Acts 12:24 It Keeps Spreading

But the word of God continued to spread and flourish. Acts 12:24

Throughout the history of the world there have been different things that have spread and appeared as though they would never stop.

Empires spread across the world as though to conquer the entire world. Viruses have spread across nations or the world, appearing to destroy everyone and everything. Draught has spread, leaving a lot of disaster in its path.

Although many things have spread widely and sometimes rapidly, all of these things have come to an end. They only flourished for a time.

As the church was going through extreme persecution, the word of God kept spreading and flourishing.

At the time a major disaster strikes, it does not appear as if it will ever end. With the finite mind and eyes of man, most do not see any hope or light at the end of the tunnel.

Believers looking at this world will see that evil is on the rise. More and more evil is being done and accepted. America, as a whole, has turned itself away from Godly principles to sin. Persecution of Christians is on the rise, getting worse all the time.

Yet, despite this rise in evil, God’s word is still alive and active. It is flourishing in the hearts of men and women who read it and make it a part of their lives. His word is changing lives, even today under great evil.

People are seeing God do great works in and through them. They have the hope that God’s word and promises provide that God will win the war in the end.

During the time a believer keeps his eyes and hearts upon God and His word, he will have hope. He will be able to see what God is doing and is going to do.

Every day you may have some struggles and see that, what appears to be, the world is winning the war. Stop and take a moment to read God’s word. Allow God’s word to penetrate your heart and see what God can do in you.

Now share that word with someone else. God can use it to change the hearts and lives of other people. His word will continue to spread, if you allow it to do so in your life, the lives of others around you and in the world.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know God’s word for your life; that you will spread God’s word everywhere you go; that you will see God’s word spreading and flourishing; and that many will believe God’s word to them.

James 2:26 Dead Or Alive?

As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. James 2:26

It is very easy for a person to claim something, but it is more difficult to prove it. People will watch movies and wonder why a person does or does not do some action a certain way. They claim that if they were in that position, they would do it differently.

People will claim that they believe a certain thing, but their actions or words will often show something much different. Actions do not always follow what one is saying.

James talked about having faith and doing something with that faith. Now he says that just as a body is dead without the spirit, so faith is dead without actual deeds done in faith.

In the same way that many in the world claim something, but live differently, many in the church act the same way. Every one in the church claims to believe and trust in Jesus and follow God. However, very few actually do actions that show that they believe in or trust in God.

When trials come their way, many suddenly get scared that God will not provide. When God asks them to step out in faith, many will back down.

Claiming to trust or have faith in God is easy. No one can directly prove differently. Actions are what proves that one has faith in God. A person is considered dead if he does not have a spirit in his body. In the same way a person does not have faith or it is a dead faith, if there are not actions to back up the faith.

Having true faith will cause one to step out and act upon that faith, knowing that God will provide and protect, regardless of the outcome. Anything less is not true faith.

You may claim to have faith in God. While that is a step in the right direction, there must be more. As you claim to have trust in God, you must now take a step of faith doing what God calls you to do or acting upon that faith.

If you do not choose to step out in faith, you must ask yourself if you really do believe God and His word. You must ask yourself if your faith is alive or dead, active or dead.

Is your faith alive or is it dead?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will trust God in every area of your life; that you will act in faith what God calls you to do; that you will step out in action, trusting God’s word; and that your life will show a live faith in God.

How To Read The Bible

Reading the bible is something all believers know they should do and all new believers are told to do. When it comes to reading the bible, very few people actually do read it. When they pick it up and begin to look at it to read it, many thoughts start to enter their mind as to how to read it.

The most common way to read the bible is to think of it like any other book. How does one read a book? He starts at the beginning and reads through until he gets to the end.

One of the great benefits of reading the bible this way is that you can see how God’s plan for mankind unfolds, little by little. It starts with the creation of the world, and ends with the destruction of the world and the creation of a new heaven and earth.

The hardest part in reading the bible this way is when a person gets past Genesis and Exodus. The next two books, Leviticus and Numbers, come up presenting a great challenge for a new believer or one beginning to really read the bible. These books are very long on lists. One lists the genealogy of all the people, while the other lists all of the sacrifices required.

