Gaining God’s Guidance

Acts 13

I am continually amazed at the way God directed the steps of the apostles through the direction of His Holy Spirit in the days of the formation of the early church. The apostles had the message to share that through Jesus there was forgiveness of sin and reconciliation to the Father. They were given the opportunity to share this message in very public places and many came to believe in Jesus. Can you imagine speaking in one place and then being asked to speak again the following week and almost the whole town shows up?

We as Christians have been given the same message to share – that there is forgiveness for sin through Jesus Christ resulting in reconciliation with our heavenly Father God. This is the greatest message of hope there is. Do we share it as often as we can? Wouldn’t it be awesome if we were asked to share and a whole town full of people showed up and came to believe! We realize that the apostles were filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit to do amazing things, and make amazing inroads in the gentile world for the gospel of Christ to be shared and accepted. If we want to be successful like they were notice what they did at the very beginning of Acts chapter 13 – the men fasted and prayed for direction and it was given to them.

As we attempt to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with the world do we go about it in our own way or in God’s way. Do we remember to pray for God to lead us by His Holy Spirit to know where and when we are to share the message? Do we ask for the opportunity to share and do we ask for the correct words to say as the opportunity presents itself. The apostles were successful in their mission to share the gospel in Antioch because they had prepared the way ahead with prayer, and diligence to listen to where, and when God was directing them to speak. All of this leaves me wondering – would we be much more successful in our sharing of the Gospel if we spent more time in preparation with prayer and listening for God’s directives? Give it a try and see what happens!

-Pastor Merry Peterson

Pastor Merry Peterson lives in Ontario, Canada and pastors at Freedom In Christ Church.

Today’s Bible reading passages can be read or listened to at BibleGateway here – 2 Samuel 7-8 and Acts 13

Growing Sin

Zephaniah 1-3

Zephaniah 3 1 NIV sgl

The book of Zephaniah is quite short, but it is full of descriptive language. It recounts the vision given to Zephaniah in the time of King Josiah’s reign. This prophecy paints a colorful picture of the price that must be paid for sin.

Sin is not something that we can pretend has never happened. If we deliberately continue living a life filled with sin, it will eventually catch up with us. To maybe understand this a bit better, I was reminded of our physical wear and tear. For those that play sports or enjoy physical activity, you may know that these pastimes can result in injury. The injury may start out as a minor sprain or cut, but we keep going rather than caring for this injury. It is inconvenient to allow something that seems so minor to hold us back from doing what we want. So eventually this minor sprain gets worse or that unattended cut gets infected. Slowly something that was in our grasp to fix becomes a bigger problem.

Sin is also like this. At first, we may stray a bit as a mistake, but then we slowly get lured in. “What difference will it make if I do this one more time”, we may ask ourselves. But slowly the minor problem turns into something bigger as we continue to turn our backs on God. Slowly this sin, whatever it may be, will eat at us. We will have to face the consequences that sin has left in its wake.

Just like in Zephaniah, one day, the LORD will eradicate the sin of this world. It will be good to one day be in a world without sin or pain. And thankfully, God has given us the possibility to be reconciled to him. We do not have to allow sin to rule our life. We can turn to God and he will help us fight temptation. We just must trust in him. In chapter 2 of Zephaniah, God summoned Judah to repent. He did not want these people to be lost to their sin. He wanted them to turn to him, so that they could be sheltered. He gave them a chance as he has given us one. He wants us to take refuge in the shelter he has lovingly offered.

Just as a government wishes for its citizens to abide by the law, the LORD wishes for us to turn to him. However, when those citizens rebel against those guiding principles, they must face the consequences of their actions. We, however, must make the choice to live for him. We must enter that shelter that our heavenly Father provides.

Hannah Deane

 

Today’s Bible passage can be read or listened to at https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=zephaniah+1-3&version=NIV

Tomorrow we begin the book of Jeremiah (chapters 1-3) as we continue on the 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan

Reconcilation

Hebrews 2

Hebrews 2 18

This chapter focuses on reconciliation. Throughout all of time we see over and over where even God’s greatest saints fall short (outside of Christ, more on that soon). God cannot be in the presence of sin and evil and that leaves us sinners in a difficult spot – separated from God.

So when people are separated from God, they need a mediator who comes between them to bring reconciliation. Before Christ, the priests stood between God and sinners, offering sacrifices that would reconcile the two.

Then God changed things up – he created his son. His one and only begotten son, Jesus.

Jesus is the perfect mediator/reconciler – he has common ground with both parties but is not the same as either. He was the only perfect man – the spotless lamb the law required. Unlike the priests who repeatedly brought animal sacrifices for themselves and the people, Jesus offered Himself once for all to the Father in payment for the sins of all mankind.

His work on on our behalf does not end there. After his death, he arose and then ascended to heaven, where He sits at the Father’s right hand and intercedes for us. Take comfort, we have someone next to God, fighting on our behalf seeking reconciliation and offering help when we are in need.

-John Wincapaw