always emphasizes that what we do is measured by who we are. In our account today, the Berean believers were spoken of as being a nobler people because they spent time in the Word of God. 

God is saying that these people were able to do what they needed to do by being what they were supposed to be. And how did they have the character to be what they were to be? By spending time in God’s Word.

Want true Christian character in your life? How much time do you spend in His Word?

Prayer: Holy Father, I want to be like Your Son. I know I need to be in Your Word, encourage me and keep me in the Bible. I long to be an image of Jesus. Amen.






Monday, July 11, 2016

Attitude Check



July 11

Daily Bible Reading: Acts 16:16 – 40

Verse of the Day: Acts 16:25 – “But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns unto God, and the prisoners were listening to them;”

We never know what effect we might have on those around us. Paul and Silas, beaten and chained in prison at Philippi were about to have a major effect.

This account reminds me how important it is that I understand that I daily make a choice about my attitude. It can cripple me or give me a boost to go forward. It will either fuel my fire or assault my hope. However, my attitude does not only affect me, it will affect those around me.

Paul and Silas singing hymns to God and praying affected the other prisoners, and eventually would lead to the salvation of the jailer and his family. 

What does my attitude say to those around me?

Prayer: Father, encourage me to always have an attitude that shows You to others. 



Sunday, July 10, 2016

When God Shuts the Door



July 10

Daily Bible Reading: Acts 16:1 – 15

Verse of the Day: Acts 16:6 – 7 – “And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden of the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia; and when they were come over against Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia; and the Spirit of Jesus suffered them not;”

The Holy Spirit had shut the door on Paul’s southwesterly move and his northern path. So, Paul was seeking God where he should go when he was given the Macedonian vision. He knew this was the way, and went there.

Often in my life I have been presented with a decision of a direction to go in God’s service. During such times, I pray sincerely for God to “shut the door” if this was not His will. And, I can truthfully say that many times He has slammed that door shut. I know that when He closes the door, He has another avenue for me to take. I like the old quote from the Sound of Music, “When God closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.” 

Prayer, Father help me see the closed door as Your directing me to something better in You.






Saturday, July 9, 2016

Relationships gone wrong



July 9

Daily Bible Reading: Acts 15:22 – 41

Verse of the Day: Acts 15:39 – “And there arose a sharp contention, so that they parted asunder one from the other, and Barnabas took Mark with him, and sailed away unto Cyprus:”

Even in the first church, and among none other than Paul and Barnabus, the possibility of a heated argument (the Greek word here used is the base of our word paroxysm), so great was the disagreement that Paul and Barnabus separated from each other. Luke does not assign blame for the disagreement.

Sometimes Christians will disagree heartily over some issues. The lesson we can take form this is, it is probably best for believers to separate instead of getting the whole church involved. Each went the way that God directed them and were used by Him.

Are there fellow Christians that you are ardently in disagreement with? Perhaps, instead of entangling the whole Body in this case, it would be best to step away and allow God to handle it.

Prayer: God, give insight in relationships.



Friday, July 8, 2016

GRACE



July 8

Daily Bible Reading: Acts 15:1 – 21

Verse of the Day: Acts 15:11 – “But we believe that we shall be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in like manner as they.”

Grace (χαριτος), we sing about it and talk about it, yet we often do not find the full dynamic of this word. It is probably the equivalent of the Hebrew word chesed in the Old Testament. In the Old Testament, it means lovingkindness, and is often used by the Psalmists to describe the character of God. In the New Testament, it means that which gives joy or that which is a free gift.

It stands out to us, because it is Paul’s favorite word for God’s free gift of salvation. In today’s reading we see Peter use it in the same way before the Jerusalem Council. These are the last recorded words of Peter in the book of Acts. The emphasis will now shift from Peter to Paul. Yet, we see that it is all about the free gift of God’s salvation, grace.

Prayer: Father, we pause and thank you today for this free gift. Your grace is what has provided our relationship restoration and forgiveness. May we never stop praising You. 






Thursday, July 7, 2016

Hiding Behind Jesus



July 7

Daily Bible Reading: Acts 14

Verse of the Day: Acts 14:15 – “and saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and bring you good tidings, that ye should turn from these vain things unto a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that in them is:”

In Lystra and Derbe, Paul and Barnabus came into a new circumstance. Having faced opposition in so many places that they had travelled, here they are being exalted as gods. They went from being cursed to being worshipped. They handled it correctly. They realized who they were, and that only God was to be worshipped.

As human beings we must be careful to not take for ourselves any of the honor and glory that belongs to God. Worship Jesus and hide behind Him in all that we do.

Prayer: Jesus, help me to maintain my proper place in this life. I am a sinner saved by grace, and You only are to be glorified and praised. May all the words and works I do simply reflect You to this world. Amen.






