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Tag Archives: Acts

  • Might We Dare to Be a Little More Uncommon

    Posted on May 15, 2014 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa

    "The Spirit told Philip, 'Go to that chariot and stay near it.'" Acts 8:29 (NIV)

    I have to admit ... when our guide pulled over to the side of the road at this unmarked, unremarkable looking place, I was underwhelmed. We filed out of the bus with a vague sense we were studying something in the book of Acts.

    There were no signs in this part of the Holy Land.

    No other tourists.

    Our teacher walked to a place covered with brush and pointed to a rocky path. We gingerly made our way behind him and soon came upon a road.

    With great enthusiasm the teacher said, "This road is where a man learned of Christ and received the Good News!" We walked a little farther and:

    "This place of water is where this man was baptized shortly afterward and went away rejoicing. We should rejoice! We should rejoice!"

    And then we opened the Scriptures to Acts 8:26-39, the story of the Ethiopian eunuch.

    Can I admit something to you I'm not very proud of? Even after reading the Scriptures, I wondered why our teacher picked this spot. We had so little time in Israel and wanted to see so much. I felt like there were bigger events that had taken place in much more well-known places. Shouldn't we focus on those?

    Why this place? Why this story?

    And then as quickly as we arrived, our teacher whisked us back on the bus with one final statement, "Individuals matter."

    Those two words have lingered in my thoughts and have honestly made this underwhelming stop one of my favorites to consider.

    Recently, I opened Acts 8 and reread it. Here are three things from this Scripture I want to let have their way with my heart and mind:

    1. Go near.

    Verse 29, "The Spirit told Philip, 'Go to that chariot and stay near it.'"

    This Ethiopian eunuch wasn't like Philip. He wasn't in his inner circle, comfort zone or part of his immediate sphere of influence. And yet, the Spirit instructed Philip to go close.

    God help us. We must break out of the boxes of our normality and dare to go close to those we don't understand. We must not use words like, "those people" with pointed fingers, hard hearts and spiritually superior attitudes.

    By going close, we see things we need to see. We hear things we need to hear. And our hearts become tender in the way we must be tender.

    By going close, we might actually dare to let love guide our approach.

    2. Gain understanding.

    Verse 30a, "Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet."

    He ran. This took effort, energy and intentionality. Next, instead of wielding God's Word like a weapon and haphazardly throwing Truth at this man, Phillip listened.

    Then based on what he heard, Phillip asked this eunuch if he understood what he was reading. Philip discerned a need and sought to meet that need. Philip let the man's agenda come before his own.

    God help us. Instead of running alongside people seeking to understand them, we sometimes have tendencies to run them over with our agendas and perceptions and points of view. We must seek to be discerning, not demanding.

    3. Earn the right to share.

    Verse 31b, "... So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him."

    Once Phillip dared to go near and gain understanding, then he earned the right to share. Verse 35 goes on to reveal that Philip began where this man was and "told him the good news about Jesus."

    God help us. We must go to people. Listen to people. Start where they are, not where we want them to be. And from their point of need, lovingly share the good news about Jesus.

    And might I share one more thing Philip did that I love?

    Philip continued to travel down the road with this man for a bit. Verses 36-39 reveal, "As they traveled along the road, they came to some water ... Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him." And the eunuch went on his way rejoicing.

    Looking back at that seemingly uneventful day in Israel, I'm so thankful our teacher took time to bring us to this place. Remember, there were no signs and there were no tourists.

    This was an uncommon stop in the Holy Land.

    Uncommon.

    Might we all dare to be a little more uncommon, more often.

    Dear Lord, I want to love others like You do. Help me to be a little more uncommon today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    Romans 15:7, "So reach out and welcome one another to God's glory. Jesus did it; now you do it!" (MSG)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    Which of the three thoughts Lysa shared today resonates with you the most?

    How might you tangibly show this to someone in your life today?

    © 2014 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org

  • Eyewitness News

    Posted on April 19, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. Acts 3:15

    Eyewitness accounts are compelling evidence for truth. These first hand witnesses bring creditability with their character. They are especially trustworthy if they stick to the facts even when it costs them their lives. When Jesus was arrested by foes, Peter and John were arrested by fear. However, when Jesus rose from the grave, Peter and John’s courage rose with Him. They saw, touched, talked and ate with Jesus after He came back to life. God’s power empowered them!

