We have added a translate button to our website, so you can view it in your own language. Just click on the button below to translate and be blessed.
What Do You Do?
I have been thinking a lot about the story of Paul and Silas in prison. Its found in Acts 16. Let's take a look at this story.
16 Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. 17 This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” 18 And this she did for many days.
But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour. 19 But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities.
20 And they brought them to the magistrates, and said, “These men, being Jews, exceedingly trouble our city; 21 and they teach customs which are not lawful for us, being Romans, to receive or observe.” 22 Then the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods. 23 And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely. 24 Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
25 But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed. 27 And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself. 28 But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.”
29 Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.
35 And when it was day, the magistrates sent the officers, saying, “Let those men go.”
36 So the keeper of the prison reported these words to Paul, saying, “The magistrates have sent to let you go. Now therefore depart, and go in peace.”
37 But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us openly, uncondemned Romans, and have thrown us into prison. And now do they put us out secretly? No indeed! Let them come themselves and get us out.”
38 And the officers told these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Romans. 39 Then they came and pleaded with them and brought them out, and asked them to depart from the city. 40 So they went out of the prison and entered the house of Lydia; and when they had seen the brethren, they encouraged them and departed.
In one translation verse 23 says that they were severely flogged. What I want you to notice is how Paul and Silas reacted after they had been severely flogged and thrown into prison. Verse 25 tells us that they were praying and singing hymms unto God. What I want you to understand and grasp is this: they had been beaten so severely that pieces of flesh had been ripped from their bodies, they were weary and exhausted, had no strength, they were thrown into a dark, damp, musty dungeon, which must have smelled of rotting and decaying flesh. They were put in stocks so they could not move. They did not know how long they would be kept this way, so their future was uncertain.
And what did they choose to do? They chose to pray and worship God.
You may be asking, "How could they do this?" I believe it was a natural choice for them. It was like breathing to them. For them, it was how they lived. There was no other option.
Oh Beloved, how different our lives would be if our first choice in every situation and circumstance would be to pray and sing worship to our God, because HE holds the final outcome! What a witness it would be to others and what a way to honor our God. Let us endeavor this year to honor God by molding our lives this way. I know that I am praying, Dear God, change me to be like Paul, that I too may react this way in everything I face so that I may bring glory and honor to You knowing that You are in control and hold everything in Your Mighty Hands. In Jesus' Holy Name I pray. Amen. So be it.
Servants Do Not Choose Their Assignments
Throughout the ages, God has referred to His faithful people as His servants. The Bible even calls Jesus "His Holy Servant."
Unlike the religious leaders who exercised unquestioned authority over the people, Jesus came not as a ruler, but as a servant. From the example of His own life He teaches, "But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you shall be your minister and whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many" (Mark 10:43-45).
Christ ransomed us that we, too, might serve God and man. In our desire and zeal to serve, we often overlook a critical truth: The servant does not choose his tasks. Our concept of serving God may be doing what we would like to do-for God. We tell God what we will do for Him, and what we will not do; where we will go for Him, and where we will not. We even tell Him what must not interfere with our plans. When we do this we forget He is the Master, and that the Master assigns the task, the work, the assignments. Our part is to give ourselves to Him, accepting the assignment He bestows.
A servant is not free to serve on his own terms. Jesus said, "You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you to go and bring forth fruit" (John 15:16).
So, we have been chosen to "run with patience the race that is set before us" (Hebrews 12:1). The race set before us may not be on the track we would choose. Perhaps we would not choose the people God has placed around us, or the location or circumstances we find ourselves in, but a servant is not above his Master. "A disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord" (Matthew 10:24-25).
Christ's life was one of sacrifice and doing the Father's will. Though He was rich, for our sakes He became poor (2Cor 8:9). He counted equality with God a thing not to be grasped but emptied Himself and became a servant (Phil 2:6-7). He came to do God's will (Hebrews 10:5-7).
As servants following in the footsteps of Christ, we must present our bodies as "living sacrifices" and say, "Here I am-I have come to do Your will," regardless of what the task may be.
