Daily Devotion

Daily Devotion.

I hope to encourage you every morning with insights from our reading plan. I pray that this is an encouragement to you. Please let me know what speaks to you today!

 

Read Acts 23

 

In Acts 23, we see a unique situation going on. Here we see the journey of Paul continuing his defense. Paul’s brought before the high priest, and the high priest orders him struck. Paul talks back to him without knowing who it is that he is speaking to. Paul is intelligent and quick on his feet. So he finds the point that will cause division and get the focus off of him. Though we learn that about 40 men had decided that they were going to kill Paul, they wanted him gone. But in chapter 23 is a verse that is easily skipped over in the midst of all of this.

 

11. The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.”

 

Paul is encouraged to take courage in the Lord. That his journey was not over yet, he still had work to do. He was going to tell more people about the facts of Christ. There are some things that you and I can take courage in.

 

1. Take Courage in the Lord. We find our courage in no one else. Consistently in the Psalms, we see the writers saying that the Lord is my refuge, or He is my rock, my defender. It is the Lord that fights our battles for us. Paul was given these two words that would have flooded his mind with these scriptures. Take courage. Amid this pandemic, take courage.

 

2. The Lord isn’t finished with you. Paul knew that he had a role to play, and God wasn’t finished with him. We don’t know when the Lord is going to call us home or return. What we can know is that as long as you are alive, He’s not finished with you yet. He is still working on you, molding you, shaping you, and calling you to be obedient to the mission of God.

 

​So friends, take courage and know that the Lord isn’t finished with you yet.

 

Pastor Aaron

Daily Devotion

Daily Devotion.

I hope to encourage you every morning with insights from our reading plan. I pray that this is an encouragement to you. Please let me know what speaks to you today!

 

Read Acts 22

In chapter 22 of the book of Acts we see a dialogue between Paul and the Jews that wanted to kill him. Paul had been falsely accused but was using this as an opportunity to share the Gospel to the people around him. From this chapter I drew out three big implications for us. I hope that you are encouraged to press forward.

 

1. Language Matters. When Paul was addressing the crowd, he was addressing Jews. In that time people spoke multiple languages. To be successful in trade they had to. But the language of the Jews was Hebrew. This was their heart language. Paul addressed them in their heart language. If you went with us to NYC then you know that we are surrounded by languages. While we speak English and you may want everyone to speak the same language, that doesn’t change someone’s heart language, their dream language. This is why we must learn how to share the Gospel in other tongues. To speak to someone on a deeper language. Paul knew what would get to their hearts. It was Greek, it was Hebrew.

 

2. Your Story Matters. Paul addressed the crowd by sharing his story. He shared with them how he was brought up under a famous Jewish rabbi. That he was formally trained to be a Pharisee and persecuted Christians. He knew where they were coming from. On his way to Damascus he saw a great light and heard a great voice. Then he was led to Damascus where he met Ananias who shared the Gospel with him. Paul trusted in Christ and began to share the Gospel with others. He had been changed. If you are a believer in Christ, you have a story to tell. Who you were before Christ, how you met Christ, and what He is doing through you now. I challenge you to share that story with others.

 

3. Your Cultural Understading Matters. Once they heard that Paul was to share with the Gentiles that sent them over the edge. They were ready to kill him. The Roman Tribune sought to examine him and find out who he was by flogging him, to beat the truth out of him. Paul knew that they could do that to anyone they wanted, except a Roman citizen. Roman citizen carried with it rights that others did not have. To claim to be a Roman citizen and not be was punishable by death. Paul was a Roman citizen and knew that he could not be beated without a trial. Cultures are different. In America you have rights. You also are innocent until proven guilty. As our culture continues to go secular, it is wise to know and understand our laws. To know what is appropriate and what is not. You may think this is crazy, but we have been warned in scripture, persecution will come.

 

I pray that as you look to God’s Word you find peace. You know that our God is a God of order. God wants us to use wisdom in our everyday. God wants us to tell others of the great hope that we have. Again, let me know how God spoke to you in this chapter. What insights did you get?

 

Pastor Aaron

Daily Devotion

Daily Devotion.

My hope is to encourage you every morning with insights from our reading plan. I pray that this is an encouragement to you. Please let me know what speaks to you today!

