Bible Devotions

Now I know for Certain

 And when Peter had come to himself, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people.” Acts 12:11 NKJV 

God knows exactly what each of us needs to truly believe.  In Peter’s case, he was able to walk with Jesus Christ for 3 years and was given the power to heal people (Acts 9:33-35) and raise them from the dead (Acts 9:36-41).  He also received a vision regarding the definition of clean food to relieve his fears of associating with Gentiles and he was miraculously delivered from prison (Acts 12).  All these things lead Peter to conclude: “Now I know for certain”. 

 

It was the same for me.  The Lord forgave me of great sin, removed my bitter/resentful/angry heart and replaced it with a tender heart of love.  He answered even my smallest prayers.   He renewed my marriage and blessed us with a second son.  He has blessed me with many godly encouragers in my life and this writing ministry.  He speaks to me through His Word, by impressions and through repeated confirmations.  All these things have led me to say, like Peter, “Now I know for certain” the Lord is true, just and right and all He allows is used for His glory, even the bad things. 

 

What do you need in order to believe in Jesus? 

 

God already knows and is working on revealing it to you in His perfect timing.  If you struggle with some unanswered questions, ask God to help you trust Him.  The answer will come at just the right time.  Then you will be able to say “Now I know for certain”.

 Lord, bless those who are struggling today with answers to their prayers.  Continue your good work in them.  Draw them to a deeper understanding of you, so they may say “Now I know for certain”.  In Jesus’ name Amen.   

© Elizabeth Marks, author of ThinkOnIt Devotions and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.  For more devotions, bible studies and a recommended book store, visit http://www.ThinkOnItDevotions.com today.

Advertisements
1 Comment »

Another Chance to Witness

thinkonit-devotions-fear-thou-not.jpg Read Acts 4:5-13

 

Peter and John were imprisoned for telling people about Jesus’ resurrection from death and for healing a lame man.  After being in jail over night, they are brought out before the rulers, elders, scribes, the high priest, Caiaphas, John and Alexander and everyone else from the high priest’s family.  Can you imagine this company Peter and John were surrounded by?   These were the religious elite; men of power and influence to be revered.  If you had to stand before them, wouldn’t they make your knees knock?  They were probably pretty intimidating.

 

Notice Peter’s response when asked by them in what name have you done this by?  

The Bible does not say if Peter was afraid, trembling with fear, or even worried about the situation, and I don’t think he was because his mind was on Christ.  In verses 8-12 it says Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit so the words which proceeded out of his mouth were focused on the issue at hand: He was being judged for doing something good.  He healed a man by Jesus’ name and now he stands on trial.  Peter laid everything on the table: (I’m paraphrasing) Look, you want to know who’s name we did this, I’ll tell you.  Let it be known to you all by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but God raised from the dead, by Him was this man who stands before you made whole again.  The stone rejected by you the builders has become the chief cornerstone.  In no other name is there salvation.

 

The religious leaders were amazed at Peter and John’s boldness.  They were used to making people quake at their commands.  But here’s Peter and John not moving a muscle, not the least bit scare of them, and instead they were bold.  It didn’t make sense.  They marveled when they noticed these men were uneducated, untrained and had been Jesus Christ. 

 

What made them realize Peter and John had been with Jesus?  Could it have been the calm way they responded to the charges against them?  Could it have been the way Peter pointed out the leader’s sin and brought it back to Jesus being the only way to salvation?  Could it have been the fact Peter healed a man like Jesus had done? Can others see you have been with Jesus?

 

There are two great take-aways from this section of scripture. 

 1. Keep our eyes on Jesus

Isaiah 26:3 NKJV “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”  No matter what’s going on around us, when we keep our mind on Him, He will keep us in perfect peace.   Living our life for an audience of One, is certainly easier than worrying about what others think of us. 

 2. Follow the leading of Holy Spirit. 

Don’t fret over what you should do or say.  Listen to what Mark 13:11 NKJV says: “But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.”  God will give us the right words at the right time. 

 

How are you doing?  Where’s your focus today?  Is it on your problems and circumstance or is it on Jesus?  Are you listening to the Spirit’s leading or following your own agenda?  We are wise in doing these two things then others will be able to say you’ve been with Jesus. 

 Lord, thank You for keeping us in perfect peace in our messy circumstances when we keep our mind on You.  Enable us to follow Your leading and speak what You tell us.  May the world see we have been with You.  In Jesus’ name Amen.    © Elizabeth Marks, author of ThinkOnIt Devotions and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.  For more articles, devotions and book reviews, visit http://www.ThinkOnItDevotions.com today.

Leave a comment »

Impact for God’s Kingdom

thinkonit-devotions-yellow-sunflowerdelight.jpg

Read Acts 4:1-14

 

Peter and John were at the temple teaching and preaching to various people about Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.  The first thing to notice is the different kinds of people they spoke to: regular people, religious people such as priests, working people like the captain of the temple and other religious people called the Sadducees. 

 

To me this speaks of getting God’s Word out to all people, no matter what their background or current state of living they may be in.  God wants all His creation to hear and believe His Word.  The Bible teaches God doesn’t want a single one to perish (Matthew 18:14).

 

Next we see a threefold reaction to this teaching.  First, the people became greatly disturbed.  When you are not ready for the truth it can be very disturbing.  Think about it.  You’re going about your business, thinking everything is fine and then you’re confronted with the truth and can plainly see you’re on the wrong side.  That doesn’t make a lot of people feel real comfortable.  The Bible teaches men loved darkness rather than light (John 3:19).  In darkness, their evil deeds can go on unnoticed by others.  We are called to expose the darkness with God’s glorious light (Ephesians 5:11).  For as we walk in the light, the blood of Christ cleanses us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:7).

 

Second, the people grabbed Peter and John and through them in jail.  Following Christ has its cost.  Peter and John were experiencing it.  All they did was speak what they knew to be true and they were treated harshly by being wrongly imprisoned.  In our country, we might not find our selves being thrown in prison for witnessing to someone (at least not yet); we will encounter persecution of some kind.  For example, folks you considered friends may stop hanging with you when you start telling them about Jesus.  Why, even your own family members may shun you.  Just remember, Jesus said that would happen in Matthew 5.

 

Third, about five thousand men heard the word and believed.  Can you imagine having an impact like that?  Simply speaking God’s truth and five thousand people came to believe!  Now, that’s a miracle only God can work.  Doesn’t the minor inconvenience Peter and John experienced pale in comparison?  We may not always see this kind of result, but we can trust God to work the miracles when we are obedient to His calling.  Galatians 6:9 tells us not to grow weary of doing good for at the right time we’ll reap a harvest if we don’t lose heart.  We are to continue on whether or not it looks like we’re making a difference, because in reality we are making an impact for God’s Kingdom through our obedience.

 Lord, thank you for your word and your spirit leading us in truth.  May we be bold like Peter and John to share your word with everyone regardless of the inconvenience it may bring.  May we continue to do what is right, knowing you will work it out for good.  In Jesus’ name Amen.  

 

© Elizabeth Marks, author of ThinkOnIt Devotions and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.  For more articles, devotions and book reviews, visit http://www.ThinkOnItDevotions.com today.

Leave a comment »