Sunday, December 9, 2018

GOD’S CHOICE

Today’s Reading: Acts 22-23

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).

 

The shoreline of Caesarea in Israel. Paul was taken to Caesarea to appear before Felix the Governor (Acts 23:33).

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Acts 23:11

But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.”

 

Paul, formerly a persecutor of believers in Jesus, now is persecuted for his faith in Jesus. God delights to turn enmity into friendship, hostility into love. Jesus changes everything for all who give Him their lives. It would appear that Paul’s nephew had come to faith in Christ, as evidenced by his warning of the plot to kill Paul, or it could’ve been family loyalty that God used to save Paul’s life. Either way, God was not finished with Paul yet. Our key verse is the final statement by Paul in his first appearance before the Rome-appointed Jewish leadership. The party of the Sadducees believed that God does not do the miraculous, as do some liberal Protestants or reformed Judaism today. The Pharisees believed, but as Jesus said in Mark 7:13, “Making the Word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down.” The result is the same for those who deny the daily activity of God in human lives, or for those who put the intervention of God into the past only. As Paul experienced the “be of good cheer” Words of Jesus, so we should expect Jesus to communicate with us. Are we listening carefully?

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, I’m one of Your sheep. Therefore, as You said, I will know Your voice. I’m listening, Lord Jesus. Thank You for that “still small voice” I’m hearing just now. You are telling me that You love me. I love You also! Amen! (John 10:4 & 1 Kings 19:12)

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I am so very blessed by Norma-Jean, my wife, my children and their spouses, Elaine and Bruce, Ellen and Nizar, Reynold and Kathy, and Ron and Ann. I think the most often repeated words to each other are, “I love you.” I tell my 16 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren the same. I cannot begin to tell how these simple, yet most profound words warm my heart. I encourage you to read 1 John 4:7-21, if you have time. “Love” is the very essence of God’s Being. Just as I am telling my daughters and sons that I love them, and they tell me that they love me, so my Father God tells me, and I tell Him. It’s not trite. It never becomes stale. The great theologian Karl Barth was asked for his most profound thought ever. He answered, “Jesus loves me. This I know.”

Yours for love of God and for love of each other,

David

P.S. In a previous blog comment, one of our readers blessed me with a link to a wonderful music video. Here’s what was written, along with the link…

“My wife blessed me with this song written by Brenton Brown & Paul Baloche. I am sharing my blessing with you. When we stand on the solid Rock of Jesus Christ and let Him lead us, as Paul did, we can weather the storms and adversities in our path. Praise God!” (Click HERE for the song).

Saturday, December 8, 2018

GOD’S WILL

Today’s Reading: Acts 21

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).

 

The three sealed-up arches (top middle) in the southern wall of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount mark the location of the ancient Huldah (“Triple”) Gate. At its base was a 200-foot-wide staircase that once carried pilgrims up to the Temple Mount at the three annual pilgrim festivals, Passover (Pesach), Pentecost (Shavuot) and Tabernacles (Sukkot).

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Acts 21:8-9

On the next day we who were Paul’s companions departed and came to Caesarea, and entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. Now this man had four virgin daughters who prophesied.

 

“Paul….entered the Temple” (21:26). The three blocked up arches, seen faintly in the background of the photo above, accessed the Temple in Jesus’ day. In the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D., these were covered with debris and were found in preparing the foundation for the Al Aksa mosque, built just above the northern Temple wall. It’s hard for us to imagine what it was like 2,000 years ago. Paul and the Jerusalem church leaders were determined to remove any stumbling blocks (the matter of Paul’s Jewishness) which would hinder Jews from coming to Christ. Regardless of the consequences, we must do all in our power to take away anything that would keep others from coming to Christ.

