|Acts 2:42-44 (ERV)|
|42 The believers spent their time listening to the teaching of the apostles. They shared everything with each other. They ate together and prayed together. 43 Many wonders and miraculous signs were happening through the apostles, and everyone felt great respect for God. 44 All the believers stayed together and shared everything.|
|Peter and the apostles taught the Word of God and many were saved. At one time over 3,000 joined the church in one day. I believe that these verses may hold the secret, or the key to the reason for the success in these services that started at Pentecost. I wonder if this could be repeated today? I wonder why there was such success? Let’s dig in and have a look…
|I believe the biggest divide in churches today is probably caused by a few things: 1). Satan is determined to slow, or stop the work of the Holy Spirit and the advancement of God’s kingdom here on earth. 2). Riches and favoritism is probably one of the greatest divides in churches, for the affluent wants what they want, when they want it, or they will stop financially supporting the church and move to another one. This can even affect what is spoken from the pulpit, as the last thing some pastors want, is to ‘step on the toes’ of those that places food on the church family’s table. 3). The less affluent will soon feel left out, or abandoned, or ignored, and will move to a church where they feel like the love of God is extended to all attendees or members. As for this church referred to in these verses, everyone sold what they had and placed the money in a common account for the good of the whole congregation. Going before the throne of grace at that time, then meant that they were all equal in earthly things. It meant that they all went to God with their hands held out, waiting for His blessing and provision. It meant that anything achieved could only come from God. Can you imagine how humbling that would be today if everyone was in the same position when they stood before God? What impact do you suppose this would have on: our pride; our humbleness; our understanding and appreciation of each other; and our ability to feel what others are feeling outside of our group? I believe it will make all the difference in the world, and I believe that it will open our eyes to what it will be like when we stand before Jesus on Judgment Day. Perhaps despondent people will then flock to our churches, and to Christ. No matter how much money we ask our family to pack into our casket with us, we will stand before Christ just as we came into the world – of no earthly value. Perhaps we could learn today to reconsider our attitude toward others, and especially humble ourselves before Jesus as just another sinner saved by grace. If you have not surrendered your life to Jesus Christ yet, may I encourage you to make that a priority today? This may be the last opportunity you will have to approach Him from here on earth, and I really want you to be ready, friend.
|Lord, You used Your servants to minister to Your children gathered for that first Pentecost meeting recorded above. I believe that You are just as concerned for Your children today, and that You want them to be saved and/or encouraged to humble themselves before You just as they are. Thank You for opening our eyes today dear Lord, and thank You for giving us a second chance to rid ourselves of pride and all unrighteousness. Please make us holy, even as You are holy. AMEN!
|There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!|
Posts tagged ‘pride’
The Holy Bible
As for those who were considered important in the church, their reputation doesn’t concern me. God isn’t impressed with mere appearances, and neither am I. And of course these leaders were able to add nothing to the message I had been preaching. It was soon evident that God had entrusted me with the same message to the non-Jews as Peter had been preaching to the Jews.
(Bible Translation and Location: The Message – Galatians 2:6-8)
The small statement that I bolded is also translated “God has no favorites” (NLT) or “God does not judge by outward appearances” (GNT). However, how often do we snub our noses at that person who is trying to minister to us, because they’re not dressed the way that we picture a pastor, or worse still, how often do we miss ministry opportunities because we just can’t be seen associating with a known drinker, or just a sinner in general – you know the kind of folk that Jesus died for? What do we find to say to Jesus when He questions us on our actions? How do we feel when we hear about that same person dying without anyone else ever having the opportunity to share the gospel with them? Missed opportunities sting a lot friends. Most of us have such a fear about sharing with others, because we feel inadequate. First of all, we are inadequate, as we should never attempt witnessing without giving God the lead. Please don’t make it a ‘me’ thing! Secondly, fearing what others may think or say was actually covered in my reading in the Proverbs this morning: “It is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you, but if you trust the Lord, you are safe.” (GNT – Proverbs 29:25). Let’s be careful to give God praise for all His mercies, and let’s stop focusing attention on ourselves. God, in His infinite mercy saved us, and it is He that could use us to minister to others, but we must be available to Him. Let’s use this week of Thanksgiving celebrations to truly open ourselves up to God, so that He might bless our family gatherings and each member present, in spite of what we know them to be away from the family! God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that ALL might come to know Him! Let’s let Him do His thing in and through us this Thanksgiving holiday time!
Father, I am thankful for all that You have done for me, especially the sacrifice You made for me at Calvary, and I am also thankful for Your watchful, protective hand over me each and every day that I live. Please help me to not allow those blessings to just channel up inside, but to openly share with those in need. Those who see no hope for their future. Those who have no hope because they don’t even know You. Thank You for sending Paul to minister to so many in his day, and that his written words, under Your inspiration, can continue ministering to us today. Paul encountered challenges, but he quickly allowed You control of his situations. Lord, may we also surrender ourselves to You so that Your perfect will might be accomplished, and not just our selfish desires. My greatest desire is that all my family, friends and acquaintances will come to know You and live for You, so that we may one day all celebrate around Your throne in glory! I realize that You are all powerful and can touch the lives of each of these, but please empower me to do my part and to be obedient to Your voice and Your instructions, regardless of my impressions of the person. You are all powerful dear God, and I’m not, so I humbly ask that You answer my prayer today, for it’s in the name of Jesus, my merciful Savior that I ask all this, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL!