 

Read Acts 21

 

In Acts 21 Paul is bound and determined to go to Jerusalem. In Jerusalem, he knows that he is going to face great persecution. He knew that everywhere he went, imprisonment, beatings, and even death faced him. This did not stop him from proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He faced everything with great confidence in Christ. In this chapter, there are a few things that I want to point out and implications for us today.

 

1. Persecution will come. Paul knew that no matter where he went, he was going to face persecution. This was something that was told to him when he became a believer. He knew that he was going to suffer for the sake of the Gospel. In many churches across America, they’ve been taught that if they trust in Jesus that everything will be wonderful. If they trust in Jesus he will make them healthy and wealthy. This is simply not the same Jesus of the Bible. Jesus said that if they hated me, they will hate you. Any Christian that seeks to make the name of Christ known, a true Christian, will be persecuted. We see this also at the end of this chapter when Paul is falsely accused.

 

2. Share stories of God’s Work. This is something that I don’t think that we do enough, I know I don’t. I’ve always been taught that you don’t brag. Paul went to the elders of the church in Jerusalem and bragged on what God had done. That God was to receive the glory, not Paul. As Christians, we need to celebrate the work of God. No matter if it is in our church or the church down the road or across the world, we need to celebrate. God is still working, He is still changing lives. Celebrate that fact!

 

3. Abstain from sin. Earlier in the book of Acts the Jerusalem council sent a letter on what the Gentiles were to do. A debate had broken out that Gentile believers needed to be circumcised to become a Christian. They debated and came to the conclusion that they didn’t have to be. They said that they should abstain from food sacrificed from idols, blood, strangled, and sexual immorality. Today the plea to abstain from sin is still present. As believers, our desire should be to live a holy life. A life that is pleasing unto the Lord. We should always evaluate our hearts and repent of sinfulness.

 

There is so much more that we could dive into this chapter. My hope was not to give you a commentary on this, rather encourage you to dive into God’s Word and find truths that speak to you who God is, what He’s calling you to do, and how you can please Him. Please continue to lift up Pastor Jamie from New Beginnings church in Brooklyn NY in prayer. He is truly in the epicenter of this pandemic. Losing friends to this awful virus. Please pray.

 

Pastor Aaron

Day 40

40 Days of Prayer.

I am so thankful that you have chosen to join us on this journey. Over the next 40 days, we are going to be looking at God’s Word and letting it guide our prayer. We believe that God has big things in store for SBC. God is going to use these next 40 days to challenge us and leads us to be a more faithful church. I hope that you will be prayerful and pray for big things!

 

Read: Acts 17

 

Today is the final day of our 40 days of prayer campaign. I would say from the start that this does not mean that you should stop praying for your lost sheep. Today is a unique day. We could not have predicted the type of circumstances in which we now live. No one would have known that the Saturday before Easter would look like this. Normally every pastor would be excited with anticipation of who he would see the next morning. Rather we are excited to celebrate the resurrection but somber that we do it with empty buildings. It makes us long all the more for the day we can unite.

 

I want you to think about that sadness and loneliness that we feel without one another on Easter Sunday. Imagine what this Saturday would have felt like to the disciples. The ones that had followed Him, given everything in service to Him, and now He is in a tomb. Jesus’ mother and friends are weeping. They do not realize what it is that Jesus has accomplished and is accomplishing on their behalf. Rather, they are in fear. They are living in uncertainty. We too might be in fear and uncertainty. But we have hope! We have hope because we know that Sunday is coming! Jesus is alive again, He is ruling at the right hand of the throne. We can celebrate and take comfort that Jesus is King.

 

Will you close this time of 40 days of prayer by praising Jesus. Praise Him for what He accomplished. Praise Him for His love for you. Praise Him for allowing us to celebrate!

 

Aaron

Day 40

40 Days of Prayer.

I am so thankful that you have chosen to join us on this journey. Over the next 40 days, we are going to be looking at God’s Word and letting it guide our prayer. We believe that God has big things in store for SBC. God is going to use these next 40 days to challenge us and leads us to be a more faithful church. I hope that you will be prayerful and pray for big things!