It’s all about bringing others to the saving knowledge of Jesus. Philip’s four daughters are a great example of a family committed to winning the world for Jesus. Recently we considered Revelation 19:10b, “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” These girls testified for Jesus there in Caesarea where they lived. Think of how excited they must have been as Paul, Luke and others stayed in their home. The stories they heard encouraged them to continue their New Testament prophecy, testifying for Jesus. As we read those same stories, let’s share them with others.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, may I serve You, doing the right thing. Help me to do this, regardless of the consequences to me personally. Help me, like Paul, to submit to those who are in leadership in the church. Amen! (check out 1 Peter 2:11-25)

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I’ve been blessed with people who exercise Godly and strong leadership in seeking to do the will of God in ministry. I’ve sought to move forward in harmony with the wisdom which is found in a “multitude of counsellors” (Proverbs 11:14). Having received counsel, I learned that they were not called of God to do the work…I was. Therefore, I had to commence and follow it through to its completion. I was ordained by the laying on of hands by my brothers back in the Spring of 1959 (1 Timothy 4:11-16). This was in the fellowship of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. The day came when those same leaders encouraged me to move into a ministry on behalf of the whole Church. I had no desire to be “independent.” I’ve never found that word in the Bible. Nevertheless, at the counsel of my brothers, I incorporated a separate ministry in order to do New Testament prophecy in the broadest way possible, bringing on a team of clergy from several different denominations. God honoured this move and a great many people have come to know Jesus as their Saviour and Lord. To God be all the credit and glory.

Yours for the glorious calling of winning all people to Jesus,

David

Friday, December 7, 2018

THE RACE

Today’s Reading: Acts 19-20

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).

 

This theatre, first constructed in the 3rd century BC, was the most magnificent structure in the ancient city of Ephesus. During the Roman period, it was expanded to seat 25,000 people. It is referenced in today’s reading (Acts 19:29).

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Acts 20:24

But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

 

“I fought with beasts at Ephesus!” (1 Corinthians 15:32a – it could’ve been in the theatre pictured above). That, plus other events in today’s reading, over a period of three years, resulted in Paul successfully planting a strong Church in a city given to the worship of the goddess Diana. When we arrive in our daily blog at Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, we’ll experience the depth of their understanding of Christ. Even this Church, as strong as they were, could drift away from their first love (Revelation 2:1-7). In Ephesus, Paul found Jewish men who believed in Jesus through a disciple of John the Baptist. Obviously the one who shared the story of Jesus had left Jerusalem before the Holy Spirit came upon the 120 in the upper room (Acts 2:4). Here is another outpouring of God’s Spirit which was manifested outwardly in the same way. We should experience the Holy Spirit in our lives too. Let’s not stop short of all God has for us. Amen!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, re-kindle in me the fire of my first love. Blow with the mighty rushing Wind of Your Spirit upon the embers of my life which sometimes just smolder. By faith I welcome You, Holy Spirit, as I spend further time in prayer. Amen! Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I have prayed with the Spirit and with the understanding also (1 Corinthians 14:15). As prophecy is for the edification of others, I’ll continue with my blog. A few days ago I referred to Revelation 19:10. I need reminders…”For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” The most thorough, yet concise, testimony of Jesus is an evidence of the spirit of prophecy. Paul wrote this powerful statement: “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3b-4). This may be the first such confession in writing in the Greek Scriptures. The Scriptures to which Paul refers are those written in Hebrew, which he spent a lifetime studying. This was how Paul was able to speak so convincingly, for three whole months, in the synagogue of Ephesus (19:8). Today, the area of Turkey that was ancient Ephesus has a majority Muslim population. O God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, help me never to lose my first love for You! Muslims believe that God is not a “Father” and that He has no Son. I exalt You, Jesus, Son of the living God! You are risen from the dead and You are forever alive. Amen! Amen!!!!!!! That’s New Testament prophecy. It flows out of us in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Yours for God’s Spirit to flow through us all,

David

Thursday, December 6, 2018

THE UNKNOWN GOD

Today’s Reading: Acts 17-18

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).