    Yes, we were witnesses of this idyllic resurrection power when we were born again. Once we were dead to faith, now we are alive to trust in Christ. Once we were dead to assurance of heaven, now we are alive to the security of eternal life. Once we were dead to the Son’s salvation, now we are alive to His grace. Once we were dead to our Heavenly Father’s love, now we are alive to His affection. Once we were dead to the Spirit’s help, now we are alive to His leading!

    "We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life" (Romans 6:4).

    If a case for Christ’s resurrection were presented in a court of law, a thorough jury would find Jesus guilty of being raised from the dead by His Heavenly Father. The compelling proof is on the side of the plaintiff, Holy God. The devil is on the defensive, as all his arguments were destroyed in one fell swoop at the resurrection of Christ. Your risen Savior Jesus, rises above the evil arguments and taunts of Satan. The empty tomb empties the enemy’s arsenal of deception. Jesus lives!

    You stand on the solid rock of Christ’s resurrection, as experienced in person by His disciples and 500 other followers. You base His Story on the historical fact of Christ's entering the grave dead, and walking out of the grave alive on the third day. Furthermore, your own faith experience with Jesus is your eyewitness evidence of engaging your risen Savior. You are His channel of hope to the sick, the lost, the disabled, the rich and the poor. You are a witness!

    "He [Jesus] was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time" (1 Corinthians 15:4-6).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father thank You for raising Your Son Jesus from the dead to give me life.

    Related Readings: John 2:22; Acts 2:31; Romans 8:11; Philippians 3:10-11; Colossians 3:1

    Post/Tweet today: The devil is on the defensive, as all his arguments were destroyed at Christ’s resurrection. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhunters.com /www.wisdomhunters.com

  • If You're Feeling Overlooked and Unappreciated...

    Posted on April 3, 2014 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa

    "After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: 'I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.'" Acts 13:22 (NIV)

    Sometimes I wake up in the morning feeling a little grumpy. Time to do it all again. I'll buy food that gets eaten. I'll wash clothes that get dirty again. I'll sweep floors that will be littered with crumbs an hour later.

    Is there more to all this than just doing the tasks of everyday life?

    Before I jumped into the normal routine this morning, I sat with Jesus. And I found some big truths as I read my Bible and took a little glance into David's life. Despite how others saw him, his own tendency to sin, and lack of position in his own family, David had the sweet reassurance of God. And that was enough.

    Overlooked by everyone else. Handpicked by God.

    To his older brothers, David was a pest. To his father, Jesse, he was just the youngest son. To onlookers, he was just a shepherd boy. But to God, David was the one destined to be king. And not just any king. He was from the bloodline from which Jesus would come.

    Overlooked by everyone else. Handpicked by God.

    Even the way David was anointed to be the future king is a telling story. In 1 Samuel 16, God tells Samuel that He has rejected Saul as king and chosen one of Jesse's sons to be the replacement.

    Think of the list of qualifications that must have run through Samuel's mind for such a position: tall, smart, articulate, brave, groomed, well-mannered, a natural-born leader. Samuel saw some of these characteristics in Eliab, David's brother. "But the LORD said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his outward appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7, NIV 1984).

    Overlooked by everyone else. Handpicked by God.

    Samuel had Jesse line up all of his sons before him. All of them were to be considered. Yet, Jesse didn't call David in from tending sheep. Was this an oversight? An assumption? A judgment call? A deliberate choice?

    Overlooked by everyone else. Handpicked by God.

    Samuel passes on each of Jesse's sons and then asks, "Are these all the sons you have?" I imagine Jesse with a quizzical expression replying, "There is still the youngest ... He is tending the sheep." (1 Samuel 16:11, NIV) Surely one who spends his time taking care of animals is not the one to take care of a nation.

    Overlooked by everyone else. Handpicked by God.

    As soon as Samuel saw David, he knew he was the one. David was anointed to become king. But he was not immediately ushered to the throne. It would be many years before David was recognized by the world. So, where did he go after being anointed as king? To a refining school? A government academy? Military training? Nope.

    He went back out to the fields and continued to shepherd his flock. A king doing lowly tasks. A king whose character was being refined in the fields of everyday life to prepare him for his calling.

