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Showing posts from April, 2015

A Parable on Repentance

Key Principle #4: REPENTANCE (part 1 )
“There is no more confused message that you and I could give
to a lost and dying world than to live in sin
and at the same time to tell people about the transforming power of Jesus Christ.
God will not use a compromised life to reach a compromised world.”

Joe Focht, pastor of Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia 2And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried...to ask alms from those who entered the temple; 3who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms... 6Then Peter said, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." 7And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 8So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them--walking, leaping, and praising God. Acts Chapter 3

     One sadly lacking aspect of the modern church is that it has forgotten its …

Rewards of being Spirit-filled

Key Principle #3: SPIRIT-FILLED (part 3) Acts 2:41-47 Rewards of being Spirit-filled
The tongues of fire and the understood languages were used on the Day of Pentecost to proclaim the Word, will and works of God. It was a sign of God’s power for unbelievers to see that God has poured out His Spirit on them, and 3,000 people were saved. Speaking in other languages was again shown on several occasions later in the book of Acts, each with a significant reason and each with salvation for unbelievers. Paul explained later that speaking in other languages was not a sign for believers, but for unbelievers. However, using your spirit-filled tongue to proclaim a prophetic message in an understandable language is a wonderful way to edify other believers (see 1 Cor. 14:22) and a great reward for you.
In fact, the Holy Spirit prompting us to prophesy was direct fulfillment of prophecy from Joel 2:28-32 as shown in Acts 2:17-18. To prophesy does not only mean “fore-telling” or speaking God’s truth…

Risks of being Spirit-filled

Key Principle #3: SPIRIT-FILLED (part 2)
Acts 2:12-13 Risks of being Spirit-filled
When God’s Spirit fills you, others who look at your life may become confused or perplexed by the difference He makes in your life (Acts 2:12). Others may mock you (2:13). But some will become convicted (verse 37) and even converted (verse 41).
Speaking the Word of God will set you apart and may even intimidate others who are unsaved, or walking contrary to the ways of God. But for other believers, there’s no greater joy than being around a spirit-filled Christian and being a part of a spirit-filled church. If you don’t know for sure if your church is spirit-filled, then it probably isn’t! I’m not talking about a church which raises hands or sings great praise choruses, for that’s not the sign of a spirit-filled church in and of itself. The Biblical test of being spirit-filled is whether the Word and Works of God are present and evident and spoken of.
Is your church constantly talking about the things of th…

Reasons to be Spirit-filled

Key Principle #3: SPIRIT-FILLED (part 1)
Acts 2:4
Ask yourself a painful question…is your church spirit-filled? Want an even more painful question; are you Spirit-filled? I say it is a painful question because it is to me and many of the churches I’ve seen. You may answer that and say, yes, I am spirit-filled and so is my church. What does that mean to you?
This is what it meant to the early church and what it should mean to us today. A spirit-filled church is a power-filled church and it is a witness-filled church. A spirit-filled Christian is a power-filled Christian and a witness-filled Christian. It comes as a result of waiting on the Promise of the Father, being obedient to Christ and being saved and baptized by the Holy Spirit.
Reasons to be Spirit-filled
I’ve always had a difficult time visualizing this scene. I’ve seen it dramatically depicted in movies, but still, most difficult is how did a divided tongue of fire appear and how did it rest on people. Have you ever wondered why a…

Don't Let The Accuser Keep You From Witnessing

Key Principle #2: WITNESS (part 3)
Acts 1:8-26
Don’t Let Opposition From The Accuser keep you from witnessing
      Thirdly, don’t let adversity and opposition stop you from witnessing. Acts. 1:21 says “Let another take his office.” That word office is episkopen or sometimes translated as bishop or overseer. Peter used this word of position for what Judas held. Judas had a position of leadership, as did all of the apostles, and when his position was open, Peter found a Scripture which stated it should to be filled.
      If you read Psalm 109, you’ll quickly see Peter was studying Psalms. Read verse 3, “They have also surrounded me with words of hatred, and fought against me without a cause. In return for my love they are my accusers but I give myself to prayer thus they have rewarded me evil for good and hatred for my love.”
      Peter had heard Jesus use this same Psalm 109 on the night He was betrayed. John 15:25 ("But this comes to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is …

