ACTS & ROMANS
This morning, I read from Acts 12 to Romans chapter 4, and there were many things that I thought I would mention:
1) But Prayer... We know how Herod had James killed (brother of John) and then sought to have Peter killed as well since it made the Jews so happy. He had him tucked away in the inner prison with a guard chained to him on both sides and two outside of the door. These were four quaternions. Sixteen men who took four hour shifts with four of them being on duty each hour. With all of this,... Prayer made the difference and an angel of God set Peter free and the men guarding him were executed by Herod because thy had no explanation as to why Peter was set free. We know this story, but here is the new thought.... what if Prayer like this was made for James?? Perhaps he wouldn't have died either. Sometimes our failures in prayer is what leads us to pray. Think about it...
2) Base your decisions upon the Word of God. In Acts 15 when the church made a decision about Salvation by Grace or is works included, they listen to testimony from Peter and Paul, but when James (the pastor of the church) made a decision, it was based upon God's Word... vs. 15 "And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,..."
Men's testimony is good, but it must agree with God's Word or else it is not to be received. To many times Christians make decisions based upon feelings instead of God's Word. We should be "grounded" in God's Word!!
3) Magnify the name of Jesus!! Acts 19:17 "... and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified." Isn't this what it is all about? Isn't this why we pray, serve, get involved in church, give, go, witness, etc. To bring glory to Christ and to magnify His name!! This is what it is all about.
4) Whole Families! Acts 21:5 "...they all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of the city: and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed." I don't know about you, but this brings up to me a wonderful scene of families praying with the apostle Paul as he is about to leave. I like it!
5) No Evil found in Paul. Acts 23:9 "no evil in this man"; Acts 25:25 "committed nothing worthy of death"; Acts 26:31 "nothing worthy of death or of bonds." Yet, he was still beheaded for the cause of Christ. Don't think because you are not guilty that some people will still think you evil. They do not have to have a cause except you being a Christian living for the Lord. Blessed are ye when men shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my name, for so persecuted they the prophets, but rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in Heaven!! (That's Bible!) We don't like that persecution here, but we will rejoice in it there!!!
6) There Is A Call On You!! Romans 1:6 "Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ." There is a call of God upon our lives and we would do well to recognize it. God called us to Himself, we responded in Faith, and now He has a Divine Purpose for our lives. We would do well to follow that calling.
So much for today, I'll see you tomorrow as we finish Romans and get into I Corinthians. I hope you are getting some thoughts from the scriptures I'm sharing each day, and my sincere prayer is that it will help you grow in Christ and long to know God's Word even better! May God bless you! Pastor Mike Mutchler