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    steve's Blog
          This blog is dedicated to daily Bible study.

    Mon, Mar 24th - 11:09PM

    Acts 21:12-14



    Acts 21:12 When we had heard this, we as well as the local residents began begging him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” 14And since he would not be persuaded, we fell silent, remarking, “The will of the Lord be done!” (NASB)

    I love Paul I think he is one of the true heroes of the Bible. The Holy Spirit was warning Paul what he would face if he continued in his journey to Jerusalem and he decided to go anyway. The Holy Spirit wasn’t telling him not go, because we can see that Paul believed he is following the will of God by going, the Holy Spirit is letting him now ahead of time what he will face if he is faithful to the will of God and Paul still chose to go anyway. Just as Jesus warned His disciples of the dangers they would face if they followed Him, the Holy Spirit is warning Paul of the dangers he was going to face for remaining faithful to the will of God. Paul knew he was going to be arrested in Jerusalem but he also knew God had a plan and God did, because Paul was arrested he was able to witness to some of the highest people in the government in both Judea and Rome. These were people who probably would have never heard the Gospel if Paul didn’t tell it to them. Paul even spent time witnessing to his guards while he was being detained by Rome. That is the finest example of making the best out of any circumstance. 

    Unlike what is being taught in many churches today, Jesus never promised His followers the easy life here on earth. In fact He warned them they would be hated and persecuted because of Him. We are starting to see that hatred for Christ and His followers growing in the Western world today. It hasn’t grown into physical persecution yet but I think it is a possibility in the near future. I think if the U.S. keeps going in the direction it is going now we will probable see Christians facing legal trouble for not be willing to compromise their religious beliefs. We already see what happens when anybody publicly takes a stand against the sins of our society. The media is ready to nail them to the walls.  

    The big question is, are you willing to face persecution to fulfill the will of God or would you compromise to avoid trouble or to please the world? 



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    Thu, Mar 20th - 9:55PM

    Acts 20:33-35



    Acts 20:33 I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothes. 34“You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me. 35“In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (NASB)

    We know from Acts 18:3 that Paul was a tentmaker and this is how he often supported himself while doing ministry. This is where we get the term “tentmaker” describing somebody that takes a job somewhere he plans on doing ministry. Instead of going as a missionary that has the backing of a church or denomination or a missionary agency they take a job in an area they plan on doing evangelistic work and they use the money from their job to support their ministry and supply for their personal needs. Both have their advantages.

    Paul’s desire was not to be a burden among those he was doing ministry with and he wanted it to be known he was not doing what he was doing to get money. In today’s churches we have pastors that are paid by the church and we have those who have their own jobs. I have served under both. Most small churches can’t afford to pay a salary for the pastor so he is expected to maintain a job to provide for his needs while most large churches are able to pay a salary for the pastor and often a staff of others. I once had a pastor who the church insisted on giving him a pay check. Every week they would give him a check and every week he would put it back into the offering plate because he had his own business and didn’t need the money. That was his choice. The Bible says the workman is worthy of his hire. The church should support their pastor if they are able. That way he can dedicate himself fully to the care of his flock and the preaching of the word of God. But in today’s world we have celebrity pastors getting wealthy off of their congregation and I do not believe this is what God intended at all.

    One of the charges often thrown at the church is that they are only after people’s money and this is hard to refute when we have wealthy mega-church pastors and televangelists with several mansions, private jets, expensive suits and they are always on TV asking for more money. Jesus did after all said not to lay up earthly treasures. One of my strongest desires is that one day people will wake up to the falsehood of prosperity preaching. If pastor is spending his time on preaching about wealth than that means he is not spending his time preaching on salvation, redemption, and forgiveness in Christ Jesus. 



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    Tue, Mar 18th - 9:41PM

    Acts 20:29-31



    Acts 20:29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears. (NIV)

    The most destructive attack is never the one you see coming it is the one that you don’t see coming. I have been attending church for 28 years now and the most destructive attacks I have seen on the church have always come from insiders, people who claim to be Christian but yet have no problem attacking their leaders or the church. I have never personally seen a church go under but I have seen them come pretty close. 

    We know there are enemies of the church: atheist, liberals, and followers of other religions that hate Christianity and so on. We know who these people are and what their purpose is. Jesus even warned us that we would be attacked because of Him. But it is the attack from insiders that is always the most destructive to the church rather it comes from false teachers and false doctrines or those who are willing to destroy the church to get their way.

    The church has always had to battle against false doctrines and false teachers. Paul had to fight against those who were trying to force Judaism on New Testament believers, the New Testament church had to fight against Gnostic and Pagan beliefs that try to creep into the church and it continues today as we fight to keep worldly beliefs out of the church. The church is under a lot of pressure to conform to the beliefs of the society around us and sadly a lot of churches and leaders have caved in rather it be in accepting homosexuality or universalism but God doesn’t change. What was sin 2000 years ago is still sin today. 

    Another thing the New Testament church had to fight was infighting, fighting among members and this also continues today. There are people who are willing to destroy the reputation of a church leader or destroy a church because they felt left out, insulted, or they are upset because they didn’t get their way and this is something I have witnessed personally. Let me tell you, you can’t call yourself a Christian and do the work of Satan. It is the will of Satan to destroy churches not God. If you are working on destroying a church or you are promoting false teaching in a church you are doing the work of Satan not God. 



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    Mon, Mar 17th - 9:33PM

    Acts 20:28



    Acts 20:28 Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. (NASB)

    Paul is talking to the elders of the church of Ephesus here but like most things written in the Bible this just wasn’t a message for the early believers but all believers throughout history. God has set leaders over the church and this is a huge responsibility and a holy responsibility and God is going to hold these leaders responsible for the sheep He has put in their charge.

