Tag: God’s power

An earthquake with eternal blessings!

Scripture reading for May 27th:  Acts 16

Earthquakes have been in the news frequently.  A devastating earthquake killed thousands in Nepal and caused terrible hardship and suffering.   But the Book of Acts tells of an earthquake that had a liberating effect on a specific group of people.  This earthquake literally shook the chains off them and opened the hearts of a family for salvation!

Paul and Silas while on a missionary journey found themselves in stocks in the prison dungeon, beaten and bruised, after casting a demon from a slave girl in the Roman province of Philippi.  Instead of feeling sorry for themselves, they began to worship God.  “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.  Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken.  At once all the doors flew open and everybody’s chains came loose.”  (Acts 16:25-26)

Worship has a liberating effect on the souls of those who practice it.  It also has a way of loosing people from chains of bondage!  In this case, all the prisoners experienced a terrible shaking that loosed them and opened the doors of the jail!

The jailer was fearful that all the prisoners would escape in the night, and drew his sword to kill himself.  Paul called out to stop him, letting him know that all were still there.  “The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas.  He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”  They replied, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved–you and your household.”  (Acts 16:29-31)  This earthquake opened the heart of the Roman jailer to recognize his need of salvation!  This was an earthquake that brought blessing!

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Self examination of your soul!

Scripture reading for September 13th: 2nd Corinthians 13:1-14

Paul was coming for his third visit and promised to address their problems with the sins he listed.  Some people there were questioning Paul’s authority and the power of Christ.  He told them that every matter would be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.  He had warned them on the second visit and now was prepared to deal with those who had not repented.  “. . .since you are demanding proof that Christ is speaking through me.  He is not weak in dealing with you but is powerful among you.  For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by God’s power.  Likewise, we are weak in Him, yet by God’s power we will live with Him to serve you.” (2nd Corinthians 13:3-4)  It was Christ’s power in Paul’s weak body that made him a servant of Christ to help them.  Christ would not put up with sin in His body!

“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.  Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test?  And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test.” (2nd Corinthians 13:5-6)   Paul told them to test themselves for Christ in their life.  The real test of true Christianity is Christ living in us.  Paul knew that Christ lived in his body and was confident that these Corinthians would see that in him.  (Galatians 2:20)  They also would be able to know whether or not Christ was in them!

Paul was writing this letter to help these Corinthian Christian make the needed corrections in their lives before he came and would need to use his authority in person.  His desire and Christ’s was for their perfection!  His final words showed his heart to these brothers:  “Finally, brothers, good-by.  Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace.  And the God of love and peace will be with you.” (2nd Corinthians 13:11)

If we will take godly correction from those God places in our lives, we will make progress towards perfection!  If we don’t aim for perfection, we surely won’t hit it by accident!  We must help one another in order to make progress and to work at living in peace.  God will work in us and love us to perfection!

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Our star-breathing God!

Scripture reading for June 9th: Psalms 31-35

The Psalms reveal a lot about the character, power and majesty of the God we worship.  Psalm 33 is especially rich in revelation and is one of my personal favorites!  It begins with music–singing, shouting, and instruments played skillfully!  It is fitting to begin with praise and worship when we contemplate the majesty of God!

God is first commended for His word.  The word of the Lord is right and true!   He made the heavens by His own word.  When he spoke, the psalmist states, God breathed out the starry host!  When we think of the vast universe with it’s countless stars, galaxies, and star clusters, stretching out for billions of light-years, we can only worship in awe and holy fear!  He speaks and out of nothing, stars appear!  What power and amazing understanding is on display daily!  His word holds the universe together and is the agent that brings faith to those who will hear Him!  (Romans 10:17)  (Colossians 1:17)

God is in total control of the earth and all it’s peoples!  He knows how to stop nations and people from interfering with His plans.  The nation that serves the Lord will be blessed!  God is watching over mankind and knows everything that is happening.  He knows the hearts of all men and is looking for those whose hearts are sold out to Him.  He will show Himself strong for them! (Psalm 33:18-19)  He will save them and preserve them!  His unfailing love moves Him to bless and give His people what they need and desire!

