Category Archives: Devotional

Thoughts on Acts 27,28 & Romans 10:14-15

I’ve often been amazed by the life of Paul.  His transformation was so complete and his ministry so vast, yet he claimed glory only for Christ.  Paul knew the work he did was pertinent and pressing to the Kingdom of God.  Everywhere he went he was prepared to speak about Jesus.  Paul also cared about those he was around, even when they are the ones responsible for holding him captive.

Paul warned the people he was with about the disastrous voyage that awaited them if they left Fair Havens, but they would not listen.  Even in the midst of the storm and during the shipwreck, he encouraged the others on board and encouraged them to eat when they needed to—this gave them the sustenance they needed to survive.    God kept them all safe in the shipwreck and used it as an opportunity to help the people on the island of Malta.  Paul was used by God to heal people on the island and the people of the island gave Paul and company the supplies they needed.  When Paul finally reached Rome, Paul was allowed to live under house arrest.  This gave him the opportunity to preach while he was there.  Acts 28:31 says “Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.”

It’s probably safe to assume that Paul was not silent about Jesus on the island of Malta either.  It seems like Paul was always ready to talk about Jesus wherever he went.  This is both challenging and inspiring.  So many times, I find that the name of Jesus is not on my lips, He is not the one I am always ready to talk about.  I want to audacity of Paul when it comes to the Gospel of Jesus Christ!  May I not be ashamed of it for truly it is the power of God for salvation for those who believe!  (See Romans 1:16)

For the past few weeks, and throughout the summer, the themes of serving and of missions have not been far from my mind.  The words of Paul to the church in Rome have pierced me time and time again:

“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in?  And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?  And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?  And how can they preach unless they are sent?  As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’” (Romans 10:14-15)

Paul’s words here echo that of his Master’s before him.  (See Matthew 28:18-20 and Acts 1:8)  Paul understood that as followers of Jesus we are meant to be His witness wherever we go and to whomever we are with.  Granted, this will look different for different people, but I can’t help but feel convicted that this is not on my radar in my day to day activities.  Every day people are perishing not knowing the Lord Jesus Christ!  What are we doing as individuals and members of the body of Christ to introduce people to the living Lord, so that they might call on the name of the Lord and be saved?

May the Lord loose our mouths to declare the truth about Him to those around us and may they know we are Christians by our love!

Let us use our service as a means to declare and live the Gospel!

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Thoughts on Acts 3

This devotion comes from Acts 3 (quotations are from the NIV)

In Acts 3 we see that Peter and John were still going to the temple for prayer. They did not disconnect from their own people, but were still trying to reach them. Beggers would have been a common sight outside the temple, counting on the giving of devout Jews to be able to survive. The begger in Acts 3 does what we would expect: asks for money. Though Peter and John did not have money to give this man, they did not just go on their way ignoring him. Instead, Peter stopped and said (in verse 6), “Silver or Gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” The man was healed by the power of Christ. Peter used the authority of Jesus- in His name- to ask in faith for healing for this man.

The man, who had been crippled since birth, received many wonderful blessings that day. Not only was he able to walk, but because he was healed he was able to enter the temple courts for the first time. He also heard Peter preach about Jesus.

The crowd was amazed by this healing. Peter was sure to deflect their amazement and wonder to the one to whom it was due: the Lord Jesus. It was God who healed this man and by His power, not anything Peter or John did, but by “Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him (3:6b)”. The situation became an opportunity to glorify Christ and to share the Gospel with all who were there.

Our service should not only use what we have to give, but be done through God’s power, by faith in Jesus Christ and His power to save. Even if we have “nothing” to give, like Peter and John with the crippled man in Acts 3, we who are part of God’s family have Jesus and the Gospel that we can share. We can use our service as a way to share the Gospel with others—to share the love of God and hope we have as God’s children, forgiven of our sins. The gift of Jesus and through Him the forgiveness of sin is the greatest gift ever, but many times people will be more ready to listen if we serve them in other ways as well.

May we all be challenged to give what we have and use what we have to share the Gospel with those we serve.

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Thoughts on Judges 6-8

This devotion comes from Judges 6-8 (6:1-16; 7:9-21)
Gideon Leads God’s People

When Gideon is called to lead the people of Israel he is hiding and scared—threshing wheat in a winepress!  This is not our picture of a “mighty man of valor” as the angel calls him.  Gideon even considers himself the least in his father’s house.  Yet the angel of the LORD still commands Gideon to go save Israel, saying to Gideon’s objections, “But I will be with you”.
God often calls people we would not expect to do amazing things.  We may be nothing of ourselves, but when God call us to a task He enables us to fulfill that through His power! With Gideon, God took a once scared man and made him into a warrior and leader.
By the power of God, Gideon and 300 men defeated thee Midianite army.  If it were not through God’s command and His power, Gideon and his forces would have been easily destroyed.  When we do the things God calls us to do, and we do so through the power of God, even the smallest things can become big things.  Numbers matter little when God is in control!  301 men, with God’s help, routed an army of over 120,000!  God can take us and show His greatness through our weakness.  He can take our fears, and transform us into His bold servants.
Gideon served his community by doing what God called him to do, even though he was afraid.  God can use any of us too, even if we’re afraid!

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Thoughts on Luke 19:1-10

Jesus and Zacchaeus:

Zacchaeus eagerly wanted to see this man Jesus and he found a way to see Him.  Zacchaeus found a way around his problems to see the Lord.  When Jesus stopped to invite Himself over to Zacchaeus’ house, Zacchaeus didn’t hesitate, but received Jesus with joy!  I am humbled by Zacchaeus’ eager excitement to see and host the Lord.  He was determined to see Jesus, but Jesus was determined to spend time with Zacchaeus—and to know him.
Zacchaeus’ encounter with Jesus changed his life radically.  AS a tax collector, Zacchaeus was considered one of the “worst sinners”.  He defrauded his own people taking more money than necessary for their taxes and making himself rich in the process.  Yet, after encountering Jesus, Zacchaeus went from taking from his community to giving back to his community!  Zacchaeus not only made things right with those he stole from, but also gave half of his possessions to the poor.
Zacchaeus’ radical turn around stands as a challenge to us—not only to make right the wrongs we’ve done to others around us, but to give of what we have to meet the needs of others in our community.

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