SHIPWRECKS WILL COME!

No one had eaten for a long time. Finally, Paul called the crew together and said, “Men, you should have listened to me in the first place and not left Crete. You would have avoided all this damage and loss. But take courage! None of you will lose your lives, even though the ship will go down. For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me, and he said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul, for you will surely stand trial before Caesar! What’s more, God in his goodness has granted safety to everyone sailing with you.’ So take courage! For I believe God. It will be just as he said. But we will be shipwrecked on an island.” —Acts 27:21-26

“But we will be shipwrecked on an island.” Paul and all those on the ship would be saved even though the ship would go down. Life is like that as we live for the Lord Jesus. Sometimes we are safe in the ship and sometimes the ship will go down to move us on to the next phase of the race the Lord God Almighty has for us.

Even though there are times when we feel like our “ship” is going down and that we are about to drown, let us trust the Lord God Almighty to move us to the next phase of life that He has for us. Sometimes the ship must be shipwrecked to accomplish what the Lord desires. As we will see in the next chapter, because of being shipwrecked the Apostle Paul had opportunity to impact many lives (Acts 27:3-10). If it wasn’t for the storm and the shipwreck, he would not have come into contact with those people that were impacted.

The Lord uses various things in our lives to bring us into contact with people we wouldn’t ordinarily come into contact in our everyday life. When times come when we are “shipwrecked,” may we be sensitive to those around us that the Lord has brought us into contact with through that “shipwreck.” It may be the “shipwreck” occurred for us to have an impact in their lives for the Lord Jesus. Let us not be so focused on the “shipwreck” that we do not see the opportunities to share Jesus with others around us. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBJJJkiRukY

Dear Father, please help me to see what You desire to so through the “shipwrecks” of my life. May I be sensitive to others around me when the “ship” goes down and seek to point them to Jesus.

TRUSTWORTHY!

“So take courage! For I believe God. It will be just as he said” —Acts 27:25

“God is not a man, so he does not lie” (Numbers 23:19).

“God, who does not lie” (Titus 1:2).

I can trust God fully and He is the only One I can trust fully! He always does what He says He will do and there is no one or nothing that can keep Him from doing so. What He has determined He will do.

There are times we put our trust in people or things and expect that the people or things will do what they say they will or what they are supposed to do. Recently Elaine and I went up the Cog Railway on Mount Washington. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JGpAlLrSD0 There is a lot of trust in that train and operators when you are climbing such a steep grade with one drop into a ravine of 3000 feet off to the side. But the railway has a “track record” for being safe and so we felt that way when traveling up and down the mountain.

But “take courage” because God is so much more trustworthy than people, trains or anything else. What He says He will do, He will do. What is He saying to you? He will be faithful to you. He always is! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_aVFVveJNs

Dear Father, I am so grateful that I can trust You fully. You are the only one I can do so. May I be the faithful person You desire of me to the honor and glory of the Lord Jesus.

LISTEN!

No one can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for them—the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough—so that they should live on forever and not see decay. —Psalm 49:7-9

Did you grab that? “No one can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for them— the ransom is costly, no payment is enough.” Sin is an eternal problem. No mere man can take care of this eternal problem. This should help us understand who Jesus is. He is no mere man. He is the God Man. Only God can take care of this eternal sin problem and He sent His only Son to pay the sin penalty at the cross through His shed blood. As stated below— “We are redeemed… with the precious blood of Christ…” and we “were bought with a price” and by the blood of the Lamb we were “purchased for God.” The Infinite Jesus paid the Infinite price so anyone who calls on His Name can have Infinite life! Wow! Rejoice in that!

“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect” (I Peter 1:18-19).

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies” (I Corinthians 6:19-20).

“You were bought at a price” (I Corinthians 7:23).

‘And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9).

Dear Father, thank You for the redemption that I have through the blood of Your dear Son. Oh, that I would not take this for granted, but live a life that bears fruit of gratitude. May it be so!

CHRIST AROSE!

