Acts 18:9 Don’t Be Silent

“One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent.” Acts 18:9

Paul had went to the city of Corinth to bring the gospel message. As he was speaking there many people started believing in Jesus. Along with those people believing in Jesus there were also many who did not want to believe in Jesus and opposed Paul. Paul was preaching to the Gentiles and the Jews were upset with that. God comes to him in a vision and tells him to not be silent.

When the world starts telling you to be silent about witnessing about Jesus, it is easy to want to back off. Fear of what they appear to be able to do often stops many from speaking. People will fear the loss of their jobs, or position, or being punished for a “crime” being done, or something else.

It even gets more difficult when those telling you to be silent are people in the church. These are supposed to be believers in Jesus, yet they are following a different path.

All throughout the Bible the phrase “do not be afraid” is spoken many times over. As a believer in Jesus you must not be afraid of what man can do to you. You must look only at what Jesus did and can do. Look at the soul of the people and how God will destroy them in the end if they do not follow Jesus.

The world is on a one way path with destruction if they do not turn around. You have the message to help them turn around. The words of Jesus spoken to Paul were spoken to all the disciples and are now being spoken to you. Don’t be afraid. Keep on speaking. Don’t be silent.

When you are silent, the Devil wins the war. People will stay lost and condemned forever.

If someone had been silent, you would not be where you are today. You would not know and believe in Jesus.

Do not allow this to happen to others. Tell everyone you can about Jesus. Work at persuading them to follow Jesus.

I pray today that Jesus will give you a vision to reach the lost; that Jesus will fill you with His boldness and peace; that you will not be silent; that you will speak the words of Jesus to everyone; and that Jesus will draw many to Him through you.

Acts 17:16 Distressed

“While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols.” Acts 17:16

Paul had left Berea for Athens. He stayed there waiting for Silas and Timothy to arrive. While he waited there he had a chance to see the city. The one thing he noticed was all of the idols located everywhere. This distressed him a lot.

Paul was provoked to a righteous anger. It disturbed him greatly at having to see all the idols located everywhere. He was provoked to anger about the idols.

Christians have to walk through towns and cities today that are not really any different from what Paul was walking through in Athens. The main difference is that in Athens the people actually called the idols their gods. Today people do not call their idols “gods”, they just worship them by giving their whole life to the “idols”.

People will spend all their money, time and energy to have these idols today. These idols can be jobs, money, houses, cars, beauty, fame, looks, friends, or most anything else. These things are their gods because they give their lives to them.

Many Christians will also fall into doing the same things. They look to things and positions more than to the God who gave it all.

Any thing that gets more time, money and thought than God is an idol. As a believer in Jesus you must get rid of all idols in your life.

As you walk through your town or city do you really see the idols that are all around you? What does it do to your heart? It should break your heart to see people living for these false gods. You should be reaching out to the people as Paul did to point them to the real God.

It is easy to put blinders on and ignore the idols around you, but is that what Jesus would do? You are to be a witness of Jesus to the world. If you ignore the idols, you are choosing to not be that witness.

Choose today to get rid of all idols in your life. Choose today to point people to Jesus.

I pray today that God will open your eyes to the idols worshipped around you; that you will see any idols in your own life; that God will strengthen you to get rid of idols in your life; that God will guide you to be a witness to the world about Jesus; and that many will be drawn to Jesus through you.

Acts 16:34 One Purpose of Prison Time

“The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God–he and his whole household.” Acts 16:34

Paul and Silas had been thrown into prison. Instead of complaining and hollering and calling a lawyer, they prayed and praised God. They were being a witness to the other prisoners. God heard their prayers and sent an earthquake to break open the prison doors. None of the prisoners ran. Paul then witnesses to the prison guard about Jesus. The prison guard gives his heart to the Lord Jesus.

Many people are not thrown into real physical prisons, but into prisons of hardships, troubles, and trials. The first thing that most people do when they are tossed into a prison is ask why they are there. They are questioning God’s love for them. They are questioning what they did to bring them to that point.

If you are in a prison right now, it may not be that you did anything wrong. It may be God’s will to have you there. Remember that God works ALL THINGS for the good of those who love Him. This means that the prison is for the good of those who love Him.

Being in prison gave Paul a chance to be a witness to the prison guard, who gave his life to the Lord Jesus. This had to have been a joy for Paul to see. Had he not been in prison, he would not have seen this.

In your prison today, you need to ask God how you can be used to build His kingdom. How can you use your situation to be a witness to someone?

Try not to look at your situation as a negative setback, but as a divine opportunity to touch someone else’s life that needs it. Look at it as an opportunity to draw closer to God. In the end God will help you win and be blessed if you trust and follow Him.

I pray today that God will show you opportunities to be His witness; that you will not fear prisons in your life; that you will not complain but trust God; and that God will do great things in and through you.

Acts 16:25 What To Do When In Prison

“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25

Paul and Silas had been in town preaching the gospel just like they always did. The people got angry with them and beat them and threw them into prison. Late that night they are seen praying and singing to God and everyone was listening.

Most people, if they were thrown into prison for preaching the gospel, would be singing to God while there. They probably would be praying for release or calling friends and an attorney to get them out. This would be the case if they did not have their eyes focused on God.

Focusing on God gives you the correct perspective–that God is in control. They were able to relax and sing because they knew that God was there and was in control of the situation.

Most believers, as a believer, have never been thrown into a real prison. Yet, many are in a different type of prison. The prisons many people are thrown into are financial problems, sickness, death, injury, or many other challenges in life.