Wednesday, July 6, 2016

For All People




July 6

Daily Bible Reading: Acts 13:24 - 52

Verse of the Day: Acts 13:47 – “For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee for a light of the Gentiles,
That thou shouldest be for salvation unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

In this verse from today’s reading, we see Paul and Barnabus quoting from the Old Testament. They are quoting from Isaiah 49:6. In this section of Isaiah (chapters 49-53), Isaiah paints a picture of the Suffering Servant, the Messiah, or as we know Him, Jesus Christ.

Even in the Old Testament Scriptures, God had disclosed that His salvation was and would be for all nations. That shows that when Jesus gave the Church its “marching orders” in Acts 1:8 it was not a change or a new direction. His plan has always been for anyone who would accept it.

We are called today to share this message of Jesus Christ with everyone and anyone who will listen.

Prayer: Jesus, may I accept and submit to Your Call to share the good news to all. Amen.





Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Comfort One Another



July 5

Daily Bible Reading: Acts 13:1 - 23

Verse of the Day: Acts 13:15 – “And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.”

The word in the Greek translated as exhortation in today’s verse means to comfort and encourage. That is one thing that as believers we need to be doing for one another. When the world sees the criticism and division in our churches why would they want what we have. After all, the world does this daily.

Being a part of God’s family means that we are above verbal put-downs, sarcastic jabs, harsh judgments, or critical comments. We need to be the epitome of encouragement, the cornerstone of comfort, servants of solace, and the resources of refreshment. If we cannot feel this comfort and encouragement from our brothers and sisters in Christ, where can we?

Prayer: Holy Spirit, work in my heart today to seek ways that I can encourage, comfort, and refresh my fellow believers. May I be an extension of You to those around me. Amen.


Monday, July 4, 2016

Ultimate Victory



July 4

Daily Bible Reading: Acts 12

Verse of the Day: Acts 12:24 – “But the word of God grew and multiplied.”

Today we celebrate Independence Day in America. We have a day of fun, food, fellowship, and fireworks. We celebrate the fact that we are a free people. However, it seems almost daily these freedoms are eroding. Our nation was founded upon the Judeo-Christian ethics presented in the Bible. The Founding Fathers held the Bible in high esteem and quoted from it frequently.

In our reading today, Peter has been set free from prison in a miraculous way. Herod had started a movement to eradicate the leaders and followers of this group. He placed himself up almost as a god to be worshipped. However, Herod died a painful and horrible death, while the church of God grew and multiplied. No matter how it looks today, the ultimate victory will always be God’s. Trust Him.

Prayer: Glorious God of Freedom, we thank You for Your promise of the ultimate victory over sin, Satan, and the world. Amen.



Sunday, July 3, 2016

From ridicule to honor



July 3

Daily Bible Reading: Acts 11

Verse of the Day: Acts 10:34 – “ and when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that even for a whole year they were gathered together with the church, and taught much people; and that the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”

Historians tell us that this designation of “Christian”, or “little Christ” was probably a term of ridicule given to the believers because of their worship of Jesus. The historian Josephus called them “the tribe of Christians.” Tacitus, a Roman historian, referred to them as Christians because they belonged to Christ.

Originally the believers called themselves “The Way.” But later they began to wear the name “Christian” as a badge of honor even though it had been a taunting ridicule.

Prayer: Father, man has tried so often to ridicule and mock those who believe in Your Son, Jesus. We are no different today, so help us to wear our belief in Jesus in a way that others will see Him in us. May we be “Little Christs” to all we come in contact with. Amen. 

Saturday, July 2, 2016

All May Come




July 2

Daily Bible Reading: Acts 10:24 – 48

Verse of the Day: Acts 10:34 – “And Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:”

Continuing with the thought presented yesterday, we see again the emphasis upon the fact that God does not show partiality. To the mind of the Jews, they saw themselves as “God’s Chosen” and those all others were rejected. Now in the Church, God was teaching that through Jesus’ shed blood all are accepted if they trust in Him.

In Matthew 28:19, Jesus told them that every kind of person from every nation was welcome to come into the kingdom of God. The only requirement... repentance of sin and placing one’s faith in Jesus Christ. There is no room in God’s Kingdom for rejection of anyone for any other reason than rejecting Jesus.

Prayer: Jesus, You shed Your Blood for every person who has ever lived. You are offering to everyone Your forgiveness and redemption if they will only take it. Help me to be one who shares with everyone I come in contact with. Amen.




Friday, July 1, 2016

A Change of Heart



July 1

Daily Bible Reading: Acts 10:1 – 23

Verse of the Day: Acts 10:15 – 16 – “And a voice came unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, make not thou common. And this was done thrice: and straightway the vessel was received up into heaven.”

God was about to make a major shift in Peter’s thinking. In our reading today, Peter was hungry and while waiting for the meal, he fell into a trance. This trance was repeated three times and each time God challenged Peter with the statement, “What God hath cleansed, make not thou common.”

While Peter at first may have been musing over God’s change of dietary restrictions, he would soon learn that this had a deeper significance. From this point on, the early church (made up of Jews) could not longer look at Gentiles as unclean. God was breaking down Peter’s prejudices. What people group do we have a prejudice about?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, change my heart to see all people as You see them. Amen.



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