‘I am on trial before you today because I believe in the resurrection of the dead!’ —Acts 24:21

Jesus proved Himself to be the Son of God by the resurrection from the dead (Romans 1:4). The Apostle Paul said that “If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead…” (I Corinthians 15:13-19). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_OTz-lpDjw

Without the resurrection of Jesus all of the Christian faith falls apart. As I wrote before and I will repeat again— If Jesus did not rise from the dead we would not hear the Name of Jesus blasphemed on the multitudes of unsaved lips as we do. No, if Jesus did not rise from the dead we would not hear His Name used like that. Why do the lost do it? It is because in Exodus 20:7 we are told “”You must not misuse the name of the LORD your God. The LORD will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.” People are sinning against Jesus when they misuse His Name! They are guilty!

Not only did Jesus rise from the dead, but He ascended back to Heaven and is coming back to Earth again. Fellow follower of Jesus, may we be faithful until then. If you have not called on the Name of Jesus for salvation from sin and new life in Him, may you do so now! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZD6khv6pGkw

Dear Father, it is such a joy to know that Jesus rose from the dead and that He has overcome this world so too we overcome through faith in Him. May I live a life of gratitude for all that You have done for me through Jesus. Even so come Lord Jesus!

HOPE IN THE LORD JESUS

And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you. —Psalm 39:7

Where is your hope? In your job, schooling, finances, clubs, family or something/someone else? Where is the hope of a nation or people group? I don’t know about you, but my hope is in the Lord? All these other things may be good, but hope in the Lord is the best and has eternal impact!

“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God (John 6:67-69). What a great question Peter asked! “Lord, to whom shall we go?” Life is only in Jesus! Relationship with Jesus is life and the religious systems of the world, of Satan really, do not have the answer. Forgiveness of sin in Jesus, righteousness of God in Jesus, eternal life in Jesus—- Heirs of God, joint heirs with Jesus (Romans 8:17; Galatians 4:7; Titus 3:7; I Peter 3:22). There is nothing that come close to this… nothing!

Yes, let us put all our hope in the Lord Jesus! There is no other… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fGRQnRWCjA

Thank You dear Father for all the hope You have given me through Your Son, my Lord Jesus. May I live in the power of the Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus to be and do what Your desire. May it be so!

JESUS CHRIST— WHY HIS NAME?

For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light. —Psalm 36:9

I stand on trial because of the hope of the resurrection of the dead. —Acts 23:6

Jesus Christ— Why His Name? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wku9OphQ7JE

WHY DO YOU DO IT?

THINK ABOUT IT!

Why do people punctuate their every- day speech with the name of Jesus Christ, Jesus, Christ etc?

· Why do people, when they get mad, use His name to let off some steam?

· Why do people use His name when they hurt themselves?

(For instance: you hit your thumb with a hammer, and in anger you say “Jesus Christ”)

BE TRUTHFUL WITH YOURSELF

· How often do you hear His name used like this in people’s everyday speech?

· How often do you say His name in vain?

A POINT TO BE MADE

Why is the name of Jesus used just to punctuate people’s speech?

HABIT?

Many people say this is only a habit. They don’t mean anything by using His name like this, they say. But… Jesus died on a Roman cross of execution almost 2,000 years ago!! There have been many great teachers, philosophers and thinkers that have lived on the Earth. When a person gets angry or hurts himself, why not use Aristotle, Buddha, Mohammad or Socrates’ name? Why not the name of Plato or Einstein? Why use the name of Jesus Christ? Can you think of another name that has been used in vain for almost 2,000 years? No, you can’t! There is no other name that has been taken in vain like His name. So why is His name used to punctuate people’s speech? There is more going on behind the scenes than most people realize or care to think about!

THE BOOK OF BOOKS

To find out why people use His name in tHis way we need only to refer to the Bible, God’s Word. Nobody has ever proven His Word wrong, nor will they ever. But people do ignore it or just plain don’t want to believe the Bible. They don’t want to hear what it says. In Exodus chapter 20 and verse 7, we read this, “You will not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain.” In this verse we have a command and a promise….

