Acts 23:5 Watch What You Say

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Paul replied, “Brothers, I did not realize that he was the high priest; for it is written: ‘Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people.'” Acts 23:5

Paul had been taken in for preaching the gospel message and was being questioned. Ananias, the high priest, requested that Paul be struck for what he was saying. Paul yells at him for commanding that he be struck. Someone then stand amazed that Paul insulted the high priest. Immediately Paul apologizes, because he knows he is not supposed to speak evil about any ruler.

In America, there is freedom of speech and many people will use to the point of abuse. When there is a leader who they do not like, there are often words being spoken against that leader. These words are not only against the leader, but also insulting and degrading.

Comedians will cut down leaders in a negative, rude way. People will curse their leaders on a regular basis, and link the leader to Satan. This can happen to leaders of the nation or just a leader in the workplace. In the break room, there are many times people are cursing their boss or some other manager, because of a decision that was made.

People in the church have not been much better. There is often talk that cuts down the pastor or some other leader in the church. Instead of showing love, people will bash leaders in the world.

None of these actions are the ways of God. God wants love to be shown. God wants people to be lifted up, not cut down.

One may not agree with the leader, but that does not require speaking evil of and cursing the person. God has placed every leader in position for a reason, regardless of how good or bad the person is. Trust in God’s decision must be in place.

When you are in disagreement with a leader, you must be willing to pray for that person. Show love and mercy to that person. Do not stand there and cut the person down before others. You can express disagreement, without insulting the leader.

In a time of much unrest and hate of leadership, seek God to give you the words to speak. Find words of love and building up, rather than insulting and cutting down. Watch your words so that you can draw people to Jesus, not run them away.

I pray today that you will speak as Jesus spoke; that your words will be words of love and building up; that you will show proper respect for all leaders; and that your words will draw people to Jesus.

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Acts 21:13 What Are You Willing To Go Through?

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Then Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” Acts 21:13

Paul had been in Caesarea for a time and was ready to leave and go to Jerusalem. Several people warned him that he would be bound up there. Paul said that he was ready to not only be bound, but also die in Jerusalem if needed.

Very few people are really willing to do something, knowing that they will most likely go to jail for it, unless they are a hardened criminal. They do not want to go to jail for doing something good, and usually will avoid it at all costs.

This is not to say how much more they will avoid it, if it may cost their life. Even fewer people want to die for doing something good.

Although most people do not want to go to jail for something good, there are many believers who state that they would be willing to go to jail for Jesus. They state that they are not afraid of anything.

Yet, a lot of those very same people do not go out and be a true witness for Jesus every day. They close their eyes and ears to those in real need. They do not put themselves on the line for getting the gospel message out to people. When they are in line at the checkout counter, they are staring at their phones, rather than talking to the next person about Jesus. Or they are in too much of a hurry to give a helping hand of love to someone in need. They worry about their job position to tell someone about Jesus at their workplace.

If people are not willing to be hated a little, or risk their job, or be a little late in order to tell someone about Jesus, they will not be willing to go to jail or die for Jesus when the time comes.

Take a look at your life and see how much you are willing to do in order to get the message of Jesus to the people around you. How often do you take advantage of every situation to tell someone about Jesus?

Do you bypass opportunities out of fear? Or do you grab them?

How much are you willing to do to tell others about Jesus?

I pray today that God will give you boldness to tell others about Jesus; that you will not fear what may happen as you talk about Jesus; and that many will know Jesus because of you.

Acts 20:24 What Are You Aiming At?

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However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. Acts 20:24

As Paul was getting ready to leave Ephesus, he told the people that he may not see them again. He knew that prison and hardships were ahead of him. Paul was not worried about his own life, but his aim in his life was to do what God called him to do–testify about Jesus and God’s grace.

Many people have goals or aims in life. Those who are successful tell everyone else that they need a goal in life, something to aim for. If one does not have an aim, then he will not hit anything or accomplish anything of any real value.

