Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wed.’s Devo - Paul’s Life

Read: 2 Corinthians 11:1-13:14; Acts 20:7-12
Paul had the burden of being a spiritual father to all the churches he had began. As he revisited them he found that the church in Corinth had let themselves be deceived by a man who came in and preached false doctrine. Paul explained how false teachers can look so righteous because Satan himself can transform himself into an angel of light. The difference is that these men give themselves the glory and not God. Paul then gave them a picture of his life and how much suffering he has gone through for the gospel. This was his glory, not that he took their money and lived in opulence. Paul reminded himself of what Jesus said about his life of suffering: “My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Paul talked about his thorn in the flesh as being a messenger of Satan. If you look up that word “messenger” this could mean a pastor. It would make so much sense to have another pastor spreading lies about him. We see that in our day and it would definitely humble you.
Paul spoke yesterday about how they complained that he sounded so fierce in his letters but was not a good speaker and lacked charisma. He spoke today of being the least of the apostles yet God chose to exalt him. One thing we can say is that he was no baby to pain and the miracles and power of God followed him. While he was preaching a man fell asleep and fell three stories. Paul ran down and fell on the man and raised him from death.
We don’t have to have the gifts of speaking, or writing to be effective in God’s work. God chooses people in all sorts of packages to use. He is looking for the heart and soul of the person.
Lord, may we lose our lives for the gospel.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tues.’s Devo - How to Minister

Read: 2 Corinthians 6:14-10:18
Paul described his ministry in chapter six with so many words: in patience, in tribulation, in need, in distress, in stripes, in jail, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fasting. Then he told us how he ministered: by living purely, having knowledge, by long-suffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, by the word to truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left. Sometimes he and his team were honored, and other times they were dishonored. Some thought they were deceivers and yet they knew they had the truth. Some people thought they were good and others thought they were bad. They were famous in places and unknown in others. They counted themselves dead to themselves and alive to Jesus. They were beat and persecuted yet spared. Many times they were filled with sorrow over the people’s response but they rejoiced in the Lord. The world would call them poor yet they were rich in the Lord. The world would say they had nothing to show for their lives yet they possessed all things. They opened their hearts wide to love one another but they warned against being unequally yoked with an unbeliever. There is truly no fellowship with darkness if you are walking in the light. We walk in the flesh but we don’t fight in the flesh.
I have been praying for the trouble in our nation. When the world is mad and upset they turn to violence and rioting. When we get upset, we send the army of God to fight our battles. Our weapons are not clubs or guns or mace but they are strong in God and they pull down strongholds. There are strongholds over our nation of perversity, lies, pride, envy, error, witchcraft, slumber and fear. We can bring them down by the Spirit. It starts with bringing down the imaginations in our minds. If we would take every negative thought captive and change them to positive ones of the victory of God, then half the battle is won. As a man thinks, so is he. Our thought life flows out of our mouths and then we become powerful because our mouths are weapons of good or evil.
Lord, help us to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. May our words be weapons of destruction against the enemy and bring peace and life to our troubled nation.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Mon.’s Devo - Walk By Faith, Not By Sight

Read: 2 Corinthians 2:5-6:13
Paul explains why we are seeing the opposition to God’s kingdom coming down to earth right now in America. Second Corinthians 2:15 says that we are a sweet savour of Christ to God and those who are in Christ, but we are the savour of death to those who aren’t. We are friends of God but enemies to the world. Our new president is a new believer who is like David who had to fight many battles to come into his kingdom. It finally came down to the fact that Saul and his sons had to die. Even Jonathan had to die to give the kingdom to David. I am not predicting anyone’s death in the natural but I am in the spiritual. Our job of intercession and spiritual battle is not going to be over until Jesus comes back. We need to be on our faces now as much or more than before the election. The devil is not going to give up without a fight.
Like Paul said, our sufficiency is of God who made us able ministers of the new covenant that brings life. God is wanting to birth his kingdom on earth and it is a travailing and painful birthing time we are in. It reminds me of the birthing of our nation the first time. It came through pain, suffering, bloodshed, and much prayer. Ours is going to come through the same. The early colonists fought their own people, the British, to gain a new land of freedom and liberty for all. We are at that same battleground, fighting our own people but this time, lets realize who our enemy really is, the devil, and lets defeat him in the heavenlies. In the Spirit of the Lord there is liberty, so lets look through God’s eyes and see the promised land that lies before us and be very strong and courageous.
Lord, we renounce all the hidden things of dishonesty, sin and deceit and pray that You would manifest your truth to every man’s conscience. Open the eyes of the unbeliever and the believer to see the things that eternal and long for righteousness. Bring a harvest of souls and raise up an army of believers who will march boldly against the enemy and win!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sun.’s Devo - The Bigger Picture

Read: Romans 15:1-16:27; 2 Corinthians 1:1-2:4
In reading this, you can feel the underlying factions between the petty differences of beliefs. We can get so bogged down on little doctrines that don’t determine heaven or hell, that we miss the bigger picture. Paul tried to avoid that be going to churches who had never heard of Jesus so he wouldn’t have to defend his beliefs. That is why he wrote to the Corinthians instead of visiting them. He wanted to extend love and prayers without having to submit to the doctrines they were stumbling over like circumcision.
I want to bring out something again. Paul names Aquila and Pricilla as his fellow worker who risked their necks for his life. This husband and wife team were part of his A Team. I keep bringing them up because when God gives you a position of respect and honor in his church, you are held to a much higher standard. If you let selfish motives get in the way, you will be punished much more severely because your action affect so many people.
In Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth he talks about how the preaching of the cross was foolishness to those who are perishing but the power of God to the saved. I have been messaging my two nieces in Canada who could not understand this past election and the outcome and especially how an “educated smart woman” like myself could have voted for a man like Trump. It is foolishness to the unsaved. How do you explain seeing into the future and seeing God’s heart for a man who has lived his whole life for himself. It doesn’t make sense and trying to explain spiritual things to people who have no desire or spiritual understanding has been very hard. It does seem stupid because God’s ways are apart from reason many times and many times they make total sense. Who can know the mind of God? His ways are so much higher than ours. I can only extend a little insight to them and much love. I do love them and I know that one day they will come to the personal knowledge of Jesus as their savior. They have a praying Nana and a praying aunt in heaven and a praying mother and myself who will not give up, and neither will God!
I pray that you are filled with hopeful excitement about what God is doing on the earth and especially in our nation. I want to dance in the streets! Let’s pray that the enemy will be crushed underneath our feet!
Lord, we pray for our nation and the devil’s struggle over his defeat. Let us see the battle and know how to use our weapons mightily to bring down the strongholds of Satan.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Sat.’s Devo - Let Love

