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Posts Tagged ‘the Lord’

Verses 29-31: “For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.”

“The concept behind Airwolf was a supersonic armed helicopter that could be disguised as a civilian vehicle — “a wolf in sheep’s clothing”. Andrew Probert designed the Airwolf uniform insignia patch worn by the flight crew members, a snarling bat-winged wolf’s head wearing a sheepskin.” This statement is taken from the Wikipedia page on the TV series Airwolf (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airwolf). On the TV show, the Airwolf super-copter looked like civilian aircraft, but it was nothing of the sort. Armed with offensive and defensive weaponry, incredible speed and maneuverability, Airwolf was more than a match for anything in the air. Part of its attack capability was the look of it; it didn’t look threatening (well, not with its weapons systems housed), thus it could blend in and attack with devastating effectiveness.

Paul spoke of equal ferocity of attack against the church, both within and without. He spoke of those who would attack the church like “savage wolves” trying to tear down what the Lord had built up through the apostle. He also spoke of men from within “will rise up, speaking perverse things”. You would have to be an isolated hermit not to see how pervasive perversion has infiltrated our media and communications nowadays in this century. You can’t even turn on any telecommunications device without being almost bombarded by it.

The apostle gave two commands: watch and remember. The church’s work on earth is not done; I’d almost scarce say it’s only begun, and time grows short.

Something to think about.

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Verses 14-15: “Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple form the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us.”

A study in contrast here. According to the Holman New Testament Commentary on Acts, page 271, “the first convert in Europe was a Jewish worshiper of God, a Gentile who worshiped with the Jewish women by the river. Lydia was not only a Gentile and a proselyte, but also a businesswoman.” Lydia was a seller of purple. My footnotes in my Holman Bible state that royal purple cloth had important uses in the Roman Empire, and she was probably a prominent woman in the society there. She worshiped with the Jewish women there, and God opened her heart to the Gospel through the words Paul spoke. After she and her household were baptized, she invited the missionaries to stay at her house. Through all of what I’ve read and learned, I’m struck by Lydia’s quiet, sincere, and humble conversion. We know from later Scripture that she played a role in supporting Paul’s mission through the Philippian church.

Now, I said contrast to start this devotion. In the next few verses, we also see a “certain slave girl with a spirit of divination”. She, too, recognized Paul and his group as “servants of the Most High God.” However, it was not her saying this, but that demon possessing her (remember, even the demons knew who Jesus was, and they trembled). Paul cast out that spirit, not wanting the distraction probably. We’ll see the consequences of this in the next devotion.

Two women: one who was sincere and earnest in coming to know God, and one who was nothing more than a pawn of a demon possession and used by her masters to make them money. We live in a society today where “out loud and proud” seems to clamor for attention. But don’t let all the shouting and ruckus distract you from what you should hear…the gospel of Christ.

Have a blessed day in the Lord!

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Verse 23: “And being let go, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them.”

“So….what did they say???”

How many times have we asked that of friends who were involved in secret conferences? How many times have we wondered what was discussed behind closed doors? We are so anxious to be “in the know” that we can’t wait for someone to fill us in on what transpired. I was reminded of this recently, seeing a “late breaking news” blurb on sports TV regarding a press conference that New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was going to have after he met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell concerning the recently released findings of the “Deflategate” incident involving the Patriots’ quarterback, Tom Brady, and under-inflated footballs used in a playoff game last year. Given that Kraft was very defiant in his public and private protestations over the report’s findings, I was amazed to hear him accept the team’s penalties so that most all involved could move past this issue and get on with the NFL’s business.

Certainly, Peter’s and John’s Christian companions had heard the news of their being arrested and brought before the authorities. What was going to happen? As the Scripture states, they went straight to their companions after being released and told them all that had transpired. According to footnotes in 2 different Bibles I own, the followers realized that they were beginning to see the fulfilling of the prophecy found in Psalms 2: 1 and 2 (used in Acts 4:25-26): “Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed…” The people marveled, they rejoiced, they praised God thanking Him for deliverance, and prayed all the more.

In both circumstances, the groups of people were surprised to hear news that they had not expected. And, you know what else? In both circumstances, God already knew what would happen. Of course, in the latter story, He had already sent word to His servant David in the Psalms concerning it. Talk about being “in the know”.

Something to think about.

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Verses 2-4: “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

Consider these following personal memories:
• On a high school band trip to Universal Studios Florida theme park, my family attended the Twister Ride It Out© special effects show. The highlight of the show was a Hollywood-style simulation of a tornado on a mock sound stage of a country street. Talk about intense! Even though we were safely behind the guard rail to watch it, we could still feel the wind and the rain and all the noise, as close as we could be to being in an actual tornado. It scared my youngest son so bad, he actually was crying even though he knew it was make-believe.
• My favorite Saturday morning show in the 1970’s was the live-action Shazam TV show. Even though special effects were limited in the 70’s, I always love the way that Billy Batson transformed into Captain Marvel by saying “Shazam!” A lightning bolt would plunge out of the dark sky, strike Billy on the head, surrounding him with glistening energy, and he would “morph” into the adult form of Captain Marvel, as the energy would then collapse into the lightning bolt insignia on the front of his uniform, all while you saw a shifting, cloudy background (the background was more than likely some form of lava lamp, but still it was great!)
• Years later, on a business trip to Los Angeles, I had a short stopover in Las Vegas. I was amazed as we picked up a good many passengers, most of them tourists from outside the United States. The inside of the cabin was literally a cacophony of Spanish, German, French, Italian, and other languages I couldn’t even recognize. The stewardess told me later that Las Vegas was a big vacation spot for many foreign tourists.

Now, those memories came to mind, when I read the supernatural events of the coming of the Holy Spirit to the disciples. A mighty wind, but inside the house. Tongues of fire that settled on each head of those gathered there. The supernatural sound of different languages being spoken, all proclaiming the Lord! I can only imagine what it was like; we tend to do that when we hear of incredible events such as these. We try to picture with what we know, of something that happened of which we were not present. But the disciples were there…and what a start for the Christian church at Pentecost!

Something to think about.

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