Monthly Archives: August 2019

A Miraculous Healing During Worship

7On the first day of the week, when we met to break bread, Paul was holding a discussion with them; since he intended to leave the next day, he continued speaking until midnight. 8There were many lamps in the room upstairs where we were meeting. 9A young man named Eutychus, who was sitting in the window, began to sink off into a deep sleep while Paul talked still longer. Overcome by sleep, he fell to the ground three floors below and was picked up dead. 10But Paul went down, and bending over him took him in his arms, and said, “Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.” 11Then Paul went upstairs, and after he had broken bread and eaten, he continued to converse with them until dawn; then he left.12Meanwhile they had taken the boy away alive and were not a little comforted. (Acts 20:7-12, NRSV)

Paul was talking so long that a young man fell asleep in the window and fell to his death! That is definitely one thing I have never done, not put someone to sleep, but had them fall to their death!

I am sure someone has fallen asleep while I was speaking though. But can you imagine someone talking about the gospel for that long?

Someone so enthralled with Jesus that they want to talk about Him and the good news for hours upon end?

Think of the subjects you can do this on, and then I wonder if Jesus is one of them and if He isn’t how can we change that?

Jesus should be the most enthralling topic you know so you want to talk about Him all the time.

Can you?


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Sabbath Preaching in Corinth

After this Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2There he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, 3and, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them, and they worked together—by trade they were tentmakers. 4Every sabbath he would argue in the synagogue and would try to convince Jews and Greeks. 5When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with proclaiming the word, testifying to the Jews that the Messiah was Jesus. 6When they opposed and reviled him, in protest he shook the dust from his clothes and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” 7Then he left the synagogue and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God; his house was next door to the synagogue. 8Crispus, the official of the synagogue, became a believer in the Lord, together with all his household; and many of the Corinthians who heard Paul became believers and were baptized. 9One night the Lord said to Paul in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent;10for I am with you, and no one will lay a hand on you to harm you, for there are many in this city who are my people.” 11He stayed there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. (Acts 18:1-11, NRSV)

Do not be afraid to speak and do not be silent!

God wants us to share the good news, the wonderful news that Jesus came and lived among us and was killed because he opposed the authorities and loved all people. And he rose from the dead and went back to be with the Father and made a way for all of us to be with God.

We should share this with everyone, and if they won’t listen, then shake the dust off your feet and move on to tell others, but don’t be silent, tell the word about God’s love.

Speak the truth in love and share the Good News of Jesus Christ!


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Reasoning on the Sabbath in Thessalonica

After Paul and Silas had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three sabbath days argued with them from the scriptures, 3explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This is the Messiah, Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you.” 4Some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. 5But the Jews became jealous, and with the help of some ruffians in the marketplaces they formed a mob and set the city in an uproar. While they were searching for Paul and Silas to bring them out to the assembly, they attacked Jason’s house. 6When they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some believers before the city authorities, shouting, “These people who have been turning the world upside down have come here also, 7and Jason has entertained them as guests. They are all acting contrary to the decrees of the emperor, saying that there is another king named Jesus.” 8The people and the city officials were disturbed when they heard this, 9and after they had taken bail from Jason and the others, they let them go. 10That very night the believers sent Paul and Silas off to Beroea; and when they arrived, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11These Jews were more receptive than those in Thessalonica, for they welcomed the message very eagerly and examined the scriptures every day to see whether these things were so. 12Many of them therefore believed, including not a few Greek women and men of high standing. 13But when the Jews of Thessalonica learned that the word of God had been proclaimed by Paul in Beroea as well, they came there too, to stir up and incite the crowds. 14Then the believers immediately sent Paul away to the coast, but Silas and Timothy remained behind. 15Those who conducted Paul brought him as far as Athens; and after receiving instructions to have Silas and Timothy join him as soon as possible, they left him. 16While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply distressed to see that the city was full of idols. 17So he argued in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and also in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there. 18Also some Epicurean and Stoic philosophers debated with him. Some said, “What does this babbler want to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign divinities.” (This was because he was telling the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.) 19So they took him and brought him to the Areopagus and asked him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20It sounds rather strange to us, so we would like to know what it means.” 21Now all the Athenians and the foreigners living there would spend their time in nothing but telling or hearing something new. 22Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, “Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. 23For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, 25nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. 26From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, 27so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us. 28For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we too are his offspring.’ 29Since we are God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. 30While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” 32When they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some scoffed; but others said, “We will hear you again about this.” 33At that point Paul left them. 34But some of them joined him and became believers, including Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris, and others with them. (Acts 17, NRSV)

Do we worship an unknown god or the God?

You see there is only 1 God even though we, who are Christians, know God as three different expressions. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all one and we can not have one without the other two. And sometimes we get hung up on this.

But we need to worship God in spirit and in truth so when we are questioned we can stand like Paul and give witness to the God who has made all things new and who walks with us through our trials.

Worship God and rely on Him to see you through.


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A Riverside Sabbath Day

11We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis, 12and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city for some days. 13On the sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there. 14A certain woman named Lydia, a worshiper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul. 15When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home.” And she prevailed upon us. (Acts 16:11-15, NRSV)

Paul and his companions went down by the riverside on the Sabbath and spoke to the women who gathered there. They were probably not spiritual people per se but they gathered and listened.

