“He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?'”
In a special vision, Saul, persecutor of the church, saw the Lord Jesus, who asked him why he persecuted the Lord. What is done to the church is done to the Lord.
The church is Christ’s body. In judgment he wills say, “… just as you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did it for me” Mt 25.40.
#votd #Acts #church
“For the kingdom of God is demonstrated not in idle talk but with power.”
1 Corinthians 4.20
Man talks, God transforms. The Corinthians loved oratory and philosophy, but none of that saved. In fact, it only divided and destroyed. The gospel unites and redeems.
It is time for the church to get away from politics, social issues, and material help. It is urgent that we stick with the gospel. This and this alone is our mission and our power.
#votd #1-Corintians #power
“Indeed! All lives are mine – the life of the father as well as the life of the son is mine. The one who sins will die.”
God gave man life, breathing into him at creation. All belong to him, and he will judge all. No one can assume that right. God knows what each one deserves.
How we blame others for our sins! v. 3. But we will answer for what we have done. God cannot be deceived by our games.
#votd #Ezekiel #judgment
“Moreover, keep me from committing flagrant sins; do not allow such sins to control me. Then I will be blameless, and innocent of blatant rebellion.”
The psalmist wants to please God, v. 14. He knows that keeping the Word will guide him to do that, vv. 7-11. He will commit errors, v. 12, but he prays he will never be consciously rebellious.
Where do we cross the line from inadvertent error to blatant sin? Premeditation may well define it, Rm 13.14.
#votd #Psalms #rebellion
“and after braiding a crown of thorns, they put it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand, and kneeling down before him, they mocked him: ‘Hail, king of the Jews!’”
Hardened Roman soldiers had seen it all. As the crushing arm of imperial power, they laughed at small-time attempts to overthrow the government. To them, Jesus was just another failed revolutionary.
Jesus not only died, but suffered humiliation in our stead. Our attempts at self-rescue are ridiculous. But in his humiliation we discover our salvation.
#votd #Matthew #crucifixion
“A righteous person cares for the life of his animal, but even the most compassionate acts of the wicked are cruel.”
As a creature made by God who created all good things, the righteous show their goodness in treating well even the animals under their care.
Animals are not equal to humans, but they do deserve proper care. A sign of wickedness is lack of compassion for those under one’s responsibility.
#Proverbs #votd #animals
“And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong concerning sin and righteousness and judgment— concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.”
These are the subjects of the Holy Spirit. He revealed the word of truth. Awareness of wrong is necessary to put one on the road to righteousness.
Jesus had to return to heaven in order for the Holy Spirit to come. We are blessed to have his truth in Scripture. How precious is that truth to me?
#votd #John #Holy-Spirit
“The word of the Lord came to me: ‘Son of man, you are living in the midst of a rebellious house. They have eyes to see, but do not see, and ears to hear, but do not hear, because they are a rebellious house.'”
The Lord gave this preface to the prophet before requiring him to act out an object lesson before the people. Their rebellion dulled their spiritual senses. For that, they would go into exile.
Such dullness to spiritual truth is common today. People don’t want to do God’s will. They want their own religion to give them immediate comfort. Am I one of them?
#votd #Ezekiel #rebellion
“Look, he has placed the land in front of you! Go up, take possession of it, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, said to do. Do not be afraid or discouraged!”
God gave the land of Canaan to Israel. But the people still had to take possession of it and drive out the pagan inhabitants. The first time Israel quailed from the task.
Salvation is given to man through the sacrifice of Christ. This free gift must be possessed by obedience and perseverance. Shall I shrink from developing it fully?
#votd #Deuteronomy #effort
“For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to die, because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to people.”
1 Corinthians 4.9
The unregenerate man thinks of titles, positions, and privileges in a given group or setting. Jesus calls the “best and brightest” to become the rejects and oppressed.
God calls us all into an eternal covenant whose major characteristic today is suffering. To reject the suffering of Christ, with Christ, is to reject the covenant and all its promises.
#votd #1-Corinthians #suffering
“So those who accepted his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand people were added.”
When the first evangelistic sermon was preached and the church was established, accepting the message meant being immersed. Baptism was at the center of conversion.
Immersion brings forgiveness of sin, v. 38, and adds one to the church. What’s not to like? Let every person submit to being immersed for salvation and inclusion in Christ’s people.
#votd #Acts #baptism
“For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy, because I promised you in marriage to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.”
2 Corinthians 11.2
The apostle Paul’s godly jealousy did everything he could to keep the Corinthians from following a different Jesus or a different doctrine. He wanted a pure, devoted bride.
Human jealousy destroys relationships. Godly jealously seeks to preserve “sincere and pure devotion to Christ” v. 3. It attaches everyone more firmly to Jesus Christ.
#votd #2-Corinthians #jealousy
“We are witnesses of all the things he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree,”
Mass hysteria (which some allege) could not have been sustained over a period of three or so years. People in general knew “what happened” vv. 37-38. A few observed up close.
Our faith is based on facts. Eyewitnesses saw what Jesus did and said. In every way the gospel is confirmed, by them and by miracles performed.
#votd #Acts #faith
“And Peter said, ‘Look, we have left everything we own to follow you!'”
Jesus said it will be difficult for the rich to enter heaven. Peter mentions their sacrifice. Surely, then, they will be saved! Such will be blessed many times over, Jesus said.
What must I do to be saved? Give up everything to following Jesus! Stop clinging to this world. And see more of what I will receive than what I have sacrificed.
#votd #Luke #sacrifice
“The tribes go up there, the tribes of the Lord, where it is required that Israel give thanks to the name of the Lord.”
God gave Israel three feasts to celebrate at the temple in Jerusalem. Thanksgiving was to be done in community.
In moments of intense feeling, people tend to congregate. The church is that place today for our deepest expressions of gratitude.
#votd #Psalms #thanksgiving