THE COMMAND: “You will not take the name of the LORD, your God, in vain.” This means that you will not use the Lord’s name in a hollow way; in an empty way; in a meaningless way; in a senseless way– in other words, in an unworshipful way. There are two (and only two) ways to act toward God. Believe what He says in His word, the Bible, and worship Him as all mankind should. Not believe His word and rebel against God like Satan did and continues to do.

THE PROMISE: “… for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain.” This simply means that those who take the Lord’s name in vain are guilty. Guilty of what? Guilty of sin! Sin is going against (rebellion) God’s commands. Taking or using the Lord’s name in vain is sin! It is rebellion against God! Jesus said in Matthew 12:30, “He that is not with me is against me.”

WHERE DO YOU STAND?

Taking the Lord’s name in vain gives strong evidence that you are not a Christian, that you have not been born-again (John 3:3). That
means you are under the wrath of God (John 3:18) and if you were to die at this moment you would spend eternity in hell! Get right with God now (Romans 6:23).

THE REASON people take the Lord’s name in vain is because they are rebelling against Him. Whether they realize it or not, Satan has them under his control (2 Cor 4:4). Satan was the first to rebel against God and he wants us to do the same. All who follow Satan’s way will be thrown into the Lake of Fire to be tormented day and night … forever! No one should want to go there! (Revelations 20: 1 0-15)

TWO ROADS 1. The wide road leads to hell. 2. The narrow road leads to heaven. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by Me.” (John 14:6) It is only through Jesus’ name that we can be saved (Acts 4:12). Jesus is the narrow road. All other ways lead to hell.

IT’S YOUR CHOICE… but there isn’t any other option. 1-To be on the wide road to hell, do nothing about your relationship with God. 2-To be on the narrow road to heaven, get right with God!! Admit to God that you are a sinner. (Romans 3:23)—Admit that Jesus died for your sin and rose from the dead. (Romans 5:8; 10:9-11)—Repent (turn from your sin) Acts 3:19—Ask Jesus to come into your life and save you and make you a child of God. (John 1:12)

Nobody would blaspheme a dead man! Jesus is alive and He is coming again. Be ready to meet Him as your Savior, not as your Judge. ” .. .It is appointed unto man to die once, but after this the judgment. “(Hebrews 9:27)

Jesus is the only way, please trust Him Today!

Dear Father, I am so thankful that Jesus was willing to go to the cross to take my punishment for my sin. Now, may I live faithfully for Him by the way I think, speak and act. May this be done out of sincere gratefulness for what He has done for me. So be it!

THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY IS MY REFUGE

I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises. I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless take heart. Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt his name together. I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces. In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles. For the angel of the Lord is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him. Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! Fear the Lord, you his godly people, for those who fear him will have all they need. Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing. Come, my children, and listen to me, and I will teach you to fear the Lord. Does anyone want to live a life that is long and prosperous? Then keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies! Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it. The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right; his ears are open to their cries for help. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil; he will erase their memory from the earth. The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time. For the Lord protects the bones of the righteous; not one of them is broken! Calamity will surely overtake the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be punished. But the Lord will redeem those who serve him. No one who takes refuge in him will be condemned. —Psalm 34

Who do you want to be your protector? Do you think the military can protect you? Do you think the police can protect you? Do you truly think that anyone can fully protect you? There is only One who can— “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God” (Psalm 20:7). “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him” (Psalm 28:7— Psalm 3:3; 7:10; 18:2; 18:30; 59:11; 140:7). Who or what do you take refuge in? The only safe place is refuge in the Lord!

As you walk through today, and the rest of your life, make sure you have the “shield of faith” (Ephesians 6:16) as well as “the full armor of God” (Ephesians 6:10-18). Be on guard brother and sister. We are in a battle, but the battle is the Lord’s!— “All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” (I Samuel 17:46). Remember, it is Satan’s powers of darkness that drive those who do not know Him (II Timothy 2:26). Take refuge in Jesus. Let Him shield you as you shine His light into the kingdom of darkness. Onward in Jesus brother and sister and shine for Him!