We can worship and talk about God anywhere. And if people are open and ready to listen, they may just get the love that God has given to us.

Never stop living the life that God gave you to live and to allow God to speak boldly through your life.


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Paul Preaches on the Sabbath

13Then Paul and his companions set sail from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia. John, however, left them and returned to Jerusalem; 14but they went on from Perga and came to Antioch in Pisidia. And on the sabbath day they went into the synagogue and sat down. 15After the reading of the law and the prophets, the officials of the synagogue sent them a message, saying, “Brothers, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, give it.” 16So Paul stood up and with a gesture began to speak: “You Israelites, and others who fear God, listen. (Acts 13:13-16, NRSV)

We think that we should go out and just tell everyone all the time how much God has done for us and who Jesus is and how He saved all of us.

But did you see what happened here? Yes, Paul preached in the synagogue on the Sabbath, but he was invited.

The leaders of the synagogue asked if they had any words of exhortation, and then Paul told them about Jesus.

Sometimes people aren’t ready to hear the good news, but when they ask we must tell them.

Are you ready to tell others about Jesus?


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Love One Another

9As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. 10If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. 12“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command you.15I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. (John 15:9-15, NRSV)

If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love…

As I read this verse again to do this devotion I was struck by this line. You see this passage is about Jesus telling us to love one another. We think that the Bible tells us to follow all of these rules and make sure we do not slip and do something we aren’t allowed to do, but Jesus sums up what the commandments do for us in that one line, If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love.

You see I have said for many years now that the 10 commandments are all about us living in relationships with God and each other, 3 for God and 7 for others, and if we do these things, we will be loving God and loving others.

More than keeping rules, love.

That is what God did for each of us, loved us when we were filthy, and that is what God wants us to do. Love.


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Apostles’ Creed Second Article

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. 12But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. 14And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. 15(John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’”)16From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known. (John 1:1-18, NRSV)

And the word became flesh and lived among us.

The word translated as lived here is actually tented or tabernacled. Meaning Jesus came to this world and pitched a tent to be with us. He is coming in and staying and he is right here with us. The one who created everything who was there when the cosmos was knit together, has decided it is so important to help us understand life, that he left the space with the Father and came and pitched a tent to be with you.

So know that you are precious in His sight and more valuable to Jesus than you can ever imagine.

And share what Jesus has given you with all of the world.


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A Shadow of Things to Come

16Therefore do not let anyone condemn you in matters of food and drink or of observing festivals, new moons, or sabbaths. 17These are only a shadow of what is to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 18Do not let anyone disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, dwelling on visions, puffed up without cause by a human way of thinking, 19and not holding fast to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God. 20If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the universe, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? Why do you submit to regulations, 21“Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch”? 22All these regulations refer to things that perish with use; they are simply human commands and teachings. 23These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-imposed piety, humility, and severe treatment of the body, but they are of no value in checking self-indulgence. (Colossians 2:16-23, NRSV)

Do not let human commands get in the way of you serving and following Jesus!

You see there are many things you will be told you have to do because they are what the faithful do, but these things are of no value in checking self-indulgences and will not get you any faith.

Follow Jesus and not men and listen to what God is calling you to.


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Healings and Harvests

27As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, crying loudly, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” 28When he entered the house, the blind men came to him; and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” 29Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you.” 30And their eyes were opened. Then Jesus sternly ordered them, “See that no one knows of this.” 31But they went away and spread the news about him throughout that district. 32After they had gone away, a demoniac who was mute was brought to him. 33And when the demon had been cast out, the one who had been mute spoke; and the crowds were amazed and said, “Never has anything like this been seen in Israel.” 34But the Pharisees said, “By the ruler of the demons he casts out the demons.” 35Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. 36When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:27-38, NRSV)

Why were these people all following Jesus?

Why do you follow Jesus?

The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few… There are many who want to hear the word of God, but there are not many willing to go and tell them.

We see this story and think, or at least I think, these people are seeing all of these miracles, mute speaking and the deaf hearing and they have never seen anything like this, so they follow Jesus to see what else He will do and to see what He might do for them. And is that why we follow Jesus, for what He will do for us, for the miracle He will perform for us?

Is it about what we get or what we can give?


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A Girls and a Woman Healed

18While he was saying these things to them, suddenly a leader of the synagogue came in and knelt before him, saying, “My daughter has just died; but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.” 19And Jesus got up and followed him, with his disciples. 20Then suddenly a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his cloak, 21for she said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be made well.” 22Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well. 23When Jesus came to the leader’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd making a commotion, 24he said, “Go away; for the girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. 25But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl got up. 26And the report of this spread throughout that district. (Matthew 9:18-26, NRSV)

Do you have faith like this? If I can only touch the fringe of His cloak I will be made well…

We say we believe in God and follow after Jesus, yet we live our lives like it is all up to us.

Faith is the hope for things unseen. It means that we do not understand how it will work but we believe that it will. It means we do not understand how God is going to get us there, but we believe that God will!

If I can only touch the fringe of His cloak I will be healed.

Live your life reaching for the fringe and have faith that Jesus will see you through.


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