    How like us. In the midst of smelly laundry, dirty dishes, snotty noses, misplaced keys, overdue library books, bills, and that birthday gift that still needs to be mailed to Grandma – there is training there. There is character building. There is attitude shaping. There is soul defining. All of which must take place for us to become what God intends.

    Do you ever feel overlooked by the world? Take heart – we are handpicked by God.

    I am not just doing tasks. I am building a legacy. I am shaping God's Kingdom. I am in the process of not only discovering my calling but that of my family as well. And I don't know about you, but it sure does make me look at my everyday tasks (yes, even the smelly laundry) in a whole different light.

    Dear Lord, I'm grateful that even when I feel overlooked, I can rest in the fact that I am handpicked by You. Help me to live my life for an audience of One. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    What tasks have you viewed as mundane or pointless?

    Determine to change your perspective on those tasks today. When you're feeling discouraged speak these words out loud: "I am handpicked and called by God. This is my assignment today from Him and I'm choosing to see how important it is!"

    Power Verse:
    1 Corinthians 15:58b, "Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort." (MSG)

    © 2014 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org

  • Racial Reconciliation

    Posted on January 18, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    “Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles’” (Acts 22:21).

    Race divides. Inherently it needs reconciliation. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are expected to be on the forefront of racial reconciliation. Christ is colorblind. There is no preference between Jew and Gentile, black or white, yellow or brown. They are all precious in His sight. Yet every day, millions are disenfranchised or killed because of their cultural heritage and skin color. Where pride and ego drive the human race into different geographical and racial directions, Christ reunites. He is the racial reconciler.

    The feet of Jesus are on level ground for all races. Sin is the only explanation for one race’s sense of superiority over another. It breaks the heart of God. Jesus went far out of His way to love a racial outcast in the Samaritan woman (John 4). He was compelled by the Holy Spirit to reach across class, cultural, and racial barriers.

    In the same way and spirit, God is leading you to reach out to others different from you. He is calling on His disciples to be intentional in healing past hurts and serving current needs. Some will receive your sincere service, while others will question your motive. But when all is said and done, your part is to go and be a blessing. God’s part is to facilitate trust and healing. You probably do not consider yourself a racist. That is, you do not feel or act better than another human being just because of your race.

    However, to be silent or not intentionally reach out to another culture is passive racism. It is subtle, but the same ill effects occur. The offended or disillusioned ones are still stuck in their inferior state of mind, economics, and education.  It is the role of the church to bring down cultural barriers. We can model the way of racial reconciliation as Jesus did.

    Consider a year-long, weekly, one-on-one study with someone of a different race. Learn about his or her culture, history, and hurts. Indeed, racial reconciliation happens one person at a time, and it happens relationally. Do not wait on someone to come to you. You go to that person. Yes, it is a little uncomfortable, and yes, there will be misunderstanding. But Jesus is the standard bearer and relational mediator.

    Let the Bible be your foundational source of racial reconciliation. Start today on a cross-cultural mission. Is there someone at work or in your neighborhood? Invite the family into your home for a meal. Serve them every time you get a chance, and watch God work. Then the world will see—in Technicolor—that you are truly disciples of Christ because you love one another. Races will be reconciled, and God will be glorified. Jesus said, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35).

    Prayer: Why is Christ colorblind? Who can I build a relationship with that is of a different race?

    Related Readings: Genesis 11:1–8; John 4:1–42; Romans 10:12; Galatians 2:14

    Post/Tweet today: Pride and ego drive the human race into different directions, but Christ reunites. He is the racial reconciler. #racialreconciliation

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhunters.com /www.wisdomhunters.com

  • The Most Searched for Answer

    Posted on December 19, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa

    "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12 (NIV)

    Growing up I had a plan for how I could make my life good.

    Get a good education. A good job. A good husband. A few good kids. A good house. A good flowerbed out front. And a good mini-van parked in the driveway.

    Then life would be ... good.

    Eventually, I had all that good stuff. I was thankful for it all. I loved my family to pieces. The mini-van wasn't all I thought it would be, but I felt like an official mom driving it. So even that wound up being good.

    But something inside me still felt hollow. A little off. A little lacking.

    So, I reasoned I needed something else to do. A place where I could use my gifts and talents. And while these things were fun and satisfying on one level, they too fell short when it came to that deep place ringing with the echoes of empty.

