Acts 4:29 A Different Prayer

Locked Up Prayer

Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Acts 4:29

Peter and John had already been put in prison for preaching about Jesus. They had been released and all the believers gathered together to pray. Persecution against believers was increasing tremendously. As they prayed, they prayed for boldness to speak the gospel message.

Ever since the fall of Adam and Eve, the world has been against those who believe in God. During the Old Testament times, many different nations tried to destroy the nation of Israel, until Israel destroyed itself in rejecting God. They had fallen into the pressure of the world to not follow God.

Later when Jesus came, it was no longer the idea of going against Israel, but against those who follow Jesus. Since the time of Jesus, the persecution against believers has changed in small areas. For a time one nation may persecute Christians strongly, and then later back off some, or it is usually the other way around.

In America it is appearing that persecution of believers is rising higher and higher. Many believers who are in situations of being harassed about their beliefs are praying that God would remove the problem. They want the persecution to stop and that is what their prayers are about.

Looking at the book of Acts, the disciples did not pray for the persecution to stop, but that they would be that much more bold in proclaiming God’s word.

Jesus promised that there would be persecution, so it does not do any good to attempt to pray for it to be removed. Believers are not on this earth for comfort or self. They are there to do God’s word–proclaim the Gospel message to every person. This is to be done regardless of the persecution.

It takes boldness to stand up and proclaim Jesus when under persecution. God will give that boldness, because that is what He wants a believer to do.

As you are going through tough situations and persecutions in life, pray a different prayer. Do not pray to get out of the situation, but that God would give you His boldness to be His witness and proclaim His message to this lost world.

It is in that boldness that people will hear the gospel message and lives will be changed.

What is your prayer about today?

I pray today that God will give you His boldness to be a witness; that God will give you strength to speak His words to this world; that God will remove all fear of persecution; and that God will touch many lives through your life.

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John 15:16 Chosen For A Purpose

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“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit–fruit that will last–and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” John 15:16

Jesus had been talking to the disciples about His being the vine and they were the branches. Now He tells them that He was the one who chose them, not they choosing Him. And that the purpose of His choosing them was so they could go out and bear fruit.

People like to be chosen. They want to know that they are important and are needed. Little children love to be chosen when they are playing a game that is made up of teams. Many times some children are left on the side or chosen last.

No one likes to be left on the side bench, or be chosen last. It makes a person feel as though they are not really wanted. It makes them feel as they though they have no value or purpose.

Many people who are chosen, however, do not realize that they were chosen for a purpose. There are a lot of believers who feel as though they are chosen just to escape death and hell. God has a bigger purpose than just saving the individual. It is not just about one person, but about the kingdom of God.

Every believer has been chosen by Jesus to carry on His work in this world. They are to bear fruit that will last all eternity. The only fruit that will last for all eternity is the salvation of the souls of people. Jesus came to save every person. The believers work is to keep that going until every person is saved.

If you are a believer in Jesus, it is not just to save you and make life better for you. There is a bigger purpose than that. Salvation is just a small piece of the puzzle.

God wants you to go out and testify to others about Jesus. He wants you to plant more seeds of the gospel into the lives of others. Planting those seeds will bring about much more fruit. When that fruit is harvested, God’s kingdom will grow much larger.

You have a purpose and meaning in this life. It is to be a witness of Jesus. Stop searching for purpose and start producing fruit for God.

I pray today that you will know God’s purpose for your life; that you will be a witness to others of who Jesus is; and that your life will bear eternal fruit for God.

John 11:7-8 Go, Despite The Danger

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and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?” John 11:7-8

Jesus and the disciples had just heard that Lazarus was sick. After waiting a few days, Jesus said they must go to Judea, where Lazarus was. The disciples reminded Him that the Jews there had been trying to kill Him and wondered why He would want to go there.

Avoiding danger is something that most people like to do. When they see a dangerous situation ahead, they try to go a different direction.

People do not like to intentionally walk into a dangerous situation. They try to avoid danger with any means possible. Danger always means trouble, pain, and suffering. And people do not like to have any of those at all.

When danger is absolutely unavoidable, people will then walk into danger. Soldiers, fireman, and policemen are known for walking into dangerous situations. That is a part of the job and their duty to others. They are there to help someone else out who is in danger.

Jesus knew the possible danger that was connected with going back to Judea, yet, He chose to go there anyways. He knew that He needed to go there in order to raise Lazarus from the dead. The people needed to know that they could be saved, even from death. Jesus also knew that He would be going during the day and that God His Father was with Him.

Believers are to be just like Jesus. They need to know where God is leading them to be a witness. At times, some will be lead into a dangerous area or situation. It may cost them their lives, however, to not go may cost someone else their eternal life.

As a believer, you must be willing to go where God leads you, even if it means into a dangerous situation. You must know that God is in control and that someone there needs to see or hear your testimony.

Do not fear the danger, because at most, all that can happen is you die. They may want to kill you, but since God is in control, they cannot kill you unless He allows them to do so.

So despite any danger involved, go and be a witness of Jesus.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for all people; that you will not fear any danger in front of you; that you will be a witness for Jesus to everyone; and that God will use you to reach the lost.