Don't Let Failures Keep You From Witnessing

Key Principle #2: WITNESS (part 2) 21 “Therefore, of these men who have accompanied us ... one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection. ” ... 26 And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles."          Acts Chapter 1         It is this passage of Scripture that has led to an erroneous division in clergy (those who make a living as a minister) and the laity (those ministers who earn a living other than through the church). The word “lot” is kleros from which we get clergy, so whenever we read “the lot fell on Matthias,” it could also be said, “and the clergy fell on Matthias.” But as we see in Acts 1:8, it’s not just the clergy who are to be witnesses for Christ, but everyone who receives the Holy Spirit, or in other words, all Christians.        As we saw in the previous blog, some use the excuse of "not being a member of the clergy" to not be a witness. Look at what Robert Coleman said about the …

Good news on book publication (kind of)

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Romans 8:28 states that all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purposes. I am claiming that on the publication of the GoJODaaT.

Crossbooks, my publisher that I have been working with for nearly a year now, has gone out of business. So why is that good news? I believe that is going to lead the book to be published by a larger publishers, either by B&H directly (affiliated with Lifeway) or another publisher such as Thomas Nelson (the publisher of my preferred translation in the book, the New King James Version).

So above is the suggested cover design and my prayer is that God will actually achieve a wider distribution than Crossbooks would have provided. Drop me a note if you will join me in prayer (I believe you have to create a log in account in order to post comments).

I will be updating my corrections to the blog over the next few weeks so that a "cleaner" reading of the devotionals will be on the internet. You may beg…

Key Principles for the Church: # 2 - - WITNESS

Key Principle #2: WITNESS (part 1) ACTS 1:8-26 6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."      Lawyers and judges say that one of the most convincing (but sometimes least accurate) evidences you can bring to a trial is to have an eyewitness of an event, depending of course on the reliability and believability of the witness.
        Luke researched the gospel and also the book of Acts by going to eyewitnesses of the events. I think it is extremely important that Luke says several times that Mary “pondered these things in her heart.” How would he know that unless he spoke directly to her?
        The use of witnesses …

Empowering the Church: Spiritual Immersion

This is part four of empowering the church, a key principle for the church as a whole and individual Christians in particular.



Key Principle #1: EMPOWERED part 4
"...for John truly baptized with water,
but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit
not many days from now."
Acts. 1:5
The Power of Being Immersed By His Spirit
We often are not empowered as a church and as individuals because we don’t understand what it means to be immersed with the Holy Spirit. I like the translation of “immersion” better than the word “baptized” in verse 5 because the word baptized is not actually translated from the Greek, it’s transliterated. What I mean is, the Greek word, baptizo, was not translated into an English word when the Bible was put into our language hundreds of years ago. When the Bible was first put into English, the most common form of water baptism was not immersion (that is, totally putting under water) but rather by sprinkling or pouring water over, in many cases, a baby as …

Empowering the Church: Obedience

This is part three of empowering the church, a key principle for the church as a whole and individual Christians in particular.

Key Principle  #1: EMPOWERED part 3 Acts 1:1-8 The Power of Being Commanded By God
We are empowered by God not only because when we wait on God, but also when we follow His commandments. Look at Acts 1:2, “He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles. Again in verse four, “Jesus commanded them...”
If there is anything the church and we Christians hate more than waiting, it is being told what to do. Most of the conflicts within churches are from conflicts over power and who is going to “run the church.” Excuse me, but Christ is the head of the church, not the pastor, elder board, deacon board, or budget committee. And certainly not the majority rule of a church conference. I happen to be a Baptist (a Southern one at that) and oftentimes of late it has become a litmus test on church allegiance to affirm the Baptist Faith and Message, w…

Empowering the Church: Waiting

This is part two of empowering the church, a key principle for the church as a whole and individual Christians in particular.

Key Principle #1: EMPOWERED part 2
The Power of Waiting For God
When was the last time you called upon your Ultimate Friend in the highest place to give you power? As you read the first chapter of Acts, you’ll see that power is not automatic, it is not guaranteed or unconditional, and neither is it instantaneous. In fact, there are times when the church has power and sometimes when it almost seems impotent.  But there are some prerequisites for the church to have power and the first one is one of the hardest for Christians to do: Wait.
“And, being assembled together with them, (Jesus) commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father..” (Acts 1:4a). Put your finger in your Bible in Acts and check out the cross reference that ties this book back to the end of the Gospel of Luke, chapter 24 and verse 49. “And, behol…