    Empty is a heavy load to bear. The mystery of wanting to be filled but not knowing how or what could fill the deep soul is a gnawing ache. A search that can seem both futile and shattering at times.

    When you try and try, always feeling like the answer is just around the corner, and then it isn't, it can split your heart wide open and leak dry all your reserves.

    It can make you feel unsatisfied and frustrated with everything. Even those you love. Maybe especially those you love.

    So you fake a smile and keep putting one foot in front of the other. But eventually you stop peeking around the next corner hoping the answer is there. History tells you it isn't. And wrapped in that perception is the noose that strangles out all hope.

    Sadly, this is where many women live.

    I know this place because I lived there. I struggled there.

    And I guess I'm wondering if you or someone you love might be there this Christmas season. It's tough when everything around you screams "merry" when you feel anything but.

    It quite honestly stinks.

    So, I'm not going to pretend you'll suddenly feel super merry after reading this.

    But what I can promise is a string of words that explains a lot. An answer that is sure and solid and true and full of the breathless wonder of a hope rediscovered.

    "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12 NIV)

    No good plan is the answer.

    Even a good husband — good children — a good friend make a very poor God.

    No education or job or house can save you.

    Salvation can't be found in anyone or anything else.

    There is no other.

    Only Jesus.

    And I'm not just talking about saying we're Christians. Following the rules and following Jesus are two totally different things.

    Going through the motions of religion won't ever satisfy. It's only when we bend down low, open our hearts in complete surrender, and say, "Jesus, it's You. Only You. There is no other. There is no other possession or person or position that can ever fill the deep soul-place shaped only for You."

    This is my Christmas prayer. Though I've been saved for a long time, I want to recapture the essence of this "no other" reality.

    And really live like this is true.

    Because it is. True.

    Jesus, only You can save and fill and give what my soul desires. Please remind me to draw close to You and rely on the promise that You will draw close to me when I do. Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Who do you rely on to fill the gaps? How would the dynamics of that relationship change if you released them from that duty and allowed Jesus to meet your needs?

    Do you use something (other than people) to fill your gaps, such as food, drugs/alcohol, busyness? What steps would you need to take to stop using them as a way to satisfy your soul?

    Power Verse:
    John 4:10, "Jesus answered her, 'If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, "Give me a drink," you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.'" (ESV)

    © 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org

  • Acts of God

    Posted on November 21, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. Acts 1:1-2

    The Acts of the Apostles is more accurately described as the Acts of God. The recorded history is really His story of working through His servants to accomplish His purposes. In each instance of healing, preaching or miraculous work, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Lord or God are central to the story. Like a canal, we are to be a pass through for vessels of God’s blessings transported to trusting hearts. The deeper our canal for Christ the larger the ships of His love can traverse.

    How do you keep Christ central to your life and work? Certainly conversations are opportunities to explain your experiences with the Lord to others with an open heart. His answered prayers, His healing, His opened doors, His closed doors, His gifts of work, health, children and grandchildren are all evidence of His actions in and through your life. Give detailed reports of God’s acts around you so believers are encouraged to discover the Lord’s work around them.

    Paul greeted them and reported in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. Acts 21:19

    Furthermore, to stay fresh in your perspective of the Holy Spirit’s work in the present, recall what He has accomplished through surrendered saints in the past. Read biographies of men and women like: D.L. Moody, Henrietta Mears,George Whitefield, Corrie Ten Boom, George Muller, Ann Judson, John Bunyan and Fanny Crosby. Ordinary followers of Christ become extraordinary when consumed with love for God and people. Jesus works in and through you!

    Perhaps, like Luke, the Lord is leading you to pen short detailed accounts of how you see the Spirit sharing His blessings in your life. Journal for Jesus and you will create a timeless resource for your children and your children’s children. Write about what Christ has done and taught as outlined in the Bible and record what He is doing and teaching you today. The Acts of God did not cease after the first century. His Holy Spirit fills your broken spirit to be His ambassador.

    She [Lydia] was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” Acts 16:14-15

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I celebrate your acts of goodness that bless others and give You glory.