 

Read: Acts 17

 

Today is the final day of our 40 days of prayer campaign. I would say from the start that this does not mean that you should stop praying for your lost sheep. Today is a unique day. We could not have predicted the type of circumstances in which we now live. No one would have known that the Saturday before Easter would look like this. Normally every pastor would be excited with anticipation of who he would see the next morning. Rather we are excited to celebrate the resurrection but somber that we do it with empty buildings. It makes us long all the more for the day we can unite.

 

I want you to think about that sadness and loneliness that we feel without one another on Easter Sunday. Imagine what this Saturday would have felt like to the disciples. The ones that had followed Him, given everything in service to Him, and now He is in a tomb. Jesus’ mother and friends are weeping. They do not realize what it is that Jesus has accomplished and is accomplishing on their behalf. Rather, they are in fear. They are living in uncertainty. We too might be in fear and uncertainty. But we have hope! We have hope because we know that Sunday is coming! Jesus is alive again, He is ruling at the right hand of the throne. We can celebrate and take comfort that Jesus is King.

 

Will you close this time of 40 days of prayer by praising Jesus. Praise Him for what He accomplished. Praise Him for His love for you. Praise Him for allowing us to celebrate!

 

Aaron

Day 39

40 Days of Prayer.

I am so thankful that you have chosen to join us on this journey. Over the next 40 days we are going to be looking at God’s Word and letting it guide our prayer. We believe that God has big things in store for SBC. God is going to use these next 40 days to challenge us and lead us to be a more faithful church. I hope that you will be prayerful and pray for big things!

Read: Acts 16

Today is Good Friday. Today we look to the cross of Christ. Though it is a time of mourning, that the worst thing happened to the best man, it is a time for us to be thankful. The cross of Christ represents so much more than simply Jesus death. I want to help you see a few things that the cross represents. I want you to see that the cross is so much more than Jesus death, but Jesus doing much more.

1. Perfect Obedience. Jesus ultimate mission was to do the work of His Father. John 6:38 “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.” The cross was Christ living out the mission that He was called to live out. The cross was the final step of His perfect obedience to God.

2. Absorb the wrath of God. When we think of the cross we often like to think of forgiveness of sins. The truth of the matter is that your sins are not simply forgiven, they are paid for. Because of our rebellion against God we deserve death, we deserve the wrath of God, but the cross of Christ is Jesus taking that wrath upon Himself. Romans 3:25 “whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.”

3. To Give Eternal Life. You know that famous passage in the Gospel of John. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” That is what the cross accomplishes for you and me. That we are given eternal life. That life doesn’t start after your death, that life is yours  already for those who trust in Christ.

Let us not simply look over this wonderful day. The day that the curtain was torn. The day that Christ gave His life as a ransom for many. Won’t you join me in praising Him for your salvation?

Aaron

Day 38

40 Days of Prayer.

I am so thankful that you have chosen to join us on this journey. Over the next 40 days we are going to be looking at God’s Word and letting it guide our prayer. We believe that God has big things in store for SBC. God is going to use these next 40 days to challenge us and lead us to be a more faithful church. I hope that you will be prayerful and pray for big things!

Read: Acts 15

Acts 15 is a truly remarkable passage. In this chapter we see the reality of salvation being available to the Gentiles coming to the Jews. There are many that have been teaching that in order to trust in Christ they must first enter into the circumcision of Moses. That in order to become a Christian you must become a Jew first. But now the Jews are seeing that Gentiles are receiving the same Holy Spirit that they had. For them this is baffling. Many still followed much of the same Jewish traditions that they always had. Now they were coming to realize that they were set free from tradition. They were coming to the realization is Christ alone.

For us today we can take hope and joy in the fact that Christ has made a way for us. We are about to celebrate Good Friday and Easter. Good Friday being that day that Christ took our sin upon Himself. That wonderful day that He became our ransom. He died for us. Then on Sunday Christ rose from the grave. Sunday Jesus conquered sin and death! What a wonderful day! I am so excited to celebrate Easter this year, though it will look different and feel different, the truth is still true! Jesus is alive, amen!

Take time today to be thankful. Take time to praise Him for salvation.

