Acts 6:15 Glowing In The Face Of Slander

All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel. Acts 6:15

People who do not like someone else are quick to slander someone else. They want to cut the other person down, in hopes to build themselves up.

One of the most common ways people slander other people is with lies. Lies are spread about the person in the attempt to destroy the person’s reputation and character. How a person responds to those lies will reveal the true character of that person.

Stephen had been preaching about Jesus and many people were beginning to believe in and follow Jesus. Some hated his preaching and spread lies about him. As they brought him to trial, his face looked like one of an angel.

When slander is spread about a person, the most common reaction is anger and retaliation. The person slandered tries to strike back and destroy the enemy out of anger and hurt. This type of action can be seen in the world and inside the church.

Neither Jesus, nor Stephen retaliated in this way. They responded in love, control and the wisdom of God. While it is easy to understand why a person would strike back out of anger, it does not promote the things of God. Striking back in anger does not reveal the character of God.

Believers are to be loving and quick to forgive. Stephen was very calm and at peace when he began to speak in his defense against his accusers.

A soft answer that is filled with the truth of God will destroy the lies and slander of the enemy. It will expose the corruption and plans of the enemy, even if it does not stop the plans of the enemy.

Going through life as a believer will cause you to have some enemies. The world does not like you to stand strong and true to the standards of God and will sometimes do what they can to slander and destroy you.

You have a choice as to how you will respond. Acting like the world, you can respond in anger, fighting back. Or you can act like Jesus, responding in God’s wisdom and love.

God’s wisdom and love will prevail over anything the enemy throws your way. You may or may not lose your life, but you will remain true to God and gain eternal life.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will give you words to speak in light of slander; that God will give you strength to love as He loves; and that you will allow God to control your reactions to the world’s attacks.

John 19:11 No Real Power

Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” John 19:11

Many people in the world think that they have control or authority over someone else. When things do not go their own way, they strive to exercise their authority and force others to follow their ways.

Often this authority is abused and taken too far. They feel that they are controlling everything and everyone from their own abilities and authority.

As Jesus was being tried, Pilate said he had authority of life and death. Jesus told him that he only had the authority given to him from God.

Authority is something a person is given and also is allowed to have. Without someone else given permission, no one can really do anything.

In working this way, many people are often manipulated into what they can and cannot do. Believers often live as though the world has authority over them and fear the enemy of their souls. In thinking this way, many believers fall into sin and allow themselves to be crushed.

The world has absolutely no real authority over a believer. Satan cannot force a believer to do anything.

Every believer needs to know where real authority comes from–God. Jesus gave all authority to the believer. As a one believes this, he will not be intimidated or fear the attacks and threats of the enemy. As with Jesus he will know that the enemy can only what God allows and is in His will.

Living with this pattern of thinking is putting one’s full trust in God. His life is in God’s hands, not the hands of the world.

Jesus came to give you an abundant life. He has also given you access to all of His authority on this earth. When you fully understand what He has done for you and given you, you can live the abundant life with no fear of the enemy.

Know that the enemy of your soul cannot force you to do anything. The enemy only has the authority over you that you allow him to have. God is really the one in control.

Follow God and His ways and know the abundant life He has given you.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know God’s power in your life; that you will trust God’s control; that God will remove fear of the enemy; and that you will walk in God’s authority.

Proverbs 27:1 Boasting About Future Plans

Planning book

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring. Proverbs 27:1 

Goals and plans are constantly being made by millions of people every day. Plans are made as to what they will do in the days to come. These plans are as numerous as one can think. Plans to start a business, start exercising, make some money, graduate, travel somewhere, save some money, go on a vacation, purchase something, and on and on the lists go.

Often people will boast about what they are planning to do. They want everyone to know about it. As the day of doing it gets closer, they get more excited and losing focus on the day at hand.

Solomon gives a warning about boasting about future plans. He points out that one does not know what the next day may bring.

Having a vision and a plan to reach a goal is great. However, those plans should be held loosely, instead of boasting about it.

Everything that can be done to make the plan work out can be done, but things in life can get in the way and stop it.

Things that can stop a plan very quickly are as numerous as the stars in the sky. Sudden sickness, an accident, bad weather, natural disasters, death, break downs, and the list goes on to infinity.

Often a person plans something and then boasts about it, but right before it should occur, something happens to stop it. He then will often get mad at God or others because it could not happen.