John 4:37 Everyone Has A Job

Sowing And Reaping

“Thus the saying, ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true.” John 4:37

While the disciples were away getting some food, Jesus talks to a Samaritan woman. When they return, they encouraged Him to eat, but He said He already has food, that is to do the work of the Father. Then He tells them that the field is ready for harvest and that one sows, while another will reap.

A farmer is the one who plants the seeds in a large field and waits for the crops to come in. Later, once the harvest is ready, that same farmer is the one who goes out and brings in the harvest. This will work for short-term growing foods. Foods that will grow within a few weeks or months.

When a person plants a row of oak trees from a small seed, it can take many years before any results are seen. It is usually not the person who planted the oak trees, but others who reap the benefits of those trees.

Jesus came into this world in order to save people from their sins. The world has become the harvest field and there are many people who are ready to be saved.

The work of bringing a person to salvation is not the work of one person completely on his own. It takes a group of people to benefit from it. One or more people start by planting seeds into the life of a person. Those seeds are things that show the person God’s love, pointing out that there is more to this life than what the world is showing, showing the faultiness of mankind, showing mercy, and pointing people to Jesus.

Those seeds need to grow. They grow by others confirming what was said and by other believers working in the life of a person.

Eventually the person says yes to Christ, through the word of one person. That person gains the harvest, even though he did not sow all of the needed seed. The groundwork was done by others.

As you go through your life, there will be times that you will be the one to sow seed into someone’s life. Other times you will be the one that brings in the harvest for God.

Either way, you must be working together with others to bring in the needed harvest. Have the mission Jesus had to save the world.

I pray today that God will show you ways to sow more seed into the lives of people; that God will use you to bring in the harvest that is ready; that you will have the goal of Jesus to seek and save the lost; and that you will be a witness of Jesus to all.

 

Luke 13:34 Weeping For The Lost

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“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Luke 13:34

Jesus had been told by some of the Pharisees to leave Jerusalem, they did want any part of Him. He, then, wept for the city, longing to gather them up and care for them. Even though they did not want Him there, Jesus continued His mission, knowing they would crucify Him.

When people are treated badly by someone or a group, they usually will leave that person and move on to someone else. People know when they are not welcome and do not want to stick around. Very few people are willing to be hated and hurt by someone else continually.

Looking at things as the world does, it makes sense to move on, to forget the person or people you are trying to reach.

This type of attitude is also common among Christians. A believer is treated badly by someone and so they leave that person on his own. They no longer reach out to that person because of the pain being inflicted.

Jesus went to Jerusalem, knowing that they hated Him as a whole. He also knew that they would kill Him the next time He went into Jerusalem. Yet, His hearts desire was to take all of the people of the city under His arm and show them love and care.

His love was greater for them, than their hate was for Him. Jesus knew that He had something that was worth everything to give them. He wanted to give them life, abundant life, despite their not wanting it. Since they did not want what He had for them, Jesus wept over them. He shared His heart’s desire to be with them.

There may be someone or a group of people who treat you badly. Although it is easy to just walk away, it may be that God wants you to continue to reach out to them with His love and compassion.

God wants everyone to know the gospel message and be saved. You may be the only one to reach out to that person. Weep before God for their lost souls and continue to reach out to them. Do not give up on them right away.

I pray today that God will open your eyes to the lost around you; that you will have God’s compassion for the lost; that you will not fear persecution, but trust in God; and that you spread the gospel message to all you meet.

Luke 12:8 Publicly Acknowledge Jesus

Public Announcement

“I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God.” Luke 12:8

Jesus was talking to His disciples right before getting ready to speak to a crowd of thousands of people. He had given them several warnings about what to watch out for and what will happen. Now Jesus tells them that everyone who goes public about their knowing Him, will be made known in the heavens by Him.

People are often willing to talk about what they feel about many different subjects in the public. They will talk about their favorite movies, sport team, the latest news, and even the political thoughts about certain politicians or presidents. They will even openly talk about the great adventure they just had or the new thing that they had recently purchased.

However, many people are very quiet about what they believe when it comes to spiritual beliefs. It is often said that their spiritual beliefs are their own personal beliefs and that they do not want to impose them on anyone else.

Fear of what others may think or say runs very high in the lives of most people. In some nations, it is even against the law to publicly speak about what they believe in spiritual beliefs.

Some people will say that they will not physically speak about Jesus, but will let people see their life as a witness.

Without words, people cannot really get to know who Jesus is. They will not know the reason why a person is the way he is. They may see the person is different, but will not know why.

Jesus said that if a person wants to be acknowledged in heaven, he must acknowledge Him here on this earth in public. This is telling others that you believe in Jesus. This is telling others that you follow Jesus. This is telling others about Jesus.

Do not be ashamed of Jesus. You do not have to fear what they can do to you, if you talk about serving Him.

Be willing to share the gospel message with everyone you come in contact with. Do not keep the knowledge of Jesus to yourself. Others need to hear about Him. They need to be given a chance to also follow Him.

As you do this, Jesus will be in heaven proclaiming your name to all the angels.

I pray today that you will know who Jesus is; that you will tell others about Jesus; that you will never be ashamed of knowing Jesus; and that many will come to know Jesus because of your words.