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Acts 9:36, 10:1-8, Galatians 6:9

In Acts 9, there is an account about a woman named Tabitha.  She was known for “always doing good and helping the poor.”  And in Acts 10, there is an account of a ‘devout” man called Cornelius.  Cornelius “gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.”

Are you like Tabitha and Cornelius?  If so, keep doing good, or as Paul would say, “Let us not become weary of doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

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Acts 8:26-40

On this Memorial Day weekend, I’m thinking about Philip.  Per a Heavenly angel’s command, Philip intercepted an Ethiopian in a chariot on the Jerusalem to Gaza road.  Philip helped him understand Scripture and then baptized him.  After they left the water, God teleported Philip to another place called Azotus.  If Philip and the Ethiopian were at Gaza when God made Philip disappear, the NIV Study Bible says that would be roughly 20 miles away.  Teleporting Philip over about 20 miles?  I wonder what Philip was thinking.  Maybe it was a memorable thrill ride that he described to others on Earth.  And it’s possible that he could have told/can tell his teleportation tale to others in Heaven.

 

Acts 5:12-42

Jesus faced opposition while on Earth, and after He ascended to Heaven, the apostles faced opposition as well.  Because of Jesus, they were able to perform miracles for the people to witness.  The Sadducees knew about this and were very jealous.  They decided to arrest the apostles.  Subsequently, the apostles were put in jail.  However, at nighttime, an angel opened the jail doors and told them to go and teach the people.

The next day, the officers had to tell the Sanhedrin that even though there were guards and a “securely locked” jail door, the apostles weren’t there.  That report confused the chief priests.

God sent the apostles an angel to get them out of jail.  I believe God sent me an angel on 5/21/09.  I was driving without my family on Bever Avenue, a busy street, when someone ran a stop sign and headed for the left front of the car.  I was forced to swerve immediately to the right onto a side street, and unfortunately, there was a little car that suddenly appeared at a stop sign there, right in my path.  I closed my eyes and braced for the impact as my tires screeched, but instead, the front of our car just seemed to float.  When I opened my eyes, I saw the little car I had tried to avoid still at the stop sign, with no damage.  I was pointed in the right direction.  Shaken, I drove very slowly and found a place to park.  I checked out the car.  There wasn’t any damage, and I wasn’t injured!

Believe what you like, but I believe God sent an angel to pick up our car.  Thanks be to God, my rescuer!

Acts 3-4:1-22

There are many accounts of healing by Jesus in the New Testament.  But after Jesus ascended to Heaven, Peter and John later came upon a 40+-year-old man who was crippled.  The crippled man had been brought to the temple gate each day so he could beg.   Peter called on the power of Jesus’ name for the man and he was healed!  The man jumped around, praising God.  He wasn’t the only one praising God.  Shocked onlookers that knew the man, ran to them, praising God too.

Oh, the power of Jesus’ name!  If the man’s mother was around, I’m guessing she would have been one of the loudest praising God.  PRAISE GOD!

 

Genesis 1

When I read the first chapter of Genesis recently, I tried to visualize God creating, but my imagination was interrupted as I remembered that my NIV Bible is in English, and the language of the Old Testament was written in Biblical Hebrew.  And since I’m reading the Bible for the third time, I want my reading to be beefed up with details to deepen my relationship with God.  An online search lead me to biblehub.com where I found English to Biblical Hebrew translations.  I found that day=yom, night=layil (lah’-yil), sky=shamayim (shaw-mah’yim), earth/land=erets (eh’-rets), and sea=yam (yawm).  After I write in the Biblical Hebrew translations to my Bible and re-read Genesis 1:1-10, it’ll probably give me chills with the added effect.  Maybe I’ll even read it aloud to my family with ocean wave sounds in the background.  Yeah.

Genesis 2:9, 3:22-24, Revelation 22:12-16

Last Wednesday, I finished reading the Bible.  It was just the second time I’ve read it.  Since Revelation is the last book of the Bible, it was fresh in my mind when I read the news about Billy Graham passing on to Heaven.  There are wonderful details about Heaven in Revelation, but as I read this time, I found the tree of life to be particularly fascinating.  As I read, this time I was reminded that the tree of life is also mentioned in the first book of the Bible, Genesis.

In Genesis 2:9, I read that God created beautiful trees that were “good for food.”  God is perfect, so just know that if He says the food is good, it’s perfectly tasty.  Also, the tree of life was in the middle of the Garden of Eden.  In Genesis 3:22-24, I read that if they (Adam and Eve) would have taken and eaten from the tree of life they would have lived forever.  Because of that, God guarded the tree of life with a flaming sword and cherubim.

In Revelation, Jesus spoke the words,”…right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.”  Putting all of the verses together, it sounds to me like those that are saved get to enter the city gates and take and eat from the tree of life leading to eternal life.  I like to picture Billy Graham and loved ones that have gone to Heaven, walking awestruck through the city gates, picking fruit from the lovely tree of life, eating the delicious fruit and then living happily ever after.