Read: Romans 11:1-14:23
The dilemma in the days that Paul wrote Romans was the division between the established Jews who didn’t receive Jesus as their Messiah and the Gentiles who did. Today that division could be between the ones who voted Trump and those who didn’t or between Americans and Muslims or between blacks and whites. Paul was saying that there are not cut and dry divisions. Love has crossed every division and caused the lines to be dimmed. How do you support and defend a candidate who has such a sordid past except that you got a glimpse of how God sees that man. Love doesn’t make natural sense but God told us to love everyone even our enemies. We are to submit to the governing authorities because all, all, all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. Anyone who rebells against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted and they will be punished. That is straight from the Bible! Post that on Facebook!
Love has to be our wrecking ball. Hatred and offense is not what we need right now. We need comfort and love. Paul told the Christians that many of the people of Israel were now enemies of the Good News but that this benefits them because it was their season of refreshing. I can say that now for the Christians in America. It is now our time of refreshing but we have to let love be our highest goal. We are to bless those who persecute us and not to curse them. We are not to pay back evil with evil but conduct our lives in a way that we can live in peace with everyone.
Lord, help us to let your love guide every conversation and action we take. Thank you for your divine government.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Fri.’s Devo - God’s Selection

Read: Romans 8:18-10:27
What an encouragement today’s reading is. All of the things we are suffering through are going to be worth it. One day, God will reveal to the world, who his children really are. I think that day is getting nearer and nearer. I love the way my version states 8:23b: “We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children including the new bodies he has promised us.” As God’s children we have the right to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit and do the works that Jesus did.
Chapter Nine explains how God selects and crafts people for his purposes. He chose our president. He crafted him and molded him to lead our nation at this particular time. Rebecca had two sons and before they were even born, God said which one he would bless and which one he would hate. Hate! What a strong word. These kind of things seem so unfair to us but God has a much bigger purpose and he shows mercy on whom he chooses. We all deserve to die. It is not so much that he chose to hate Esau as it is that he chose to have mercy on Jacob. We are all clay in God’s pottery studio. It is his mercy that he chose to make us vessels of honor - not for our honor, but His. We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God ordained us to walk in. (Ephesians 2:10) That humbles me and makes me so grateful!
Lord, your ways are truly higher than our ways and your thoughts than ours. Help our nation to unite under your name. Heal the broken and bring revival to the dry bones that are your people. Pour out your spirit on our nation and bless it! We love you!!!!!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thurs.’s Devo - Our Future!

Read: Romans 5:1-8:17
Today we read about how God didn’t come down to save people who deserved it, but He came to sinners. God has come down to save America not because we deserved it but because of his grace and love for our nation. He has heard our prayers and it is time to bring heaven to earth. God wants to use his people to bring healing and hope to our nation and the world, but He is going to clean house first. God always begins in the house of God so we are about to see some big name Christian leaders fall. That is always hard to see - painful but it has to happen. It always brings the fear of the Lord which purifies our souls. Our souls are where our will, mind and emotions are and we have allowed the world to make our souls weak and tainted. You can not walk in the world without having your soul damaged and affected. That is why we need to ask the Lord to cleanse our soul daily.
The next place God is going to clean out is Washington D.C. Brace yourself, because we are going to learn things that are going to make us boiling mad but God is exposing them to clean them up.
God highlights certain scriptures from time to time and here are a few that he is highlighting right now. One of them is Luke 11:2 “…Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.” God is bringing down to earth things that are in heaven. Christians are going to get ideas of things that are in heaven and bring them down to earth. John 14:12 “…He that believes on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” It is time for this scripture to be fulfilled. Also, God loves the church, but he is taking his works out of the church into the world. Jesus started his ministry in the synagogues, but he ended his ministry in the streets. We need to take the gospel to the church and heal, deliver, and raise the dead. Then we they will listen to us preach the gospel.
This is the greatest time for the church but we need to be pure vessels who have laid down our lives for the Good News of Christ. Jesus is our first love!
Lord, help us to love God’s law with all our heart, soul and mind. Let us be foolish for you!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Wed.’s Devo - Grace and Faith

Read: Romans 2:1-4:25
Paul had just finished telling them all the wicked things that the ungodly did then he tells them that they have no right to condemn them because they do the same thing. Paul pointed out that they shouldn’t condemn the people because God wasn’t condemning them. It is God’s kindness that leads us to repentance. We need to show others the same kindness that God shows us and maybe they will repent.
Paul also got on to them for being great listeners but not obeying what they were being taught. We are all guilty of that. He also addressed those who appeared to do everything they heard from the pulpit but had a secret life of sin. One day, God, through Jesus Christ, will judge everyone’s secret life. That should scare us out of sin!
They were being taught a greasy grace which said that they could sin all they wanted to because their sin showed the goodness and holiness of God. Believe it or not, that is being taught from pulpits today. God’s grace was not give to give us an excuse to sin. God’s grace and kindness should make us repent and become the righteousness of Christ because he is in us and he has given us the Holy Spirit to empower us to walk in light and righteousness. The more we submit to the Holy Spirit, the more we want to be like Christ and the less our flesh has power over us.
It is not our righteousness that makes us saved, it is our faith. Our faith will make us obey the Lord even if it is to do something that doesn’t make sense to our mind.
Lord, thank you for the better covenant of grace and faith. Help us to honor you in our walk today.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Tues.’ s Devo - The Clash of Kingdoms