Aaron

Day 37

40 Days of Prayer.

I am so thankful that you have chosen to join us on this journey. Over the next 40 days we are going to be looking at God’s Word and letting it guide our prayer. We believe that God has big things in store for SBC. God is going to use these next 40 days to challenge us and lead us to be a more faithful church. I hope that you will be prayerful and pray for big things!

Read: Acts 14

First I want to thank you for your faithfulness to SBC. Although we are apart we continue to be faithful in our love for one another, our worship of the risen King, and giving to your local congregation. Remember you can give through our website at sbcky.org/give or mail your offering to P.O. Box 286 Springfield KY 40069. I pray that we are able to gather soon.

In Acts 14 there is a lot of unique things going on. One being a man that was unable to walk from birth is healed. When Paul and Barnabas perform the miracles they do the people seek to worship them. They begin to make sacrifices to them. This of course upsets Paul and Barnabas as they explain that they are merely men. When I read this it reveals to me the longing of the human heart. Our hearts are always inclined to worship. It is never an issue of “if we worship”, rather “whom we worship.” We see in the book of Romans that Paul says that they have exchanged the truth for a lie. This is what is happening in Acts 14. This is what happens in our world today. This is what happens in our own hearts. We all have the same sin struggle, the struggle of idolatry. It may be that your idol is money, sex, someone or self. We often turn to our false gods and worship creation over the creator. This is where we must constantly remind ourselves and repent. There is only one true God and He does not share His glory.

Where does your heart often turn? Look at times of hardship, look at times of blessing? Where does your worship go?

Aaron

Day 36

40 Days of Prayer.

I am so thankful that you have chosen to join us on this journey. Over the next 40 days we are going to be looking at God’s Word and letting it guide our prayer. We believe that God has big things in store for SBC. God is going to use these next 40 days to challenge us and lead us to be a more faithful church. I hope that you will be prayerful and pray for big things!

Read: Acts 13

In chapter 13 we see Paul and Barnabas sent out to do missionary work. They travel and seek to share the Gospel to people who haven’t heard yet. They would go to different places and begin to speak this great truth. We see that many opposed them and many were wanting to hear more about this truth. I love the confidence that Paul and Barnabas show in sharing the Gospel. They proclaimed the truth that they believed with their entire heart. There is a verse in this chapter that stuck out to me that I pray would challenge you.

Acts 13:34 “And as for the fact that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken in this way, I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.”

Did you catch that? For the fact that He raised Him from the dead. Paul spoke with authority that this is true and no doubt. He lived as if He believed that Jesus really did come out of the grave. This week is Holy Week. This week we celebrate Good Friday, the day that Jesus died, and then on Sunday we celebrate the resurrection of Christ. This is not merely ceremony to us. We celebrate a fact. We celebrate that Jesus Christ was really dead, was really buried, then three days later was really resurrected. Do you live with this confidence? Do you pray with this confidence? I pray that you and I will live with this confidence. We will take assurance in the fact that Jesus is alive!

Aaron

Day 35

40 Days of Prayer.

I am so thankful that you have chosen to join us on this journey. Over the next 40 days we are going to be looking at God’s Word and letting it guide our prayer. We believe that God has big things in store for SBC. God is going to use these next 40 days to challenge us and lead us to be a more faithful church. I hope that you will be prayerful and pray for big things!

Read: Acts 12

Acts 12 shows us the death of James and the arrest of Peter. Both of these men were sharing the good news of Jesus Christ publicly. People were hearing that Jesus is the only way, the only truth, and the only life. When Herod had enough and killed James he saw that it pleased others for him to do so. So he sought to do the same thing to Peter. What I want us to look at and examine is actually not the miracle of Peter being released from prison, but the death of Herod.

Acts 12:22-23 “And the people were shouting, “The voice of a god, and not of a man!” Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last.”

In this we see that someone sought to take the glory of God for themselves. He made himself to be a god. We see acts like this and we think how crazy they are for acting like that, but I want to give us a word of warning here. We too take God’s glory for ourselves. We often put ourselves as the god of our own hearts. We make ourselves to be our own god! That is why Herod was killed, we do the same! This is why our prayer must include confession  and repentance. Repentance is taking ourselves off the throne of our hearts and giving it back to God! Are you repentant? Do you give glory to God!

Aaron