Acts 19:15 Who Are You?

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

Nearly every person is known for something by somebody. Some of the most common titles people are known by are: mom, dad, father, mother, employee, friend, neighbor, spouse, and co-worker. People like to be known by what they do.

Another way people can be known is by their character. This gives the true description of who they are. It will often determine how well they are at other things that they can do.

As some sons of Sceva were trying to cast some demons out of a man in the name of Paul and Jesus, the demons asked them a question. The demons said they knew Paul and Jesus, but wondered who they were and then beat the sons up.

It is easy for a person to claim to believe in Jesus. It is also easy for a person to attempt to do the work of God on his own. However, it is a different thing to truly believe in Jesus, work and walk in His power and abilities.

Some will claim to believe in Jesus, but have extreme doubts when they claim the promises of God. Others will claim to believe in Jesus, while at the same time living purposefully in open, rebellious sin against God.

Living in either of these two ways is not really living for God. It is living a lie and the demonic world knows it. The world is often able to see through the lies being portrayed and will question it.

When a person is truly believing in Jesus and striving to live according to God’s ways, the world and the demons will know who he really is. They will see the power of God working in and through him.

You may never have the opportunity to cast demons out of a person, but you will have opportunities to do the works of God. You will have an opportunity to be His witness in this world in many different ways.

As you speak God’s promises to others or for yourself, you may be asked, ‘who are you?’. Only you can answer that question.

Ask yourself that question today and find out who you are. Do you truly believe in and trust the words of God in your life? Do you truly strive to live a holy life for God? Who are you?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will believe in God’s word and power; that you will do the works of God; that the world will know you as a child of God; and that the world will know you have the power of God working in and through you.

Acts 17:11 Receive And Verify

Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11

Everyday people are bombarded with news articles about nearly everything and anything. The news comes from all types of sources, from big name news outlets, to small independent thinkers.

Unless a person really looks at various sources of news and studies it, he cannot know which ones are really telling the true story correctly. Often the stories are told with a biased slant to get people to think a certain way.

As Paul was preaching in Berea, the people listening would double check in the Scriptures everything that Paul was saying. They wanted to make sure what he was saying was true.

It is very common for people in church to just hear and take what the preacher said as true. Most people do not want to take the time to verify what the preacher has said.

Acting in this way can often lead to false teachings and cultic teachings.

One thing people need to remember is that preachers are human and can make mistakes. The only way for members of a church to know if he made a mistake is to verify what was said with Scriptures.

Doing this will take some time and concerted effort to accomplish. One has to be willing to take notes on what is said, while it is being said, then later to go over those notes and verify that what was said lines up with Scripture.

As one does this, it helps ensure that truth is being taught and learned according to God’s word, not just some man’s word.

The longer you are a believer, the more things that you will hear that are claimed to be from God’s word. Do not allow yourself to automatically believe everything you hear is actually from God’s word.

There are many sayings that believers have that do not actually come from the bible, some of which actually go against true biblical teaching. Take the time to listen, but then take more time to study to verify what you have heard or read.

This also includes anything that you have read in this devotional that is being written. Verify that you are hearing God’s word as He intended it to be.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know and understand God’s word; that you will verify anything you hear someone say about God’s word; that you will study to know God’s word for yourself; and that you will always speak the truth of God’s word.

2 Peter 3:11 What Kind Of Person Are You?

Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 2 Peter 3:11

One common thought among many people around the world is to eat, drink and be merry today because tomorrow you will die. Most people will only live for the moment with no regard or thoughts about tomorrow and even less about eternity.

Worldly “successful” people are those who kept in mind their goal for their future each day. They focused on doing something today with tomorrow in mind. However, most do not give a moment’s thought about eternity.

Peter just described how God would destroy the world in the end. With that in mind he asks what kind of people they should be. He tells them that they should live holy and godly lives.

One thing that should set the believer apart from the rest of the world is that he has a focus upon eternity, not just the here and now. In order to have life in that eternity, one must also have his focus upon God.

God has given the directions on how to live life in order to get life for eternity. The process is simple–live a holy and godly life. In other words do what God has said to do.