Read: 1 Corinthians 16:1-24: Acts 19:21-20:6; Romans 1:1-32
I had never noticed how much Paul makes mention of Aquila and Priscilla. They had meetings in the homes, were highly praised by Paul, and were a great part of what God was doing during this time. Because they held such a high position of respect and authority, they were judged so strongly later.
The riot in Ephesus reminds me of what could happen when Trump is elected. Remember, to me, the election is tomorrow. Some whole businesses are going to be out of business…like the abortion business and they are not going to go down without a fight just like this silversmith who had a large business manufacturing silver shrines of the Greek goddess Artemis. Paul didn’t attack his business, he spoke against the worship of false idols. Artemis, the silversmith instigated a huge riot that lasted tow hours. Finally, the mayor managed to calm it down and send the people home. The kingdom of God causes violence, and the violent (energetic) take it by force. We need to be the violent like Paul was. We don not need to tolerate the deeds of the devil. God is bringing the kingdom of God down to earth during our lifetime and we need to fight for the kingdom. There is a clash of kingdoms going on on the earth and it is going to be rough for a while, but we need to be strong and courageous and not give in or give up! Christ in us the hope of glory!
Lord, may we wake up every morning and pray for the grace to be overcomes and live an abundant life. We are heirs and joint-heirs with Christ! Yoohoo!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Mon.’s Devo - The Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Read: 1 Corinthians 14:1-15:58
Paul just came off of the “love chapter” so he is continuing in that vein. He is addressing corporate worship. The Holy Spirit was a new thing as well as salvation so their services were a little unorganized. The ones who had just received tongues were excited about their new found language and were using them in the church. Since no one could understand unless a person who interpreted tongues was there it was a little chaotic. Then there were the people who had received fresh revelation who wanted to share and there were the ones who had the gift of prophecy and they wanted to prophesy. There needed to be some organization so everyone could benefit, so Paul laid down some ground rule for their assemblies.
Here were the rules when they met: one sings a song, one teaches the message and another one shares a special revelation God gave them that week, one to three people speaks in tongues and another interprets their tongues. If there is no one there to interpret then they should leave that part out. God never said this was to be the protocol of our worship but I think we are leaving out some key things that would be helpful. Paul told them to pray for the gift of prophecy because it speaks expressly to a person’s heart from God.
I love God’s gifts and practice them daily. It is not hard to receive any of them because they are there for the believer and can be received by faith. If you desire one, ask for it. I wanted the gift of tongues as a teenager and diligently asked for it. It took me a few months to receive it but I did and I don’t know what I would do without it. I don’t speak it out loud in church because I go to a church where it would bring more harm than good but I use it daily many times. It is God’s prayer through me when I don’t know what to pray or would never agree to pray it. LOL! It is how God gets me to pray His will. That is really what I want even though my flesh might say something else. It is a great tool to use during intercession for others. God knows what they need.
Prophesy, like Paul said is such a powerful tool to the body of Christ. It goes right to the core of a person’s soul and brings about a rebirth or a repentance. Prophesy has changed my life and my path many times. We should all pray to prophesy. It is just hearing from God for another person and saying it. We all do it, we just don’t think of it as prophesy. If we did, we would do it with authority and power.
Lord, thank you for the body and the gifts you have given it. Let us not be jealous of another’s gift, but enjoy how You manifest in each of us. Let us use the gifts you have given us to edify the body of Christ.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Sun.’s Devo - Problems in the Church

Read: 1 Corinthians 11:2-13:13
When I first read the first of today’s reading I wondered how I could blog on ‘head coverings’ but, after reading about it I think I might have some insight to share. Before Jesus came, women were very oppressed and were totally subservient to men, especially their husbands. Through Christ, they were liberated and esteemed much higher because Jesus gave them so much attention and love. Every time the pendulum swings a new way it swings over the mark and has to slowly come back to the center. Women were boldly expressing their new found freedom and refusing to wear the headdress. It was a matter of the heart. It reminds me of women in the seventies that burned their bras. Christ had set them free but they still needed a spiritual covering. The woman represents the church and the church has to operate under the authority of Christ or it will get into terrible error. Paul was addressing the motives of their heart.
He also rebuked them for making the Lord’s Supper into a food fest instead of a way to feed the poor and honor one another.
They also had a complaint about people with spiritual gifts. They had come out of paganism where demonic spirits would take over a person and he would not have control over his actions. The gifts of the Holy Spirit is not like that. Paul explained to them that the gifts God gives are totally under the will of the person. The Holy Spirit empowers a person but it doesn’t over power him. All of the gifts that God gives bring glory and honor to Him, not the person. If the person wants all the attention then he is operating in the flesh. The purpose of the gifts is to bring others to Christ.
I keep saying that we have entered into the “kingdom age” and we are going to need this chapter during this time to keep things in order. God gives everyone of his children gifts to use for his glory so that others might come to know him.
Lord, we pray that we will use the gift you have given us and the ones you are going to give us to glorify You. May we walk in love, graciously sharing your gifts with others.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Sat.’s Devo -Helping the Weak

Read: 1 Corinthians 8:1-11:1
Pagan ritual practice was so common place in their day. It involved animal and people sacrifice. Most of the Christians were new in their faith and they didn’t know if they should eat meat from the same butcher that supplied the idol worship or not. Paul and other mature believers knew that the idols were not real and had no power and they knew that just because they used an animal in their worship didn’t mean they couldn’t eat it for nourishment. Paul’s answer was that knowledge makes us feel important, but it is love that strengthens the church. He went on to tell them how to honor the weaker brother’s convictions instead of enjoying their freedom right in front of them.
In our day, we don’t think of eating without first saying the blessing. I have to admit, I forget to do that sometimes and used to feel guilty. I don’t anymore because I live in a state of gratitude and thanksgiving to God. I do love to say blessings over my food and I think it is wise because there are so many things in our food now that can harm us, but if I forget, I don’t fear something is going to happen to me or feel guilty. That may be a silly illustration, but the laws the Jews had were also silly. They had so added to the law of Moses to where they lived by their add-ons (called the Talmud) and had forsaken the true law. Jesus only gave us two laws: Love God, love people. So love has to be our highest goal in everything we do.
Next, Paul addresses the way the church judges leaders differently than it does fellow worshipers. I’m sure every pastor would ‘Amen’ to this chapter. The bottom line is that we should support our leaders in every way. God has raised up a man to fight for us in the political arena and we need to lay down our judgments and opinions about this man and support him because God supports him. When he takes office we need to get behind him. He is like a modern-day Paul who had such a hard time breaking into the church because of his past. We need to love him and pray for him because he is our Paul.
Side note: I blog 2 weeks in advance in case I go out of town or something happens to my computer so the election hasn’t happened but I will tell you what will happen. Trump will win in a landslide, but our president will do everything he can to stay there if he has to cause an incident. That is what I am praying will not happen. I am praying for a smooth transition. This is the election between dark and light, Satan and God and the devil is not going to go out without a fight. God is victorious! This is the church’s finest hour yet!!!
Lord, help us to choose to love instead of judgment and show us the way of escape when we are tempted.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Fri.’s Devo - Marriage and Divorce

