“God Will Always Win”

“God will always win”

Tuesday, April 23.

“But if it from God, you will not be able to stop these men: you will find yourselves fighting against God.” Acts 5:38

From its inception, the church faced problems.  It is not a surprising thing.  Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry pointed out He would “build the church and the gates of hell will not prevail against.”  The church is vibrant today.  When it was started, the church grew rapidly.  It increased in followers.  The religious leaders became very jealous and resentful.  The followers of Jesus were jailed.  The guards checked the doors and found the prisoners missing.  They wonder how the prisoners got out.  But the apostles knew they were freed by an angels of the Lord.  The angels told them to tell the good news in the temple court.  The religious leaders heard that the apostles were telling the good news about Jesus.  The leaders were not interested in how the apostles got released from prison. They were not interested in the wonder that freed the apostles.

The leaders wanted the apostles dead.  But a respected leader in the community named Gamaliel spoke some words of caution and wisdom.  Gamaliel reasoned that there had been many groups that attracted followers.  Some of these groups did not survived.  But this new movement of Jesus was growing very rapidly. So if it is from God, no one can fight against it.  Gamaliel knew that no can fight God and win.  It is the same in our Christian walk.  Gamaliel was right. 2000 years later, the church is still here. The Psalmist reminded us that God being on our side, no one can fight against us and win.

Memory verse:  Acts 5:12

“Never underestimate the power of God.” picture quote.com

“When Christ Came Low”

“When Christ Came Low”

Monday, April 23.

“He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death-even death on the cross.” Philippians 2:8

No one knows the act of humility more than Jesus Christ.  Every aspect of His teachings on earth was clothed with humility.  His act of service was crown with humility.  He washed His disciples feet.  He ate with sinners.  He sat with tax collectors.  He hung around the poor and needy.  But the greatest act of humility ever pulled by an individual was Jesus Christ death on the cross.  Jesus Christ who came in the very nature of God was born in a stable.  Jesus Christ whose name was exalted above every other name known on earth made Himself nothing by taking on the very nature of a servant.  This is God coming in human flesh.

What is interesting is that He never boasted of His nature as God.  He never used his power of being God to take advantage of anyone.  He rather serve all whose paths He crossed.  How many people who are given earthly power would be humble.  We have seen earthly rulers with so much power abused their subjects.  We have seen these rulers turned into dictators causing havoc not only for their people, but for other nations.

He was despised and rejected.  He suffered and was familiar with pain.  Yet, He endured all the suffering, paying a price for the redemption of humankind.  This is humility to the highest degree.  What was His reward? He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God.  In all we do, let us be humble.  Let us the Spirit of God to teach us humility.

Memory verse:Ephesians 2:8

“It was pride that changed angels into devils; It is humility that makes men like angels.” Saint Augustine

“Jesus Is the Only Way to Salvation!”

“Jesus is the only way to salvation!”

Thursday, April 19.

“There is no other name under heaven given by men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

The name of the Lord tells us a lot about Him.  In Hebrew language, there are so many names for God.  There is a name given to Him because of His providence, healing, righteousness, and the list goes on.  Many other place in Scriptures, the name of Jesus is highly lifted up.  Christ Himself would come and talk about Himself as the way, the truth and the light.  All of these shows that there is power in His name.  There is healing in His name.

There claim that Jesus’ name is the name above every name angers many people.  It angers skeptics and people of other religions.  In Jesus’ days, the claim angered the Jewish leaders.  It also angered the Romans who worshipped Caesar.  One reason why it angered people is they don’t think Jesus Christ is not the only way to God.  What about Buddha?  What about Mohammad?  What about all the good people who follow other religions?  Are we saying that they are not saved also?

To answer this question, we have to learn the blunt truth of what God says in Scripture.  The Scripture let us know that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation.  When we encountered this truth, we can take it seriously, repent of our sins and be saved.  We can reject it. We cannot be neutral or sit on the fence.  The truth is clear to all of us.  Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the light.

Memory verse: Acts 4:19

“We must show our true Christian color if we are to be true to Jesus Christ.” C. S. Lewis

“There Is Power in His Name”

“There is Power in His Name”

Wednesday, April 18.

“Silver or gold I do not have, what I have I give you.  In the name of Jesus Christ…walk.”  Acts 3:6

The other day we talked about the power of the Holy Spirit in helping Christians tell about the good news of Jesus Christ.  It is important to always witness to the spiritual, physical, and environmental needs of coverts.  This helps to nurtured people.  Peter and John had followed Jesus for three years.  They had no money.  They were finally broke.  This disciples did not have much in terms of what the paralyzed man needed.  But one thing they had was power to heal in the name of Jesus.