The world says that the goals that one must have should be a big bank account, large house, many cars, great vacations, and high status in society. If one does not have these, then they are worthless aims in life.

Believers have a different aim in life. Their aim is to please God. The only way to please God is to do what God has called them to do. The greatest task that God has called every believer to do, is to testify about Jesus and God’s grace.

The world is on a one-way track to death, seeking temporary things of this world. They do not know that there is real life to be had out there. That real life is only found in Jesus Christ.

The only way that the world can know about Jesus Christ is for a believer to bring the gospel message to them. Someone has to be a witness of what Jesus has done for them.

As a believer, you need to be one to tell others about Jesus. Your aim in this life needs to be telling as many people about Jesus as you can possibly tell.

Building a big bank account and great vacations may be nice for this life, but it does not help in light of eternity. Souls may be lost, if the main task is not focused on.

Take time each day to be a witness. Make it your aim in this life to tell as many people about Jesus as possible. In doing this you will please God.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know the task God has called you to do; that you will make it your aim in life to be a witness for Jesus; and that many will know Jesus because of your message.

Acts 19:15 Do The Demons Know You?

A Person Thinking

One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” Acts 19:15

A Jewish chief priest named Sceva, had seven sons. They were going around trying to cast demons out of people in the name of Jesus that Paul preached about. At one point a demon responded to them about knowing Jesus and Paul, but had no idea who they were. Immediately afterwards, the man with the demonic spirit jumped them and severely beat them up.

In many parts of the world, people strongly believe in demonic forces, while in other parts, very few people believe in demonic forces. In places where they do not really believe in these types of forces, they often think of them as a game or a fantasy.

Yet, demonic forces are a reality in this life. Often they are not seen as demonic forces, but mental illnesses or other problems in the life of a person.

Those who think that demonic forces are just a game, can be in for a surprise, since they are real. The demons know who Jesus is. They have directly seen and been in battle with Him for thousands of years.

Believers who truly follow Jesus, will be seen and known by the demonic spirits. A strong believer in Jesus will make an impact in the spiritual realm of this world. Those who follow Jesus know the power that Jesus has available for them to use. It is not their own power or the power of another person, but the power of God in their life.

Every believer is to be clothed with Jesus Christ. When the demons see the believer, he will see Jesus Christ. Demons have to flee from the presence of Jesus Christ, because He is holy and righteous and has power over them.

You may not ever have to deal directly with a demonic spirit, but you will have to deal with people in this world who do not know Jesus. When they look at you, who do they see? Do they just see another person in this world? Or are you someone different, clothed with Jesus?

When you approach those who are of satan, do they see Jesus in you? Do they recognize you as a believer in Jesus, with the power of God? Or are you just another person claiming to know Jesus?

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will walk and talk as Jesus did; that the world will see you as a follower of Jesus; and that the demonic world will tremble around you because you have Jesus at your side.

Acts 17:2-3 The Main Point

Man At Cross

As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah,” he said. Acts 17:2-3

Every place that Paul would go, he would go to the synagogues and talk to the people about Jesus. The main point he would drive home to them was that Jesus is the Messiah. While many people would believe this, there were also many who would fight him because of this statement.

Belief in God is not something that many people have a difficult time hearing. Most people are a part of some religion that believes in a god. Most of those religions are also accepting of anyone believing in any god that they want to believe in.

The difference comes in when there is only one God to believe in and that one must believe that Jesus, a man, is the Messiah. People must believe that Jesus is the only way that a one can be saved.

People would immediately fight against Paul as soon as he talked about Jesus being the Messiah. This would imply that Jesus is God, and how could a man be God? Yet, it was truth.

There are many Christians who are willing to talk about God in the public, but do not talk as much about Jesus. While talking about God is great, the main point is Jesus. Without Jesus, no one can be saved, regardless of how much they believe in and love God.

When the believer starts talking about Jesus and His being the Savior, people will get upset. They do not want to be tied down to one person or God. They want freedom to believe in anyone or thing that they want.