Read: 1 Corinthians 4:1-7:40
Yesterday, Paul wrote to the people of Corinth about having favorite teachers and preachers that they followed. He continues this conversation telling them not to make any judgments about a person now because no one really knows the motives of their hearts. In the end, God will bring every secret to light and give praise where it is due. No man has anything that was not give to him by God so it is not to their glory but to God’s.
Paul spent a long time speaking to the people about sexual sins since it was such a stronghold in their church. A man was living with his mother-in-law and the church was full of pride instead of godly remorse. Paul told them to remove this man from the church and turn him over to Satan so that his sinful nature could be destroyed. They were boasting about this! By letting this man stay they were condoning his sin and it would spread to others. This is what the government is trying to force us to do. If we allow homosexuals and transgender spirits into our church they will bring all sorts of spirits with them. It is a fine line between loving the sinner and hating the sin. We have to realize we are dealing with demonic spirits that want to pervert the plan of God. God did not make a mistake when he made a person male or female. They need help embracing God’s plan for their lives in their gender, not in changing it to something else.
Paul goes on to talk about marriage and divorce. Marriage is a God-honored covenant and the first step is to be equally yoked with a believer. If you are not, then you have opened yourself to a more difficult life, but all things are possible. The bottom line in everything is to hear God’s voice and get it confirmed before you act.
Lord, give us discernment to hear your voice and make every decision we make based on what we hear you say and what your Word says.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Thurs.’s Devo - Baptism in the Holy Spirit

Read: Acts 18:24-19:20; 1 Corinthians 1:1-3:23
Apollos and the men Paul met in Ephesus had only heard of John’s baptism which was ‘water unto repentance’. They believed in Jesus but that was as far as they had been taught. Priscilla, Aquila and Paul had to teach them about the baptism in the Holy Spirit. One evidence of this baptism is speaking in tongues.
This is true today. Many just know of salvation by faith and repentance of sin. They don’t know about being baptized in the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues. We need to talk about this because the baptism in the Holy Spirit is the baptism of fire and gives a person power to be a bold witness for Christ. Speaking in tongues is speaking the language of God about things only He knows. It is partnering with him in prayer. It is powerful. If it wasn’t powerful, the devil wouldn’t try so hard to keep people from receiving it or even wanting it.
One thing is for sure… you can’t fight the devil with your own strength or with someone else’s faith. The seven sons of Sceva tried. Sceva was Satan’t priest. We know that because his name means “mind reader”. When his sons tried to cast out demons in the name of Jesus who Paul preached, the demons spoke to them and told them that they knew Jesus and they knew Paul, but these men had no power over them, then the demons proceeded to attack and beat them up. When we fight against demons we have to have authority in Christ or we will never win.
The church in Corinth was having an age-old problem. The people were becoming followers of men instead of followers of Christ. When we follow men we are usually choosing them because of the doctrine they teach. No person has the whole picture. We can’t just follow what we like, we need the whole gospel. God wants us united in Christ.
Paul reminds us that God doesn’t choose the wise of the world, but the foolish to pour his wisdom into. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.
Lord, thank you that though the spirit, we can know your thoughts and your deep secrets. Your plan is so great! “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Wed.’s Devo - Do All Your Faith Prompts You to Do

Read: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-2 Thessalonians 3:18: Acts 18:4-23
Paul admonished the people of the church to honor their leaders with respect and love because they work hard and gave them spiritual guidance. We need to remember that when we are tempted to criticize a spiritual leader. No one has all the revelation but each person has a part and that is what they offer to us. The same goes for Christians. We are all at a different level so we all have to learn to have patience with each other. Paul gives us a list of “always”: always do good, always be joyful, always pray, always be thankful, always honor the Holy Spirit, and always stay away from evil. God’s prayer is that his peace would make us holy and whole until Jesus comes back.
The church in Thessalonia went through much persecution to follow Christ and they had become a model church for the others to see. God said that he would use their persecution to show his justice and make them worthy of his Kingdom. He promised to punish those that persecuted them with eternal destruction, but he would give His followers rest.
Paul also prayed that God would give them the power to accomplish all the good things that their faith prompted them to do. Then, the name of Jesus would be honored and they would be honored with Jesus.
There was some false teaching about the second coming of Jesus. Some were teaching that the day of the Lord had already begun. Paul told them not to be deceived or fooled because there will be a great rebellion against God and the man of lawlessness will be revealed. He will exalt himself above everything and claim to be God himself. He will appear when God decides it is time and not a day earlier. This anti-Christ will come with signs and miracles. He will deceive the ones who refuse to believe the truth.
There is much talk about this being the end and we are close but this is not the end. We have just entered into the “kingdom age” where we will reign with Christ and do the greater things Jesus talked about in John 14:12. We are at the season where we are bringing heaven to earth, not leaving for heaven. So, let’s not get the mindset that we are about to be raptured out of here. We are here for the greatest time in church history where we are going to see miracles, healing, salvations, etc., like no other time in history so lift up your eyes to the Lord, he is coming down!
Lord, get us ready to go out and let you move through us in power to do all our faith prompts us to do.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Tues.’s Devo- To Athens and the Thessalonians