 

The Parthenon in Athens is the most famous surviving building of Ancient Greece and one of the most famous buildings in the world. The Parthenon has stood atop the Acropolis of Athens for nearly 2,500 years and was built to give thanks to Athena, the city’s patron goddess, for the salvation of Athens and Greece in the Persian Wars. The building was officially called the Temple of Athena the Virgin. “Parthenon” comes from the Greek word parthenos, “virgin.”

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Acts 17:30-31

Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.

 

Our key verses are taken from Paul’s message delivered while he was standing on a rise of rock just above the marketplace of Athens. Towering above him, already 500 years old, was the Parthenon. Imagine the boldness of Paul as he proclaimed Jesus and compared Him to the altar they had erected “to the unknown god.” What an example for us! We must never allow great temples of man’s creation, ridicule or persecution to intimidate us in any way. Paul spoke fearlessly and wisely. He even quoted one of the Greek poets. It has been said that “all truth is God’s truth.” Paul knew the Scripture found in Proverbs 11:30b, “He who wins souls is wise.” God promises wisdom to us when we ask Him (James 1:5). Ask! Open our hearts and mouths to those we encounter today. “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Ephesians 6:10). Just start to witness…you’ll be amazed where God takes you!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Dear Lord, grant me the grace to practice today this very message being shared with me and my blog partners. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

When I have preached on the streets, I have had to fight and win over fear. It was the same when I went on TV for the first time almost 55 years ago. It’s really no different from the hesitation I feel in one-to-one ministry. I’ve had to just start speaking. Starting is the hard part. Once I’ve started, I know I have to keep going. Of course, I’ve had to be willing to fail and look like the biggest fool around. But God has never let me down! Also, God lets me know when to stop. The thoughts which I’m expressing cease to come to me. I’ve heard of the person who had nothing to say, but he had to have a place to say it! We, however, have the most important message in the whole world. A preacher was asked how he got his message across so clearly. He answered, “I tell them what I’m going to tell them. Then I tell them what I’m telling them. Then I tell them what I told them.” May I always remember that “Jesus” is my message.

Yours for communicating “Jesus” to the whole world and one-to-one at every opportunity,

David

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

YOUR HOUSEHOLD

Today’s Reading: Acts 16

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).

 

This is the traditional place where Paul and Silas were imprisoned in Philippi. Evidence of an earthquake is obvious.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Acts 16:30-31

And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

 

Firstly, consider the circumcision of Timothy, whose mother was Jewish but probably not his father. The mission field for Paul and his co-workers was primarily the Jewish people. As a trained Rabbi, Paul knew how to perform a circumcision. Why go through this painful procedure? The answer is that it was necessary to remove any excuses that Jews might use for not believing in Jesus. Secondly, the jailer was probably a Gentile. When the earthquake released the prisoners (evidence of an earthquake is seen in Reynold’s photo above), the jailer was about to kill himself because an escape would guarantee his execution anyway. With the question of our key verse, it’s unlikely that the warden was asking about the path to eternal life. It probably had to do with his impending execution by the authorities. Nevertheless, the Apostles did not miss an opportunity to tell a lost man about being saved from a worse fate than physical death. We must, as Paul and Silas did, take every opportunity to share the Good News of Jesus. Let us look for that opening for witness today.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, I confess I’ve often made the way of Salvation more complicated than it is. Help me, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to keep it simple, direct, and with the assurance of my own Salvation clearly in mind. In Your Saving Name I pray. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

A medical doctor said to me as I was witnessing to him, “I do believe. I believe that Jesus died for my sins, but I’m no different as a result.” I believe God gave me a reply as follows: “I believe you are a good doctor, but I don’t believe in you.” His response was, “What do you mean?” “Just this,” I said, “I’ve never had to trust you to save my life. I’ve never been on an operating table knowing that you would perform surgery on me. I’ve never had to believe IN you. I only believe ABOUT you.” It was like a light going on in his face and he prayed something like this: “Lord Jesus, I realize that I’ve been believing ABOUT You, but from now on I’m going to believe IN You. I put my entire life into Your hands. Operate on me. Remove my sin. Amen!” He was a new man from that point forward. He was saved from eternal death, and his household also believed and was saved to eternal life.

