The Sign of Salvation – Acts 15:8-9

Gospeltotheworld“God knows people’s hearts, and he confirmed that he accepts Gentiles by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, for he cleansed their hearts through faith” (Acts 15:8-9, NLT).

The first-century Church was at first mainly comprised of Jews and Christianity was, in many respects, a sect of Judaism. So it was not surprising that when Gentiles began to believe the gospel, the Jewish leaders in the Church wanted the Gentile converts to be circumcised.

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Big Problems? Little Faith! – Matthew 17:19-20

faith mustard seed“Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, ‘Why could we not drive it out?’ And He said to them, ‘Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.” (Matthew 17:19-20, NASB).

A man with a demon-possessed son came to Jesus and asked Him to cast out the demon. The man explained that he had brought his son to Jesus’ disciples but they couldn’t cast out the demon. Jesus rebuked His disciples’ for their failure to trust Him and his saving and healing power (vs. 17).

Later the disciples asked Jesus why they couldn’t cast out the demon. In the NASB, Jesus describes their inability to cast out the demon using an unusual explanation–“because of the littleness of your faith.”

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God’s Battlefield – 2 Chronicles 20:15

soldier_prayer“For the battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chronicles 20:15, NLT).

When a vast army from Edom marched against Judah, King Jehoshaphat was frantic and pleaded with God for guidance. Jehoshaphat ordered the people of Judah to fast and pray.

People from all the towns of Judah gathered at the Temple in Jerusalem and Jehoshaphat led them in public prayer. The Spirit of God came upon one of the Levites in the gathering and these are the words he proclaimed to King Jehoshaphat and all the people of Judah.

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Straight Talk – 2 Chronicles 13:18

Straight_Talk“The Israelites were subdued at that time. The Judahites succeeded because they depended on the Lord, the God of their ancestors” (2 Chronicles 13:18, HCSB).

We spend a lot of time and effort trying to understand what God is saying to us through His Word, the Bible. Sometimes the Bible actually makes it real easy for us to understand what it is saying and how to apply it to our lives.

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A Glorious Display – John 2:11

WaterIntoWine“He displayed His glory and His disciples believed in Him.”  (John 2:11, HCSB).

When Jesus worked His first miracle at the wedding at Cana, changing the water into wine, the Apostle John concludes that it was a glorious display!

Although this first miracle was a quiet miracle–large pots of water suddenly were turned into wine–it apparently didn’t go unnoticed by Jesus’ disciples.

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Living for the Future in the Present, Part 2 – 1 Timothy 6:11-12

FightTheGoodFIght“But you, man of God, run from these things, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight for the faith; take hold of eternal life that you were called to and have made a good confession about in the presence of many witnesses” (1 Timothy 6:11-12, HCSB).

In Part 1 of this meditation Paul instructed Timothy to use this present life as an opportunity to prepare for eternity with God by becoming more like God. To accomplish this, Paul told Timothy to train himself in godliness through disciplined, rigorous practice in personal devotion and service to God.

Now Paul tells Timothy that he should fight for the faith and take hold of eternal life!

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The Road From Faith to Faithfulness, Part 2: Happy Endings – John 4:46-54

Faith_Sign“Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your son lives.’ The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started off. As he was now going down, his slaves met him, saying that his son was living… and he himself believed and his whole household. This is again a second sign that Jesus performed when He had come out of Judea into Galilee” (John 4:50-51,53-54, NASB).

In Part 1 of this meditation I compared and contrasted the predicament of the royal official in this story imploring Jesus to heal his dying son with my own pleas for God to heal my dying wife of terminal cancer.

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The Road From Faith to Faithfulness, Part 1: The Destination – John 4:46-54

Faith_Sign“Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your son lives.’ The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started off. As he was now going down, his slaves met him, saying that his son was living… and he himself believed and his whole household. This is again a second sign that Jesus performed when He had come out of Judea into Galilee” (John 4:50-51,53-54, NASB).

While Jesus was in Cana of Galilee, a royal official from Capernaum approached Jesus and asked Him to come to Capernaum and heal his son who was dying. Rather than accompanying the official the twenty miles to Capernaum, Jesus declared the boy was healed: “Go, your son lives” (vs. 50) and the man believed the words that Jesus spoke and returned to Capernaum on his own.

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Think Carefully About Jesus – Hebrews 3:1

thinking_man“And so, dear brothers and sisters who belong to God and are partners with those called to heaven, think carefully about this Jesus whom we declare to be God’s messenger and High Priest.” (Hebrews 3:1, NLT).

The Hebrews writer is preaching about Jesus to people who are already believers. According to the Hebrews writer, Christians should give careful consideration to Jesus.

But haven’t we already done this when we believed and received His salvation?

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