Read: Acts 17:16-18:3; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-5:11
Paul went to Athens which was the center of Greek education and culture. Knowledge was a god to them so when Paul came teaching about Jesus it was a new concept and they wanted to hear about it so they could add it to their shelf of knowledge. The Holy Spirit gave Paul his sermon and he taught about the tomb of the unknown god. He had found this god to be the only god who created the earth and all that was in it. His purpose was for the nations to find him as the only God. When he finished, some laughed at his ideas, some of the people wanted to hear more later, and others started following him and became believers.
Paul left Athens for Corinth and stayed with Aquila and Priscilla who were Jews who fled the persecution in Italy. They were also tentmakers as Paul was. From here, Paul wrote his letter to the Thessalonians. He commended them for their faith in God. They had become believers and continued to follow the way in spite of the persecution they had faced. Because of this, they had become an example to all the believers in Greece. Everywhere they went they were hearing good stories about the church there. They had tried to get back to encourage them but things kept coming up. They had finally decided to send Timothy to them and now he was back with the good news of how they were growing and thriving in the Lord. He had one warning for them to stay away from all sexual sin. The temptation was all around them and adultery and immorality was very prevalent there. He didn’t want them to slip into the world’s lifestyle. Instead, Paul told them to love one another in the Lord and to treat each other like they would want to be treated. Mind their own business and do what God told them to do. God will take care of everyone else.
Lastly, Paul assured them of a resurrection. Just as Jesus rose from the dead, their loved ones would rise and be with the Lord. Until then, encourage one another and build each other up in the Lord. We need each other.
Lord, help us to live in love and encourage one another to life and love.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Mon.’s Devo- A Battle for the Truth

Read: Acts 15:22-17:15
Every time there is a new move of God there is friction and a transition phase that is sometimes messy. They didn’t know what to do with all these Gentile believers. Some thought they should be circumcised and others thought they shouldn’t. Finally they decided that they should just not eat food offered to idols and to not eat the blood or meat from animals that had been strangled. This all seems foreign to us…we have our own set of rules we want people to follow that come to our churches.
Paul and Barnabas went back to visit the churches they had started and there was some contention in the leadership. We are human beings so there is always going to be troubles and challenges in relationships. We have to make our decisions based on what is best for the kingdom and do it with love. Paul ended up leaving by himself. Paul mentored a young man named Timothy. He encouraged Timothy to be circumcised to honor the Jews he was ministering to. Sometimes we should choose to lay down our freedom to honor someone else’s lack of maturity. Jesus did that many times in his life.
Paul saw many people come to faith in Christ. One of them was a wealthy lady named Lydia who brought the disciples into her home and met their needs. They cast out a spirit of divination from a young girl who brought her master much money. Her master became so mad that Paul had destroyed his dream of wealth that he slandered Paul and Silas and had them beat and thrown into prison. God had a plan for them there. They ended up winning the jail keeper and his whole family to the Lord. The next day they were set free.
They left for Thessalonia where there was so much dissension and spiritual warfare that they were dragged before the city council. They posted bond and escaped to Berea where the people were much more receptive to the gospel.
Lord, may this remind us that we are in a battle and many are apposed to our message but it is the truth.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Sun.’s Devo - Love Never Fails

Read: Galatians 3:24-6:18; Acts 15:1-21
The law was our instruction and protected us until the covenant of faith arrived through Christ. The law was the old covenant but faith became the new covenant. In Christ, we are all on the same level.
Paul accused the Galatians of being slaves to gods that do not even exist. How true is that of us. We can be slaves of other people’s opinions, our own fears and inferiorities, a future we have only imagined. I have found that when I find myself traveling down the tunnel of “what ifs” and fear I end up in torment and the crazy thing is I get all worked up over things that don’t manifest. Then, I am left with my wrong judgments. I have to remind myself that love is the greatest power and it never fails!
Living in bitterness and offense is living under the law and it brings slavery and death. Living in love is living under grace and it brings life. In the first one you lose sleep, can’t eat, and become sick. In the second one you can laugh, breathe freely and live in health. Which one do you want? It’s a no-brainer but it is still a battle because our old nature goes for the law and our new nature strives for grace.
Lord, let us chose grace and faith every time!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Sat.’s Devo - Law Verses Grace

Read: Acts 14:21-28; Galatians 1:1-3:23
We have identified grace as being “God’s unmerited favor” but it is so much more than that. It is the ability to do through God what you can’t do by yourself. It is accessing God’s supernatural power. We can not do anything apart from God so all we do is through his grace. In Acts 14:26, the believers in Antioch entrusted Paul and Barnabas to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled. They had opened the door to the Gentiles to bring salvation. God had given them the ability to do this.
Everywhere the new Christians went they faced opposition. After they got home they found out that their new church in Galatia had been fooled by people who came in and deliberately twisted the truth about Christ. Does this sound familiar? Paul assured them that the message he taught them didn’t come from human reasoning but by direct revelation of Jesus Christ. Jesus had himself appeared to Paul on the way to Damascus and there was no way to reason that. These false teachers were trying to make sense of something that can’t be understood with the human mind. It has to be revealed to our spirit and accepted by faith.
Fourteen years after Paul’s conversion he went back to Jerusalem and found that people had sneaked into the church to take away their freedom and make them follow the law. Paul explained the question of the law and grace. God gave the law to show people their sin. God gave the law along with the promise of blessing. The law had power until it was fulfilled in Jesus. He became the curse of sin so that the we could have the promise. Jesus was the only one who lived a completely sinless life so the law ended with him because he fulfilled it. We need to live in the blessings!
Lord, help us to live in the blessings and see the truth, not the manifested evidence of the lie. We need the Holy Spirit to help us do that.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Fri.’s Devo - Opposition Arises