Yours for a clear, convincing witness for Christ at every opportunity,

David

P.S. Below is a photo of the only stream flowing through ancient Philippi. Paul baptized Lydia in this river as recorded in today’s Bible reading.

 

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

PRAYER & FASTING

Today’s Reading: Acts 14-15

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).

 

This Temple of Zeus, also known as the Olympieion, is a Greco-Roman temple in the centre of Athens, southeast of the Acropolis. Begun in the 6th century BC, it was not completed until the reign of the Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD. At the time, it was the largest temple in Greece.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Acts 14:23

So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

 

Imagine… After a miracle was performed, they thought Barnabas was Zeus and Paul another one of their gods. Before long, the crowd considered them demons to be stoned. We cannot depend on popular opinion. We must have solid teaching based on the Scriptures. James, now recognized as the Pastor of Jerusalem, brings the Church back to their foundation by quoting God’s Word. This clear dependence on the Hebrew Bible was essential for consistent doctrine. As it was then, so it must be today. With prayer and fasting, elders who are well established in Scripture should be placed in leadership roles. They may not always agree, as in the case of the dissension between Paul and Barnabas. Their differences were not doctrinal but procedural. Today, this disagreement might result in an independent church being planted nearby, which might become a new denomination. Paul and Barnabas, while they separated, did not act in such a way. They simply went in different directions in spreading God’s Word.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Dear Lord, while our leaders may have differences in how to proceed with Your work, may they be in complete unity in the doctrines of eternal salvation. Give me the grace of loyalty to those who lead in my church. With Your help, Lord, I commit to prayer and fasting on their behalf. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I am amazed at the gigantic temples, such as the one to Zeus, pictured above, which are found everywhere in the ancient world. Lucifer, at one time known in Heaven as “the anointed cherub” (Ezekiel 28:14), desired worship for himself and tried to take the place of God. I believe he inspired the building of these temples, and then he and his fallen angels inhabited these temples in order to receive worship here on the earth to which they were banished. The religion business is filled with what the Bible calls “deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1). I don’t worry about these entities taking control of my thoughts and my life, because I practice daily prayer for protection by the Blood of Jesus, and I daily do as James, the Pastor referred to above, teaches me, “Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you!” (James 4:7-8).

Yours for a consistent, joy-filled life in Christ,

David

P.S. 100words is an outreach of Crossroads Christian Communications Incorporated, an official charitable organization in both Canada and the United States. This week I’ve been moved to pray fervently for the mission in many parts of the world and also to give sacrificially. Will you join me? Jesus said, “Inasmuch as you’ve done it unto the least of one of these, you’ve done it unto Me!!!” When considering your Christmas and year-end giving, please remember Crossroads. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!! (click here for donation information).

Monday, December 3, 2018

GOD’S CALL

Today’s Reading: Acts 13

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).

 

This is Antioch. Today it is called Antakya in Turkey. Saul (Paul) and Barnabas were sent out from here as missionaries. Tradition says that Peter pioneered the Church here. At first, as was the Jewish custom, they spoke in the synagogue, but those who believed then gathered in a cave for Christian worship.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Acts 13:2-3

As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.

 

In chapter 9, Saul (later Paul) was sent by the Jerusalem Church to his home city of Tarsus. In chapter 11, Barnabas is sent from Jerusalem to find Saul. Barnabas and Saul settle in Antioch. Saul may have served the Lord here for a dozen years as a faithful local church member before the Holy Spirit revealed God’s plan for a missionary team which would reach other communities.

