HIS STRENGTH! – Acts 5:41 Devotional

Acts 5:41

The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.”

Before Jesus was crucified, Peter denied Him three times. After the Day of Pentecost he was willing to receive a flogging for his preaching the message of salvation. Peter stood boldly in front a huge crowd and preached the good news of salvation. His sermon resulted in three thousand receiving Jesus as their personal Savior that day.

Before Jesus was crucified, Peter denied Him three times—but now he was willing to receive a flogging for his preaching the message of salvation. Jesus had promised the Comforter, the Holy Spirit who would never leave nor forsake the believer. Peter allowed the Holy Spirit to work through him and he was a changed man.

Living a vital Christian life is not simply following a ritual or going through the motions. It is a dynamic change like putting a new engine under the hood. Paul sums up the change in Philippians 4:13b “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”  Have you received His strength?

Blessings dear hearts. Draw near to God today, trust Him completely and be a blessing!

– – – Pastor Cecil

CHANGED! – Acts 5:41 Devotional

Acts 5:41

The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.”

Do you ever feel discouraged with yourself because you fail to stand tall for the Lord? Do you start strong but become spiritually sidetracked by the cares of the world? Do you sometimes care more about what people think than what God’s Word says?

If you answered yes to any or all of the above questions, the Apostle Peter should be your example. Peter seemed to spend much of his time limping when he was with Jesus because he had his foot in his mouth. He failed in his boast to stand strong for the Lord, even to the death.

Suddenly Peter changed. After the Holy Spirit came on the Day of Pentecost, Peter stood boldly in front a huge crowd and preached the good news of salvation. His sermon resulted in three thousand receiving Jesus as their personal Savior that day.

Before Jesus was crucified, Peter denied Him three times—but now he was willing to receive a flogging for his preaching the message of salvation. Jesus had promised the Comforter, the Holy Spirit who would never leave nor forsake the believer. Peter allowed the Holy Spirit to work through him and he was a changed man.

Blessings dear hearts. Draw near to God today, trust Him completely and be a blessing!

– – – Pastor Cecil

THE PERIL OF PERSECUTION! – Acts 14:19 Devotional

Acts 14:19

“Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there; and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead.

I would like to let you in on a little secret. You probably are already well aware of this truth, but I want to share it anyway — popularity is fleeting and fickle. Popularity polls can reverse in such a moment of time that it takes your breath away.

Some of the most tragic counseling sessions I have ever experienced were with people who had placed their confidence in what others thought of them. When the fickle finger of fame turned away from them, they were devastated.

Paul repeatedly received accolades from the crowds, some elevating him to the position of a god. Even when he protested their adoration, they proclaimed their faith in him and the God he preached. That lasted until trouble makers arrived and suddenly he was stoned and left for dead. There has never been a time in my life when I experienced anything of that sort, but I have had those who professed to be faithful friends turn against me.

In prayer and contemplation I have found comfort in the life that Paul lived. He never sought applause or popularity from the people. He only wanted to be faithful to his Lord so that one day he would hear the words that really count: “Well done, good and faithful servant!” That is the way I want to live.

Blessings dear hearts! May God richly bless you as you bless others by your words and actions!

– – – Pastor Cecil

TOO BUSY! – Acts 24:25 Devotional

Acts 24:25

Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, ‘Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.’

A number of years ago I was attending a Christian conference that was being held on a major university campus. At that time this university boasted the top-ranked football team in the nation.

After lunch a group of us were walking back to the arena when we recognized the head coach and members of his staff walking in the same direction. The coach asked one of his staff what was going on for so many men to be present. The staff member explained that it was a Christian seminar. The coach scoffed and pronounced, “I don’t have time for God today!”

It was heartbreaking to hear such a firm rejection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, there are many who reject the Lord, even if they do not make such a bold statement. Even believers may become so pre-occupied with the things of the world that they simply do not have time for God.

Our Scripture for today gives us the answer. We are to make the time for God and draw near to Him and resist the devil. As we do this, He draws near to us and gives us the power to live a victorious life. Do you have time for God?

May God richly bless you as you bless others by your words and actions!

– – Pastor Cecil

THE WAY TO GO! – Acts 7:59 Devotional

Acts 7:59

“And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’”

Frequently I relate the final words of my grandfather as he was ushered into his eternal reward: “Well, there’s Jesus now!”  What a way to go! Those words that were related to me by my father have been a constant reminder that each of us is just a heartbeat away from eternity.

Stephen was a righteous man who was faithful to the proclamation of Jesus as the promised Messiah. When confronted with false accusations and an angry mob, he stayed the course and used it as an opportunity to share the wonderful gospel of salvation by grace through saving faith, even unto his death.

We may or may not be called upon to sacrifice our life for the sake of the Gospel, but it is very likely that we will be presented with the opportunity to share our testimony in front of those who may be mocking,  insulting, or even hostile.

If the time ever comes that we are called upon to sacrifice our life for our faith, I hope we will be like Stephen or Grandpa Thompson. Wouldn’t it be great to have our last view on this earth be the face of our Savior? That would truly be THE WAY TO GO!

Blessings dear hearts. Draw near to God today and be a blessing!

– – – Pastor Cecil

BARNABAS A WORTHY EXAMPLE! – Acts 13:2-3 Devotional

Acts 13:2-3

“While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.”

With this issue of the Daily-E-Votional I will end my focus on Barnabas, the Son of Encouragement. There is much more that can be derived by a further study in the book of Acts, but I will leave that up to your own study.

I will give you a hint to hopefully whet your appetite. Up until this time the great evangelist to become known as Paul was only known as Saul. From the time he was called Paul, he is generally mentioned first when both names are given.

It appears that the years of discipleship that Barnabas extended to Saul were well rewarded. Barnabas never appeared to feel dejected or rejected when Saul became known as Paul and assumed the leadership role.

Sometime later the two had a disagreement over a fledging follower we met earlier named John Mark. Barnabas insisted on working with this young man so he and Paul agreed to part ways. Years later during Paul’s dark days of persecution, he called for John Mark to be sent to bring him comfort. Barnabas had succeeded! BARNABAS, YOU ARE A WORTHY EXAMPLE!

Blessings dear hearts. Draw near to God today, trust Him completely and be a blessing!

– – – Pastor Cecil