Boasting about the event coming is about self, not about God, who is in control. One is allowing selfishness and pride to get in the way. Yet, one does not have the absolute control of every situation.

As a believer you can make plans for tomorrow, but hold them loosely knowing that God may change those plans. Do not allow yourself to boast as though those plans are guaranteed. You are not guaranteed one day on this earth beyond right now.

Allow God to have control of all your plans. Let Him make them or change them needed. Do not be angry when God changes what you had planned. Boast in what God is doing and in His control of every situation. God may stop your plans to give you something better in your life.

Keep in mind who is really in control of your tomorrow.

I pray today that you will know God is in control; that you will seek what God desires of you for each day; that God will help you remove all pride from your life; and that God will give you a vision of His plans for your days. 

Psalm 149:4 God Is Excited To Give Victory

Kneeling on a beach

For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory. Psalm 149:4 

People love to have victory. They want to win and be the winner. No one goes into something hoping to lose or even take second place, they strive for first place.

The desire to be number one is a selfish desire. It is all about self and how one looks. Being number one and having victory makes a person look great, the best. It becomes pride that drives the person for victory.

In the process of striving to be number one, many will do whatever it takes to get that position. Often it is stepping on others or cutting others down to make one’s self look better or to gain the victory.

God is excited about His people and looks forward to being with them. He wants to give victory, but He gives it to the humble, not just to everyone.

Being humble is realizing one’s position in this life and before God. It is realizing that one is not God and cannot do everything on his own. It is letting go of self and allowing God to lead, guide and help out. It is putting everything into God’s hands.

When a believer is ready to put self to the side and allow God to be the head, God is ready to give victory. The reason God is pleased to give victory is because it is no longer about self, but about Him. It is allowing God to be God.

Victory is not always being lifted up and looking great, but it is doing the right thing at the right time. It is overcoming a sinful temptation. It is being a witness of Jesus. It is showing love to those who are hard to love.

When a person lets go and allows God to work in and through him, God will give victory.

Each day there will be new struggles in your life and battles to fight and overcome. In your own strength you will fail and fall short of winning those battles.

Remember that it is not about you, but about God. Remove self out of the way, being humble and allow God to guide you. Let God give the victory.

Seek God’s help and guidance in every situation in your life. Do not think that you know what is best, you will fail. God loves you and wants to give you victory, let Him.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for you; that you will allow God to rule in your life; that you will be humble before God; and that you will see the victory God is giving you over every situation in your life.

Psalm 60:1 God Does Get Angry

Lightning and lighthouse

You have rejected us, God, and burst upon us; you have been angry–now restore us! Psalm 60:1 

Some people appear to never get angry. It seems as though they have perfect patience in every situation and that nothing will ruffle their feathers. Most people enjoy being around someone like this.

Others appear to always be angry. Every time a person just looks at them or says something, they get angry. Nothing can make them happy. These types of people are often avoided at all costs.

People do not like to be rejected or have someone angry with them. Sometimes it cannot be avoided, but most will strive to avoid causing conflict.

David had realized that God had been angry with His people. God had rejected them for a time, but now David was asking God to restore them.

It is common for people to act like God never gets angry, that He is always happy and just full of love. While it is true God is full of love, He does get upset with the choices that people make.

When a person chooses to walk in sinful ways and refuse to repent, God is not happy. When that person does all of this and still claims to believe in and live for God, He begins to get angry.

Although God gets angry, it is a controlled anger. He allows things to happen and consequences of those sins to come into the person’s life. These happen to draw the person back to Him.

God is waiting and ready to forgive and restore, as soon as the person is ready to be restored. He does not get angry quickly and He does not stay angry. As soon as the person turns towards Him, His anger subsides and He begins the restoration process.

If you are living in some sin, purposefully sinning, turn back to God. He is waiting there for you to return so that He can forgive you and restore you. He has a plan for your life and it is not one that He has planned in anger.

As you live in sin, you will not know the joy and peace of God. You will only feel His anger and lose His favor. Yet, God will take you back in an instant and restore you. His anger will go away immediately.

Living for God will bring you God’s great favor and building in your life. Are you allowing Him to restore and build you?

I pray today that you will turn to God from all sin; that you will know the forgiveness God has for you; that you will know the love God has for you; and that you will not live in a way that brings about God’s anger upon you.