It is essential that God’s people remain faithful in a local Church. This is where mentoring takes place, and where ministry gifts can be developed providing the Senior Pastor has the New Testament Vision. The experience at a home Church will confirm whether or not God has called us to a larger place in ministry. Our brothers and sisters who know us best will witness to God’s call. It was in Cyprus that Saul (which means “big”) became known as Paul (which means “little”). Perhaps when Saul exercised great authority, as recorded in verses 9 to 12, Barnabas recognized that Saul needed to constantly be reminded to stay humble. In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, Paul tells us that God intervened to help keep him humble. The “thorn in the flesh” was so that Paul would not become “exalted above measure.” God knows our weaknesses and deals with us accordingly. Paul, educated in the rabbinical schools, knew his Hebrew Bible. Notice how he bases his preaching on God’s Word.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, please help me to preach and teach the Scriptures. Help me to learn from Paul’s way of communicating Your Word. Lord Jesus, You urged me to pray that “the Lord of the harvest would send forth labourers into His harvest field” (Matthew 9:38). You answered Your prayer request in the Antioch Church by calling two people into full-time service. Do this again and again in our day, I pray. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

For years now, I’ve tried to remember to pray Jesus’ prayer request each morning. In the “Our Father,” Jesus tells us, “When you pray, say…” In our prayer for “labourers” (not big preachers or executives), we recognize that this is a call to, as Churchill put it, “blood, sweat and tears.” It’s a call to die to personal ambition or any kind of self-seeking. For Paul it meant genuine hardship. Check out 2 Corinthians 11:23-33. I ask myself upon reading these verses, “Do I still want everything God has planned for my life?” YES, YES, and YES!!!! I would like to be somewhere nearby when Paul stands before the Lord in the believer’s judgment (2 Corinthians 5:10). I must never take God’s call lightly. It is the most serious calling in the universe. Obedience must be my #1 priority.

Yours for a greater understanding of God’s call on your life and mine,

David

P.S. The photo of modern Antioch was the first one taken by my eldest son, Reynold, on a trip across Turkey, Greece, and Italy. He is the professional photographer in our family, as well as a missionary with his wife Kathy (Paul made tents to support his missionary calling). Check out their missions website HERE. Ron, my younger son, is also an ordained minister. He and his wife Ann proofread every blog before it’s posted and add any needed links. Their marriage ministry website is HERE. Thank you, my sons and spouses!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

THE SPIRIT OF GOD

Today’s Reading: Acts 11-12

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).

 

Ruins of a Roman hippodrome in Caesarea. If you look carefully to the left and right, you can see the seats from which the spectators would watch the chariot races taking place in the oval space in the centre. Reynold’s shadow is seen on the bottom right.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Acts 11:16-17

Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, “John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?

 

Our Scripture records an amazing shift in the hearts and minds of these believers in Jesus who practiced the religion of Judaism. Peter had baptized Gentiles without them first becoming Jews. For this breach of Jewish practice, Peter was on the carpet back in Jerusalem defending his unprecedented action. The key point in Peter’s defense was John the Baptist’s prophecy and its fulfillment both in the 120 in the upper room and now with the same “they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God” experience.

Consider the two deaths in chapter 12…that of James, the brother of John, and that of Herod. What a stark contrast one with the other. James was put to death by Herod. The end result was the opposite to what Herod intended. The fisherman Apostle, James, now sits with the King of Kings forever. The kingdom Herod sought to hold, crumbled. The glory he sought was instantly lost. The result of his pride was undoubtedly eternal damnation.