The Holy Bible
17 As the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.”(Jer. 9:24)
18 When people commend themselves, it doesn’t count for much. The important thing is for the Lord to commend them.
(Bible Translation and Location: The New Living Translation – 2 Corinthians 10:17-18)
Here Paul is defending himself against a bunch of ‘super apostles’, who couldn’t stand seeing someone not from their group come in to share the gospel with their people. Do we have these type folk in our churches today? In my opinion, yes we do, and they are usually the troublemakers, much like Paul encountered in the early church. However what I feel like Paul was trying to clear up for us, is that Christians are to be loyal to God and always striving to please Him. If we please others along the way, then glory to God for whom the pleasing was intended! We should never have to boast on ourselves, after all it is God who created us; God who provides life each day; God who fills us with His love and the knowledge necessary to discern His Word and be able to share it with others. We are therefore just servants of the Master Designer and therefore He who should receive honor and glory from everything accomplished by Him through us. Friends, we are to be careful to pass the praises on to our Lord and Savior, and not soak them up in selfish pride with the assumption that it was due to anything we may have done. We are merely empty vessels with the love and power of God working in and through us as we open our mouths and or work any good deed. Please let us continue to please our Lord, and then worship Him together with others as we are blessed by Him. Don’t let our selfish pride get in the middle of this, for we are nothing without You.
Lord Jesus, in all humility I come before You today asking that You might continue to receive glory for any and everything that You might accomplish through my efforts. Thank You for even considering using me to help others and to represent You. May I fade into the backdrop as You maintain prominence and receive praise for working in the lives of your people. Please keep me volunteering to help where You know that You can use me to receive glory, especially through people surrendering their lives to You. Please make me very aware of the times that I may be less than humble, as my desire and wish is to see people won to You, and only You can perform such a miracle. Please soften the hearts of Your messengers who may be less than obedient, or less than humble before an awesome and perfect God. May this be a day that we all learn to pass the praises up to You while continuing to seek Your face and Your perfect will for our lives as we serve You. Lord I ask these things humbly in Your name, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day‘s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL!
The Bible – New Living Translation
6 Like our ancestors, we have sinned. We have done wrong! We have acted wickedly!
7 Our ancestors in Egypt were not impressed by the Lord’s miraculous deeds. They soon forgot his many acts of kindness to them. Instead, they rebelled against him at the Red Sea.
8 Even so, he saved them — to defend the honor of his name and to demonstrate his mighty power.
I believe that way too often we look down our pious noses and try to convince ourselves of our greatness, and our sinless lives. Friends, whenever we feel that boastful and proud again, may I encourage you to look around and count the family, friends, coworkers or neighbors that have seen enough of Jesus in us that they have surrendered their lives to Jesus and to the leadership of His Holy Spirit, because of our actions and/or words. It is so very easy to look at someone and immediately analyze their problem, without first acknowledging our own, and seeking forgiveness for our own sin and littleness. It is unfortunate that we can train pets so well and they can generally be very obedient, however when it comes to training ourselves to be obedient to God, our Master, our designer, our Savior and our Friend, we suddenly take on a superiority complex as if we are in charge. Friends, just as God held back the Red Sea for our ancestors, why don’t we recognize His awesome intervention in our lives every day? You see, for our world to be impacted, our friends, family, coworkers and other contacts must see and hear the evidence of Jesus in our lives. They will not be impacted simply by us telling them about the miracles at the Red Sea or how Moses struck the rock with his rod and God produced water for His people. Our lives and our witness give validity to the Word of God. It’s the living witness of who God says that He is. Our unsaved loved ones must see this, friends!
Lord, I am reminded of a story about a man who had a lot of faith in a friend that he could push a wheelbarrow on a tight rope across the Niagara Falls. With all that faith, his friend invited him to ride in the wheelbarrow as he pushed it over the Falls!! This is the type of faith it took for the Israelites to follow Moses through the bottom of the Red Sea while the waters were rolled back. We are also faced with similar challenges each day and we make decisions that prove where our level of faith is. Dear Jesus, I am convinced that others will not be impacted to follow You if they see doubt in us, and if they see us living a double life, I pray that You will touch the lives of Your children today and convict us of our sin and our shortcoming. May we follow You through the little things and through the major crisis events. Today marks the anniversary of a terrible disaster here in the USA, a day that showed a lot of people their need for Your love and Your power. I pray that it will not take another disaster to draw the people to You, oh Lord, but rather, may they see Your love and our faith in You so prevalent, that they may be drawn to You, our Savior and our King. Please touch Your children who claim You as Lord today, then I ask that You please consider using Your servants to reach others, because of their faith that might become more and more evident every day. I ask this in the precious name of Jesus, my Lord and King, AMEN!
NOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray.