Sunday, April 20, 2014

Yes, He was born a babe, grew, lived and was crucified like a common criminal.  But unlike any other, He took to the cross the sin of all the world, nailed it with Himself to the cross and then ROSE FROM THE DEAD ALIVE FOREVERMORE!  His resurrection, when believed and received by us, raises us from DEAD in trespasses and sins and ALIVE ETERNALLY with Him!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Reputation vs TRUTH

Amazingly enough and although I’ve read the book of Acts numerous times, the other day while my husband read chapter 5 to me something I’d never noticed before captured my attention and demanded further investigation.

Read with me a little bit, and see if you catch it:

Acts 5: 17-29
17 Then the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with indignation, 18 and laid their hands on the apostles and put them in the common prison. 19 But at night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, 20 “Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life.”
21 And when they heard that, they entered the temple early in the morning and taught. But the high priest and those with him came and called the council together, with all the elders of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.
22 But when the officers came and did not find them in the prison, they returned and reported, 23 saying, “Indeed we found the prison shut securely, and the guards standing outside[a] before the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside!” 24 Now when the high priest,[b] the captain of the temple, and the chief priests heard these things, they wondered what the outcome would be. 25 So one came and told them, saying,[c] “Look, the men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!”
26 Then the captain went with the officers and brought them without violence, for they feared the people, lest they should be stoned. 27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them, 28 saying, “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!”
29 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. 31 Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”

Take another look, specifically at verse 28.

Now if I may ask you a question. 

IfRo you put men in prison and the next morning they weren’t in there despite the locked doors and guards, wouldn’t your first question be HOW DID YOU GET OUT OF PRISON?

The very fact they didn’t ask the question indicates to me they already knew the answer.  So they were asking the only question that mattered to them – WHY DID YOU THWART OUR AUTHORITY?

Their only true concern was what they saw as the diminishing of:

Their POWER: because they liked ruling it over others
Their POSITION: in the community which afforded them “special” treatment
Their PRESTIGE: recognized and respected by everyone as being ‘above’ and more important

When we go about our lives, what are our major concerns?  Are we focused on the integrity and purity of God’s word and our adherence to it?  In our churches, are our concerns about teaching and demonstrating Truth or have we been swayed into false concern over protecting our own “reputations”?

Asking the tough questions will help us not only to examine our own hearts, but to keep them right and in alignment with the will and purposes of the Lord.

It's far too easy to slip and fall into "worldly" thinking and actions, especially when so many actions of our churches are difficult to differentiate from actions in the world.

To experience transformation that pleases the Lord, we are NOT to conform to this world!
(Romans 12:2)

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