    A shepherd is responsible for the safety of his flock. He is to protect them from harm rather that be from physical or spiritual danger and he is to protect them from the wolves especially the ones that come in sheep’s clothing trying to destroy the church from within by bringing disharmony and false teaching and he is to feed the flock with the Word of God. In James 3:1 James warns that those who teach or preach the Word of God will be held to a stricter judgment. That is because God has given these leaders a greater responsibility to lead others in the truth of the Word of God and He is going to judge those who fail to teach others the Word of God rightly. 

    Being a shepherd of the flock of God is a great responsibility and one not to be taken lightly which is something to be remembered in our day of celebrity preachers and mega-churches led by wealthy pastors. When you become a leader in the church your life takes on a whole new meaning. Your life is no longer about you but about serving and protecting the flock of God. Don’t become a leader in the church unless you are willing to serve others.  Just as Christ served others the job of the leader in the church is to serve others not seeking to fulfill your own desires but seeking to fulfill the will of God.  



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    Mon, Mar 10th - 12:42PM

    Acts 19:13-16



    Acts 19:13 Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” 14Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” 16Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding. (NIV)

    The demons knew who Paul and Jesus were because in the name of Jesus Paul had been raging war against the kingdom of Satan. Paul says in Ephesians 6 that we are waging war against the forces of darkness:

    Ephesians 6:11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (KJV)

    This is a spiritual battle not a physical battle and the forces of darkness knew who Paul was because Paul was bringing the light of Christ into a world of darkness and waging war against the kingdom of Satan in the name of Christ. This was not a mission unique to Paul. This is what all Christians are called to do, wage war against the forces of darkness, preach the Gospel in a world of darkness, and rescue souls that are on their way to hell. If you continue to read in Ephesians 6 we are told why we need the armor of God.

    Ephesians 6:13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (NIV)

    A soldier puts his armor on when he is ready to do battle but sadly with many Christians their armor along with their sword (the Bible) is setting in the corner collecting dust. They have no desire to wage war against evil and they have no desire to rescue souls on the way to hell and as a result millions continue to die in their sins without every hearing the good news of salvation through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross who died for our sins so that whosoever believes in Him and accepts Him as Lord and Savior can have the forgiveness of their sins and eternal life through Him.

    My prayer for my life is the same as C.T. Studd who said “I pray that when I die, all of hell will rejoice that I am no longer in the fight.” Does the enemy even know you are in the fight or are you like the sons of Sceva? The enemy doesn’t know your name and doesn’t take you seriously because they don’t see you as a threat against their kingdom of darkness. 

     



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    Fri, Mar 7th - 11:59AM

    Acts 18:27-28



    Acts 18:27 When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers and sisters encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. When he arrived, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed. 28For he vigorously refuted his Jewish opponents in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Messiah. (NIV)

    Appollos was using what we call Old Testament to prove that Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies of the expected Messiah. It is believed that Jesus fulfilled over 300 prophecies of the Messiah from the Old Testament. Including:

    The Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. (Micah 5:2) The Messiah would be born of a virgin. (Isaiah 7:14) The Messiah will come from the tribe of Judah. (Genesis 49:10) The Messiah will be a descendant of King David. (2 Samuel 7:12-13) The Messiah will live for a while in Egypt. (Hosea 11:1) Isaiah 53 is an excellent example of the prophecies fulfilled in the life and death of Christ. The Messiah will be resurrected. (Psalm 16:10) The Messiah will die for our sins. (Isaiah 53:5)

    These are just a few examples of the many Old Testament prophecies fulfilled in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ and there are many, many prophecies left to be fulfilled concerning the last days and the events leading up to the return of Christ. Prophecy is not complete there are many prophecies of the Bible left to be fulfilled which will be fulfilled in the time leading up to Christ and his return and the judgment of God upon the world.



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    Sun, Mar 2nd - 11:40PM

    Acts 18:5-6



    Acts 18:5 When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah. 6But when they opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent of it. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” (NIV)

    Paul had done his duty. He had preached the Gospel to them. Once they rejected the Gospel he wasn’t responsible for their choice in rejecting the message of God. Some day they and everyone else who rejects the Gospel will stand before almighty God to be judged for rejecting salvation in Christ. Our job as Christian is to preach the Gospel. If it is rejected those who reject the message will be judged by God for rejecting His message of salvation through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. 

    Paul had done what Christ had told His disciples to do if His message is rejected:

    Matthew 10:14If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. 15Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. (NIV)

    And verse 6 resembles Ezekiel 33:7-9:

    Ezekiel 33:7 Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 8When I say to the wicked, ‘You wicked person, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade them from their ways, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 9But if you do warn the wicked person to turn from their ways and they do not do so, they will die for their sin, though you yourself will be saved. (NIV)

    The watchman was responsible to warn the wicked to turn from their evil ways if they refused then their blood was on their own heads. The watchman wasn’t responsible because he had been faithful to God and warned them to turn from their evil ways.

    As Christian we have a responsibility as the watchmen to warn others to turn from their sinful ways if our warning is rejected then they are responsible themselves for failing to heed the message.  And sadly that warning is going unheeded today in our society and sadly many are going to face the judgment of God for rejecting salvation in Christ. 

     



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    About Me

    Name: steven collier
    ChristiansUnite ID: steven
    Member Since: 2007-04-07
    Location: , Georgia, United States
    Denomination: Evangelical Christian
    About Me: Isaiah 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

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