As you go through your days and are talking to people, what are you bringing up in the conversation? Are you talking about God? Or are you telling them about Jesus?

Jesus and the salvation He provides needs to be the main point in your belief. It is what the people need to hear about. The world needs to know Jesus as the Savior/Messiah, not just as a good man, or just to believe in God.

Let the world know about Jesus and the salvation He provides.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will tell others about Jesus; that the world will see Jesus as the needed Savior; and that many will believe in Jesus through your words and actions.

Acts 16:25 What To Do In Dark Times

Worship In The Dark

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and other prisoners were listening to them. Acts 16:25

Paul and Silas had been preaching the gospel in a city they were approached by a girl who had been demon possessed. They cast the demon of the girl and the people of the city were angry with them. Paul and Silas were then put into prison. During the night they sat there praying and praising God, instead of complaining. As they were praying and worshipping God, God caused an earthquake to free them.

There are times in the life of every person that are dark. Things do not go the way they should have. A person is mistreated wrongly.

Most people will sit and complain about the situation and seek ways to get revenge. They will tell every one about the situation in a complaining way. The world says that what has happened is not right and the person has a right to strike back. The person will have no joy in the situation.

Instead of complaining, Paul and Silas had prayed to God and worshipped Him. They did not see the situation as dark, like the world sees it.

Believers have a reason to rejoice at all times, in all situations. God has given them forgiveness and life through Jesus Christ. God is with every believer and will always be with them, despite how dark it may appear to be. Jesus is light and brings that light into the life of a believer.

Where there is light, there is a reason to worship God. There is no depression or fear. His perfect love and light drives out the darkness and fear, giving one the ability to praise and worship Him in the darkest of nights.

You may be going through a dark time right now. It may appear as though the whole world is against you and you have lost the battle. You may feel as though you are in a prison with no chance for release.

Look up to God, pray and worship Him, despite how dark it is. It may be midnight, but God can bring light to your night. He can bring release to your chains and the bars that hold you in.

This will be a witness to the world of God’s love and power.

Are you worshipping or complaining?

I pray today that you will know God’s presence in your life; that you will seek God in dark times; that you will worship God and not complain; and that you will bring God’s light to this dark world.

Acts 15:10 Don’t Add Anything

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“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?” Acts 15:10

The churches in Jerusalem were requiring Gentile people to get circumcised if they wanted to be saved. Peter saw this and questioned them. He wanted to know why they were putting on such a requirement that they, themselves were unable to fulfill. He goes on to say that everyone is saved by grace of Jesus, not the works.

Every religion, except Christianity, requires people to do certain works in order to be saved. In the eyes of the world, this makes sense. In ordered to be saved by a god, a person must do something to earn it. Mankind wants to earn what he gets.

Under the Old Testament Law, people were required to live a certain way and do certain things, in order to gain God’s favor and be saved. It was very quickly shown in the Garden of Eden that mankind was unable to fulfill those requirements.

Yet, throughout the history of Christianity, people have been known to put on requirements for salvation that God did not put there. Many times people are told that in order to be saved, they must clean up their life and give up certain things. Or they must go to a certain church, or dress a certain way. They are told that if they do not do these actions, or others, they cannot be saved.

No where in scripture does God put any extra work requirements upon a person to be saved. All a person must do is confess his sins, believe in Jesus, and publicly announce that Jesus is Lord. It is trusting in the grace and mercy of Jesus that brings salvation, not any work or action.

Take a look at your own life and determine how you are saved. If it was not by works, then do not add anything to others to be saved. Keep salvation by grace as Jesus made it, not the way the world wants it.

Salvation is a gift from God for any who believe. It is not something earned or bought. Keep it that way, so that all may be saved. Teach the gospel message just as Jesus gave it, one of grace and mercy, with nothing added that cannot be done.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will tell others about Jesus; that you will not add requirements to be saved that Jesus did not put there; and that you will know the grace and mercy of God in your life.