Devotions

Devotions

Devotional 211

I heard a story about youth evangelist Ken Owens describing an evening in his life. Ken was scheduled to speak to a large group of young people. He was running late when he pulled into a full-service gas station for fuel.  A little guy came out from the glass-faced office. He had a toboggan pulled down low, his face was covered with acne, his hair was greasy, and his pants were so large he had to keep pulling them up.…

Devotional 210

If someone were to say to you as the Philippian jailer said to Paul, “What must I do to be saved?” could you answer him? If not, you need to learn how to “preach the gospel” or share your faith. Most of the time, people are not going to approach us, so we have to approach them. Jesus said, “GO.” Do you have enough of a BURDEN to be BOLD with the gospel?  Are you standing on the sidelines saying,…

Devotional 209

Paul says in today’s verse that he is ready. “Ready” is from the Greek compound word prothumos. Pro of course means “fore or before.” Thumos means “passion as if breathing hard, fierceness.” Therefore, “ready” means “a predetermined passion and desire.” We might say that Paul could hardly wait for an opportunity to preach the gospel to anyone and everyone! When was the last time you became passionate about someone or something? When was the last time you could not wait…

Devotional 208

What kind of “debtor” are you in MATERIAL things? Is it important to you to pay your bills on time? Do you want to be known as a “slow pay?” Of course not. Most of us work hard at being financially responsible and having a good credit report. What kind of “debtor” are you in SPIRITUAL things? You’ve experienced the same grace Paul experienced. You are a debtor to all men just as Paul was. He said in Romans 8:12,…

Devotional 207

Paul says that he too is a “debtor.” This statement begs the question, “To whom did he owe a debt?” Paul didn’t own a Visa, MasterCard or American Express. He didn’t owe the phone company or the bank. Paul tells us that he owed ALL MEN. He says it in two different ways.  First, he says, “I am debtor both to Greeks and to the barbarians.” The “Greeks” were cultured people. They built cities, expanded the arts and sciences and…

Devotional 206

Paul says in verse 14, “I am debtor.” “Debtor” comes from a Greek word meaning “an ower.” Vines’ Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words defines it as “one who owes anything to another, primarily in regard to money.”  Jesus used this same word in The Model Prayer during the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:12 where He taught us to pray. “And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” Here the context carries the meaning of “sins.” …

Devotional 205

In the mid 1800’s, a group of prospectors set out from Bannock, Montana in search of gold. Facing severe hardships, several of them died during the expedition. They were attacked by hostile Indians who stole all their horses and warned them if they returned to their country again they would all be killed. Defeated, discouraged and downtrodden, they slowly made their way on foot back to Bannock. One evening as they camped by a stream, one prospector found a gold…

Devotional 204

We finished yesterday by establishing that truth uncovers sin. Agrippa would have to confess his ruthless rule and he would have to admit his incestuous relationship with his sister. He would have to admit his utter moral depravity and selfish sinful desires. He was not prepared to do this. Romans 1:16 says the gospel is “the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believeth.” When witnessing to hardened hearts, we don’t have to convince them, we just have to…

Devotional 203

Picking up where we left off Sunday, we learned that we must seize every opportunity to share Christ. Today’s thought is centered around… #2 We must recognize that truth produces conviction. To Festus’ assertion that Paul was “mad,” the Apostle said on the contrary that his words were “words of truth and reason,” the stone cold truth. Our faith is not merely based on our subjective experiences of God but our experiences of God are based on the objective historical…

Devotional 202

Today I chose to deviate from Paul’s life, and the lessons we learn from those who fail to listen to the gospel story, to honor Shelli. Today we celebrate our 35th anniversary of being married to each other. It is so hard to believe all that has happened in our lives since that day we pledged our vows to each other in Fairfield, California on August 8, 1987. We have lived in Durham, NC; San Pablo, CA; Greenville, SC; Spartanburg,…

Devotional 201

Last week, we examined Paul’s arrest and his trial before Agrippa. What can we learn from Paul’s experience? I would like to share three lessons when we witness to someone who is unwilling to respond. What happens when you witness to a family member, friend, coworker, or neighbor and they reject what you share? In spite of others response to the gospel… #1 We must seize every opportunity to share Christ. Paul was neither impressed by the pageantry of Agrippa…

Devotional 200

We continue examining Acts 26 this morning. Paul’s task would be “to open their eyes” and “turn them from darkness to light… from the power of Satan unto God,” to help them find “forgiveness” and “and inheritance… by faith” in Christ. Paul (verse 19) was “not disobedient” to Jesus but witnessed “both to small and great” and gave the truth (verse 22) “which the prophets and Moses did say should come.” Jesus the Messiah would suffer, die and be the…