The good thing was that the disciples knew what the man needed.  They knew the man need spiritual healing.  They knew the man also needed physical healing.  They healed the man physically and spiritually. In our world today, we need financial institutions.  We need banks to help us with mortgage, car loans, and other financial help.  But what the world need most is physical and spiritual salvation.

The question we all need to answer this morning is, can we be an effective witness of Jesus Christ who is not only concern about the economic and social conditions of the world, but also the spiritual emptiness? Can we be an effective witness for Christ if we do not care about the poor and less fortunate in society?  Can we be an effective witness when we do not care about the social injustices that contribute to the poverty of others?  It is hard time we demonstrate the power of faith to be bold witnesses for Jesus Christ through our lifestyle and testimonies.

Memory verse: Acts 4:12

“I have a great need for Christ; I have a great Christ for my need.” Charles Spurgeon

 

“The Power of the Holy Spirit”

“The Power of the Holy Spirit”

Tuesday, April 17.

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses.” Acts 1:8

There is a song that reads like this, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, they are mighty in the Spirit.”  It is also a scripture verse.  This reminds us that taking the gospel message is a warfare between the followers of Christ and Satan.  It is an open war between Jesus Christ and Satan.  The devil did not died when Jesus Christ resurrection.  Jesus Christ resurrection is a victory over death, not the death of Satan.  Ever since Jesus Christ died on the cross, Satan became more enraged.  Satan is using all the evil weaponry at his disposal to discouraged Christians from worshipping God.  He wants to destroy us.

On our own, we are no match for Satan.  We become easy prey for the devil.  This is why the Scripture points out that at the mention of the name of Jesus, the devil flees. Those who depend on the power of the Holy Spirit to witness are in a much better position. Jesus Christ made it clear that He will send the Holy Spirit to give power to help us to witness.  John 1:12 and Romans 8:16 inform us that everyone who have been converted or has accepted Jesus Christ has received the Holy Spirit.  But there is a difference between receiving the Holy Spirit and living a daily life of the Spirit’s leading.  Are we living by the power of the Holy Spirit?   It is only when we do that then we will witness effectively to the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

Memory verse: Acts 2:4

“The presence of the Holy Spirit is the keystone to all our hope.” John Nelson Darby

“God’s Mission for the Church”

“God’s Mission for the Church.”

Monday, April 16.

“Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” Acts 1:6

We spent time with people.  Sometimes one year, two years, three years or more.  Yet, we do not know them.  Jesus’ disciples spent over three years with him, and they did not know Him.  Their thoughts were that Jesus came to restore a political dynasty of Kind David.  They thought Jesus came to score a political point with the Roman government.  Jesus did not want His disciples to turn into political activists.  He commissioned them to go out and preach about the good news of the gospel.  He made it categorically clear that the disciples should go out and teach about His saving power.

Jesus wanted them to bear witness to His saving grace.  But, He wanted them to not only minister to the spiritual needs of people.  He wanted them to minister to the physical needs of people.  He wanted them to feed the hungry, heal the crippled, give sight to the blind.  He wanted them to save souls to the kingdom.

So the mission of the disciples was not to establish earthly kingdom based on humankind’s definition of peace and justice.  The mission of the disciples was to receive the Holy Spirit and bear witness to the changing mercy of Jesus Christ, from whom all blessings flow.  That mission has not change today.  The mission remains the same.  Our mission is to receive the Holy Spirit in our lives, to give us wisdom, guidance, and power to witness to the physical, environmental, and spiritual needs of all people. Every Christian should live and witness the salvation message through the power of the Holy Spirit.  This is the mission of the body of believers.

Memory verse: Acts 1:8

“The gospel is only good news if it gets there in time.” Carl F. H. Henry

“Notable Truths of the Resurrection”

“Notable truths of the Resurrection”

Thursday, April 12.

“If Christ had not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” 1 Corinthians 15:17

Paul in his first letter to the church at Corinth reminds us of the importance of the resurrection.  Without the resurrection, Christianity is doomed. The resurrection stands for forgiveness of sins.  Christ died to save us from sin. If Christ had remained in His death, there would be no forgiveness of sins.  Acts 5:30-31 tells us that God raised Jesus Christ and seated Him at His right hand to give repentance to Israel.

Romans 6:9 points to the fact that God sent a Savior who can never die again.  Christ died once for all of us and resurrected. This means there can be no two resurrection but one.  It is a proof we have a risen Savior. There is no body in the tomb. No other religious leader accomplished this.  Jesus is real.

1 Peter 1:3 informs us that through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have a new birth. We are born again. We are not born through fleshy means but born of water and of the Spirit of God.  We have been made a whole new people.  All the old things of our lives are no more.  We are new creatures.  So the resurrection is powerful. It transforms us completely.