Dear Father, may we trust in Your power, guidance and plans and not our own. Thank You that Jesus is with us until the end of this age and will never leave us or forsake us. I thank You for such a refuge and shield and that the Holy Spirit empowers us to bear the fruit You desire. May we yield to Him!

FORGIVEN!

Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit. —Psalm 32:1-2

Every single person that has ever lived on this planet is a wicked sinner, a trespasser of God’s law, of His perfection, of His expectations. Sin is vile and cannot come into the presence of the Holy Lord God Almighty. This is why an unforgiven person cannot enter Heaven without forgiveness that comes through the blood of Jesus. This is also why an unforgiven person will end up in eternal hell. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbILLkOmLdc

“Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

‘Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them”’ (Romans 4:3-8).

Not only does the Lord not count sin against a person who trusts in Him, but through faith in Him righteousness is credited to that person! “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (II Corinthians 5:21). This righteousness is a gift. It cannot be earned. No amount of good works can save a person. Good works come after we trust the Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:9-10) and gives evidence of one’s faith (James 2:14-26). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=364c6ZUGkDk

Let us rejoice in the righteousness He has freely given us and out of gratitude may we faithfully serve Him. How will that happen in your life today and mine? Be faithful you who have been forgiven!

Dear Father, may I seek to be what You desire me to be today and to do what You desire me to do today. May it be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Son. So be it!

READY TO LIVE & READY TO DIE

Paul said, “Why all this weeping? You are breaking my heart! I am ready not only to be jailed at Jerusalem but even to die for the sake of the Lord Jesus.” —Acts 21:13

Is Jesus this much of a priority in our lives? What is it that you or I are not willing to give up “for the sake of the Lord Jesus?” The Apostle Paul was willing to give up his very life, but then he had the attitude that “For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live” (Philippians 1:21-24). Are we clinging to this life more than the Lord would have us to? Are we so focused on His will?

How much are we looking forward to seeing Jesus and being with Him? May you and I be faithfully being about His business until He calls us home! Paul said that “living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.” Did you catch that? He said, “Dying is even better!” When was the last time you and I thought like that?

As long as Paul was on the earth he knew it was to “do more fruitful work for Christ.” But he still longed to be with Jesus. He also knew it was “for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live.” The Lord would have Paul continue to serve him on earth. It was not time for Paul to die and go to be with the Lord, not yet. He was to be an influence in the lives of others for the Lord Jesus.

So it is with you and I who have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ. He has service for us to do on this planet for the benefit of others. When that work is done then our time on earth will be over and we will be with Jesus in glory. Until then fellow follower of Jesus, let us be faithful in the Lord’s desires for us— one of which is to be longing to be with Him in glory!

Dear Father, I so look forward to being with Jesus and with all who love Him. May I be faithful in the race He has laid out for me that I might hear those words from Him— “Well done good and faithful servant. May it be so in the authority of Jesus and by the Holy Spirit’s power.

BE ON GUARD!

“So guard yourselves and God’s people. Feed and shepherd God’s flock—his church, purchased with his own blood—over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as elders. I know that false teachers, like vicious wolves, will come in among you after I leave, not sparing the flock. Even some men from your own group will rise up and distort the truth in order to draw a following. —Acts 20:28-30

We are under attack! Do we understand this? Truly, are we aware of the spiritual battle all around us? Even from among those at the local church can come a wolf that is in sheep’s clothing seeking to destroy the church by distorting the truth to draw people away after themselves. Do we truly understand this? Elders are to be on guard of themselves and also of God’s flock. Leaders are to “feed and shepherd God’s flock.” This flock in “which the Holy Spirit has appointed” elders is to be guarded by them. Beware of those seeking to make disciples after themselves and not after the Lord Jesus Christ!

Let us trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and in His protection. May we also encourage those in the local church to do the same. Let us be on guard against the schemes of the devil (Acts 13:10; II Corinthians 2:11; Ephesians 6:11; I Peter 5:8) Guard the flock!

Dear Father, please help me to be discerning as I walk through this day. Help me to be aware of Satan’s schemes and warn others of the same. May this be so in the authority of Jesus and by the power of Your Holy Spirit.