Tuesday, October 21, 2014

October 22 "Searching Scriptures" Acts 16, 17

The Bereans.
More noble.  Why?
They searched the Scriptures daily to see if what the disciples were preaching was really so.  They didn't take face value.  It was that important to them that they find it for themselves.  And they found the Supreme Treasure.  No posturing.  No pretense.  No phonies.

"Many believed." 

They took the Gospel as very real unto themselves.  Reminds me of the mantra from Larry Crabb: "You are not alive in this world in order to experience God or to enjoy the blessings of a comfortable life.  If that were God's purpose, He would have brought you into His Presence in heaven the moment you were forgiven and adopted into God's family." 

These Bereans.  They knew.  And.  They trusted.
What about me?

"Your purpose till you die is to reveal a new attitude toward suffering and a new agenda in prayer that flows out of your new purpose in life that makes sense only if you claim your new hope of resurrection."  Larry Crabb

COME BOLDLY:  Timeless Prayers
Father, these disciples were so devoted, committed, dependent, confident, and willing to suffer to great lengths for You.  And I'm caught up in the daily hum-drum of 2014 that buzzes to me that I am unimportant, overlooked, and disenfranchised.  Oh, God help me!

PHOTO:  Contemplating as I walk 10,000 steps that I'm not here for experiences or comfort or solutions or success.  I am here to claim my new hope of resurrection. 

 

Monday, October 20, 2014

October 21 Come! Acts 16

"The gospel thou preachest has arguments and powers beyond those we have yet been furnished with.’’ Matthew Henry. Acts 16 say: Come. Come Lord Jesus. By Your help. We will make it. 

COME BOLDLY: Timeless Prayers
Like the jailer, may we all ask today, "What must I do?" Not what others must do. Not what our children must do. What we must do and that is to wrestle well with the text. Come. Come Lord Jesus. 

PHOTO: does the road wind up-hill? Christina Rosetti. Why, yes. All the way to the end. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

October 20 "A Mist of Problems" Acts 14, 15

The apostles spoke so plainly, so pure full of concern for souls. People knew their success was attributed to God not their expertise. Not so today. It's too much about how good people are in speaking, teaching. These plain pure men proved the Spirit of God. May it be said of those of us who are nondescript in obscurity. It is God in our lives willing and working on our behalf. 

Our God has opened the door of faith wide open to all of us who were once strangers. So, according to Acts 15, let us bury our past injuries and insults. 

Rend your hearts not your behavior. And we will know what we really care about when we are snubbed and dubbed and can walk away rejoicing we were counted worthy to suffer. 

COME BOLDLY: Timeless Prayers
Father, Lead us this day to rend our hearts to You alone. Not to change our behavior to fit the occasion. But would You change our lives this day. 
 
PHOTO: Wide open spaces. A wide door of faith. Open. Help us to walk through the mist. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

October 19 "Wrestle Well" Acts 12, 13

I
Confronted. 
Called the "enemy of everything." 
Elymas. Acts 13:10
Even adamant procounsels bow.

Just like David and all who have gone before. We are called to serve God's purpose in our generation. And it just may mean in widespread view or obscurity. Acts 13:36. What's wrong with leading ordinary lives? Wrestling lives.  We live in such a celebrity world. We are here to leave our mark for Him. 

God has made us a light in the places where we dwell. Acts 13:47. So what about the dark places in my heart. Am I wanting something here that God has not seen fit ever to provide. The disciples were persecuted. I'm not close to that kind of status. But they went away in joy, rejoicing. What's going on in my life?

COME BOLDLY: Timeless Prayers
Dear Father, May the Word spread with adhesive to our own hearts. 

PHOTO:  The Hill Country today. Praying for a spreading of Grace on this fractured heart of mine. 


Friday, October 17, 2014

October 18 "The Hand of the Lord" Acts 10, 11

"And the Hand of the Lord was with them and a great number believed." Acts 11:21.
 
The persecution of the church, the harm hurled through threats and brutality---it was meant to destroy and kill the followers.  But this.  The very first preachers of Good News.  Dispersed.  All because of persecution.  What others mean for harm still works for good then and now.
 
And the work of conversion works on all of us, then and now.
 
And the hand of the Lord---God showed them His Favor.  Manifest in Miracles. 
Hearts changed forever.

"Not only his Hand of Providence, which brought them thither, and protected them; and his Hand of love, grace and mercy, which was upon them, and supplied them with gifts and grace, and everything necessary for them; and his Hand of wisdom, which guided and directed them; but his Hand of power, the same with the Arm of the Lord, which when revealed, and made bare, the report of the Gospel is believed."  John Gibbs

COME BOLDLY:  Timeless Prayers
Oh Father, may we know closely, deeply, fondly, fully Your Hand of Providence no matter how we feel this day.  Your Hand of love, grace, and mercy.  Your Hand of power.

PHOTO: The Hill Country today. Thinking about His Hand. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

October 17 "A Chosen Vessel" Acts 8:26-40, Acts 9

"Who are You, Lord?" asks Saul in Acts 9:5---this one who asks is:
the unmerciful young man who applauded Stephen's stoning, 7:58
the proud Pharisee who wreaked hail and havoc on the church, 8:3
the heartless blasphemer whose very breath slew slaughter, thrashed threats, 9:1.
No one would believe that this wretch could now be a follower.

Now.
"A chosen vessel unto God."  Acts 9:15.
And I weep.
I weep for myself
who has been saved from myself.
I weep for my children
who need to be saved from themselves.
I weep for us all.
That we may bear The Name.
"This Signal Token of the Divine Favor of God,
by inward working of His Grace" (M. Henry)
in all of us!

We all admire things on this earth more than God.
We all want things more than we want God.
That's evident of the problem of man.

COME BOLDLY:  Timeless Prayers
Father,Would you open this day, this year, opportunities for us to want You, to serve You----may we study and show our lives approved by You.  You sent Philip to a desert and you've sent some of us, too.  May we learn here from those in our very midst.  We pause before You, our Signal Token Keeper.  We ask you to make these words You have written clear and purpose-filled for each of us as we face our journeys through deserts.  Let the strangers we find here crack push through our very soul.

PHOTO:

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

October 16 "Are These Things So?" Acts 7, 8:1-25

This Word of God is increasing! Acts 6:7.
And even the hardest of criminals was not able to resist the wisdom and spirit by which they spoke. Acts 6:10.  Until...the criminals concoct their next move.

And we open with Chapter 7.
The high priest felt the tremors beneath his own feet as no one stopped a Resurrected Life,
he saw the bones strengthened in the feet of a a 40-year stepless son,
he heard the jail cell chains fall to the ground reverberating a free pass for the Followers . . .
And, now, he hears Stephen, full of faith and power and wonder and persuasion.
And all he can ask is this:  "Are these things so?" Acts 7:1.

High Priests words dispel their own doubts and evident fears for they must wrestle with the Divine, the Wonder, the Light, the Truth.  Are these things so?  He simply wishes them not to be of any weight.  How can high priests ignore their own soul?  Soul amnesia.

COME BOLDLY:  Timeless Prayers
Father, Reveal to us how we allow our doubts and fears to attach to things of this world as far too important.  How could Stephen have reached down so deep, pressed in so hard to You, to be willing to stand when stoned.  He bowed his knees to You, begging not for his own life but begging for the life of those who are throwing the stones at him.  Enlarge our hearts, O God, to trust You in the midst of our own stonings, no matter how small in comparison.

PHOTO:  The Atlantic Ocean.  This kind of calm pervades this son, Stephen.  Oh God!  We know not.