Glorify God • Magnify Him in this World!

Don’t Be Amazed

Scripture
But Peter continued knocking; and when they had opened the door, they saw him and were amazed.
Acts 12:16 NASB

Observation
Why are we so amazed when God answers prayer? Why is it so hard to believe that God would listen to our prayers and then move in our situation?

Peter was in prison and was more than likely going to be executed by morning. The believers were gathered together and we’re praying fervently, the Scripture says.

When Peter showed up at the front door, they didn’t believe Rhoda, the servant girl who went to answer it. Why not? Why were they praying then in the first place?

Application
When you pray, are you just going through the motions or do you believe that God will really answer? 

Jesus said to ask anything in His name. If your prayer is aligned with God’s will, God will do it! Believe without doubting.

Jesus, the Son of God, had a strong prayer life. So strong that the disciples asked Him to show them how to pray. They didn’t ask anything else, like, “show us how to heal the sick” or “show us how to multiply bread.” They saw the power in His prayer life.

Develop your prayer life. Take time to pray and then go through your day expecting God to move in what you prayed. 

Prayer
Lord, thank You for hearing our prayers. Thank You for moving in them. Help us to make prayer our first response to any situation in our life, be it praise or petition.

Peace
Todd

Where Your Trust Belongs

Scripture
Then Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel.
1 Chronicles 21:1 NASB

Observation
Just because something doesn’t look bad or sinful on the outside, doesn’t mean that their isn’t an underlying motive or reason that is counter to what God wants.

David’s desire to to count the people of Israel was based on not trusting in the Lord. It was a trust issue. Satan, or the Scripture could also mean adversary, rose up and caused David to doubt. He then counted the people, but not just any people. He counted those that were of military age. He wasn’t trusting in the Lord!

David was putting his trust in his military and not in the Lord. This is even after many, many times when God had come through for him!

Application
We have to realize that we never ever get to a place where we can relax and let our guard down, not until we get to Heaven!

Satan will throw everything he has at you, including fear, to get your eyes off of Jesus! 

They key is to stay around the things of God. Keep your faith strong! Stay in prayer and His Word. And remember how He has come through for you in the past. And lastly, remeber that worry, doubt and unbelief are not from God!

Prayer
Lord, help us to always trust You, even when things don’t look good. Help us because we are weak. But we know that when we are weak, You are strong. Help us to lean and trust in You more each day.

Peace
Todd

His Opinion Is More Important!

Scripture
All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.
Acts 10:45

Observation
God totally blew the Jewish Christian Believers away this day. They saw “uncircumcised” people worshipping and praising God the way the Jewish Believers did on the day of Pentecost. They witnessed the Holy Spirit, just like in Acts 2!

The fact is, we have our hang ups and our views, but in the end, God’s plan, God’s Word, God’s view is what matters.

On the testimony of Peter and the others that we were with him, the Council in Jerusalem acknowledged God’s work among the Gentiles.

They realized that God didn’t have to fit in their box. God has His own way of doing things. He has shared His way in His Word.

Application
Does your way of thinking match up with God’s way? Or do you have your views and opinions and believe God should recognize your views?

We need to be like the early church and adjust our views and opinions to be those of God’s. We need to let His Word, through the power of the Holy Spirit, transform us to His ways.

The world speaks loudly. But we need to make sure we listen and obey the commands of God. That is why you MUST spend time in His Word. There is no substitute!

Get in His Word today!

Prayer
Lord, help us to operate from a knowledge of Your Word. Help us to be formed by Your Spirit and Your Word. Thanks You, that more than any other period of history, we have so many options to read, learn and grow in Your Word.

Peace
Todd

When Good Intentions Aren’t Enough

Scripture
The anger of the Lord burned against Uzza, so He struck him down because he put out his hand to the ark; and he died there before God.
1 Chronicles 13:10 NASB

Observations
Good intentions aren’t enough when God’s Word is plain and clear! Uzza died when he tried to do what was right in his own sight. But God already established a way of moving the Ark of the Covenant, and it wasn’t the way they were doing it.

The problem is that David didn’t read or know God’s Word. If he had, he would have known the proper means of transportation.

But this is a real example of what happens when we don’t know God’s Word, death. It isn’t always a physical death like in Uzza’s case. But it definitely is a spiritual death.

God has given us His Word to help us know what He expects. Not knowing His Word is not an excuse! Nowadays, we have every version, every Bible APP, every Bible website you could possibly want, but we are still unaware of God’s Word.

Don’t let your lack of knowledge lead to death. Let His Word be a lamp to your feet, guiding you while you live for Him.

Application
You have to read His Word. There is no substitute. Reading a devotional and articles isn’t enough. 

The Word of God was written by men who were led by the Holy Spirit. When you read it, ask God, that the Holy Spirit would illuminate the Word to your heart. Then, respond and apply it in your life.

You will never completely know all there is about God. His word is alive and active and deeper than you can imagine. Start reading the Word today, and see how God shows up!

Prayer
Lord, thank You for Your Word. Help us to understand Your Word through the power of the Holy Spirit. Help us to desire Your Word more and more each day.

Peace
Todd

Engaging

Scripture
Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
Acts 8:30 NASB

Observation
People are always around us who need to hear the Good News. They are curious. They are desiring to learn more about Jesus. But there are also people hurting. People depressed, dissolutioned about life. And Jesus makes the difference.