    Related Readings: 2 Kings 8:4; Daniel 4:2; Nehemiah 2:18; Acts 15:12, 19:11; Romans 15:4

    Post/Tweet today: Like a canal, we are to be a pass through for vessels of God’s blessings transported to trusting hearts. #actsofGod

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhunters.com /www.wisdomhunters.com

  • Spirit Empowered Witness

    Posted on November 20, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth... They all joined together constantly in prayer. Acts 1:8, 14

    The very last words Jesus spoke to His followers before He ascended to Heaven focused on the Spirit’s power, not man’s power. Human power builds kingdoms on earth, while the Spirit’s power builds God’s kingdom in surrendered hearts. Issues out of our control defer to trust in God’s timing and do not distract us from being a witness for Jesus Christ. The Lord will come back to establish His kingdom on earth, in the meantime we are to be His Spirit-filled witnesses.

    A witness for Jesus can strive in their own strength or thrive in the Spirit’s strength. So, how do we know if we are witnesses empowered by the Holy Spirit? Prayer precedes power. Prayer positions us in humble expectation to receive the Spirit’s fullness. By faith, we confess and repent of sin and embrace our Heavenly Father’s love and forgiveness. The Holy Spirit fills our hearts once we have emptied ourselves of dependence on our gifts, abilities and experiences.

    After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God  boldly. Acts 4:31

    Once we experience the Spirit’s fullness, we are compelled to speak God’s word with boldness.  Indeed, witnessing is a supernatural exchange with the Trinity: the Father loves the lost to Himself, the Spirit convicts a heart of sin and the Son freely forgives a soul in salvation. Our part is surrender and submission, the Holy Spirit’s part is fullness and power. Yes, it is necessary to both live the gospel and speak the gospel. Faith comes by hearing the spoken word of God.

    Furthermore, look for ways in your church to champion evangelistic training and teaching. Witnesses of Jesus need to know what they believe and why they believe what they believe. Perhaps you enroll in an apologetics class and be prepared to equip others. Just be wise not to substitute the Holy Spirit’s power with superior arguments. Most of all, moment by moment pray for opportunities to speak boldly about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As a Spirit empowered witness of Christ, you can’t help but help others understand the good news of Jesus!

    For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes. Romans 1:16

    Prayer: Heavenly Father fill me with Your Spirit, so I can be a bold witness for Jesus.

    Related Readings: Luke 1:35, 3:16; Acts 2:1-4, 8:14-17; Romans 10:17, 15:13; 1 Thessalonians 1:5

    Post/Tweet today: A witness for Jesus can strive in their own strength or thrive in the Spirit’s strength. #spiritempoweredwitness

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhunters.com /www.wisdomhunters.com

  • But God

    Posted on October 11, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. Acts 10:39-40

    Jesus died on a cross, but God raised Him from the dead. Hope seemed to be extinguished, but God kept hope alive in a blaze of resurrected glory. Christ’s disciples deserted Him at His most critical time of need, but God reconvened them at Pentecost in the power of the Holy Spirit. Peter was arrested and put into prison for preaching the gospel, but God answered the prayers of His people and Peter was set free. All can look dire, but God’s grace lifts us up out of our mire.

    What are you facing that needs God’s tender care and encouragement? Has your vision died and is a candidate for the Lord’s resurrection? Perhaps your patience is challenged over an investment opportunity, but God wants you to learn to wait on Him. Maybe a child continues to follow hard after the way of the world, but God is calling you to unconditional love and compassionate prayer. You may feel out of control, but God has all things under His control.

    In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:11-12

    Praise the Lord there is the conjunction ‘but,’ after your serious situation. You are single and feel alone, but Christ is there for you and He has just the right person to uniquely love you. His plan is perfect, so you wait on Him, discern His best and remain faithful in the inbetween time. You may feel the need to lower your standards, but God will bless you for holding high His expectations. Persevere through the pain of rejection. Christ’s acceptance will see you through.

    Our physical facilities fail us at times, but Almighty God’s strength is consistent and forever. Our faith can feel fragile in the face of unrelenting fear, but the faith of our Heavenly Father is a bridge of belief for us to trust. Man punctuates uncertainty with a ‘period’ of doubt, but Christ adds a ‘comma’ followed by encouragement. The Lord is writing your story, so let Him hold the pen. We all have a sentence of death, but God will raise us to be with Him. His power prevails.