Genesis 1

For Christmas, Emily and Ethan each got a book called, Amazing Animal Journeys from Kerry, a cousin.  In the book is wonderful information about God’s diverse creatures such as finding out that thousands of zebras in Botswana, Africa migrate approximately 360 miles total, and that millions of little, red crabs on Christmas Island migrate from their forest burrows following “the season’s first big rain.”  From there, they tackle cliffs and face other dangers like becoming roadkill, just so the female crabs can get to the ocean to release the eggs.

In addition to migration facts, other information was packed in the book.  For example, walruses have an air pouch so that when they go to sleep, their heads won’t submerge.  Also, a baby zebra has the ability to recognize its mom’s unique stripe pattern.

When Creation was complete, God looked at what He made and “it was good.”  The walruses wouldn’t drown because of the built-in air pouches, the baby zebras would quickly learn how to identify their mothers, etc.  He thought of everything.  Is there anyone that can identify all of the animals God made?  Maybe.  But is there anyone that can identify all of the animals and know everything about them?  Probably not, and animals are just a fraction of what God made.

Evolutionists don’t give God the credit He deserves.  How can they think all of the animals happened by chance?  I want to conclude with a quote from The Collapse of Evolution by Scott M. Huse:  “Extraordinary design and adaptation are found throughout nature in such abundance, perfection, and complexity as to utterly defy evolutionary explanation.  Most of these structures and abilities simply could not have evolved piecemeal because they are useful only when perfect and complete.  Indeed, all of nature proclaims, ‘Behold, the Master Creator!’  As Lord Kelvin has written:  ‘Overwhelmingly strong proofs of intelligent and benevolent design lie around us…the atheistic idea is so non-sensical that I cannot put it into words.'”

Revelation 3:1-6 

Romans 10:9

What does your “to do” list look like?  Maybe it’s a little longer with New Year’s resolutions, or shorter if the resolutions didn’t work out.

In Revelation 3, the Holy Spirit communicated to the Sardis Church.  Most of them were warned to awaken and complete the unfinished deeds.  If they didn’t awaken, repent and obey, Jesus “will come like a thief…”.

There were a handful of Sardis people Jesus found worthy.  He relayed that anyone victorious like those few will get to be with Him.  Jesus promises not to “blot out” the worthy person’s name in “the book of life.

If life has you distracted, force yourself to stop and reflect on your status with Jesus.  If you’re not saved yet, say, “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead.  If you don’t think it’s important to get saved, the enemy is lying to you!  Or if you think you can put off salvation like procrastinating on a project, you may not have the time you think you have.  What if you could see Jesus about to delete your name from the Book of Life?  Wouldn’t you want to stop that action?

I once heard a pastor give an electrifying message on salvation.  He challenged listeners to care about others’ salvation to spare them from Hell.  He begged the congregation to imagine lost people unknowingly walking towards and over the edge of a cliff.  He hoped that if people could actually see others nearing that deadly place, they would call out, “Hey!  Stop!”  Then, they could tell them about Christ.

If you are saved but have a sleepy spiritual life, wake up!  A good way to wake up spiritually, is to complete Experiencing God, a workbook by Henry Blackaby.  I finished the workbook last month and found that although he is not afraid to step on toes, Experiencing God was helpful in deepening my relationship with God.  One bit of wisdom that stands out, is to remember the last thing God communicated to you to do, and then to do that without hesitation.  So, you might have to revise that 2018 to do list.

Luke 2:4-7, 23:50-56, John 19:38-40

When the topic of Jesus as a baby is mentioned, we often think of Mary and his earthly dad, Joseph.  We picture Mary wrapping Jesus as a baby in cloths, and then putting Him in the manger.

Joseph of Arimathea was a rich man (Who’s Who in the Bible) present at the end of Jesus’ earthly life.  He asked Pilate if he could have Jesus’ body.  He then got Jesus’ body off the cross and used cloths to wrap the body (with the help of Nicodemus) and got it into a tomb.

Mary and Joseph of Arimathea wrapped Jesus in cloths.  Through the hands of those He created, it’s like God wrapped His only son as a gift to the world.

Luke 18:1-8

Since the holidays are upon us, by now you’ve probably seen at least one costumed Santa.  My family saw one on a chair receiving little kids for photo ops.  Except for a crying little boy that seemed to be scared of Santa, other kids probably told Santa what toys they wanted for Christmas.  I heard another Santa in a store ask a cashier what she wanted for Christmas.  She asked for a day off, something that the costumed Santa didn’t pretend to give.

How would you have answered that Santa?  Maybe you want a day off.  Well, because of Christmas, the Christian celebration of Jesus coming into the world as a baby, most Americans have Christmas off.  And if you’re a student, you might have quite a few days off.  Or maybe you desire healing, something you wouldn’t try to ask Santa for.

You can ask God for healing.  He is able to provide healing.  If you’ve been asking Him for healing, keep praying and asking Him like the persistent widow in Jesus’ parable.  She kept asking a judge for justice.  He eventually granted her justice.  If you keep asking God for healing, He can grant you the gift of healing.

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