Where is your heart at? Where are you in your process? Are you moving into place?
Are you a conduit for blessings? Will you allow blessings to work through you? Will you bless others? Will you be a blessing to the people around you?
Ever heard the saying “If God can get it through you then He will get it to you”?
Will you share the Good News of Jesus to the people around you? Will you allow the Holy Spirit to speak through you that others may turn to Jesus and be saved?
Will you be an ambassador of peace and hope? Will you allow God to use you to bring healing into the lives of the people around you? Healing of body? Healing of mind? Healing of relationships?
Realize that God is never late, rarely early, and usually right on time to meet the needs of our lives. Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord! You facing a tough situation? Call on Jesus! Talk to Him about your situation and your feelings! Listen and be obedient to His reply! Take time to read His Word! Take time to wait and listen for that still quiet voice! Worry changes nothing, but prayer changes everything!
Do be closed fisted or closed mind. Be open handed so that God’s blessings can come in and out of your hands. Closed fist not only lets you keep that little you received it keeps you from getting any more in the future!
Three Things God Wants to Give You — Day 177: Bible In One Year 2017
Devotional, Psalm 78:9-16, Acts 17:1-21, 1 Kings 16:8-34, 1 Kings 17, 1 Kings 18:1-15
Continual guidance … Psalm 78:9-16
God will give you all the guidance you need. As the psalmist continues to recount the history of the people of God, he recalls how, ‘He guided them with the cloud by day and with light from the fire all night’ (v.14). In other words, he guided them continually.
You, who have the Holy Spirit dwelling within you, should expect no less. You are ‘led by the Spirit of God’ (Romans 8:14). The Holy Spirit will provide you with all the guidance you need.
God will also satisfy your spiritual thirst: ‘He split the rocks in the desert and gave them water as abundant as the seas; he brought streams out of a rocky crag and made water flow down like rivers’ (Psalm 78:15–16). Jesus promises you that, through the Holy Spirit, streams of living water will flow from within you (John 7:38).
–from Day 177: Bible In One Year 2017
Good news … Acts 17:1-21
In a world that desperately needs good news, God has provided you with a message of good news. The word ‘gospel’ means ‘good news’. The good news is ‘about Jesus and the resurrection’ (v.18). All you need is in Jesus. It is all about Jesus.
Every time you give your testimony or speak about your faith in other ways, ask yourself, ‘Is it good news?’ Every time we preach it should be good news; otherwise it is not the gospel. Your message should always be good news because it is about Jesus, his death and resurrection.
God will provide you with the appropriate words for every occasion. Your words are powerful and life-changing. The good news of Jesus is dynamically relevant to all generations, cultures and situations. People’s needs are always the same. The message of the gospel is always the same.
Explain the good news
When Paul went into the synagogue in Thessalonica, he ‘reasoned with them from Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ,” he said’ (vv.2–3). His careful explanation of the gospel resulted in a number of people being ‘persuaded’ (v.4).
The fact that your message comes from God does not stop you receiving unfounded criticism. Paul’s success led to jealousy (v.5). Interestingly, he was perceived already as having a global impact: ‘These men who have caused trouble all over the world [the whole ‘known world’] have now come here’ (v.6b).
Study the good news
God gave Paul and Silas the appropriate words for the Bereans. They responded well to what they heard. They received the message with ‘great eagerness’ and then ‘examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true’ (v.11). Once again, the message bore fruit and a number ‘believed’ (v.12). I would encourage you too to set aside a regular time to study the Scriptures every day.
Once again, Paul and Silas’ success led to opposition. Some began ‘agitating the crowds and stirring them up’ (v.13). Do not be surprised if you find agitators and stirrers today.
Reason the good news
Paul moved on to Athens. The Athenians ‘spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas’ (v.21). They were more interested in what was new than what was true.
Again, God provided Paul with the appropriate message for the Athenians. He ‘reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the market-place day by day’ (v.17). These were two entirely different audiences.
Speaking to the first audience would have been like preaching in a church. Speaking in a market place would have been more like speaking in the workplace. But, at its heart, Paul’s message seems to have been exactly the same – ‘preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection’(v.18).
–from Day 177: Bible In One Year 2017
Material needs … 1 Kings 16:8-34, 1 Kings 17, 1 Kings 18:1-15
Jesus taught us to pray, ‘Give us this day our daily bread’ (Matthew 6:11; Luke 11:3). Look to God to provide for your daily needs. He will not necessarily give you all you want, but pray that he will provide you with all you need.
In a society that continued to sin and split into factions (1 Kings 16:8–34), God raised up a prophet who spoke with authority and power.
The New Testament tells us that Elijah was a human being ‘just as we are’ (James 5:17a). And yet, ‘He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops’ (vv.17b–18).
Elijah’s prayer resulted in problems for Elijah himself. However, God provided for all his material needs. Initially, ‘The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook’ (1 Kings 17:6). God can be very creative in providing for you. Your part is to obey him and then trust that he will provide for all your needs.
When the brook dried up (v.7), the Lord said to him, ‘Go at once to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have commanded a widow in that place to supply you with food’ (v.9). When one door closes (the brook dried up), it is usually because God is about to open another door in your life. He was relocating Elijah so that he could be the answer to someone else’s prayer and need for provision.
The widow was put to the test. Elijah asks for food. She tells him that she and her son were about to eat their last meal and then die. Elijah promises that if she is generous with what she has, God will provide for all her needs. He says to her, ‘The jar of flour will not run out and the bottle of oil will not become empty before God sends rain on the land and ends this drought’ (v.14, MSG).
The widow did exactly as Elijah asked. And it turned out exactly as he said (vv.15–16). The woman showed great faith. She was prepared to give all she had. She risked everything. And God supplied all her needs. They had enough, but never a surplus. They remained utterly dependent upon God to provide their daily needs. If you obey God and give generously, you will discover that you cannot out-give God. God will do amazing things for you and through you.
This does not mean life will be easy. In spite of her faith she faced further battles. Her son became ill and finally stopped breathing (v.17). Elijah exercised huge faith when he cried out to the Lord for the boy who had died (v.20). ‘The Lord heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him’ (v.22).
How amazing for Elijah to be able to pick him up, carry him down from the room into the house and give him to his mother saying, ‘Look, your son is alive!’ (v.23).
–from Day 177: Bible In One Year 2017