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Showing posts from October, 2020

Daily Devotion in Acts 25

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  Daily Nugget:  Perhaps, Paul could have chosen a life with fewer problems, but he chose a route that would be the most effective for the Lord. That life had many difficult times, no doubt. Still, those trials allowed him to have a ministry like not many others have ever experienced. Unintentionally, Paul had an opportunity that reached many high-ranking political and religious leaders. His bold preaching told many about Jesus. Many were angered, and Paul faced prison many times for his courageous stand. While incarcerated, he had the opportunity to give his testimony and the testimony of Jesus Christ to people he would not ordinarily have been able to reach. In Acts 23-25 alone, he was able to speak to a council of Jews and Romans, Felix, Drusilla, Sadducees, Pharisees, King Agrippa, the High Priest, Chief of Jews, Festus, and elders of the Jews. Many times, we too face hard, trying times. They are often hardships that we would never purposely choose to go through. Still, those tri

Daily Devotion in Acts 24

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  D aily Nugget: Paul was taken to be judged before the Roman procurator, Felix. False accusations were flowing against the preacher from envious, bitter Jewish leaders who resented Christianity. The Roman judge heard from the accusers. Felix, however, was not ignorant of who Christians were (Acts 24:24) and what they were teaching. Perhaps, he had heard around the city about Christ or how Christianity had been sweeping the country-side. He had his opinions about Christianity, and he was wise enough not to listen to the complainer’s side of the story. Felix allowed Paul to speak. Instead of cowering under the authority of the man who was managing the Romans' affairs, Paul took the opportunity to talk to the ruler about spiritual things. The preacher spoke of living a righteous life, not indulging in sin, and about the judgments God would bring. Even though Paul’s judge was known for his cruelty, murders, and even considered himself licensed to commit any crime he desired, Paul d

Daily Devotion in Acts 23

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  Daily Nugget: Despite previous warnings not to go to Jerusalem, where it was prophesied he would face trials and tribulations, Paul went. The fearless evangelist had a burden to give out the message that had transformed his life. He endured beatings, near assassinations, and cruel treatments. He was not going to quit or turn back. After a day when Paul was almost pulled to pieces (Acts 23:10) by an angry mob, the Lord verbally encouraged the preacher (Acts 23:11). In the encouraging remarks, the Lord told the evangelist that as he had testified for the Lord in Jerusalem, he must next be a witness the same way in Rome. For Paul’s loyal, non-teetering service, the Lord rewarded Paul with more opportunities to serve Him. Paul had shown himself faithful in the tasks he was given, and God was going to use him further. Many need to understand that God will usually use a person for more and greater things if he has first done all he was previously required to do. Some sit around waiting f

Daily Devotion in Acts 22

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  Daily Nugget : When Paul arrived in Jerusalem (Acts 21), he faced an angry crowd. After a while (Acts 22), the preacher got his opportunity to defend the accusations against him. When Paul did speak, he started with his testimony concerning what Jesus had done in his life. One of the best ways to talk to others about Jesus is to give one’s testimony. Tell them what Jesus did for you. Let them know what changes He has performed in your life.   When a personal testimony is given, it: Shows what Jesus currently did to a person the listener knows. He cannot dispute that Jesus is alive and still working in one’s life today when he hears what He has done in one’s life. Shows that the power of God is still working in lives today. It makes His workings more real to them than a story that happened more than 2,000 years ago. Shows how God can transform a life. I have heard the personal testimonies of many that had a wicked past. I could see from their standing in front of me how differen

Daily Devotion in Acts 21

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Daily Nugget: Examples are some of the best methods of teaching. Different biblical characters often illustrate how they handled the problems and situations they had faced. These examples show us how to, or not to, react in similar situations. In this chapter, Paul is one who was an example of someone purpose-driven. Before Paul’s Damascus road experience, he had much enthusiasm for serving God his way — the wrong way. When Paul learned the right way he was to serve and live for God, his zeal increased in serving God properly. His purpose now was to tell as many as possible what Jesus did for them and how He was the only way to Heaven. That was his encompassing purpose in life. This purpose, and his first love for the Saviour, propelled Paul through all obstacles and difficulties. He was not going to let anything deter him from the direction God had clearly shown him to go. Fear was not going to change his course. Hardships and difficulties would not stop the preacher from moving fo

Daily Devotion in Acts 20

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Daily Nugget: Many have an idea of what a sold-out Christian is. Some think that just faithfully attending church and occasional praying puts them in the close-to-God Christian category. Neither of those thoughts are what living for the Lord and being surrendered to His will entails. Although not perfect and called of God for a different time and purpose, Paul is an excellent example of a heart and life surrendered to the Lord. A look at Paul’s attitude and efforts towards living for God are certainly not what we see much of today. Here is some of what Paul’s surrendering, as found in this chapter, involved: He shed many tears (Acts 20:19) and faced many temptations (trials). He taught and preached everything he knew (Acts 20:20, 35). He went door-to-door teaching (Acts 20:20). He taught everyone he could (Acts 20:21). He knew for sure that the Holy Ghost would use him (Acts 20:22-23). He knew his task was more important than his life (Acts 20:24). One of Paul’s driving forces w

