Today’s Reading: Acts 22-23
Key Verse: Acts 23:11
But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.”
Paul, formerly a persecutor of believers in Jesus, now is persecuted for his faith in Jesus. God delights to turn enmity into friendship, hostility into love. Jesus changes everything for all who give Him their lives. It would appear that Paul’s nephew had come to faith in Christ as evidenced by his warning of the plot to kill Paul, or it could’ve been family loyalty that God used to save Paul’s life. Either way, God was not finished with Paul yet. Our key verse is the final statement by Paul in his first appearance before the Rome-appointed Jewish leadership. The party of the Sadducees believed as do liberal protestants or reformed Judaism today, that God does not do the miraculous. The Pharisees believed, but as Jesus said in Mark 7:13, “Making the Word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down.” The result is the same for those who deny the daily activity of God in human lives, or for those who put the intervention of God into the past only. As Paul experienced the “be of good cheer” Words of Jesus, so we should expect Jesus to communicate with us. Are we listening carefully?
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord Jesus, I’m one of Your sheep. Therefore, as You said, I will know Your voice. I’m listening, Lord Jesus. Thank You for that “still small voice” I’m hearing just now. You are telling me that You love me. I love You also! Amen!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
I am so very blessed by Norma-Jean, my wife, my children and their spouses, Elaine and Bruce, Ellen and Nizar, Reynold and Kathy, and Ron and Ann. I think the most often repeated words to each other are, “I love you.” I won’t list all my 16 grandchildren, but it is the same with them. Five of my great-grandchildren are already telling me, I love you, Great Grandpa. I cannot begin to tell how these simple, yet most profound words warm my heart. I encourage you to read, now if you have time, 1 John 4:7-21. “Love” is the very essence of God’s being. Just as I am telling my daughters and sons that I love them, and they tell me that they love me, so my Father God tells me, and I tell Him. It’s not trite. It never becomes stale. The great theologian, Karl Barth, was asked for his most profound thought ever. He answered, “Jesus loves me. This I know.”
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