When you are going through a bad situation it is easy to lose focus on God and look only at the here and now. Yet, are you trusting that God is still with you and in control?

First thing to do is start praying for God’s desire to be done in the situation. Next, give God praise for the situation and how He is going to take care of it.

Use that time to be a witness to others. As Paul and Silas were praying and singing out loud, many others were listening to them. What they were doing was not common for people in prison and would make a difference.

Are you stopping to pray and praise God in your prison in life? Or are you complaining or afraid? Keep in mind that God is in the prison with you and is in control. Trust Him in your prison today.

I pray today that you will know Jesus is with you in your prison; that you will pray for God’s desire for your life; that you will sing praises to God in your prison; and that others around you will hear you praising God.

Acts 15:11 Saved By Grace

“No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.” Acts 15:11

Various Jewish believers were going to Antioch and telling the Gentile believers that they had to become like a Jew in order to be Christian. This meant they had to be circumcised and follow all the Mosaic Law. Peter stood up to them and pointed out that, with Jesus, salvation was a matter of faith and done in the heart, not just in actions. It is by grace that a person is saved, not by what they do or do not do.

Even though many years have passed, this problem still exists among Christians. No, the issue of having to be a Jew is no longer being discussed. It is now that a person is often required to change their lifestyle and habits before accepting Jesus.

Many believers expect a sinner to clean up his life before or as he comes to a saving knowledge of Jesus. Salvation comes by believing in the work and salvation that Jesus provides. Once a person believes in Jesus, God can do a work in their heart to change their lifestyle.

Christians are very good at putting down a huge set of rules in order for being a Christian. Jesus did not do that. No one can fulfill all the regulations, all will fail. Jesus provides that salvation with by His mercy, not by your earning it. All that is required is to believe in Jesus and obey Him.

Let God do the changing of a person in His time. Any person who is truly trying to love God will work at being more like Jesus everyday. They will want to change their ways. It will come from the heart, not from outside regulations.

Do you believe in salvation by grace that Jesus provides? Or do you believe in your good works? Which one are you telling people? Which one are you holding people to?

I pray today that you will see the grace that Jesus has given you; that you will give that grace to others; that you will not require acts that Jesus did not require; that you will live in the grace of Jesus; and that Jesus will use you to tell others about Him.

Acts 14:14 Not Taking The Credit

“But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting:” Acts 14:14

The apostles Barnabas and Paul were in the city of Lystra. There they met a man who was lame. They prayed for him and he was healed. The people then started giving them gifts thinking that they were gods. Instead of accepting the gifts and taking the credit, Barnabas and Paul tore their clothing and told the people that they were just regular men just like everyone else and that it was God who healed the man, not themselves.

People love to take the credit for doing things. They want praise for when they do something good. Yet, often the credit really belongs to someone else.

In some businesses, when the business does really great, the top management will take all the credit for how it is doing. Usually it will be with one or two of the management personnel. They point out how the business is doing because of what they individually had done for the company. They forget to give credit to the bottom worker. If the bottom worker had not done his job the business would not have succeeded.

In churches, the same type of credit acceptance happens also. The major difference is that often it is not giving the credit upwards to God. God is the one who heals, saves, and changes people. Not people. Taking the credit is personal pride and pride is a sin.

You are only the instrument that God uses to reach people to heal, save and change them. You are His spokesperson, His voice. You are His hands and feet. Without God you are nothing and have nothing.

When a great miracle happens when you prayer, point the credit to God. Do not look at yourself as someone special or with a special ability. Let God have all the credit. Give God all the praise.

Are you giving God all the credit for what He has done in your life? Are you giving God all the credit for what He is doing through you?

I pray today that you will realize all that Jesus is doing in you and through you; that you will give God all the credit; that God will receive all the praise for works done; that Jesus will do mighty works in and through you; and that Jesus will draw many to Himself through you.

Acts 13:51 Keep On Moving

“So they shook the dust off their feet as a warning to them and went to Iconium.” Acts 13:51

Paul and Barnabas had been traveling around preaching the gospel message to the people of different cities. In one of the cities, the Jewish leaders of the temple stirred up the people against them. The leaders did not want the gospel message preached. They wanted to stay with the traditional ways of the temple with the Law of Moses. Paul and Barnabas pointed out that they were sent to all people. They then dust off their feet and move on to another city.

The dusting off of the feet is a symbol that they did not want any responsibility with the people there. They were saying that they had tried and were rejected and so the people of that city were left on their own.

If you are willing to tell everyone and anyone about Jesus, there will come a time when some will reject your message. They will try to run you out of the area. Some believers will take that personally and try to fight back. Debates will rise and discussions will never end. The focus will change from being saved to something else. It will lead to a dead-end of no value.

Paul chose to not have anything to do with the people. He let them go. The Holy Spirit was probably guiding them in this action, though the Bible does not give that information.

There comes a time when someone is witnessing to a person, that you must stop trying and move on to someone else. Allow God to bring someone else into their path to be a witness. You have done all you can do. It is time to move on.

Do not allow yourself to get trapped into endless debates and arguments with a non-believer. There is still hope for every person, but it may not finish through you. You may have just planted the seed, it will be someone else who has to water it, and God has to make it grow in the person. You do not have to be the one to do all the steps.

Allow God’s Holy Spirit to guide you as to when to speak about Jesus to someone and when to be quiet and move on. Be willing to move on when needed to, someone else needs to hear about Jesus that is open to it.

I pray today that you will be led by the Holy Spirit in your witnessing; that you will not be trapped in worthless debates; that God will use you to reach many people for Jesus; and that God will strengthen you to be His witness.