Read: Acts 12:6-14:20
I don’t know why Stephen had to die and Peter is miraculously set free from prison, but God has a reason in everything he does. When God starts moving in power and miracles, the darkness is exposed and dealt with. Herod rose up as the people’s choice and is labeled a god by the people. God humbles him with sickness to prove that he is no god.
I love the prophets and teachers of the church at Antioch. There was Barnabas, who ended up traveling with Paul; Simeon who was a black man; Lucius, a Cyrenesse; Manean, the childhood companion of King Herod Antipas; and Saul. What a motley crew! After prayer and fasting, they sent Paul and Barnabas on a mission trip. John Mark went with them as well.
The first place they went was the island of Cyprus. Satan had his eyes on these men because they were invading his territory. The governor, Sergius Paphos became very interested in what Paul and Barnabas were teaching but Satan’s plant, Elymas attached himself to Sergius determined that he would not be swayed. The Holy Spirit in Paul rose up and he addressed the demon in Elymas, exposed it and called down blindness on him. He immediately became blind so that the governor could “see”.
This is when John Mark went back to Jerusalem and Paul and Barnabas continued to the island of Pisidia. There were many Jews as well as Gentiles who had converted to Judaism in the synagogue. They asked Paul and Barnabas to speak. Paul told them the whole history of the Jewish nation up to Jesus. They begged them to come back the next week and teach again. When they did, the Jews became jealous of the crowd and argued against their message. Paul told them that since they, the Jews had rejected their message, they would preach to the Gentiles. They quoted Isaiah 46:7 which says, “I have made you a light to the Gentiles, to bring salvation to the farthest corners of the earth.” The Gentiles were delighted, but the Jews ran them out of town.
This same thing happened in Iconium and they ended up fleeing to Lystra and Derbe. In Lystra, God healed a man crippled from birth which got them stoned and dragged out of town for dead. The believers gathered around them and they were healed and went on to Derbe.
Each time they were persecuted, they were encouraged. Jesus had taught them not to look at the reaction of the religious, because they have hard hearts. But, the ones that were hungry would receive the message with joy which is exactly what happened.
Lord, give us eyes to see what is going on in the sprit so we won’t get discouraged, but have faith. God is moving in our nation and in his people!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Thurs.’s Devo - The Conversion of Cornelius

Read: Acts 10:1-12:5
Racism has been around since the beginning of time. The Jews, especially the Jewish leaders thought they were better than everyone else so this elitism was in the hearts of all the Jews and Peter was no exception. God had to change his heart so he could be effective for ministry to the Gentiles and the world. To get Peter to shift in his thinking, God sent him Cornelius, a Roman army officer who was Italian. He had three strikes against him: he was not a Jew, he was a Roman officer and he was Italian. So God sent Peter a vision of a sheet with pictures of all sorts of unclean animals on it. He was told to kill and eat them which was a taboo in Jewish law. When Peter protested, God told him to never call something unclean that God had called clean. This vision appeared three times. Peter got the message and was spiritually prepared and physically attuned so that when Cornelius came to his house, he knew this was the Lord. He opened the door and opened the Word to him. He received it with joy and became a believer. Cornelius needed what Peter knew and carried and Peter needed Cornelius.
The experience with Cornelius changed Peter’s whole ministry and mindset. God will bring some very different people into our lives to break the prejudices we have. God wants to widen our capacity to love so he can widen our influence and ministry. Peter came against opposition in the church for doing what God told him to do because change is always hard on everyone. Peter’s obedience opened the door for Saul and Barnabas. It also caused a great tremble in the demonic forces. They started persecuting the apostles and James, Jesus brother, was killed. Peter was arrested and imprisoned because it was Passover. This means it had been a year since they crucified Jesus.
Lord, help us to change with what you are doing. Help us to lay down our opinions and choose to love.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Wed.’s Devo - The Church Spreads!

Read: Acts 8:1b-9:43
God uses persecution to spread the gospel often. In this case, God needed them to scatter and share the news to neighboring towns and cities. Phillip was one of the seven men that became a leader in the churches. He had fled persecution and went to Samaria where he preached the good news with signs and wonders following his ministry. When the apostles heard what was going on in Samaria they sent Peter and John to lay their hands on them so they could receive the Holy Spirit.
When God’s power starts manifesting it arouses interest in the spiritual world. Simon, the sorcerer realized that their power was more powerful than his so he became a believer. He was especially interested in their ability to lay hands on people and them receive the Holy Spirit. He tried to buy this power, because that is how it worked in his world. The apostles rebuked him and exposed his heart. Simon then repented. When we start moving in the power Jesus promised us, we will draw the attention of the New Agers, mystics and the likes. They are hungry to see the power of God just like we are. When they see it moving in us then they will be open to Jesus.
Saul was the church’s greatest enemy. He was set on shutting down this move of God. He went from house to house dragging believers out of their homes and throwing them into prison. He was on his way to get letters from the synagogues with permission to arrest all followers and bring them back to Jerusalem in chains when the power of God knocked him to the ground and blinded him. God asked him why he was persecuting him. Saul had a glorious conversion but had a harder time convincing the members of the new church that he was sincere.
Meanwhile, Peter raises Dorcus from the dead which causes many to come to believe in Jesus.
These are the stories we are hearing trickle in but God is going to multiply them in the future days. We are going to walk in this power in the days ahead because we have entered into the kingdom age where the kingdom of heaven invades the kingdom of earth. Get ready!
Lord, we are anticipating these days ahead with great excitement and joy. Manifest your power on the earth and bring a harvest of souls!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Tues.’s Devo - The Birth Pains of Birthing the Church

Read: Acts 6:1-8:1a
When a church experiences sudden growth, it always brings different problems. Now the church was filled with people of all nationalities and flavors. The Greek believers came to the apostles and complained that their widows were not given the same treatment as the Jewish widows. They probably had a point, but the apostles were out of their expertise and out of patience. They realized they needed help so they decided to pick out mature believers that they could trust to take care of the malevolence committee. These men devoted themselves to prayer and study so they could lead and teach the people. They chose seven men who were full of God’s Spirit and wisdom to be the administrators of the church. Stephen was one of the ones chosen.
Stephen moved in signs, wonders and miracles and it wasn’t long before he became a threat to the organized church called the Synagogue of Freed Slaves. Since they couldn’t match his wisdom and the Holy Spirit inside him, they decided they would have to lie about him. Since Satan is the father of lies, he always resorts to that tactic. Stephen was arrested and stoned but not before he presented a fiery sermon reminding them of their history. He took them from Abraham to the present showing them how the rebellious hearts of their people had led them to kill all the people through the ages that God had sent them. To top it off, they had killed Jesus, God’s son when he came to earth. He told them that they deliberately disobeyed God’s law, even though they received it from the hands of angels. This ticked them off for sure. God confirmed Stephen’s life and speech when the glory of God shined upon Stephen’s countenance. They killed Stephen just like they killed all the prophets and Jesus and laid his robe at the feet of Saul. It was as if Stephen’s mantle was being given to Saul at that moment. Satan took out Stephen but it cost him Saul.
Lord, help us to be bold like Stephen who thought the truth was much more important than his life. May we love our lives not unto death.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Mon.’s Devo - The Boldness of the Disciples

Read: Acts 3:1-5:42
Peter and John were just going about their normal schedule when they saw a man they had seen every time they came to the temple, but this time they saw him differently. This time, the Holy Spirit prompted them to see the man’s potential instead of his infirmity. They boldly told him to walk in the name of Jesus then took him by the hand and stood him to his feet. As they were standing him up the man’s feeling came into his feet and he was healed. This took such boldness to act on faith. The man who was healed caused a scene as he jumped and leaped and praised God in the Temple. As the crowd grew, Peter saw his opportunity and started preaching about Jesus. He began with Samuel and went through every prophecy about Jesus explaining how Jesus fulfilled them and how he was raised from the dead. The priests and the captain of the Temple guard and some of the Sadducees were very upset that he was preaching that Jesus rose from the dead especially since the Sadducees didn’t even believe in resurrection. They arrested Peter and John but not before about 2,000 more people came to believe in Jesus.
What the religious people thought they had stopped with Jesus’ death had now multiplied into an even greater threat. Now ordinary men were doing miracles and preaching from the Torah! They had Peter and John brought before the Sanhedrin and Peter was able to preach to them the power of Jesus’ name. When they told Peter and John to stop preaching, they refused saying they had to obey God…not them. They had no option but to let them go because of the people.
The disciples continued to preach and do miracles in Jesus name making the religious leaders even more jealous and angry. They finally put them in jail and had them flogged. This only made the disciples more dangerous because they were honored to be persecuted for Jesus.
This is the power that we are to be walking in. The devil and his political threats are just a smoke screen. All we have to do is open our spiritual eyes and walk in the spirit and not what our natural eyes are telling us. The spiritual realm is much more real and exciting. It is the place God works and moves in.
Lord, open our spiritual eyes and give us boldness to move in the Holy Spirit and not in fear.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Sun.’s Devo - Pentecost

Read: Mark 16:19-20; Acts 1:1-2:47
Jesus appeared to his disciples off and on for 40 days between Passover and Pentecost. Then he arose to heaven and took his place at God’s right hand on his throne.
Jesus had told his disciples to go to Jerusalem and wait for the gift of the Holy Spirit. After they received the power of the Holy Spirit, then they were to go to the ends of the earth telling people about him. During their wait they also chose a man to replace Judas. His name was Matthias which means “gift of Jehovah”. His name meant exactly what God was about to give them.
On Pentecost, God gave his gift of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost stood for the 50 seeds they would count everyday. On the first Pentecost, God gave them the law on Mt. Sinai. It was evidenced by thunderings and smoke coming from a mountain that was on fire. A trumpet sounded louder and louder. The law was given and it was to bless a people that were to become like the sand of the sea in number. It had started with Abraham and Sarah and had grown to about a million people by then.
This New Testament Pentecost was the fulfillment of that time. Now the people were the mountain of God’s presence and the fire and smoke was on their heads. They were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues. Their mouths became the trumpets that proclaimed the gospel so that everyone there could hear it in their language.
In the Old Testament, when Moses brought the law down to the people, three thousand were killed for worshipping the golden calf. In the New Testament the hearing of the word brought in three thousand new believers. The true meaning of Pentecost was fulfilled. The seed spread throughout the world and brought forth a harvest of souls.
Lord, thank you that we can still be baptized in the Holy Spirit and have power to be your witnesses. Help the seed we plant to grow and bring a harvest.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Sat.’s Devo - Earnest Longing

Read: Luke 24:13-49; Mark 16:12-18; John 20:19-21:25
If I could go back to any time during the Bible and be present it would be on the road to Emmaus. I would love to hear Jesus explain all the signs and prophecies about his first coming. The word Emmaus means “in earnest longing”. These men were in earnest longing of some understanding and Jesus came and brought it to them. They had walked seven miles that day with Jesus explaining scripture to them. When they perceived that it was Jesus they had been talking to they immediately got back on the road and walked the seven miles back to Jerusalem. I bet they ran some of it because they were so excited. They said, “didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked?” That is the feeling we get when we receive revelation knowledge straight from the Holy Spirit.
As they were telling the disciples, Jesus appeared again in the midst of them. How daunting! He told them to receive the Holy Spirit even though he hadn’t come yet. He was giving them a foretaste.
Later, Peter decided to go fishing. If you look back to Luke 5 you will read how Peter was doing the same thing when Jesus first met him and used his boat to preach in. When he had finished teaching he told Peter to cast his net out again. When he did he pulled in so many fish it broke the nets and filled up both boat to over capacity. Peter was so astonished he left everything and followed Jesus. Once again, Peter had reverted to what he knew before Jesus. Jesus did the same sign and Peter instantly knew it was Jesus. Peter was so excited, he jumped into the water and left the men to haul in the fish. After Jesus fed them he called Peter once again to leave his job and become an evangelist for Him.
How many times do we feel confused at what God has called us to do and revert back to what is comfortable to us. God didn’t condemn Peter for going back to fishing. He just found him where he was and gave him a new commission. Some of us need that new commission. Jesus’ disciples all had an earnest longing to understand what was going on and what their place was just as we do. Everything is shifting in the heavens and on earth to usher us into this new kingdom age. We all have an earnest longing to know how to enter in.
Lord, let us know the next step in walking in your kingdom age.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Fri.’s Devo - At the Tomb