Have you offered yourself as a living sacrifice today? Are you doing and completing the assignments God has given you or are you creating your own and expecting Him to follow you? Are you trying to make God fit into your plans or are you following His plans? Spend some time in prayer today and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you whether you are following God's plans and completing His assignments, and if not to show you where you changed roles. HE will show you if you ask Him. Be blessed!
Being a Servant
Jesus was the greatest servant who ever lived. "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45).
Christ came to serve and to give, and God desires the same for us. "And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister" (Matthew 20:27-28).
The finest model of serving, except Christ Himself, was the Apostle Paul. Almost without exception he begins every one of his epistles with words to this effect: "Paul, a servant...." or "Paul, a bond slave...." He was indeed an apostle, but he conducted himself as a servant.
Very few of us want to be known exclusively as a servant. We want to be known as a servant and a great preacher, or a famous missionary, or an outstanding elder, or a well-known business man. What we fail to realize is that true servanthood does not have hidden aspirations to be great in the eyes of men.
When we think of our relationship to Christ, can it be said of us that we want only to serve Him? That our greatest desire is to serve Him? That nothing would please us more than to just serve Him?
For many in the church it is not this way. It is not sufficient to simply have a place of service. Many of us want a place of recognition and a road to fame.
All of us need to do some serious thinking and praying about being a servant.
We need to make this prayer ours: "O God, help me to be the master of myself, that I may be a servant of others."
It Only Takes a Minute
Every day you and I have a choice. We can either reflect on the things that we do not have, or we can reflect on what we have been blessed with.
We can either reflect on past hurts and misfortunes, or we can reflect on the blessings of those who have touched our lives in a real and a profound way.
The choice we make in this determines where our mindset will be. The Bible tells us to think on the things above, to think on the good, to think on that which is holy, to think on that which is pure and of good report. Why? Because what we dwell on and think about determines whether we will have success today or not.
Our thinking shows who is in control or to whom we have given control over to, God or the devil.
If we think on the things we have been blessed with it will cause joy to abound within us. Why spend your day today thinking of past failures, past disappointments, people who have hurt or abused or used you? Instead, choose today to think on God and the many wonderful blessings HE bestows upon you each day.
If you can read this, then you are blessed, if you can hear you are blessed, if you can walk you are blessed, if you can talk you are blessed, if you can breathe, you are breathing because HE has breathed His breath of life within you. If you have family, you are blessed, if you have a job you are blessed, if you have a roof over your head and clothes on your back, you are blessed. There are so many today who do not have what you and I have. What a dishonor to God for the things we have when we choose to complain about what we do not have.
It only takes a minute to begin reflecting on our present blessings: the gift of life itself, the warmth of friendships, the riches of good health, the power of love, the glory of a sunrise, the privilege of prayer, the joys of music, the satisfactions of work, the treasures of books, the beauty of art, the miracle of spring, and the grace of God. Be more grateful and you will become more joyful! Today it is your choice. I pray that you will choose what reflects Christ and what honors God the most.
AT MY NAME
Philippians 2:9-11 (New King James Version)
9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Romans 14:11 (New King James Version)
11 For it is written:
“ As I live, says the LORD,
Every knee shall bow to Me,
And every tongue shall confess to God.”
Isaiah 45:23 (New King James Version)
23 I have sworn by Myself;
The word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness,
And shall not return,
That to Me every knee shall bow,
Every tongue shall take an oath.
At My Name every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess ME as Lord to the Glory of the Father.
Use My Name against sickness, it will bow. Use My Name against poverty, poverty will have to bow.
Use My Name against fear, and fear will have to bow. Use My Name against torment, and torment will have to bow its knee.
Do you see this?!
Do you grasp the enormity of this Truth? It has been there for you to see in My Word, but many of
My children have not seen it.
Dwell on this Truth, let it take root in your hearts and then you will rise up in power each and every time the enemy attacks.
Use MY Name to help you in every situation and circumstance you may face, and you will find yourself at peace in even the most troubling of times.
Isaiah 26:3-4 Amplified Bible
3You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.
4So trust in the Lord (commit yourself to Him, lean on Him, hope confidently in Him) forever; for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages].
Please use the scroll buttons to view more of the page. Thank you.