Let Him In!

Today’s reading is Psalm 24.

Those final verses of Psalm 24 are a conversation between the gates of the temple and the triumphal procession of Yahweh. The temple was charged to open wide its gates and its doors to allow the King of glory entrance. But this should give us pause for a moment. Where is that temple? Can this song be sung today? That temple has been shaken out of the way so what cannot be shaken could remain. The kingdom that cannot be shaken remains. And so does the temple that cannot be shaken. What temple is that? That, my brothers and sisters, is us. We are that temple. According to Ephesians 2:19-22, we the believers in Jesus Christ, whether from among the Jews or from among the Gentiles, are the temple of the Lord. We learned yesterday of Israel’s great failure. We must not also fail. We are to be the dwelling place of the King of glory. He should dwell in our hearts. He should dwell in our churches. He should dwell in His church. We must lift up our heads, open our hearts and our minds to give Him entrance. We must open our lives to give Him free reign. He is the King of glory. He is mighty in battle. And when we give Him entrance, He will fight on our behalf and we will be victorious. God be praised! Our King is great! Let Him in !

Next week’s reading is Psalm 25.

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We Need More than Pauls

Today’s reading is Acts 20.

Sopater, Aristarchus, Secundus, Gaius, Timothy, Tychicus, and Trophimus. That is a troupe of workers going along with Paul. In fact, it is a list of people we don’t know all that well with names we may find hard to pronounce. How many times have you come to a list like this and just skipped them. I mean, okay some guys went with Paul and did some things, but let’s get back to the action. Let’s get back to Paul. He’s the main guy, right? Wrong. The main guy is Jesus. Paul is just a servant who is working as Jesus gives him opportunity. Sure, he takes a leadership role in the last half of Acts, but he isn’t the only person Jesus is using. These fellows are important. Without them, Paul couldn’t do what he is doing. Without them, Paul’s work couldn’t continue on after he left a region or especially after he died. Sure, we need Christians like Paul. We need leaders, drivers, movers, and shakers. But we need more than that. We also need the Sopaters, Aristarchuses, Secunduses and on down the line. Maybe you’re a Paul. That’s awesome. Maybe you aren’t. That is just as awesome. We need more than just Pauls. We need you active in the kingdom. Go do what you can do in the kingdom today. We need it.

Tomorrow’s reading is Acts 20.

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Focus on God, Not Men

Today’s reading is Acts 7.

Back in Acts 6, the Jews had accused Stephen of speaking blasphemous words against Moses. They essentially equated that with speaking blasphemy against God. On the one hand, Stephen hadn’t spoken anything against Moses. However, on the other, he had made and will make one really strong point. The Jews were putting too much emphasis on Moses and not enough emphasis on the God who used Moses. Stephen proves his point by weaving together several stories. What do they all have in common? The focus was not supposed to be on the man God used, but on the God who used the man. Stephen points out that Moses was not the only man God ever used. There was Abraham, Joseph, Joshua, David, Solomon. The consistent point in the stories of all these men was God, not the men themselves. Stephen, of course, was not saying that these men should not be remembered with honor for their part in God’s plan. He was saying, however, that the important part was God, not the particular man. Therefore, don’t get fixated on a particular person. Stay focused on God. And with that in mind, how shocking is it at all that God had raised up another man and used another man to be the redeemer and ruler of His people? That man is Jesus. Of course, the difference there is Jesus is not just a man, He is the God upon whom we should focus. Let’s stick with God. Let’s stick with Jesus no matter what.

Today’s reading is Acts 7.

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The Hand of the Lord

Today’s reading is Acts 11.

Why did a great many believe and turn to the Lord in Antioch? Because the hand of the Lord was with them. If we want a great many to believe and turn to the Lord today, what do we need? The hand of the Lord to be with us. Yes, we need plans for sharing the gospel, but apart from the Lord’s hand, our plans are useless. I’ve recently become aware that the two counties my home congregation draws from have together over 1 million people who claim to be nothing religiously. That represents two-thirds of those counties. Two out of every three people I meet where I live claim to be nothing religiously. What a field for harvest! But what good will we do among that number (or among the numbers of people who claim religion, but a false one) without the Lord’s hand? Let’s spend time today praying for the Lord’s hand to be with us.

Monday’s reading is Acts 12.

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