We just need to keep our eyes open to see what God is doing around us. It’s easy to get sucked up into “life” and get bogged down with everything we should be doing. But all that stuff is temporary. People’s lives are more important.

Application
God is working in the lives around you. You have an opportunity to share Jesus with them. But this means that you have to be ready and tuned into what the Holy Spirit is doing.

Be filled with the Word of God. Pray that the Lord gives you discernment. Expect that God would use you to speak into someone’s life.

God will use a man or woman who has submitted themselves to His will.  When you do, you are impacting eternity.

Prayer
Lord, help us to be ready and willing at all times to share the Gospel. Give us spiritual eyes to see what You are doing around us. Help us to be eternity focused. This world has nothing to offer compared to You. Help us to relate that to a dying world.

Peace
Todd

How Will It Turn Out?

Scripture
56 and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57 But they cried out with a loud voice, and covered their ears and rushed at him with one impulse.
Acts 7:56-57 NASB

Observation
In front of the Jewish Council, Stephen was good until he brought up Jesus. Jesus changes everything. Jesus causes people to react. 

Most people don’t want to hear. They will move away and choose to not be around the person talking about Jesus. Others, will get angry and react violently, like in the stoning of Stephen. Then, others will willingly accept the Good News and be saved.

The thing is, you never know how it’s going to turn out. And, it really isn’t your responsibility to get people “saved.” It is your responsibility to share the Good News. The Holy Spirit takes it from there.

Application
Are you sharing the Good News about Jesus. It is scary sometimes, because you never know how people are going to react, especially nowadays.

The world seems to be OK with Jesus in our churches, but the minute He shows up in the public arena, people will come against it to shut whatever it is down.

Be faithful. Pray for the Lord to give you opportunities to share the Gospel with others. Don’t be afraid to share what God is doing in your life. You never know who you might touch.

Remember, you are not of this world! You are a citizen of Heaven!

Prayer
Lord, thank You that You have given us the opportunity to share the Good News. Help us not only to share it, but to live it out right in front of others. Help us know the time is short and that lives hang in the balance.

Peace
Todd

A True Believer’s Prayer Life

Scripture
They were helped against them, and the Hagrites and all who were with them were given into their hand; for they cried out to God in the battle, and He answered their prayers because they trusted in Him.
1 Chronicles 5:20 NASB

Observation
Almost everyone underestimates prayer! It doesn’t make sense to most. How can stopping, bowing your head and talking to someone who isn’t around payoff, when you could instead go out there and “make it happen?”

They feel like that because they don’t truly know God. They haven’t come to a real relationship with Him. When you do, you realize that the God of the universe cares about you like a son or daughter and wants good things for you.

So for the Believer, it makes sense to pray. A true Believer, when they spend time with the Lord, quickly realizes that they don’t want to do anything without praying.

That’s what the tribes of Rueben, Gad and 1/2 tribe of Manasseh understood. They cried out to God and He heard them. Not only did He hear them, but He gave them the victory!

Victory comes from trusting and obeying in the Lord through prayer.

Application
Evaluate your prayer time. More than likely, you could spend more time with the Lord. Spend time praying, but also listening. 

How does He want You to trust Him? What do you need to obey Him in?  

When you see God move in your situation, it produces faith. You start to not only trust because you should. You will start to trust and obey because He has come through for you in the past.

If you need help, find Scriptures that speak about trust and obedience. Let those Scriptures, through the Holy Spirit, keep you focused on Him.

Prayer
Lord, thank You for caring so much about us. Thank You that we are worthy, not in our own right, but because of Jesus, to come to You to find help in our time of need. Lord, let us turn to You as our first instinct before, after and when the battle rages on.

Peace
Todd

You Never Hear About This!

Scripture
So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name.

Acts 5:41 NASB

Observation
Wait! What? They considered themselves worthy to suffer? I bet you didn’t know that was in there!

Suffering for Christ is something that the “early church” experienced. Christians today don’t expect to suffer for Jesus. The truth be told…If Christians had to suffer, there would be a huge exodus from the Faith!

Most Christians wouldn’t stomach a church without an exemplary Children’s Ministry or a service without high entertainment value, much less suffering for the Lord!

But the early church considered it a great joy that they could suffer for Jesus. When they suffered, they identified with Him.

Jesus suffered greatly here on Earth. Why wouldn’t we? He did say that the world was going to hate us. 

It’s a complete mindset change. Suffering for Jesus means you identify with Him. It means you put Him first. The threats and evil that other might do, don’t outweigh the peace, joy and love we have in Him.

Application
If you are a Christian, at sometime you too will experience suffering for belonging to Him. When it comes, you need to rejoice! 

Rejoice, not because you like to suffer. You rejoice because the world knows you as belonging to Him! And that is a great honor, to be known as His follower!

You have to know that this is coming! Our Christian Brothers and Sisters are experiencing suffering all over the world. We have been spared much in the US. But it is coming! When it does, will you be so sold out to Jesus and find it a joy to suffer like He did?

Prayer
Lord, help us to be ready. Help us to not consider our lives outside of Your presence. We rely on You because You always come through. Help us to let our lights shine, even in the darkest of moments.

Peace,
Todd