Friday, August 30, 2013

Peter's Miraculous Escape From Prison

Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. (Acts 12:5)

  • Peter was kept in prison. He was bound with two chains between two soldiers, while other soldiers guarded the door. King Herod had already executed James, one of Jesus’ closest followers. He had the same fate in store for Peter. Peter’s chance of getting out of this situation alive is next to none.

  • But God was with Peter. God is in control and nothing is too difficult for Him to do. Peter rested in the providence of God. He did not panic; he was ready to die. He prayed and went to sleep.

  • Peter‘s miraculous deliverance. An angel was sent to rescue Peter from prison. Peter's chains fell off, and he followed the angel out of prison, thinking it was a vision. The prison doors opened of their own accord, and the angel led Peter into the city. When the angel suddenly left him, Peter came to himself and returned to the house of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where they were praying for him.

  • Peter’s jailbreak surprised his praying friends. Peter knocked at the outside door. A servant girl called Rhoda came to answer it. Rhoda was so excited that she didn't even let Peter in, but ran into the prayer meeting shouting and announcing to the crowd that Peter was at the door. It was a joyful and tearful reunion for them.

  • God often surprises us. God can and do operate outside the odds. Nothing is too hard for Him. Amazing things happen when He takes charge of our lives!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

No Giving Up

"For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him." (Hebrews 10:37-38)

  • Tragic events happened everyday around the world. The Lord Jesus Christ had warned us that sin and evil will increase in the Last Days. It should not surprise us.

  • As sin increases, God's grace increases all the more. God is in control; He will heal and save. We are to continue living a good, holy, just and righteous life, according to the word of God and the teachings of Jesus. We must live by faith, and not by sight.

  • Jesus is coming soon. It won't be long and He will be here. Jesus will come swiftly to restore all things.

  • The LORD is not happy with those who give up believing. We must persevere by faith in Christ, all through our trials and suffering. No giving up, no turning back, no surrender. We are to fight a good fight with all our might.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Our Heavenly Abode

In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (John 14:2)

  • Jesus was the real temple of God. Through His death and resurrection, this temple was enlarged to include His Church. The Church is the dwelling place of God today on earth. We become a part of God's temple when we are in Jesus. God's house today is the Church, composed of individual believers in Christ. Each believer is an abode of the Holy Spirit, and is thus a dwelling place of God.

  • By His death and resurrection, Jesus has prepared this place for us. By means of His death on the cross, we sinners were cleansed by His blood. God could not indwell us until He did this. By means of His resurrection, Christ became the life-giving Spirit to indwell us.

  • Jesus wants us to be where He is. Jesus was a man who dwelt in God. God was His abode. Likewise, God the Father dwelt in Him. Jesus was the Father's abode. They mutually indwelt each other in a marvelous and mysterious fellowship. Jesus’ desire was that we would be where He was, enjoying a life mingled with God.

  • When we realize that Christ is dwelling in us today, we enjoy His wonderful presence within our heart; our life becomes heaven on earth. This life we live is full of troubles. Disappointments and sufferings abound. Within we struggle with the flesh of sin, and without the world tempts us. But by the indwelling Christ, we can be freed from both.

  • God desires a house. This has been His eternal aim. As humans, we are homeless wanderers without Christ. Both God and man become satisfied in this mutual abode. Have you entered in?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Be Hospitable

Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. (1 Peter 4:9)

  • Hospitality is the friendly reception and treatment of guests and strangers.

  • Hospitality makes people feel welcomed and valued. It makes people think they are worth getting to know more, worth caring for, and worth serving for.

  • Hospitality promotes love, affection and brotherhood. Hospitality brings life, respect, honor, encouragement, joy, laughter, peace, warm, strength, and hope.

  • We are told to be hospitable to one another without grumbling. We are to show hospitality to everyone. There is no favoritism, no discrimination, no segregation or preferential treatment. There is no grumbling, no complaints, no sign of bitterness, and no selfishness displayed.

  • Hospitality honors and glorifies God. That is how we are a light in a lost world. That is how we show the love of God for lost mankind.

  • Hospitality is not a gift to possess; it is a gift you give to others. Hospitality is all about opening up your heart to another, putting others first, finding practical ways of demonstrating the love and acceptance of the Lord.

  • Some of us have the gift of hospitality and practices it well. Others still need to learn and understand how it works.

  • Seek hospitality. It makes all the difference in the world when one feels welcomed.

Friday, August 2, 2013

God Loves Us

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)

  • God loves us.

  • How do we know?

  • God sent His Son to die on the Cross and pay the price for our sins.

  • Jesus Christ is the propitiation for our sins. He satisfied both the works of the law and the wrath of God.

  • The penalty of the law is eternal death. We are condemned because of our sins and are eternally separated from God.

  • And God's wrath is against us! God's perfect justice demands that He must punish our sins! God is a Holy God, and His Holiness demands justice!

  • But God is love. God loves us! And He saved us through the shed blood of His Son. He upheld the justice of His law and His wrath against sin by inflicting it all on His Son.

  • Jesus Christ is the propitiation for our sins. He paid our sins penalty in full. He imputed His righteousness to us so that we might have fellowship with God. He also turned the wrath of God away from us. He restored us to God’s love.

  • This is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.