Saturday, November 16, 2013

Acts 17-19

Paul's determination and faithfulness get him into all kinds of trouble in Acts 17-19.  He is trying to reconcile the Old Testament Law with God's saving grace we now have in Christ.  The trouble seems to spread to many who choose to support his ministry.  Paul's strongest resource is God's word, the truth.  The news is good, but not everyone has heard the full story.  And when Paul shares it, not everyone believes it.  That was then, in Bible times, and we still face the same reality today.  

Funny how truth works.  The truth will set you free.  And as Paul and his crew find out, it can also put you in the middle of a mess.

24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else...27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’[a] As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.  

Accepting the truth means letting it change us for a bigger and better good.  That's where the real mess and resistance comes into the picture.  That's why we are so inclined to run from this wonderful truth, just like many of the people in Paul's day.  But you know what?  God will take care of the mess, if we are willing to give it to Him.  That's how He strengthens our personal relationship with Him.

I think God wants us to figure out what we are holding onto in our lives that keeps us from His personal best for us.  It's a never ending process.  It may be complicated.  That's okay.  We can't give up because God doesn't give up on us.  He wants us to examine His truth over and over again.    

As I grow in my faith, I so appreciate the beauty and power of repentance.  Sure, it's not always fun to acknowledge my faults, but that's how I make room for God's grace I so desperately need.

Who are you going to trust?  God and His hands or yourself and your own human hands?

It helps me to remember, like Paul, my biggest resource and source of encouragement is God's Living Word.    

A prayer for today-

Dear God,

Thank you for giving me life and blessing me with your grace through Jesus Christ.  Lord, I know that all I have comes from You.  Help me to let go of all that keeps me from You.  Give me the courage and faith to face your truth in my life.  I pray for all those on my heart today that need to make room for your grace.  Use your hands, dear Lord, to change their lives for the better.

In the name of Jesus I pray,

Grace and peace,


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