Tag Archives: Stories

Genesis 23; Matthew 22; Nehemiah 12; Acts 22

When I was in seminary a rather famous religious figure turned his life over to Jesus in a new and fresh way. Then he felt as if he needed to learn the Bible and theology from a whole new perspective so he came to seminary. Well all at once they wanted this person to be speaking in chapel and representing the seminary in many venues. He had been a true follower of Christ for only eighteen months where I had been one for some eighteen years. I felt belittled and not appreciated for what I brought to the table in that seminary.

In today’s reading we have another dramatic conversion in the person of the Apostle Paul. We read it below:

6 An intense light from heaven suddenly flashed around me. 7 I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’
8“I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?’
“He said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, the one you are persecuting.’ 9 Now those who were with me saw the light,
10“I said, ‘What should I do, Lord?’
“The Lord told me, ‘Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told everything that you have been assigned to do.’
11“Since I couldn’t see because of the brightness of the light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me, and went into Damascus. 12 Someone named Ananias, a devout man according to the law, who had a good reputation with all the Jews living there, 13 came and stood by me and said, ‘Brother Saul, regain your sight.’ And in that very hour I looked up and saw him. 14 And he said, ‘The God of our ancestors has appointed you to know his will, to the Righteous One, and to hear the words from his mouth, 15 since you will be a witness for him to all people of what you have seen and heard. 16 And now, why are you delaying? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’ (Acts 22:6-16 [CSB])

Now Ananias could have been like me and sulked because he was a devout follower of Jesus and here’s Saul, one who had persecuted and killed Christians, yet, no he went and even called Saul his brother.

We all have stories. Some are dramatic while others are quiet and deep. What is your story? How has God brought you to himself? Knowing where we were before Jesus — even if we were five or six years old when it happened — it’s a dramatic and awesome story to tell. Tell your story to someone today. I’m sure it will be an encouragement and may even draw someone into the kingdom.

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Filed under Acts, Bible in a year reading plan, Genesis, Matthew, Nehemiah, Uncategorized

1 Kings 16-18; 2 Chronicles 15-16; Matthew 23

I do not believe that I can ever get tired of reading stories of Elijah. Today’s story included the widow whose jar of meal and jug of oil provided enough to feed herself, her son, and Elijah for quite some time.

My parents, more than I, saw God provide for them as they lived many times by faith, day-by-day. For me, the Lord’s Prayer has a line that reflects my prayer life concerning my needs. Somehow I need to find the place where my passive acceptance of God’s care moves to the miraculous. I believe I will find a dynamic platform of trust – God never let Elijah down.

“Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you.” – 1 Kings 17:9  ESV

In fact, I believe God does want to use me. Paul is my  New Testament story of God doing what Elijah did in the Old Testament. I believe that God is looking for someone in this generation who is seeking to follow Him with all of their heart, soul, mind and strength. It is amazing to read what God can do if I were to only invite Him to control my life.

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless[d] toward him. – 2 Chronicles 16:9  ESV

One sure way for that not to happen is for me to play the part of a Christian and not really be one.

But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in. – Matthew 23:13  ESV

How can I show God to anyone when if I really do not know Him myself? How easy it is to become a false follower, if you will. Can I tell the difference between a true disciple and one who just claims to be a disciple?  Sure, not to judge, for I was one of them.

Father, I am inspired by the stories of Elijah and the promise of the work of the Holy Spirit in my life to be more like You. I know that there are few models in this world to follow, no matter, You have called me and I must answer. Lord, forgive me if I compare myself to others who claim to follow You. Help me follow You with all of me and with no worries of any others claim to do the same.  May You find me in my small corner with a heart that is blameless and living in the kingdom of God. Amen.

 

Erwin  (evanlaar1922)

 

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Filed under 1 Kings, 2 Chronicles, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Matthew, New Testament, Old Testament, Uncategorized

Song of Solomon 7,8,9; Acts 7:23-43

Scripture:

“When he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brothers, the children of Israel.24 And seeing one of them being wronged, he defended the oppressed man and avenged him by striking down the Egyptian.25 He supposed that his brothers would understand that God was giving them salvation by his hand, but they did not understand.26 And on the following day he appeared to them as they were quarreling and tried to reconcile them, saying, ‘Men, you are brothers. Why do you wrong each other?’27 But the man who was wronging his neighbor thrust him aside, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge over us?28 Do you want to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?’29 At this retort Moses fled and became an exile in the land of Midian, where he became the father of two sons.

Observation:

We find ourselves in the middle of Stephen’s defense before the Jewish Ruling Council. He is summarizing the entire history of the Jewish Nation. He is speaking off the cuff so to speak and knows with quite detail what the major events of this history are. This is a fairly long chapter in the Book of Acts. I copied this section, but read the entire section assigned for today. This is only part of the grand defense that Stephen mounts. He didn’t study hard before giving this talk, it just rolled off his tongue as he rehearsed Israel’s history. What a faith and what a memory!

Application:

Several years ago I was speaking to a group of leaders and mentioned the story of the dry bones in Ezekiel 37. As we talked it dawned on me that half of these leaders had never read or heard this story. I was caught off guard. A leader, a Christ-follower should be familiar with the great stories of the Bible at least. I think this story of Stephen is one of them. Ezekiel and the Valley of the Dry Bones is another one we should know. If you are keeping up daily with 66books then you will know the stories or you already know them because you’ve read the Bible through already. I believe God rewards those that are faithful in Bible reading & prayer. Those that do are firmer in their faith. They deal better with the trials of life and are a blessing to more. What about you? How many of the stories do you know? Should you know more?

Prayer:

Father God, thank you for your Word and the stories contained in it. I pray that these stories will change our lives and that they will be opportunities we can use to share the truth of the gospel with other. I pray these things in Jesus Name, Amen.

dmbaldwin

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Filed under 66 Books, Acts, Bible in a year reading plan