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    Home 2018 February (Page 3)
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    365 Bible Reading

    February 10 – Proverbs 6

    LOOK:  This passage is full of advice about following wisdom and avoiding folly.  There is a list in this passage that tells us what God hates and lists like this should make us take notice.  Here is the list, “There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him:
    haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,
    a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.”

    LISTEN:  The sin that these seven things have in common is the selfish, self-serving life that refuses to be surrendered to God.

    LEARN:  After reading this list, ask yourself if you are living the surrendered life that Christ described when He said that anyone who would follow Him must deny themselves and take up their cross daily.

     
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    365 Bible Reading

    February 9 – Acts 14

    LOOK:  Paul and Barnabas continue to preach the Gospel to the Jews and Gentiles.  It is usually the Jews that stir up trouble for these apostles.  In Lystra, Paul and Barnabas are considered gods and the people offer sacrifices to them.  This upsets the pair and they beg the people to recognize them as mere men presenting Jesus and the one true God.  Paul was actually stoned and left for dead outside the city.  When the disciples come to Paul’s aid, he rises in health and continues to preach.  They continue to travel to many towns and preach the Gospel.

    LISTEN:  Paul and Barnabas are great examples for all of us.  They knew that their message was the most important thing and they refused to let it become about them.  They would not allow pride to distract from what was truly important.

    LEARN:  We could easily fall for the temptation to make life all about us even when we are serving in the church.  Toby Mac’s song, “Lose my Soul” talks about the danger of forgetting it’s all about Jesus and making ministry all about self.

     
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    365 Bible Reading

    February 8 – Acts 13

    LOOK:  Paul and Barnabas are chosen to go and preach the Gospel as missionaries.  Their first encounter is with a sorcerer that Paul declares wicked and strikes him with blindness.  Paul and Barnabas speak in the synagogue and amaze the people with the story of the Gospel.  They are invited back on the next Sabbath to speak again but the Jewish leaders develop anger and jealousy and attack them strongly.  Paul confirms the new paradigm of reaching the Gentiles when the Jews reject the Gospel.

    LISTEN:  The story seems to repeat itself…God sends His servants…they face persecution…they rise to the occasion…they preach the Gospel…they are driven out of town…they continue go and preach the Gospel.

    LEARN:  I’m stuck with the steady obedience of Paul and Barnabas.  They continue to do what’s right despite the circumstance.  Are we resolved to obey God no matter what the consequences might be?

     
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    365 Bible Reading

    February 7 – Acts 12

    LOOK:  The story of Peter’s miraculous escape from prison is a favorite for many people.  Herod had Peter taken to prison with intentions to have him killed after Passover in order to make the Jews happy.  Herod had already killed many who followed Christ.  Peter was surrounded by 16 Roman guards and chained to the floor but an angel escorted him out of prison without anyone catching them.  All the guards are executed and Herod himself dies shortly after that in a horrific judgment from God.  Peter goes to a house where they are having a prayer meeting for him but they don’t believe it could be him when he arrives.

    LISTEN:  The followers of Christ suffered greatly in early Christianity.  They were in continuous danger.  They displayed courage and boldness in the face of torture and suffering.  However, what strikes me in this passage is that the people at the prayer meeting obviously did not believe that God could do what they were praying for.  They were praying for Peter’s safety and couldn’t believe it when he was rescued.

    LEARN:  Do we pray with faith or out of obligation?  Do we believe that God is and He can do whatever we ask in His name?  Perhaps we don’t see mountains moving because we don’t have even the faith of the mustard seed.

     
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    365 Bible Reading

    February 6 – Acts 11

    LOOK:  Peter returned to Jerusalem where he encountered some heavy criticism from the Jews that had heard that Peter had ate with Gentiles and had preached salvation to them.  Peter retold the entire story about the sheet from heaven and the word from God to reach the Gentiles with the Gospel.  Thankfully, the Jews understood and praised God for the miracle taking place.  Now the church started to spread and send people like Paul and Barnabas to the Gentiles to reach and teach.  Many people were saved!  They also were given a prophecy that a famine was coming to Rome so they began to make preparations to serve the people during this tragedy.

    LISTEN:  It is no small miracle that the Jews who were angry with Peter changed their hearts and accepted the news that the Gentiles could be saved.  God must have done this incredible work in their hearts to help them come to this understanding.

    LEARN:  It must have been exciting to see this flurry of ministry spread throughout the world.  That is exactly what is needed for the church today!  There is no substitute for reaching people for Jesus.  Churches get bogged down in so many ministries for the people who are already coming and neglect the ministry of the Gospel.  Our churches need to be revived with the energy and enthusiasm of new believers being baptized and growing in the church!!

     
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