Tag Archives: Jesus saves

Psalms 96,97,98; Acts 17:1-15

Paul goes to Thessalonica.

As was Paul’s custom, he went to the synagogue service, and for three Sabbaths in a row he used the Scriptures to reason with the people.

Later, he travels to Berea.

11 And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.

He tells them what earth, sea, fields, and crops already knew.

Psalm 96:

11 Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice!
Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!
12 Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy!
Let the trees of the forest rustle with praise

Life in exclamation: Jesus is Lord.

Sing to the Lord; praise his name.
Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.
Publish his glorious deeds among the nations.
Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.

Some people have an undeniable gift for evangelism.

I got to know a woman recently who is gifted this way. Nearly every story she tells, she will tell you whether or not the people in it are believers.

“How do you know if they are believers?” I asked. “Do you ask them?”

“Yes,” she said. “Because I may not ever see them again.”

Like a crop in the field, her love bursts with joy.

I am not so bold in my daily travels, like her, or Paul. But I do hope that my love for Him is palpable and evident in how I live–like the rustle of a tree in the forest, or the crashing of waves against the shore … a life that can’t contain praise.

But some of the Jews were jealous, so they gathered some troublemakers from the marketplace to form a mob and start a riot. They attacked the home of Jason, searching for Paul and Silas so they could drag them out to the crowd. Not finding them there, they dragged out Jason and some of the other believers instead and took them before the city council. “Paul and Silas have caused trouble all over the world,” they shouted, “and now they are here disturbing our city, too. And Jason has welcomed them into his home. They are all guilty of treason against Caesar, for they profess allegiance to another king, named Jesus.”

Lord, what does my life speak of you? Who do I resemble: the world or you? Would someone have to ask me if I’m a believer? Would they notice me in the crowd?

Courtney (66books365)

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan

Deuteronomy 32,33,34; Luke 8:26-56

People in the New Testament didn’t have the books in hand to read of all the miracles Jesus performed. They had him face to face. These stories in Luke 8:26-56 tell of Jesus healing. In one story, no crowds come out to meet him–just one naked, homeless man who lived in a cemetery. Metaphors color the page, and his need translates to vulnerability, wander, life among the dead. It was then I could relate.

The townspeople flock to the scene at the news of what happened, and they see this formerly possessed man clothed, sane, at Jesus’ side. They were afraid. (It makes me think of anytime someone changes–diet, sobriety, following Christ–it makes those around them uneasy, if not resentful.) They begged Jesus to go. Jesus got back in the boat and left.

A contrast to the following story where crowds greet Jesus. He is surrounded by so many people that when one touches the hem of his robe, he asks who did it.

47 When the woman realized that she could not stay hidden, she began to tremble and fell to her knees in front of him. The whole crowd heard her explain why she had touched him and that she had been immediately healed. 48 “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has made you well. Go in peace.” Luke 8:47-48 (NLT).

I see courage, fear, and the undeniable life-changing mark of Christ in these stories.

Courage of a lone man in his depravity to walk out, quite literally exposed, to meet Jesus. When townspeople went about their day-to-day in their own wandering and life among the dead, this one man approaches. Courage of a woman whose faith propelled her to reach out to the Lord and touch him–her life changed, healed.

Fear in a town at the transforming power of a stranger, a shaking up of status quo–they wanted no part. Fear in this woman, who could boldly reach out for healing, but hid back before a crowd until she couldn’t stay quiet any longer.

Jesus accompanies Jairus home to where his young daughter lay dying. Jesus tells him, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith, and she will be healed.”

53 But the crowd laughed at him because they all knew she had died. (Luke 8:53 NLT)

Quick to write someone off as dead (unchangeable, a lost cause). To laugh at a Savior and deny Him His power over a life. If faith as small as a mustard seed can move a mountain, it can transform a life in an instant–because He is mighty to save.

Courtney (66books365)

2 Comments

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Luke, New Testament

Leviticus 25; Mark 11:1-18

Redemption stands out. Sabbath rests and Jubilee. Old Testament buying back land and freedom on the top half of my screen, followed by Jesus entering the city to shouts of praise and blessing, “hosanna!” in the New Testament. Jesus, who came to buy back. Jesus, who came to set free.

That was the first impression. Yet over coffee this morning, I’m lingering over land. Maybe because yesterday I spent three hours preparing gardens for spring. Maybe because I’m eager to get back out and trim up apple trees in anticipation of fall fruits. But mostly because where there’s a lot of ink, and it’s Old Testament, I’m likely to  glance over precisely where I need to slow down.

Show your fear of God by not taking advantage of each other. I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 25:17 NLT

Had me questioning where I put my trust. If it’s in God, I can do what’s right. And choosing what’s right shows who I serve.

The land must never be sold on a permanent basis, for the land belongs to me. You are only foreigners and tenant farmers working for me. Leviticus 25:23

I came into this world with nothing. I take nothing out when I leave it. That is so very humbling. This makes me think of Jesus and the parables of the rich land owner who returns to ask the servants how they spent their time and talents. Suddenly work and “stuff” get put in very clear perspective.

For the people of Israel belong to me. They are my servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 25:55

The Israelites were slaves to the Egyptians, and God brought them out. They belong to Him. I think of how they wandered in the desert so many years, wondering if they’d have been better off back in Egypt. Haven’t I also wanted to return to old thinking by default? I was a slave to sin, now redeemed by Christ, bought back and freed. When eternal life begins here, I don’t have to put shackles back on by accepting imprisoning labels. I can live free today. Returning to these pages again and again magnifies the beauty and the scope of the gift.

So very thankful to love and serve such an awesome God.

Courtney (66books365)

As Jesus rides into the city and the people cry out, “Hosanna!” In the footnotes, I read, “Save now.”

5 Comments

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan