Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sweet Aroma

Monday, April 26, 2010: 2 Corinthians 2:14

Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.

What are we privileged to do? God diffuses the fragrance of His Knowledge through us!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010: 2 Corinthians 2:15–16

For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things?

Why is the same aroma disliked? To those who reject God’s salvation, we are a smell of death leading to eternal death!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010: Ephesians 5:2

And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

Why was Christ’s death a sweet aroma? Christ’s love for us and His sacrifice was the perfect solution to God’s justice and His love!

Thursday, April 29, 2010: Philippians 4:18–19

Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

What is one sacrifice we can take part in? Sending provisions for the man of God is well pleasing as our sacrifice before His throne.

Friday, April 30, 2010: Revelation 8:3–4

Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand.

What is also acceptable as a sacrifice before God? Our prayers that praise and worship Him! They are remembered in heaven, even silent prayers.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Taken by Force

Monday, April 19, 2010: Acts 8:39

Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing.

Background: Phillip is told to go on the road to Gaza by the Holy Spirit. There he meets the Treasurer of Ethiopia and tells him about Christ from Scriptures. He baptizes the Treasurer at the latter’s request and could have been offered money soon after.

What happened to Phillip as the treasurer and he emerged from the water after baptism? Phillip disappeared. He was taken away by the Holy Spirit to a town called Azotus and continued his preaching.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010: Matthew 13:19

When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.

Background: Jesus peaches the Parable of the Sower to many from a boat just off the shore. He proceeds then to explain to His disciples that the seed is the Word of God because they ask Him.

What does understanding have to do with the Kingdom of God? If one does not understands that he is sinful and needs to repent and accept God’s salvation simply accepts the Word with the attitude that he is better than other sinners. The Word in such an unrepentant heart is soon snatched away by the devil.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010: John 10:28–29

And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.

Background: Christ Jesus is in the Temple in Jerusalem in winter, during Hanukah. He spoke about being the good shepherd who gives His life for His sheep.

Can you loose your salvation? No. Anyone includes you. No one can snatch you from Christ’s hand.

Thursday, April 22, 2010: 2 Corinthians 12:2–4

I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven. And I know such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

What made Paul unique among the Apostles? He was taught truth by direct revelation and was caught up in a way not understood by him into heaven.

Friday, April 23, 2010: 1 Thessalonians 4:17

Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

What is the origin of the phrase ‘caught up?” ρπάζω ( harpazō in Greek) is a verb which in the Latin Vulgate translation is ‘Rapture.’

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Phillip preaches.

Monday, April 12, 2010: Acts 8:4–7
Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word. Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed.
Background: Phillip has a chapter about his work with the Holy Spirit in Acts.
What did the people of Samaria do when they saw the miracles? They believed Phillip’s message about the gospel.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010: Acts 8:9–10
But there was a certain man called Simon, who previously practiced sorcery in the city and astonished the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great, to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the great power of God.”
What was the difference between and Simon? Simon claimed greatness by his powers; Phillip didn’t.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010: Acts 8:12–13
But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done.
Why was Simon amazed? Because the miracles he saw were real: his were fake.

Thursday, April 15, 2010: Acts 8:14–17
Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
What do you make of these verses? Phillip baptized them in the name he preached: Jesus Christ. The ministry of the Peter and John was different. (Beyond this, I am open for your comments.)

Friday, April 16, 2010: Acts 8:18–20
And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money!
What was the striking part of the Apostle’s attitude? They were not concerned about money.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Signs & Scriptures

(Provided by Bill Shedid.)

Monday, April 5, 2010: 2 Peter 1:16-18

For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.

Background: Before his death, Peter, the Apostle writes two letters to Christians dispersed by persecution. Peter confirms the ‘Mount of Transfiguration’ event to which he was an eyewitness.

What is Peter testifying to in writing? Peter confirms the power and glory of Jesus Christ revealed on the mountain and the voice of God heard by him calling Him His Son with whom He is well pleased.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010: 2 Peter 1:19-21

And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

What is the prophetic word? How is it confirmed? The scriptures of the Old Testament contain many prophecies, one of which is, ‘unto us a child is born; unto us a son is given … and his name shall be called… the Mighty God!’ Peter now confirms in writing that this prophecy speaks of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010: Mark 16:15-18

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

Background: This is the great Commission as recorded in Mark’s gospel.

What was to follow believers? Miraculous signs would follow believers. The intent was to bring in more believers into salvation, never to glorify the person who the signs followed.

Thursday, April 8, 2010: Mark 16:19-20

So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.

What was the reason for these signs? The signs confirmed the gospel of Jesus Christ that they preached. They were never meant to the person whom the signs followed.

Friday, April 9, 2010: Hebrews 2:2-4

For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will.

Background: The author is speaking about the rest that was promised to Jews who were liberated from Egypt’s slavery. They never entered that rest.

What stern warning is given? If you have never seen the need to repent, having the attitude that you’re just not a bad person like others, you will not escape the punishment for neglecting the salvation that was confirmed with miraculous signs and wonders and is now recorded in the Bible.