The first step in this is accepting what Jesus had done on the cross. Doing this wipes away all wrongs. Then one must put on the righteousness of Jesus, not his own. And finally, do what God calls him to do. Doing these three things will cause a person live a holy and godly life.

Too many in the church believe in Christ, but refuse to live a holy life. They want the best of both worlds and in the end will lose everything.

Only you can examine your life closely and determine how you are living your life from the inside out. Fruit will bear witness as to whether you are striving to live the holy life God called you to live or not.

Although it may be painful right now to live a holy life, in the end you will gain eternity.

Live your life for God with the gift of eternity that He has promised you. Allow His Holy Spirit to strengthen and guide you in how to live that life. Be set apart knowing that Jesus is returning to bring you to heaven for eternity.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will live as God has called you to live; that your life will be a holy life, separated unto God; that the world will see that you live for God; and that you will hear the Holy Spirit guiding your thoughts, words and actions.

Galatians 1:23 What Report Are They Hearing?

They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” Galatians 1:23

Reports come out about famous people all the time. They talk about what the person is doing. Often the news is about something negative that occurred, drunk driving, drugs, divorce or more.

Rarely is the news about a complete change of character or actions. Most people do not go through a change of lifestyle large enough for people to sit up and take sudden notice of it. Usually it is a slow gradual change, if there is any.

Paul says that the people in the churches of Judea did not know him at all, but had heard reports about him. Those reports were that he was a completely different person.

Every person has a report about them. People who have met them do talk about them. The question is what are they saying? For the majority of people, life is always the same, day after day, year after year. There are very few major changes in their lives.

There are very few things in their lives that stick out as amazing or to catch the attention of everyone else. Most often the major change is a marriage/divorce, birth of a child, a new job, or a new move to a new location. Very seldom is it a change of character.

The person who becomes a believer, should go through a complete change of character. He is becoming a new creation in Jesus Christ. The old ways of thinking and doing things are to be gone.

This should be such a change that people are talking about it. While many believers don’t really change and still look like the world, the true believer should. He should have a complete change of character that has people noticing.

Take a moment to look at your life and listen to what people are saying about you. Is there a complete, radical change in your life that can be seen by others? Or do you still look and act like the world?

Allow God’s Holy Spirit to fill you and change you from the inside out. Become a new creation in Christ Jesus that will turn heads and get people to talking.

Do not allow yourself to look and act like the world, but to look and act like Jesus.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will guide you in turning away from the world and sin; that people will see you are a follower of Jesus; and that God will create you into a new creation.

Proverbs 31:5 A Noble Character

Noble lion

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Proverbs 31:5 

It is very common for girls, who once have graduated high school and maybe college, they desire to get married. They search for some man who will love them and want them.

In order to be ready for that, many will take care of their physical appearances. They will put on the best makeup, wear the best jewelry and stay in good shape. However, their character does not improve.

Often their character stays all about self and making self look good, rather than building others up. Finding one that is about helping and building others up is a rare find.

Solomon describes a wife of noble character as being of worth more than rubies.

Noble character is something that is difficult to find in many people, both men and women. This is a character that is serving, loving, and hard working. It is one about building others up, rather than focusing on self.

While Solomon is specifically talking about a wife being of a noble character, men can take this advice also. This describes the person who is a follower of Jesus. Jesus used wisdom, worked hard, provided food, helped the poor and needy, opened His arms to everyone, showed no fear, and clothes His followers.

Every believer needs to be a person of noble character as Jesus is. The noble character is a description of love for others. God is love and believers are to be like God–love. This goes against the grain of the world, which is all about self, not love.

In marriage and in life, if everyone is showing God’s love, being a person of noble character, there will be less fights and arguments. Hurting others will drop and more lives will be changed for God.

Take a moment to determine what type of character you are. Do you portray a character that is like that of the world—selfish? Or do you represent the noble  character of Jesus—loving others?

Allow God to work on your character to make you more like Jesus. Learn to love others and put them first over yourself and second only to God. Work hard and be generous to others. Be willing to share the gospel message to all you meet. Be quick to forgive and extend mercy. Be gracious and thankful.

What type of character are you being today?

I pray today that you will allow God to change your character to that of Jesus; that you will love others as God loves you and them; that you will build others up in Christ Jesus; and that God will fill you with His grace and mercy towards others.