The resurrection also guarantee us Jesus’ personal fellowship and protection. In Matthew 28:20, Jesus promised to be with us always.  He will be with us till the world comes to an end.  This means He will protect us.  He will walk with us through the journey of life.  He will protect us from evil men.  Let us ponder on the power of the resurrection asking God to lead us in our earthly journey.

Memory verse: 1 Thessalonians 1:10

“Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.” Martin Luther

“Joy and Hope after the Cross”

“Joy and hope after the Cross”

Wednesday, April 11.

“The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they ran to give the disciples the angel’s message. Matthew 28:8

The women were the first to see the risen Lord.  After they had learned that Jesus had resurrected, they were very fearful.  The fear was short lived.  Knowing that the resurrection meant a great deal for them, the scripture say they were very joyous moments later.  Their joy made them run to inform the other disciples about the good news of His resurrection.

Often, we do not tell about the good news of the resurrection of Jesus because we allow fear to win.  Fear can be crippling.  The one thing that can help us over come fear is sustained joy. We ought to focus on the joy of salvation.  Let us share the good news of Jesus’ resurrection.  This will help us to overcome the fear of death and despair.

The women did not only tell the good news with joy, they told it with hope.  The spread the good news of the benefit of being in Christ Jesus is vital.  It is important because it is the hope that we will be with Jesus in a place where He is.  The disciples must have been disappointed because they felt abandoned.  The must have felt abandoned because Jesus left them. After we experienced the cross, we all are different in many ways.  We will have fears and doubts. We can overcome that by spreading the good news.  Jesus Christ encouraged His disciples to share the good news. Jesus is no longer in the tomb.  He is alive in us by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Let us invite the Holy Spirit to help us preach the good news of Christ.

Memory verse: Acts 1:11

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” Hellen Keller

 

“Overcoming Doubt”

“Overcoming Doubt”

Tuesday, April 10.

“Then the elven disciples left for Galilee. going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.  When they saw him, they worshipped him, but some of them doubted.” Matthew 28:16,17

The resurrection is very important.  As we have constantly pointed out, it is the lifeline of the Christian faith.  Without the resurrection, Christianity is doom.  It will be a hoax.  It is through the resurrection the teaching about Jesus is complete.  He came, bled and died for you and myself.  This enabled us to have redemption and everlasting life.  There is no where in history during Jesus’ time that a savior was slain and came back to life.  There was no incident anyone could point to about any other resurrection.  The disciples were faced with a situation.  Some of them believed that Christ had resurrected.  Others did not believed. This was the case with Thomas.  All the other disciples surrounded each other.  Thomas was hesitant. He did not believe it was Jesus.  He doubted.  Was this young Jewish Rabbi an imposter? Although he spoke like the teacher and friend Thomas knew, he wanted proof.

Doubt is our greatest obstacle in trusting God’s plan and provision for our lives.  In this life, we allow doubt to wash over us like the waves of the ocean. Doubt clouds our visions.  It keeps us away from the safety of the ocean shore. Doubt distances us from the safety of the ocean shore while we ride its waves of doubts.  This is what we should all remember: Jesus is the anchor that keeps us safe in a sea of doubt. We need to trust Jesus.  He will take away all our doubts.

Memory verse: Matthew 28:8

“I have days of self-doubt, but the kindest thing I can do to myself is accept where my body is at.” Geri Halliwell

“After the Cross”

“After the Cross”

Monday, April 9.

“After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave them many convincing proofs that he was alive.  He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke to them about the kingdom of God.”  Acts 1:3

Jesus’ friends and followers were afraid of the Roman soldiers after Jesus Christ died.  They all hid themselves fearfully.  Though they were with Jesus, some of them did not understand Jesus’ ministry on this earth.  They thought that Jesus would overthrow the Roman government.  They believed Jesus would liberate them politically.  So when Jesus died, they fled the scene.  They abandoned street ministry.  They were fearful to preach the gospel. Fear, fear, fear kept them indoors.

Fear is the emotion that keeps us in hiding.  It the emotion that deters us from living out our dreams.  Fear is the emotion that makes us inactive, ashamed of doing what God wants us to do.  God our Creator knew fear would be an hindrance to our progress.  This is why He admonish us not to fear in over 300 verses in the Bible.

Jesus’ disciples had to face the reality of His death.  Jesus walked and talked with them.  Then suddenly, he was betrayed, arrested, crucified, and murdered right before their very eyes.  They couldn’t imagine Jesus coming alive again.  They couldn’t imagine Jesus walking among them again.  Like Jesus’ disciples, we too are faced with circumstances in our lives that makes us fearful.  What do we do?

After all the fearful events, He appeared to His disciples to assure them of His protection. We ought to boldly face life knowing always that God will protect us.  Let us ask God today to make us more than conquerors.

Memory verse: John 20:19

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” Mark Twain