For most people these kinds of lists are very boring and many wonder why God put them in there. Many people stop reading the bible once they get to that point out of boredom. Only once a  person has been a believer for a while, does he begin to understand the value in those lists and reasons why God may have put them in His word.

Other people begin reading the bible by reading the New Testament. It is common to hear of a person who has read the New Testament several times, but has never read the Old Testament.

The New Testament is where God’s love, grace and mercy is really shown for what they fully are. Life is offered in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Open talk about heaven and the future is presented. Practical ways on how to live for God is shown in the letters of Paul to the various churches.

While reading the New Testament is great, one must not forget to read or ignore the Old Testament. The Old Testament gives the background as to why Jesus had to come and die on the cross. It shows what His death on the cross means and why it was so important.

Another benefit of reading the Old Testament, is that it shows many people who followed God, but also made mistakes in their lives and, yet, God used them in mighty ways. It shows how many times Israel walked away from God, but as soon as they turned to God, God took them back. One can see the love, mercy and grace of God through many different stories.

You can also see how God had a plan to bring about salvation to all people from the beginning. One can watch as God unfolds His plan of salvation, as the entire Bible is read.

The first important thing about reading the Bible is to actually read it. Get into in and read it and see what God has to say.

As you begin reading the Bible, do not read it just as another novel, full of good stories. Each chapter you read, think about what it is saying and what it can say to you today. What message does God have for you in the passage being read?

The Bible is written in simple, plain everyday language that anyone can understand, if they want to. Some may try to say that you need to be able to study it in the original Greek or Hebrew, but that is not true. When Jesus walked on the earth, He spoke in the language of the people He was with, not some strange foreign language. In the same way, God speaks to you through His word, the Bible, in a language you can understand.

There will be passages that may not always make sense right away. Do not let that stop you from reading. Pray and ask God for wisdom each time you read His word. Trust that He will open your eyes to what He is saying in His word.

As you apply these few principles that I have given here, God’s word will come alive to you. The Bible is alive and active today. No matter how many times you read it, there will be more to learn.

Each time you read a certain passage, God may show you something different in it. You will begin to see new things about God and how He works as you dive into His word.

The best way to read the Bible is to actually get into it and read it. Do not keep putting off reading it. If all you do is read a few verses each day, that is more than nothing and God can do something with it.

Take time each day to read the Bible and learn from it.

Revelation 3:15 Lukewarm

“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!” Revelation 3:15

Jesus brings some harsh words to the church of Laodicea. This church was active in doing some deeds, but He calls them neither hot nor cold, but in the next verse lukewarm. God wants them to be either hot or cold.

Being hot, in God’s eyes, is one who is actively running after God. He will seek God in everything; try to witness to everyone; do all that his hands can do; and worship God at all times. He is a person who is on fire for God. He is exited about God. He lives for God.

The person who is cold is the one who does not seek God at all; has no room in his life for God; he even hates God; and does not try to do anything for God. His life is completely dead with no signs of a life with God in it.

What does it mean to be lukewarm? When you use water in a sink and it is only lukewarm it can cause problems. It is not hot enough to help kill germs when you wash something, nor is it cold enough to enjoy a good glass of cool water on a hot day. Lukewarm has little value, thus it is usually tossed out.

People who are neither hot, nor cold are indifferent about God. They will not get excited about God, but will not directly deny God; they will do some good deeds, but only when convenient for themselves; they will worship the three songs on Sunday morning, but never during the week on their own; and many other ways are not running for God. These people will be tossed out by God.

Today you need to be hot for God. If you are cold, you are against God and will die in your sins. If you hot, you will be doing what God wants for you to do and will have life abundantly.

Seek God in everything you do. Seek out ways to serve God and others daily. Give worship to God at all times. Be running after and for God. Let your light shine brightly for the world to see. These things are not to earn your salvation, but to give thanks to God for what He has done for you.

I pray that today God will stir your heart to be hot for Him; that you will choose to be hot for God; that God will not have to spit you out; and that God will use you to build His kingdom and bring Him glory.

***If you have anything you would like me to pray about please visit my Prayer Request page and leave a comment. May God bless you!