Romans 6:21 No Benefit

What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! Romans 6:21

Very often believers turn their backs on God to go back into sin for a time. They do not deny God forever, but just for a time in order to do some sinful act.

In this passage, Paul is asking what benefit a person receives from doing this type of action.

Sinful acts bring a short-term “fun” in life. Going out and doing a sinful act may be fun for a moment, but in the end it has a heavy price tag that is no fun…death.

Things may seem fun and beneficial at the moment of doing them. An extreme example is a man who robs the bank. At the moment he is very wealthy and still free. He most likely will be caught by the police eventually and put into jail for a time. Ultimately he will stand before God and be punished for eternity if he does not repent of the sin.

Every person has their sins that they had liked doing at one time. Every sin seems to be good, fun, and worthwhile at the time. Once you become a believer, your past is now your past.

The ways you once sinned should be gone. The temptations to go back to those sins will rise up at times. Other people will attempt to get you to go back into those sins. The devil will try to get you to sin again.

Yet, as Paul says, there is no benefit doing those sinful acts. In the next few verses, he brings out that all sin does is bring about death. The wages of sin are death.

What do you want in life? Do you want a temporary fun time? Or do you want an eternity of fun?

Do you want death? Or do you want life?

Choose life. Choose to turn away from old sinful habits. Choose to be a slave to Jesus and His righteousness. Choose what will have lasting benefits that are worth it.

I pray today that you will see the choices being made in your life that turn you from Jesus; that you will choose to serve Jesus; that you will turn away from old sinful habits; and that you will be a slave to Jesus and His righteousness.

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Acts 28:30-31 A Different End

“For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ–with all boldness and without hindrance! Acts 28:30-31

Paul had been sent to Rome by the authorities as a prisoner. All the way there he was listed as a prisoner. Once he got there he presented his case to the authorities. No one had followed along with him to dispute him or bring charges against him. Those in Rome chose to let him have his freedom. While there he boldly kept spreading the gospel message to those who had not heard it.

When the people had sent Paul to Rome, everything looked bad for him. There did not seem to be any hope or purpose. Yet Paul kept in mind the vision God had given him of preaching to the Romans. In the end that is exactly what he did.

In life God may have given you a vision for something. Hold on to it and go forward. As you are going forward there may come times of trouble, as happened to Paul having to be a prisoner. Being a prisoner is what gave him passage to the Romans. In fact, it was a government sponsored missions trip.

God uses everything to make you better and increase His kingdom. Some of those things are the troubles in life. Most people will not move unless forced to do so. God will use troubles to get you to where you are needed.

When you are in God’s will, the end will be much better then the journey looks. This is true in the here and now as it will be in the eternity. The end of this life brings eternal life in heaven. The end of a trouble here on earth can bring opportunity to spread the gospel to new people.

Stay focused on God’s desire for you. Keep on track with His journey for you. Do not lose faith or hope. Keep speaking His message.

I pray today that God will strengthen you in the path you are on; that you will trust God with His leading; that you will have a vision from God for His will; that you will be bold in being His witness; and that many will know Jesus through you.

Acts 27:25-26 Keep Up Your Courage

“So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.” Acts: 27:25-26

Paul was on a boat being taken to Rome as a prisoner. A great storm had come up that lasted for days. The ship was beginning to sink. Paul gets a vision from God that they will run aground, but he will still make it to Rome. All of the sailors are scared for their lives, yet Paul tells them to take courage they will make it as God had said.

As people go through life, all kinds of problems will come up. Some of these problems seem hopeless and seem to last for eternity. They seem to never end. These problems can be what seem little to most people to major ones that no one ever wants to face.

You may be going through one of these storms in life right now. As you look forward, all you may seem is doom and destruction. There does not seem to be any hope at all. You may even want to jump ship to get away from the storm.

Despite the size of the storm and how it seems to last forever, God has made some promises to you that He intends to keep. These are given to you, even if you have not received a vision from God like Paul did.

God will never give you more than you can handle.

God loves you.

Jesus died for you to give you life.

If you believe in Jesus, you will be saved.

Jesus is making a home for you in heaven.

Right now Jesus is providing for all of your needs.

There will be an end some day with no more pain or suffering.

You are a child of God.

God only gives good gifts.

You will be a victor with Jesus in the end.

These are just a few of the many promises God has made to you. As Paul said, I have faith in God that it will happen just as He told me.

Hang in there and trust God today. Have courage! You will win with Jesus in the end.

I pray today that Jesus will reveal His love for you; that you will see the hand of Jesus in your storms of life; that you will be filled with His courage; that you will have faith in God’s word; and that you will hang on to Jesus through the storms.

Acts 26:28 Persuasion Opportunity

“Then Agrippa said to Paul, Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?” Acts 26:28

While Paul is being held in Caesarea by Festus, King Agrippa comes to visit Festus. He is given a chance to hear Paul’s statements. Immediately Paul tells his story of how Jesus got a hold of him when he was traveling on the road to Damascus. As he finishes he challenges Agrippa to believe what he knows to be true.

Every believer is supposed to be a witness for Jesus. They are to tell others about who Jesus is and what He has done for them. This telling people is not to be done in secret code or in quiet action, but openly and clearly.

When you are telling a person about Jesus, you must not just stop at the telling. Yes, it is important to tell of what Jesus has done for you and can do for the other person, but there must be more. There must be persuasion.

Persuasion is the urging of a person to do something. The thing they do can be changing thoughts, or actions, or saying something, or physically doing something. It is encouraging the person to do the next step.

As you tell others about Jesus, you need to persuade them to make a choice in whether to believe in Jesus or not. Do not allow the testimony you give to just be some information they hear and forget about in the next five minutes. Seek a response to it.