Read: Mark 15:42-16:11; Matthew 27:57-28:15; Luke 23:50-24:12; John 19:38-20:18
The first two people to visit the tomb were wealthy Pharisees who were secret followers. The first was Joseph of Arimathea. He was an honored member of the high council. He went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Pilate couldn’t believe Jesus was dead yet but when he found out he was, he agreed to let Joseph have it. He took Jesus body from the cross and wrapped him in new linen cloth and laid him in his own tomb that he had paid royally for. How sweet that a man with his father’s name got to do what Joseph would have wanted to do if he was still alive. That was what Isaiah 53:9 was referring to when it says that “He made his grave with the wicked and with the rich in his death…” John tells us that Nicodemus, who was a leader of the Pharisees, came with Joseph to help. He brought 75 pounds of perfume made of myrrh and aloes. Together they rolled a big stone in front of his tomb. Mary and the other women watched from afar which is why they knew where he was buried.
What humors me is that the lawful Pharisees went to Pilate ON THE SABBATH to ask for him to secure the stone so his disciples couldn’t steal the body and say he rose from the dead. Not only was this the Sabbath but it was Passover which was one of their most sacred holy days.
It didn’t matter because when the stone blew off its entrance, no soldier or bulldozer could stop it. Even the guards saw it. They allowed the Sanhedrin to bribe them from telling the truth. Such hardness of heart!
The women were the first to see the empty tomb and to talk to the angels. They were also the first to see Jesus with their own eyes. They were at the right place at the right time.
Lord, we want to have encounters with you. We want to be at the right place at the right time, doing the right thing.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Thurs.’s Devo - The Crucifixion

Read: Mark 15:21-41; Matthew 27:32-56; Luke 23:26-49; John 19:17-39
It is thought-provoking to see how the different gospel writers tell what they saw. All but John tell about the man, Simon, who carried the cross for Jesus. John completely leaves him out and writes, “He, bearing his cross, went to the place called the place of the skull.” When I went to Israel I saw the rock they call Golgotha and it resembles a skull.
Jesus was crucified at nine in the morning which was the time when the priests began sacrificing the people’s Passover lambs. Amid much railing and angry accusations, Jesus looked out over the people and said, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they are dong.” Next we have the conversation between the men crucified with him. One of them mocks Jesus and the other cries out for mercy. They represent the two types of people on the earth. When confronted with the Good News of the gospel, some mock it because they don’t understand it and can only see with natural eyes. Others don’t understand it but embrace it by faith and repent. One will be condemned eternally and the other will be rewarded eternally.
Four hours from when he had been nailed to the cross, darkness covered the earth for four hours. When the light came on Jesus cried out to the Lord, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me.” Jesus was referring to Psalms 22. In Jesus’ day, Psalms were named by the first line of the Psalms. If you read the whole Psalm you will see the picture of the cross. Jesus was not saying God had abandoned him, he was telling them to read that Psalm because it talked about this very moment. God never turned from Jesus because he became sin. God looks at sin every day. God would never abandon Jesus! He promises never to leave us or forsake us and he would never do that to his beloved son. If you want to know what happened in that darkness, read Psalms 18 and 2 Samuel 22.
Every prophecy about Jesus death was fulfilled and just like the passover lamb, his bones were not broken and they looked upon the one that they themselves pierced. It says in Luke that the people that were there went home in deep sorrow after watching the signs and wonders God brought that day.
Lord, help us not to miss what you are doing. We don’t want to look back in sorrow because we didn’t understand, we want to participate with joy in what you are doing no matter how bad it looks like at the time.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Wed.’s Devo - The World Examines Jesus

Read: Mark 15:2-20; Matthew 27:11-31; Luke 23:1-25; 22:27-65; John 18:28-19:16
The jealousy of the priests and religious leaders was so great they could think of nothing but killing Jesus. Since their law didn’t allow them to execute anyone, they had to get the Romans to do it. They accused Jesus of causing riots by his teaching wherever he went. Jesus didn’t cause riots, he just drew crowds that they couldn’t draw. To build their case, they told Pilate that Jesus told the people not to pay taxes to the Roman government because he claimed to be their Messiah. This was such a lie since Jesus paid taxes and told the people to pay to Caesar what they owed him and God what they owed Him.
But, it was time for the Lamb of God to be examined by the worldly rulers. Pilate and Herod both met with Jesus and questioned him. John gives us the best account of his meeting with Pilate. When Pilate asked Jesus if he was the king of the Jews, Jesus turned the question back on him. He asked him if he really wanted to know for himself or was he merely repeating what he had heard. Pilate let him know that he wasn’t a Jew so he didn’t understand why Jesus’ own people had brought him to trial. He wanted Jesus to explain what his crime was. Jesus, instead talked about Pilate’s real concern - his kingdom. Pilate wanted to know if Jesus was going to try to take over the Roman government to set up his kingdom. I wonder if he was thinking back to stories of the wise men who had come looking for the King of the Jews that was born 33 years ago. Jesus assured him that his kingdom was not on the earth but in heaven. Pilate was relieved and tried to do everything he could to release Jesus. He picked the most ruthless criminal in the jail assuming they would choose to have Jesus set free rather than him. Pilate didn’t know the power of hatred and envy. The crowd picked Barabbas. Both Pilate and Herod found no spot or blemish on the Lamb of God. The crowd screamed, “Crucify Him!” while Pilate’s wife was begging Pilate to set him free. Pilate brought out a bowl of water and washed his hands in front of the Jews to show them that he was washing his hands of this crime against an innocent man. How ironic that Pilate would use a Jewish ritual of hand washing to show them their sin.
Lord, open our eyes to see the truth and not be deceived by envy or sin.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Tues.’s Devo - Jesus is Examined

Read: Mark 14:53-72; Matthew 26:57-27:10; Luke 22:54-71; John 18:25-27
During the Passover of Moses time they were to select a young lamb and bring it into their house so they could examine it for 10 days to make sure it was spotless. If it had a blemish it could not be their passover lamb. Jesus was the Passover Lamb of God and from the time he entered into Jerusalem for the feast, he was being examined first by the religious leaders. He was finally brought into the home of the High Priest so he and his leaders could examine him. Since they couldn’t find any sin or fault in him they hired false witnesses, but they couldn’t get their story straight. Finally the High Priest asked him point blank if he was the Messiah. He answered, I AM and they pronounced him guilty of blasphemy and began to beat and spit on him.
Peter had followed Jesus and was listening from the courtyard of the High Priest’s house when the priest’s servant recognized him as Jesus’ follower. He denied it. She pointed him out again in front of people and he denied it again. Once more he denied knowing who Jesus was and the rooster crowed. Poor Peter! He was a picture of a Christian without the power of the Holy Spirit. He became a totally different person on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon him and he spoke boldly before a crowd of thousands of people. What a lesson to us. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to be a witness of Christ.
Lord, fill us anew with your Holy Spirit today. Empower us to be a witness everywhere we go.