Posts Tagged ‘Jerusalem’


Galatians 1:15-17, 22-24
But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus… I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” And they praised God because of me.

Salvation is a choice or are we chosen by God is a debate that has gone on for a long time among Christians because it then means we have or do not have the freedom of choice. Paul states in his letter that he was set apart from birth by God and called into God’s presence by God’s grace which means that Paul had little choice about the matter. However, we also need to remember that Paul lived a life that was causing more harm than good to the children of God before his conversion and God did not stop him until the day he was traveling on the road to Damascus. So now we know that Paul did have choice but eventually did not. What is God trying to say to us?

We will never fully understand God because we are limited by our human minds but we will continue to learn about God as we seek him every moment. We know that God’s purposes will be achieved no matter what and that every knee will bow before Him and acknowledge Him as God because His word states that. In that assurance we can rest and we can continue to share the gospel for we know not who might and might not accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior but we do know that the Lord’s name will be glorified and He has won the final battle over Satan and sin. I pray people will know me as a sinner saved by God’s grace and that Christ will be glorified as I continue to yearn for Him and serve Him with my mind, body and spirit.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Advertisements

Acts 22:2-5
When they heard him speak to them in Aramaic, they became very quiet. Then Paul said: “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. Under Gamaliel I was thoroughly trained in the law of our fathers and was just as zealous for God as any of you are today. I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, as also the high priest and all the Council can testify. I even obtained letters from them to their brothers in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.

After Paul’s arrest, he requested an opportunity to speak with his accusers and this passage was the start of his response to them. Two things that stood out to me in this passage were the language he spoke and his introduction. Aramaic was the language of the common folk and was understood by the locals regardless of their own tongues. It was like a local from the province I live in speak with in a dialect of English with the intonation, accent and figures of speech only a local could speak in. His introduction was an effective way for him to strike a chord with the locals to equate him to them. Was Paul trying to buy favor in their eyes and what was the outcome?

Paul’s intent was not to buy favor but to show his accusers that he started where they are but God transformed him to what He wanted him to be. This was not Paul’s way of saving his skin but instead of sharing the gospel. Is is not amazing how God used the unwanted situation Paul got himself into by accepting to perform rituals to convince the Jews. God uses us to bring himself glory and this could at times cost us. However, the price we pay will never come close to God’s sacrifice for us. When we realize what God saved us from, as Paul explains of himself, then we appreciate what God is doing in and through us. Our reward is in heaven with Jesus and not here on earth. Lets always keep that in mind and serve God wholeheartedly.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

PS: Sign up for daily devotionals by clicking the email subscription icon at the top right of this page or by visiting this group. Also, share it with your friends and family who need some encouragement and direction in their lives.


Luke 20:22-24
“And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.

Over the last many days, I have often referred to the Olympics and for this I apologize. Here in Canada, it is BIG and therefore everything presently revolves around the games as it is being hosted in Vancouver, the city we live in. Every time I see an athlete win a medal and hear the interviews, I long to hear the reason for their success and so far, the only thing I hear is how they did it through their own hard work and determination against all odds. That seems to be our attitude in everything we do. We long for recognition and glory and love to get credit for things we do. This is also the case in charity where the focus is on who gave how much. When we hear Paul speak, we see something totally the opposite and the impact of his life and work was considerably more than all the Olympians put together!

I sometimes wonder if I were in his place, would I do the same? Would I sacrifice my everything to serve the peoples of this world? Maybe if I knew my needs were met, whether it be shelter, food, finances, protection, etc. However, with Paul, Silas, Barnabas, Timothy and the many who served God, they were not funded or provided for by man. Paul, in fact supported himself and his friends through his profession of tent-making and used these resources to provide for his ministry. Every one of them suffered continuously but still believed it a privilege to serve God through their lives. What about us today? Do we live in the comforts of this world and are unwilling to complete the task the Lord Jesus has given us?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

PS: Sign up for daily devotionals by clicking the email subscription icon at the top right of this page or by visiting this group. Also, share it with your friends and family who need some encouragement and direction in their lives.


Acts 11:22-26
News of this reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord. Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.

The news that brought Barnabas out to Antioch from the comforts of his home was that of Christ being preached and many submitting their lives to God’s leading in places as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch. It says that Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith and a great number of people were brought to the Lord through him. That sounds fair and investing him into that ministry was a great idea but why Saul? The last time he tried, he was getting in trouble with the officials and had to taken away in hiding by the believers there. What was the Lord doing and what is his direction to us today through this passage?

