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“Sweet Peace”

Acts 12: 6: “And on the very night when Herod was about to bring him forward, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains; and guards in front of the door were watching over the prison.” How many people sleep the night before their execution? Not many, I’d bet, especially if they are wrapped in chains rather than a blanket. But even though St. Peter’s fellow apostle had just been martyred, he still had the peace that faith brings to us: faith to live (deliverance by the angel) and faith to die (a destiny all face, sooner or later). Wednesday, September 2: “Big Day” John 8: 56: “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” Have you ever seen a Ch

“This Is What You Get”

Job 12: 20, 24: “He deprives the trusted ones of speech, and takes away the discernment of the elders. He deprives of intelligence the chiefs of the earth’s people, and makes them wander in a pathless waste.” If you know anyone who doesn’t believe the Bible, show them these verses, and they will change their mind. They are the undeniable explanation for what is going on in the world today. This is what the saying, “God gives people the leaders they deserve” is talking about. Tuesday, September 1: “Sweet Peace” Acts 12: 6: “And on the very night when Herod was about to bring him forward, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains; and guards in front of the door were watch

“Total Recall”

Acts 11: 16: “I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, ‘John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” When you’re in a tight spot and don’t know what to do, learn this life hack from St. Peter: Remember the Word of the Lord. Fear not, the Holy Spirit will help you with that (John 14: 26; 16: 13). People may argue with you, but only a fool argues with God. 1) How did Saul’s life change? 2) How should we respond to suffering? 3) Why did Jesus skip the Feast in Jerusalem? 4) What did David do in his distress? 5) What made the Pharisees bad leaders? 6) What life hack did Peter use in Cornelius’ home?

“Problems at the Top”

John 7: 48, 49: “No one of the rulers of rulers or Pharisees has believed in Him, has He? But this multitude which does not know the Law is accursed.” Were the Pharisees in touch with the people they served? They didn’t realize that Nicodemus, one of their number, believed in Jesus. And whose fault was it that the multitude did not know the Law? Wasn’t it the Pharisees’ job to teach them? No wonder Jesus gave them a hard time. Saturday, August 29: “Total Recall” Acts 11: 16: “I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, ‘John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” When you’re in a tight spot and don’t know what to do, learn this life hack from St. Pet

“Call and Response”

Psalm 18: 6: “In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried to my God for help; He heard my voice out of His temple, and my cry for help before Him came into His ears.” How did David know that God was his Rock, Fortress, and Deliverer (v. 1)? Because he had been delivered! If you never have any distress, you will never have a chance to know the salvation of God. Friday, August 28: “Problems at the Top” John 7: 48, 49: “No one of the rulers of rulers or Pharisees has believed in Him, has He? But this multitude which does not know the Law is accursed.” Were the Pharisees in touch with the people they served? They didn’t realize that Nicodemus, one of their number, believed in Jesus. And who

“Keep Walking”

John 7: 1: “After these things Jesus was walking in Galilee; for He was unwilling to walk in Judea, because the Jews were seeking to kill Him.” Even Jesus is not rash or presumptuous. As the Son of God He could walk where He pleased, right? But He knew it was not yet time to suffer in Jerusalem, so He waited in Galilee; for the time being, at least. And whether in Galilee or in Jerusalem He kept doing what He did--He kept walking. Thursday, August 27: “Call and Response” Psalm 18: 6: “In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried to my God for help; He heard my voice out of His temple, and my cry for help before Him came into His ears.” How did David know that God was his Rock, Fortress,

“Basic Instinct”

Job 6: 10: “But it is still my consolation, and I rejoice in unsparing pain, that I have not denied the words of the Holy One.” We’re all familiar with suffering by now, at least more than we were six months ago. Our first instinct? For many, it's “Curse God and die,” as Job’s wife counseled him (Job 2: 9). Knowing the Lord as his strength, his source, and his consolation, Job took a different course: to be faithful to the faithful One, Who is bigger than all the pain and trials. Wednesday, August 26: “Keep Walking” John 7: 1: “After these things Jesus was walking in Galilee; for He was unwilling to walk in Judea, because the Jews were seeking to kill Him.” Even Jesus is not rash or presumpt

“Seed of Change”

Acts 9: 21: “All those hearing of him continued to be amazed, and were saying, ‘Is this not he who in Jerusalem destroyed those who called on this Name, and who had come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?’” Chekhov said that everything changes except the human spirit. On the contrary, every positive change, whether in an individual’s character or in society, happens because of the spiritual change we call the New Birth. The change in Saul’s behavior was not the result of some self-help program; it began on the Damascus road when he was met by Christ. Any other approach is mere humanism. Tuesday, August 25: “Basic Instinct” Job 6: 10: “But it is still my con

“Fear the Fear”

Job 3: 25: “For what I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me.” You’ve heard “Love is an open door”? (Frozen) Well, fear is an open door too, an invitation to whatever it is you fear to come into your life and make it miserable. But fear’s opposite, love, casts out all fear (1 John 4: 18), and opens the door to a life blessed by God. Fear not!