    My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, teach me to trust in You and in Your unfinished work in my life.

    Related Readings: Proverbs 19:21; Isaiah 55:8-11; Jeremiah 29:11; Matthew 19:26; Romans 8:28

    Post/Tweet today: All can look dire, but God’s grace lifts us up out of our mire. #Godisincontrol

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

  • Friends Follow Up

    Posted on July 25, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing. Acts 15:36

    Friends need follow up. A growing relationship requires catching up and checking on how they are doing. Since life happens every day, a friend’s needs can change overnight. They may suffer from a sudden sickness,  experience a career change or a teenage child might require prayer. Wisdom in financial stewardship may trouble them so their walk with the Lord needs nurturing. A follow up visit carries compassionate care and concern.

    It is not enough for us to proclaim truth to people without providing ongoing discipleship tools and further teaching. Like a fruitful garden requires daily care and cultivation, so do those eager to grow in their relationship with Christ. Yes, wise are we to take hungry hearts by the hand and pray with them, read and study the Bible together, and experience the joy of sharing the gospel with others. Friends are loved and valued as we take time to follow up on their faith and family.

    Because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 1 Thessalonians 1:5

    Furthermore, make it easy on your friends when you visit with them. Be careful not to take advantage of their hospitality by being demanding or expensive in your tastes. Be content with what they have, even if it requires your inconvenience or adjustment to their environment. You are called to serve, not to be served. Pay for your expenses when possible and offer to cover theirs. Be intentional when you travel overseas to adapt to their culture and not be a burden.

    Lastly, let the Lord lead you in your endeavors to encourage friends in the faith. Make sure people want you to come and see them before you announce your intentions to intrude on their lives. Life is short and you have a limited amount of time and energy, so invest wisely in those who genuinely want to grow in their daily walk with God. The Holy Spirit will show you the way to go and what to do, so pray earnestly. Follow God as you follow up with friends.

    During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. Acts 16:9-10

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, lead me to love  those who are hungry to learn Your word and grow in Your grace.

    Related Readings: Psalm 138:8; Proverbs 18:24; John 15:13; Philippians 1:5-6, 4:1

    Post/Tweet today: Like a fruitful garden requires daily care and cultivation, so do those eager to grow with God. #encouragefaith

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

  • Share God Stories

    Posted on July 15, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    “When they [Paul and Barnabas] came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them.” Acts 15:4

    Can a follower of Jesus contain the great works God does in and through them? Or, are they compelled to communicate Christ’s faithfulness, forgiveness, healing, answered prayers and salvation stories? Joy and gratitude to God cannot be contained in a life surrendered to the Lord. God waits for His works to be openly shared for His glory.

    The grace of God causes a man or woman to glow under its influence. Discerning Christians look at a soul captivated by Christ and know they have been with Jesus. So, we humbly tell of how the Lord is meeting our financial needs, delivering a friend from addiction, growing disciples and how He healed a fractured family relationship.

    “Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds” (Psalm 71:17). A soul might explode unless it shares God’s faithfulness.

    We are too sophisticated in our faith when we are shy and silent about God’s great work. We celebrate and communicate earthly accomplishments, why not do the same over highlights from
    heaven? Our earthly eternal endeavors have been bountifully blessed by the Lord. Everything good we experience finds its roots in the righteous acts of the Almighty.

    Therefore,give your friends and when appropriate, acquaintances and strangers, the gift of a God story, but be careful to keep Christ the central character. After all, it’s all about Him, not you. Godly people celebrate His work in your life and seekers are curious to hear what Christ can do for them. God stories fill hearts with faith and thankful praise.

    Lastly, do not limit the atonement of Christ to a select people group. God’s grace transcends all tribes, nations and cultures. Shortsighted is the soul that only sees people like themselves come to know the Lord. We share God stories globally because our Lord longs for all nations to hear of His faithfulness. His story brings glory and honor to Him.

    “Sing to the LORD, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods” (1 Chronicles 16:23-25).

    Prayer: What story of the Lord’s faithfulness can I share today for His glory?

    Related Readings: Job 37:5; Psalm 86:10; Matthew 21:42; Acts 15:12

    Post/Tweet today: Joy and gratitude to God cannot be contained in a life surrendered to the Lord. #Godstories

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

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