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.

John 20:16 Knowing When He Calls You

Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). John 20:16

In today’s society most people have a cell phone. One of the advantages of a cell phone is that when someone calls the phone can usually identify who is calling. This helps when one cannot see the person calling.

Hearing a person call in person is much easier to identify who is calling. Although in a large crowd, some will not always recognize the voice of a friend calling, unless it is a close friend that is well known.

After Jesus rose from the dead and before everyone knew about it, He had met up with Mary. At first she did not recognize Him until He called her name, then she knew who He was.

Couples who have been married for many years have learned to recognize each other’s voice, even in a large crowd. This is just like mother’s who can recognize their child’s cry in a room full of little children all calling at the same time.

The only reason people can recognize the other’s call is because they have spent time with the person and know that person very well. They know the voice of those who are close to them.

Believers who have spent time in prayer and communication with God will recognize His voice when He speaks. This is something that does not happen over night, but over a long period of time of a building of the relationship.

One should strive to build his relationship with God so closely that he knows as much as possible about God and will always recognize His voice. God is willing and ready to speak, but His people need to know His voice and be listening for it.

As a believer you should desire to be led by God in every area of your life. In order for this to occur, you must be able to recognize God’s voice when He is calling you.

He will call you to tell you what to do next, guiding every step and action. There will be times when He will also call you to stop you from an action.

Throughout your life there will be many other voices calling to you to lead you into sin. Listen for God’s voice and follow what He says. It is the best path for you.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know God’s voice when He calls; that you will be listening to hear God speak; and that you will obey what God is telling you.

Revelation 8:4 God’s Final Answer To Prayers

The smoke of the incense together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand. Revelation 8:4

People make requests of those in high level authority, but often wonder if they were heard or if anything will be done with the request. Most often many of those requests are completely ignored, they are not important enough to deal with.

Those in authority will usually hear the requests of certain very important people. When they speak, the authorities listen. These are usually the big donors or supporters, not just everyone.

In John’s vision of what is occurring in heaven, he sees angels come before God with seven trumpets. With those angels is one who brings the prayers of the people before God. The trumpets release some of God’s judgement and wrath upon the people of the earth.

Just as it is with asking authorities on earth for something and not getting an immediate answer, so it often occurs with believers praying to God. Believers go through persecution from those in the world and they pray to God for strength and relief. Sometimes that relief is immediately provided, but many times there does not ever appear to be an end in sight.

For the praying believer, this can be frustrating to pray and not be heard. Yet, God does hear every prayer. Every prayer is being collected and stored for a time for God to deal with it.

Ultimately in end times, God will answer those prayers with His judgement upon the earth. He will destroy a third of the earth and everything in it as He answers those prayers.

God will never leave a prayer completely unanswered. It may take some time to answer, but He will answer it. In the end the world will be judged for the persecution against His people that was and is being done.

As you are going through struggles and hardships, do not stop praying to God. Know that God hears every prayer that you have prayed and going to answer them at the perfect time. These prayers may be answered immediately, or they may be answered in the end during the final days of judgement.

Either way or time that God answers your prayers, rest in the peace of knowing that God hears you, is in control and will answer. God will take vengeance upon those who have attempted to harm you.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will bring to God your every need; that you will know God hears your prayers; that you will know God will answer your prayers; and that God will give you strength to endure until the end.

1 Peter 3:12 Be Seen And Heard By God

For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. 1 Peter 3:12

Everyone likes to be seen and heard by other people. This is especially true of being seen and heard by those in authority.

No one likes to be ignored or brushed aside. To keep this from occurring, people will do nearly anything they can to be heard. Instead of doing the right thing, often, some people will cause trouble and do harm in order to be heard.

After talking about having to suffer, Peter points out where God’s eyes and ears are. He sees and hears those who are doing what is right, but is set against those who do evil.

On a regular basis people are confronted with the conflict of whether to do the right thing and suffer or to do what is wrong and appear to get away with no suffering. Choosing to do what is right will often go against the common thought of the day and will cause suffering.

Very few people like to suffer, so they will often choose to do wrong to avoid any unnecessary suffering. Believers are often found to compromise their stand for God, to avoid suffering and ridicule.

The believer who has chosen to do wrong will often wonder why God does not answer their prayers. Instead of choosing to repent and do correct, they live with their choice and justify it, making God turn against them and refuse to hear their cries. Many will have to learn to live with their bad choices, because of their refusal to do what was right the first time.

Just as Jesus chose to do right, even when it cost Him His life, so should the believer always choose to do the right thing before God and man.

If you are feeling as though God is ignoring your prayers and is against you, check yourself for about whether you are doing what is right or wrong.

Get yourself into God’s word and be led by His Holy Spirit to guide you in making the right choices every time. Do what God wants you to do, so that He will be able to see and hear your prayers.

God wants to be for you, not against you, but you must also be for Him and not against Him.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will choose to do what God wants you to do; that God will give you strength to do what is right; that God will sustain you in times of suffering; and that God will see and hear your prayers.