“Misery Hates Company”

Job 2: 12: “And when they lifted up their eyes at a distance, and did not recognize him, they raised their voices and wept. And each of them tore his robe, and they threw dust over their heads toward the sky.” These three friends may have had a desire to comfort Job, but perhaps this wasn’t the best way to do it. If someone weeps, throws dust in the air, and gives you the silent treatment for seven days at the sight of you, do you feel better? Saturday, August 22: “Fear the Fear” Job 3: 25: “For what I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me.” You’ve heard “Love is an open door”? (Frozen) Well, fear is an open door too, an invitation to whatever it is you fear to come into your life

“Walking in the Desert”

Acts 8: 26: “But an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip saying, ‘Arise and go south to the road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This is a desert road.)” Here’s Philip, going through the desert on foot (v. 30), not in an airconditioned SUV, and he finds a man who wants to be baptized. Ok, but by definition a desert lacks the water necessary for this. No problem, God provides—not just a puddle, but enough for immersion (vv. 38, 39). If God has you walking in a desert right now, you can know there’s water somewhere out there.

“Watching and Waiting”

Psalm 130: 6: “My soul waits for the Lord more than the watchmen for the morning; indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.” The watchman is so excited to see the morning break, not because it means he’s off duty and can now go home to bed, but because it is evidence that the Lord, in His faithfulness, has sustained His people through yet another dark night. The morning is coming people, watch and wait for it! Thursday, August 20: “Walking in the Desert” Acts 8: 26: “But an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip saying, ‘Arise and go south to the road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This is a desert road.)” Here’s Philip, going through the desert on foot (v. 30), not in an aircondit

“Of Vaccines and Glory”

John 5: 44: “How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another, and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?” It’s amazing how many posts and news reports are out there that claim some group or someone is “so close” to finding a cure to the virus. Yet they seem to be more concerned with receiving glory (and cash) from their efforts than alleviating suffering. When God’s purposes are fulfilled and this current pandemic is ended, it will be He Who gets the glory, and all will say, “Stand still and see the salvation of God!”

“Listen and Believe”

John 5: 24: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him Who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” In the midst of life we are in death; in the midst of death we are in life. With the specter of death seemingly all around us in these days, we need to hear and remember these words of Christ. If we believe in the Father, we have life. And what are the words of the Father? “This is My beloved Son; listen to Him.” Tuesday, August 18: “Of Vaccines and Glory” John 5: 44: “How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another, and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?” It’s amazing how

“Divine Counsel”

Psalm 33: 11: “The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart from generation to generation.” This verse summarizes well the MDR this week. Every day we have choices: to follow God, or to follow man. Man’s counsel is seasonal, temporal, and subject to fads, foible, and fancy. God’s is from an eternal perspective of wisdom, lovingkindness, and power. Which do you choose?

“Unsung Hero”

Judges 15: 15, 19: “And he found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, so he reached out and took it and killed a thousand men with it … But God split the hollow place that is in Lehi so that water came out of it. When he drank, his strength returned and he revived.” We love to look upon the failures of Samson, but the man received much favor from God. Speaking with more action than words, he was the first to confront the Philistines. And who, other than Moses, brought water from a rock? He fulfilled the angel’s word to his mother (13: 5) and had a twenty-year reign. But heroes aren’t heroic all the time ....

“Society’s Dictates”

John 4: 27: “And at this point His disciples came, and they marveled that He had been speaking with a woman; yet no one said, “What do you seek?’ or ‘Why do you speak with her?’” Not only did Jews not have dealings with Samaritans (v. 9), but men and women were not allowed to converse in public. So said society. However, this type of sexism is not found in the Law or prophets, and Jesus preferred to follow His Father’s commandment to love His neighbor as Himself, with no gender restrictions included. The end result? “Many of the Samaritans believed.” (v. 39)

“Center of Attention”

Judges 13: 17: “And Manoah said to the angel of the Lord, ‘What is your name, so that when your words come to pass, we may honor you?’” Notice how, throughout the story of Samson’s nativity, the angel always deals with the unnamed wife, and Manoah keeps trying to insert himself into the action? It wasn’t enough for him that God had oriented his wife, Manoah wanted some attention, too. True obedience (and humility) means taking a back seat sometimes, if that’s what the Lord wants.

“God vs. Men”

Acts 5: 29: “But Peter and the apostles answered and said, ‘We must obey God rather than men.’” Most ministers of the Gospel do not have high priests and councils trying to restrict our message anymore. (Some do) No, we have people in chat rooms and watch parties and online encounters from whom we must elicit those iconic thumbs pointed skyward, little red hearts, or, ideally, a positive or complementary comment. But if those things come at the cost of sacrificing God’s truth—what a price to pay for such trivialities!

“Apostle’s Secret”

Acts 5: 19, 20: “But an angel of the Lord during the night opened the gates of the prison, and taking them out he said, ‘Go your way, stand and speak to the people in the temple the whole message of this life.’” The early ministry of the apostles was dynamic, just as Jesus had promised, and here’s why. They obeyed completely what God spoke to them—here, the specific instructions of the angel. They didn’t say, “We’re free! For safety’s sake, better run back to Judea and simplify our message. Let’s avoid the controversial parts that got Jesus killed.” No, temple. Whole message. This life. Obey.

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