In the case with King Agrippa, Paul was not able to persuade him at that time, but the challenge was there. King Agrippa realized what Paul was trying to do.

Not every person will believe in Jesus with your testimony. Yet, your testimony should be set in a way to challenge their belief. Do they see what you are doing? Or are you just giving some interesting information?

Every time you speak of your testimony it should be with the idea of drawing someone to believe in Jesus. Give that person the opportunity to believe.

I pray today that God will open doors for you to be His witness; that you will persuade people to believe in Jesus; that people will see your desire for them to believe in Jesus; that the world will be challenged through you; and that many will come to Jesus through you.

Acts 25:7 Is There Proof

“When Paul came in, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him. They brought many serious charges against him, but they could not prove them.” Acts 25:7

While being held in Caesarea, Paul was brought in before Festus for trial. Those that were accusing him were there and trying to show why they wanted Paul sentenced. They gave out many different serious charges, but none of them could be proven.

The court systems are filled to overflowing with people being accused of many things. Lawyers get paid a lot of money to prove or disprove the accusations. While many are proven guilty, there are some who are let off because there was no real proof of their guilt.

Paul had been preaching the gospel message to the people. Some were very angry with him and attempted to get him in trouble. They made up accusations hoping it would work. Yet, it did not.

If you are being serious about telling others about Jesus, the world will take a stand against you. They will attempt to show you are doing something wrong.

Currently in America, a common way to get someone is to call the action a “hate crime”. Speaking out against certain lifestyles can now at times be classified as a hate crime. If the speaking is done in anger or just to cut the person down, that accusation would be correct. If it is done in the love of Jesus, to point people to Jesus, it would be wrong.

As you go through this life, may no one ever be able to prove you guilty of any wrong doing. Let them accuse you of things because you follow Jesus. God sees it and knows the truth. Many who hear the accusations also know the truth of them.

Live your life the way Jesus did. Do not fear their accusations. Do not given reason for the accusations.

Is there proof to any accusation against you? If it is wrong doing, change. The only proof to be found should be that you love, follow, and serve Jesus and that you strive to tell everyone about Jesus.

I pray today that you will live your life as Jesus did; that no one will be able to prove you of doing wrong; that you will be a witness of who Jesus is and what He did; that you will not fear any accusations; and that many will know Jesus because of your words and actions.

Acts 24:16 Clear Conscience

“So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.” Acts 24:16

Paul was being held in prison for his preaching. While there the governor, Felix, came down to hear his case. Paul boldly told Felix what he had been doing. He then told Felix that he works hard at keeping his conscience clear before both God and men.

People do not always think about their conscience. They will often push it down and ignore it. When they do something wrong, they try to excuse it away and forget about it. Yet, the problem is still there.

God has allowed men’s hearts to grow cold and hardened against what is right and wrong. Many things that are acceptable now, were not even allowed to be discussed a hundred years ago. Now those things are openly proclaimed and promoted.

Some people will try to keep their conscience clear with God and ignore people. Others will work to keep their conscience clear for men but forget God.

Keeping a clear conscience is knowing in your heart and mind that you have not done anything wrong. It is knowing that you are innocent of any wrong doing.

The only way to have a clear conscience with God is to believe in Jesus and accept the cleansing of your sins by His blood. At that point you are to strive to keep your conscience clear.

With men, you must strive to never do anything wrong to anyone ever. Doing wrong can be in words or in action. It can be something very little or it can be a major wrong. Either way it is wrong.

Doing any wrong to any person is also doing wrong to God. God wants you to treat everyone like He would treat them…with love.

This will take work on your part to do. It will also take the guidance and strength of the Holy Spirit in your life.

Is your conscience clear before men? Only you and God know that answer, men cannot see your heart and mind.

Is your conscience clear before God? Again, only you and God can know that answer.

Work at keeping your conscience clear before both men and God. Then no one will be able to accurately accuse you of anything wrong.

I pray today that you will see when you are about to do anyone wrong and change your path; that you will be filled with the Holy Spirit to guide and strengthen you; that you will accept the cleansing of your conscience by the blood of Jesus; and that no one will be able to accuse you of any wrong.

Acts 23:11 Testify Again

“The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.” Acts 23:11

Paul had been arrested for talking about Jesus in public places. As he was tried, he boldly stated who Jesus was and why he talked about Him. The people were angry with him and so the soldiers took him away to be safe. In the night Jesus came to Paul and told him that he must also testify about Him in Rome. Paul had to go to Rome.

One of the most common questions people ask when going through a tough situation in life is “why?” This is especially true when the person is doing everything right and following God.

Paul had been doing everything right. He had been telling the people about Jesus. But remember that Jesus had told Paul that he had to be a witness to the Gentiles. Jerusalem was not a city of the Gentiles. It was, however, God’s method of getting Paul to Rome where there were more Gentiles who had not heard about Jesus.

God uses many different ways to get you where you need to be in order to be His witness. Sometimes those methods are good, such as getting promoted on a job requiring a move to a new location. This gets you around new people to be His witness.

Other times it can be something disastrous. A major sickness causes you to be in a hospital where you can be a witness of Jesus to those there. A lost job causes you to move to a new job with new people who need to hear about Jesus.

Sometimes, Jesus will use the enemy (the world) to move you to a new location. Paul was sent to Rome as a prisoner. Jesus will use any method needed to get His message spread.

Are you willing to go where Jesus needs you to go? Are you willing to testify again of who Jesus is? Always search for new people to tell Jesus about again and again and again.

I pray today that Jesus will reveal who you are to be His witness to; that you will not fear movement or change; that God will give you His boldness to move forward in spreading the gospel message; and that many people will be drawn to Jesus through you.