2007/11/8 木曜日

Time to Rest, Time to Grow

Filed under: 365 DEVOTIONS — admin @ 8:51:31

The church… was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord

(ct 9:31, New International Version).

Scripture: Acts 9:23-31 Song: This Is My Fther’s World

“Gramma, Gramma! My garden is dead.” Tommy’s voice trembled as his elyes brimmed with tears. She gathered the little six-year-old onto her lap and hugged him tightly.

“Oh Gtamma, there’s not a green thing out there; just crummy brown dirt.” His voice caught again. The old lady quietly chuckled and began rocking.

“Shhh, there, my boy. The garden’s not dead; it’s asleep. You remember how tried you were last night when I put you tobed?” The boy nodded. “And could jyou have played anymore?” Tommy shook his head.

“but, Tommy, you could play a lot yhis morning, right?” Again he nodded.”Well, that’s what your garden’s doing. Just like we rest, God wants His world to rest from time to time.”

It seems the church, too, had its special times for growth. Itis our job to pray for those times today, and to wait upon Go’s power to strengthen and encourage us for nurturing new life among us.

2007/10/11 木曜日

Motive Matters

Filed under: 365 DEVOTIONS — admin @ 16:19:00

Simon answered, “Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me” (Acts 8:24, New International Version)

Scripture: Acts 8:14-25

Song: “I Bring My Sins to Thee”

No wonder Simon was attracted to Peter and John and all they did through the Holy Spirit. He also knew that almost anyone can be manipulated with money.

We rightly look down on the motives that in fused Simon. But even today we might look at ourselves in the mirror and sometimes admit: “You ask with wrong motives, that you may spen d what you ger on your pleasures” (James 4:3). Of course, Simon appeared to repent after Peter’s fiery rebuke, but his words in verse 24 indicate that he merely wanted to savehis own skin!

The Bible doesn’t say whether Simon eventually truly repented, or that he never bowed to God’s ways. We do know that God celebrates over the heart that stoops to His will, and He would have forgiven Simon any time he asked with a sincere heart.

So it is with us all.

2007/9/26 水曜日

Nothing More, Nothing Less

Filed under: 365 DEVOTIONS — admin @ 15:50:42

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

Sripture: Acts 4:23−31                 

Song: “Have Thine Own Way, Lord”

    For such a brief prayer, it was packed with tremendous meaning. Bobby Richardson, former second baseman, delivered it for the New York Yankees at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes gathering. “Your will Lord-nothing more, nothing less, and nothing else.”

     How often do our prayers stray from God’s will to our wants? Jesus Himself demonstrated in the Garden of Gthsemane that anyone canface this same struggle. Yet even though he knew God’s will involved terrible suffering, Jesus’ prayerful struggle concluded with: “Now my will but your be done.

     The believers in Acts faced constant persecution if they continued proclaiming the gospel. To their credit, they understood God’s will and prayed for enablemaent to keep speaking with boldness. And such a prayer unleashes the power of Gld, Not only was their meeting place shaken; their request was granted as they courageously proclaimed the Word of God.  

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