Latest Thoughts of the Day
Galatians 1:24
And they praised God because of me.

The churches in Jerusalem had found out that it was really true. The enemy of Christ had become His devoted servant. The one who wanted only to destroy, out of a terrible misguided zeal for what he thought was God has become a true believer in Jesus, has been given a new heart, and truly loves the brethren . They praise God because of Paul. And we should well praise God for every believer we encounter. All of us were enemies of God, determined to live our own selfish lives, and willing to put down and ridicule everyone who did not see things our way. The power that knocked Paul off his high horse, was what brought us to submission at Jesusí feet. Lord, help us today to live the kind of lives that will make Christians praise God for us.
2 Corinthians 1:24
Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, because it is by faith you stand.

Paulís goal is to help them make decisions based on their faith, not to make the decisions for them. Young Christians can simpy imitate older ones instead of developing the inward understanding and perspective that will make them an example of the believers themselves. Paul does not want to lord it over their faith. Real joy in Christ springs from real joy in Christ, not from imitating the joy of others. Lord, deliver us from pretending a greater spiritually than we have. We want a genuine walk with you that experiences Your joy, according to Your promise. Work in us by your Holy Spirit, that we may become examples of the believers in love, joy and peace. Draw near to us, Lord Jesus.
I Corinthians 1:31
Therefore, as it is written, "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."

If we saw ourselves as we actually are, we would be amazed that God had bothered to save us at all. We certainly deserved His condemnation. The good things we had done were honeycombed with sin. Our zeal was never appropriate. We were selfish and blind and out for ourselves. Pride in anything about us at all is preposterous. But we can be proud of Jesus! He knew how to subdue us to Himself. He was able to cleanse us from our sin. He rescued us from the stickiest situations, and He has kept us remarkably clean for a remarkably long time. Let us boast about Him! Let us give Him the glory and tell others of what He has done! He is our Savior, and He deserves glory for saving the likes of us.
Romans 1:12
Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

For a person enslaved by his lust to encourage others to follow the same lusts is seen by Paul as the the depth of depravity. But we have among the celebrities of our day a mass of people given to individual lusts and excesses wanting to be examples in our society. The men and women still know that these things are against the law of God, for they often make it part of their boast. It is, of course, what the Devil is always doing. Under Godís judgment, he wants men to join him under Godís judgment. The message of the gospel offers freedom. Turn from your sins to Christ for forgiveness and rescue. Praise His Name!
Then they drew lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.

God brought this about to show us what the qualifications of an apostle were. One must have been present with the other apostles from the time of John the Baptist to the day of Pentecost. He must have heard the teaching of Jesus first-hand, witnessed the miracles, weathered the storm of the crucifixion and entered into the joy of the resurrection. And all this as an eye-witness, that he might be recognized as one of the witnesses that Jesus would send forth with His message. We know nothing of other ways the Lord in His sovereignty used Matthias. May He use us in a way analogous! May we be known to be true witnesses of the Grace and Power of God. May we prove useful to Jesus Christ, though unknown.
John 1:51
He then added, " I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the son of Man."

Nathaniel has spoken wonderful words of faith based upon the simplest and almost casual evidence. He will see yet more. He will come to see Christ as the one mediator between God and man, the fulfillment of all the Old Testament types, the Lord of angels, which are sent at His bidding to minister unto the heirs of heaven. They will see heaven opened by Christ, and will one day see Him ascending back to the place from whence He came. This little thing that Nathaniel has taken as grounds of faith, will be much enlarged as they learn of this Jesus, this Son of Man. Jesus is the one Whom God has sent for men. They all will see and rejoice.
Luke 1:80
And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the desert until he appeared publicly to Israel.

John the Baptistís isolation and his spirituality are the two things Luke tells us about him before he appears to Israel as Godís prophet. Probably his parents died while he was quite young. He obviously did not form other human relationships, for we are told elsewhere that even his food was of the very wildest kind. At this point in the narrative John is set aside, while God brings us up to speed on all the other details He is bringing about. Jesus will be born, will visit Jerusalem at 13, will continue to mature until He is about to be revealed, and then John will be brought back to center stage, and his public ministry will be launched. God works all details to manifest His Son.
Mark 1:45
Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.

The man cured of leprosy was given strict orders not to talk about it with others, but he ignored Jesusí command and talked anyway. He had been healed, but he had not been brought to submission to Jesus Christ. Jesus not being able to enter towns meant that many blind, lame, helpless would not be able to seek His help. Only the more mobile sinners could come to Him. This was the sad result of the manís rebellion to Jesus. Not every person who is blessed by Jesus is savingly drawn to Him. Lord Jesus, give us hearts to receive You and obey Your commands, our Savior and our Lord.

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