At the beginning of Romans, Paul says “I am not ashamed of the gospel …” He is not embarrassed about what he believes. He doesn’t feel guilty because he lives a different life to many around him. He’s not embarrassed that his friends are now fisherman and tentmakers. He is not reluctant to be humiliated and flogged.
Have you ever thought, “I wish I had a simple job description telling me exactly what God wants me to do?” I have! In this week’s Bible reading I came across what looks to me like a very simple, two-part job description from the Apostle Paul.
This week we have two stories involving Peter and Paul which although very different have a couple of common themes. We see Peter being told by the Holy Spirit to go to Cornelius despite his natural and cultural thinking having been different to this idea. Then we see Paul wanting to preach in Asia but was kept from doing so by the Holy Spirit and instead has a vision of the Macedonian man. In both, the gospel is preached to a new set of people and in both situations it was as a result of the apostles following the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Sometimes the distance from the pinnacle of victory to the valley of defeat can seem too short. We can experience triumph in an area and suddenly, a thunderstorm of contradictory circumstances to the truth of God’s Word is unleashed on us. What is the Bible answer to meeting the contradiction of the world? The company of fellow believers.
This week we read about Peter saying he will never reject Jesus, Peter rejecting Jesus, finally Peter giving the first public message after Jesus’ return.
God loves you so much He will seek after you when you are lost. There are no exceptions, no matter how far away you are from God, He loves you enough to come and find you. God loves you so much because you are special. God loves you so much that He responds with joy when He finds you!
How much do we really believe God’s Word? How much weight, value or honour do we give to what He says?
Many believers go through life feeling they never measure up to God’s expectations. That if they are honest, they have to admit they have been more naughty than nice when it comes to obeying God’s Word.
This week we finish reading John’s letter to the church, then read his personal letters to friends before beginning John’s prophetic book, Revelation. Each so different, yet each reflecting John’s desire to see God’s people continuing in the truth.
This week’s readings begin with the raising of Lazarus from the dead. Across the gospels there are only 3 accounts of Jesus raising someone from the dead