Another James, the one known as the brother of Jesus, is rising to leadership. We first hear of him in Mark 6:3. He gave us the book of James. Stay with us daily and we’ll get to James’ book eventually.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, I thank You that, as John the Baptist said of You, “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” By Your grace, may many more be baptized by You in the same way You did for the believers as recorded in the book of Acts. I magnify You in my worship right now. As Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:18-21, I desire with all my heart that I will continue to “be filled with the Spirit.” Amen!!!!!!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

My Grandpa Mainse and his brother Ed would meet each morning at the fence between their farms for prayer. They were what was called “Shouting Methodists.” It is said that they could be heard over on the next concession. I’ve heard my Doctor of Theology father shout for Joy on one occasion. I’ve been so filled with the Spirit at times that it’s next to impossible to keep quiet or to express what’s going on inside of me in my ordinary English language. Of course, one can control one’s exuberance. The Scripture says, “The spirit of the prophet is subject to the prophet” (1 Corinthians 14:32). I find great strength for each day as my human spirit is filled with God’s Spirit. I experience an effective witness for Jesus and my cup of joy is filled to overflowing. Norma-Jean has recently given to our children and grandchildren a book entitled, “The Blessing.” The subtitle is, “Experiencing the Power of the Holy Spirit Today,” by Thomas Trask and Wayde Goodall, published by Zondervan. This is an excellent and thorough teaching resource. If you are hungry and thirsty for God’s Spirit in a greater way in your life, I recommend this excellent book (click here for information).

Yours for being “Filled with the Spirit.” By the way, I believe that this daily blog will help you and me to grow in God, so that our capacities for the Spirit of God will increase. I ask myself this: Am I continuing to be a small volume spirit or am I increasing in size? I think I’m growing, and thus I can experience a greater measure of God’s Spirit than ever before.

David

Saturday, December 1, 2018

GENTILES

Today’s Reading: Acts 10

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).

 

The north public bath house ruins of ancient Caesarea. Herod, Pilate, and Cornelius may have visited these baths, but not Paul. He spent two years in prison here in Caesarea.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

Key Verse: Acts 10:44

While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word.

 

For a Roman of senior rank, it would’ve been customary to visit the bath house daily (pictured above). This daily blog bath “the washing of water by the Word” (Ephesians 5:26), will become a habit after a few days of disciplined reading.

This chapter should be, for we who are not born Jews, very, very important. This is where we get in on the blessings God promised to Abraham, and the blessings of the fulfillment of those promises in Jesus. Why would God choose this Roman Army Officer, Cornelius, to be the first non-Jew to receive Jesus? He was “devout,” a man of excellence in his behaviour. He and his household “feared God.” He “gave alms generously to the people,” and “he prayed to God always.” We don’t earn salvation by good works. Grace, and grace alone through faith, secures our eternal destiny. But our character and good works, as in this story, do serve to get special attention from God. Read more about non-Jews getting in on God’s provision of salvation in Ephesians chapter 2. Please check it out (click here).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I’m so very thankful that as a non-Jew, I’m welcomed into Your family. May I never take Your care for granted. May my character be refined each day, and may this daily blog be a part of the process. You checked out Cornelius’ “memorial” and good things happened. I pray You’ll check out my offerings too. May the smile of Your approval be on my life. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Here is a question I want to ask Cornelius some day…”Were you the centurion whose servant Jesus healed as recorded in Luke 7:1-10? If that wasn’t you, Cornelius, please introduce me to this officer of whom Jesus said, ‘I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel.'” One of the highlights of my life was to suggest to the senior officer corps of Ukraine that they make Cornelius their Patron Saint. Most officers had Orthodox or Roman Catholic backgrounds, although to be an officer in a communist government they had to profess atheism. I mentioned this in my blog on November 3rd (click here for the story in my “100 Personal Words”). I wonder also about the baptism of Cornelius, his family, and friends. Could it have happened in the bath house pictured here? I wonder, as well, if Peter was shocked when God interrupted his preaching to pour out the Gift of the Holy Spirit on these Gentiles. I think so. Because, “They of the circumcision (Jews) were astonished, as many as came with Peter.” I was astonished to witness an interruption by God once in my years of preaching. Please God, do it again and again!

Yours to help each of us to receive all God desires that we should have for the purpose of serving Him effectively,

David