Daily Devotion in Acts 19

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Daily Nugget: Certain Jews thought they, too, could perform miracles. Maybe it was because of all the wonders God used Paul to perform (Acts 19:13). They may have figured, “If Paul can do these miracles in the name of Jesus, perhaps we can too, if we use that magic-word, ‘Jesus’,” The seven sons of Sceva tried to cast out demons. When they did, they spoke what they thought would give them control over demons, “We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.” (Acts 19:13). Instead of making the demons flee, their attempt provoked the demons, saying, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?” After that remark, the demons attacked the brothers. They stripped, beat, and chased the fake Christians away (Acts 19:16). Being a real Christian is nothing that can be faked, although many attempt it. It is more than dressing right, talking “Christian,” or mindlessly completing some religious ceremony or deed. It is not the action; it is the connection with God that is important. All the eloquen

Daily Devotion in Acts 18

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  Daily Nugget: The early church was blessed, but we have one thing that they did not. They were missing the completed Bible, as we have it today. We take the Scriptures for granted, but then, because they did not have the completed Bible, there were many Christians that did not know all that God had done and was doing. One such man was Apollos (Acts 18:24). He knew the Old Testament very well but only knew of the teachings of John the Baptist (Acts 18:25). It seems that Apollos may not even have known about the crucifixion of Christ, His resurrection, Pentecost, and the workings of the Holy Ghost. However, this man took what he did know and spoke about the things of God, boldly and diligently. Soon, two other disciples, Aquila and Priscilla, heard the zealous preacher and discerned that much of the happenings after Christ’s resurrection were unknown to Apollos. They took the preacher aside and explained what the man of God had not learned. Perhaps their updates to events helped the

Daily Devotion in Acts 17

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  Daily Nugget: Paul found himself in the world’s seat of culture, Athens, Greece. As well-educated and developed in the arts as the Athenians were, Paul saw something the people were doing that troubled him deeply. He saw, throughout the city, idols and other signs that the city was immersed in idolatry. On approaching a hill where many judicial duties were performed, Mars Hill, he saw something that concerned him even more about the people there. He saw an altar constructed and labeled on the hill: “To the Unknown God.” Here were a people that had much of what the world desired: money, education, and pleasures. With all they had, they were not satisfied. There was something still missing in their lives. They tried to fill the void with worship of their design. Still, the worship of their created deities did not complete them. “What happens if we left out a god that we don’t know about?” must have been their concern, as they created an altar to a “god” they did not even know. The A

Daily Devotion in Acts 16

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  Daily Nugget: Paul and Silas encountered a woman possessed with a spirit of divination (Acts 16:16). After being grieved by what the evil spirit was doing in her life and how it affected theirs, they cast out the spirit (Acts 16:18). The woman could no longer foretell future events. Before the entire Bible was given to us, there was a need to hear from God through prophets. God did speak to prophets at that time. Now we have all the future God wants us to know within the pages of the preserved Word of God (KJV for English-speaking people). However, Satan often has a counterfeit. Fortune-tellers are sometimes the imitation Satan uses to give another “future” than what God wants us to hear. The possessed woman was not of God. The Bible explains what God thinks about soothsaying, divination, talking with familiar spirits, observing the times, enchantment, and other supernatural practices that God prohibits. Here are some of what the scriptures say about foretelling the “future”: If

Daily Devotions in Acts 15

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Daily Nugget: The fledgling church in Acts had some of the same problems churches today face. People were adding something to what was taught (Acts 15:1) about salvation. It was being taught and spreading that to be saved one must trust Christ for salvation AND also keep the law of circumcision, as previously instructed by Moses. As James simply put it, they were adding something to salvation when “… we gave no such commandment” (Acts 15:24). God’s way of salvation has often been modified. Perhaps it seems too simple to hearers that to be saved one must believe that Jesus has been raised from the dead (Romans 10:9) and trust Him for payment for one’s sins. Many think that it would make more sense if some ritual or good deed were added to it. People often do not truly grasp the biblical fact that Jesus did it all on the cross, and nothing should be added.  If false beliefs and good works were not added to salvation, then all churches confessing to being “Christian” would teach the sam

Daily Devotion in Acts 14

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  Daily Nugget: God had done an incredible miracle and healed a man that was crippled from birth (Acts 14:10). Paul was the vessel that God used to get the man to walk. Then a shocking thing happened. When the people saw what Paul had been used to do, they immediately gave their false gods credit! They accredited Paul to being Mercurius (Mercury), the Roman god of commerce. They thought Barnabas was Jupiter, the Latin name for the false god, Zeus. To make matters worse, the priest of Jupiter arrived, brought them gifts, and wanted to make a sacrifice to the false deities (Acts 14:13). When the two men of the true God heard how God’s work had been interpreted and credited to false gods, they were shocked. Barnabas and Paul “rent their clothes,” which was how the Jewish culture showed great distress and disappointment. They went among the crowd trying to explain to the people who the real God was. Many times, we see God’s mighty hand in a situation. We know it is answered prayer and

Daily Devotion in Acts 13

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  Daily Nugget: Throughout the Gospels, and up to this point in Acts, most of the opposition Christians faced came from “religious” people. Here in this chapter, the enemy is clearly from the other, irreligious side. The antagonist was Barjesus. The name meant “son of Jesus” or “son of Joshua.” However, he used the name Elymas, which meant “wizard.” Being that this sorcerer was a Jew (Acts 13:6), he probably had some biblical training. If he did, he knew that sorcery was sinful (I Sam. 15:23, II Chron. 33:6), yet, he pursued that wickedness even though he knew God hated it. To make matters worse, this male witch tried diligently to keep someone from being saved (Acts 13:6-7). Even today, there are some cases where someone stands for some Christian principle but is opposed by a person claiming he also is a Christian. As in the past, their “religion” does not seem to interfere with some people’s ungodly thinking and actions. I have asked myself repeatedly, “How can these people that k