“A loving believer is the greatest argument for a living Savior.”
~Pastor Jim Bickel
Let’s be loving in our interactions with others today!
From Acts 4
Peter and John preaching:
vs. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
The result among the people:
vs. 13-14 Now when they [the people] saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.
The result among the magistrates [the “enemies”]:
vs.15-16 But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, 16 Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it.
God can do great things through those who will take time to be with Jesus, and then boldly proclaim His Word and His message to the people.
I use cloth diapers, and I like to hang them out on the clothesline to dry. The sun’s rays are a natural way to kill bacteria, and bleach out any stains that there may be. Recently, I was hanging the diapers out on the line and Elaine (2 years old) was “helping” me. To answer her questions, I tried to make things as simple as possible.
“We put the diapers outside so the sun can make them all clean and white.” That answer was good enough for Elaine! As she repeated the words I had just said (she always repeats what we say), I was reminded of a simple but profound truth. Something I already knew before. Something I need to practice on a daily basis.
Just as the sun bleaches my diapers, killing the bad bacteria, and leaving them sparkling white, so the Son of God washes my heart. He forgives and removes the sin, making me white as snow.
1 John 1:7-9 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Psalm 51:7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
I must come to the Son and let Him cleanse me and wash me from my sin. I must do it every time I sin. If I am to be a vessel fit for the Master’s use, I must be clean and sin-free.
2 Timothy 2:20-21 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. 21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.
I like quotes from godly Christian people who have gone before us. One of my favorite quotes is from Ann Judson, wife of missionary-pioneer to Burma, Adoniram Judson. I have this quote written in the fly-leaf of my Bible to remind me to surrender to the Lord, no matter where He wants to take me, or what He asks me to do.
“Direct me in thy service, and I ask no more. I would not choose my position of work or place of labor. Only let me know Thy Will, and I will readily comply.”
:: Ann Judson
When I was in college one of my dormmates had this quote taped to her top dresser drawer. It said, “Keep on the ascending plane.” There is no stagnancy or standing still in the Christian life. We are either ascending, achieving victory through Christ, or we are back sliding.
At the end of the book of Joshua, the aged man of God issues a warning to the people of Israel. He was concerned that since they had achieved a measure of victory (though the job of possessing the land was far from completed), they would forget the LORD. Joshua didn’t want Israel to turn their back on the God who had given them this victory and this land. He didn’t want them to look aside at the heathen nations and start to worship false gods.
I think he was very concerned about the possibility of Israel backsliding, because he issued several warnings against it in the last two chapters of the book of Joshua. And he was justified in his concern, because the book of Judges illustrates the cycle of victory and defeat and idolatry that Israel experienced.
:: 23:3 And ye have seen all that the LORD your God hath done unto all these nations because of you; for the LORD your God is he that hath fought for you.
:: 23:5-8 And the LORD your God, he shall expel them from before you, and drive them from out of your sight; and ye shall possess their land, as the LORD your God hath promised unto you. 6 Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left; Joshua. 7 That ye come not among these nations, these that remain among you; neither make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause to swear by them, neither serve them, nor bow yourselves unto them: 8 But cleave unto the LORD your God, as ye have done unto this day.
:: 23:11-13 Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the LORD your God. 12 Else if ye do in any wise go back, and cleave unto the remnant of these nations, even these that remain among you, and shall make marriages with them, and go in unto them, and they to you: 13 Know for a certainty that the LORD your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you.
:: 24:14-15 Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. 15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
:: 24:19-20 And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. 20 If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good.
:: 24:23-24 Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the LORD God of Israel. 24 And the people said unto Joshua, The LORD our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey.
“Keep on the ascending plane”
“But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the LORD charged you, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.”