In recent weeks, I’ve been raving about the training I’ve been receiving at my new job. The content is from top educational institutions and the investment in time and resources by my bank in me is something I can never imagine. It’s something I know God blessed me with and was not because of anything I did or deserved. However, when I compare this to the awesomeness of my Christian education through God’s own words, nothing compares! What is most amazing is that God invests his Holy Spirit in people who themselves may not make the worldly cut for their roles but God uses them to glorify himself. We’re all broken clay pots restored by the Holy Spirit for God’s use. Lets go out and fulfill God’s call in our lives to impact the generations for HIM!

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

PS: Sign up for daily devotionals by clicking the email subscription icon at the top right of this page or by visiting this group. Also, share it with your friends and family who need some encouragement and direction in their lives.


Acts 8:5-8, 26-27, 38b-40
Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ there. When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many, and many paralytics and cripples were healed. So there was great joy in that city…Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians…Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.

The book of Acts gives us a sense of how the Church exploded after Jesus’ resurrection. Nothing was the same and followers of Christ were doing things that were not of them. Philip seems to be the man of action mentioned throughout this chapter and he was involved in some real mystifying acts like healing people with evil spirits inside of them, healing cripples and paralytics and even disappearing after baptizing the Ethiopian eunuch who accepted Christ. What is God speaking to us today through this passage?

For many weeks, a dear friend of mine has been plagued by a rasping cough. It’s trying and hard when the medication he has been taking has had no effect and his faith is being challenged. It is at times such as these when one doubts why the Lord permits suffering in the lives of his cherished and those living far from God seem to be in bliss. The reality is that like Philip, we are called to serve God regardless of when and where and we should consider it a privilege to serve for the salvation we have received from the Lord. Philip was not acting in his strength but through the Holy Spirit at work in him. The Lord works in mysterious ways when we submit to his will and we need to pray for humble hearts that we might serve faithfully and God is glorified through our lives.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

PS: Sign up for daily devotionals by clicking the email subscription icon at the top right of this page or by visiting this group. Also, share it with your friends and family who need some encouragement and direction in their lives.


Acts 3:4-10
Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

What amazes me this morning about this miracle, which I have seen performed many times in Sunday School, is not the miracle itself but the response. The temple authorities and the devout who were worshipping at the temple must have been relieved that Jesus was out of the picture and the chance of people following him was destroyed but with what just took place, they were either aghast that this was spreading or they were truly joyful for the unexplained healing that took place. If I was part of the authorities, I would not be the most pleased for certain and my first reaction would be to arrest the blasphemers but what if I was the layman coming to perform my religious rituals? What is the Lord speaking to us this morning through this?

The power of miracles was thought of to be restricted to only a select few. In comics stories of superheroes, these are just one or two people who are extraterrestrial or chanced upon their gift by the virtue of an insect bite or a scientific experiment gone wrong. However, here we seem to have a pandemic because Jesus’ abilities were being exercised by his followers and it was not because they were special but because he chose to give it to them through their submission. The Lord started to work through his body of believers to reach the lost in ways unexplainable and not because of their goodness or holiness but because of his mercy and grace. Are you willing to serve the king of kings? Then call on Jesus right now and ask him how.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

PS: Sign up for daily devotionals by clicking the email subscription icon at the top right of this page or by visiting this group. Also, share this with your friends and family who need some encouragement and direction in their lives.


Luke 10:30-37
Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

I’ve just started reading about the life of John in the Jesus Chronicles series and I realized how human he was yet how special he really was. I feel horribly filthy when I compare my life and thoughts to him or his disciple Polycarp and reflect on their lives and those times. Life in those times was not easy. Anarchy seemed to reign, false doctrines were the norm of the day and humankind’s depravity was at it’s fore. When I compare those times to today, I can see that we live in a much more advanced yet more corrupt version of those times. Satan has captured the hearts of millions and there are only a few faithful remnant who are sincere and eager to seek the Lord and follow him. Are we bothered to love anyone but ourselves and do we care for good words and lifestyles like those preached by Jesus and does it belong in our modern times?

In today’s world, we have so many people who are in need and there seem to be very few willing hands. Like in the story of the man who was robbed and beaten up, if we look around us, we can see how people around us are lost and have taken a beating by the world. They are in desperate need but no one cares because the motto these days is each one for themselves. We as Christians are called to act Christlike which means that instead of putting ourselves first, we are to serve the lost. These are not necessarily just the poor and needy for whom a few bucks will make a world of a difference. We are reminded that our sacrifice is our time and effort in being a part of the harvest and in discipling and directing these lost souls to the Lord. Who are you discipling today? Who are you sharing God’s love with or are you too busy living? Can you spare some time and effort in the Lord’s work today?

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

PS: Sign up for daily devotionals by clicking the email subscription icon at the top right of this page or by visiting http://groups.google.com/group/in-his-loving-service. Share this with your friends and family who need encouragement!

All Things Bright & Beautiful