As we contemplate the truths of this psalm, we gain an understanding of the magnitude of the God we worship!  Faith begins as we understand that He is in control!  No purpose or plan of his can be stopped!  He knows how to stop nations that are going against Him.  He knows how to bless people who are sold out to Him!  That’s the place I want to be!  I want God watching out for me to save and deliver me!  What about you?

We wait in hope for the Lord’ He is our help and our shield.  In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name.  May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you.” Psalm 33:20-22

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Self examination of your soul!

Scripture reading for September 13th: 2nd Corinthians 13:1-14

Paul was coming for his third visit and promised to address their problems with the sins he listed.  Some people there were questioning Paul’s authority and the power of Christ.  He told them that every matter would be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.  He had warned them on the second visit and now was prepared to deal with those who had not repented.  “. . .since you are demanding proof that Christ is speaking through me.  He is not weak in dealing with you but is powerful among you.  For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by God’s power.  Likewise, we are weak in Him, yet by God’s power we will live with Him to serve you.” (2nd Corinthians 13:3-4)  It was Christ’s power in Paul’s weak body that made him a servant of Christ to help them.  Christ would not put up with sin in His body!

“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.  Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test?  And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test.” (2nd Corinthians 13:5-6)   Paul told them to test themselves for Christ in their life.  The real test of true Christianity is Christ living in us.  Paul knew that Christ lived in his body and was confident that these Corinthians would see that in him.  (Galatians 2:20)  They also would be able to know whether or not Christ was in them!

Paul was writing this letter to help these Corinthian Christian make the needed corrections in their lives before he came and would need to use his authority in person.  His desire and Christ’s was for their perfection!  His final words showed his heart to these brothers:  “Finally, brothers, good-by.  Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace.  And the God of love and peace will be with you.” (2nd Corinthians 13:11)

If we will take godly correction from those God places in our lives, we will make progress towards perfection!  If we don’t aim for perfection, we surely won’t hit it by accident!  We must help one another in order to make progress and to work at living in peace.  God will work in us and love us to perfection!

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Clothed in Majesty and Splendor

Scripture reading for June 24th: Psalms 104-106

“Praise the Lord, O my soul.  O Lord my God, You are very great; You are clothed with splendor and majesty. He wraps Himself in light as with a garment. . .” (Psalm 104:1-2a)

In Psalm 104, the psalmist begins to worship the Lord of creation for who He is.  This psalm mirrors the creation account of Genesis 1 and by careful observation one can find references to all 7 days.  The creation declares the glory and majesty of the Creator.  (Psalm 19)  God not only wrapped Himself in light, but He stretched out the heavens like a tent.  Light marks the sky by day and night and God sets the times and seasons using their consistent motions.

God also formed the earth and it’s atmosphere, making it a place fit for life, and filled it with all forms of life.  The waters of the sea, as well as the land, teem with every kind of creature!  Each creature looks to God for it’s life and provision. (Psalm 104:27)  God faithfully supplies for each one and they are satisfied.  When God takes away their breath, they die and return to the dust.  When God sends His Spirit, they are renewed!  Contemplation of the cycles of life brings one who is conscious of God to worship!

God provides for man especially.  He brings forth “wine that gladdens the heart of man, oil to make his face shine, and bread that sustains his heart.” (Psalm 104:15)   This verse struck me as more than just physical provisions, although the earth surely brings forth plenteous provision for mankind.  The wine speaks of the blood of Jesus Christ, which is able to purify the heart of man and make him eternally glad!  The oil speaks of the precious gift of the Holy Spirit which is the down payment of heaven, God living in us and revealing His glory through the Spirit’s abiding presence.  The bread represents the body of Jesus Christ, broken for us.  If any man eat this bread, he will live forever!  Praise the Lord for His wonderful provision!

The psalmist concludes his worship poem with these lines: “May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in His works. . .I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.  May my meditation be pleasing to Him as I rejoice in the Lord.” (Psalm 104:31,33-34)

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