Romans 1-7- Life is like being on a teeter-totter!

We are in a new book!!  I love Romans because it is so black and white!!  It's the whole gospel summed up in a couple of chapters.  We are all sinners deserving death (ch. 1), God through his kindness wants to draw us to him (ch. 2), and we only need to fully believe this fact, that has been demonstrated through Christ (ch. 3), to have peace with Him (ch.5).

I have often heard people ask what one book would they use to explain Jesus to nonbelievers.  The book of John is many people's choice, maybe to get people acquainted with Jesus. However, I think my choice would be to start with  Romans.  For a Gentile (that's us), Romans helps us understand the need for a Savior.  Our culture has lost sight of the fact that we are sinful.  Our culture says, "There is nothing wrong with you! Your truth is your truth.  There is no absolute truth, therefore no one can tell you that you are wrong (or sinful)."

Well, Paul laid it out clearly in chapters 1-3, didn't he?!!  Th…

Acts 25-28- Happy New Year!!!

I hope you enjoyed celebrating Christ's birth and ringing in the New Year! I also hope that the break didn't throw you off from the good habit of reading the Bible every day.  Maybe you jumped to other parts of the Bible during the break like I did.  I ventured into Proverbs and was inspired to pray for wisdom again!!  I can always use more of God's wisdom, that's for sure!!

So this week we read only three chapters.  I was struck by what Jesus said to Paul, which I feel can be applied to all Christians. "I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me." (Acts 26:17b-18)

What a powerful verse!! If Christians truly believed that all are under the power of Satan, wouldn't we all want to play a role in turning our loved ones to God so that they may have a place among those who are sanctified…

Acts 18-24- Everybody needs a John moment before they can truly have a Jesus moment!

Chapter 19 was interesting to me this week.  We read about Apollos doing some teaching in Ephesus. "He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures" (Acts 18:25). One thing I remind myself of as I read is that his knowledge of scripture was Old Testament scripture.  He knew that Old Testament scripture pointed to Jesus and fully embraced that Jesus was the promised Messiah that was foretold in Old Testament scripture, "and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John." (18: 25)
This verse made me wonder what more Priscilla and Aquila needed to teach him in order to "explain the way of God more adequately."?

As I kept reading chapter 19 the next day, I think I found my answer.  Apollos leaves Ephesus and heads to Achaia.  Soon, Paul shows up in Ephesus.  "There he found some disciples" (19:1). Disciples of whom, Apollos, John, or Jesus?   I think they were disciples of John because of their answer to P…

Acts 11-17- God is intention with his creation!

An assignment given in the theology class I am taking right now asked me to describe an attribute of God that is described in Genesis 1 & 2.
Well, since chapter one is all about God creating the world, I picked his attribute as "Creator".  (It seemed like an obvious choice to me!) The second part of the prompt was to describe how this attribute can be encouraging to a fellow church member....hum....OK....I can do this...But I didn't know where to start, so I put that aside and diligently kept going with my daily reading of Acts.   Bam!  God gave me the answer as only God can with His Word!! I love it!  Isn't it incredible that staying in the Word can give answers to other things such as a school assignment?!  So, I am going to share my assignment with you that was derived from our reading this week!

Chapter one in Genesis is all about God creating.Thinking about the attribute of God, the Creator, I get very encouraged living my daily life!God is intentional with …

Acts 4-10-Judgement in the New Testament!😳

Tuesday’s reading, chapter 5, stuck out for me this week!  I have read the story of Ananias and Sapphira many times, but this time it disturbed me enough to ponder it further.

To be honest, I was surprised at Peter.  He seemed almost cold to the fact that two people just died in front of him.  And, boy, was God quick to judge and sentence!  That couple died for lying!! Isn't that crazy??

Maybe the story hit me harder this time because it shows the full character of God.  It shows a side to him that we have forgotten about in our Christian culture today where all we hear about is God's love.  I hear people say often, "I want to be more like Jesus, full of grace and mercy."

The interesting thing about the story of Ananias, Sapphira, and their judgment is that this is a story in the New Testament! It's not an Old Testament story pre-Christ, of God’s wrath.  It's a New Testament story that demonstrates God still takes sin very seriously, even in the church! Pet…

John 19-Acts 3 - More thoughts about the Holy Spirit...

I think the timing of the reading about the Holy Spirit, has been God divine for me!  I am in school right now and the topic I am studying is all about the Triune God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The writers of my school reading talk about how Western Christians don't really know what to do with the knowledge of the Holy Spirit.  We have a pretty good grasp of what God has revealed of himself from the Old Testament, what he has revealed of himself through Jesus in the New Testament, but we get a little foggy on how he has revealed himself through the Holy Spirit.

I guess that is why I perked up when I read, Acts1:2 & 4 this week,
 "I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen."(1:2) "On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promi…

John 12-18- Does the Holy Spirit live in Me?

Have you ever wondered if the Holy Spirit truly lives in you?  I have!  I mean....I am guessing he does...after all Jesus says he does. We read about that this week in John 14:17b, "But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you."  

Yet, I get self-reflective at times and wonder if he really does because, I question if I exhibit the fruit of the Spirit in my life (Gal 5:22-23). I may exhibit some of them some of the time, but never all of them all of the time. And I certainly don't exhibit the Spirit by speaking in tongues or with prophecy (1 Cor. 12:4-10) at my weekly church service!  In addition, when I first heard the word of God, I didn't start speaking in tongues and praising God as those did in the household of Cornelius (Acts 10:46).  My conversion was quite uneventful in comparison.

So, what confirmation do I have that the Holy Spirit lives in me?  Well, the answer was in our reading in that same section I first mentioned, chapter 14!!  I love wh…