24 Jul 2016
July 24, 2016
Murderous Mobs, Yet Miracles Abound
Acts 14: 19 - 20
Now some Jews arrived from Antioch and Iconium and turned the crowds into a murderous mob. They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, apparently dead. But as the believers stood around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he left with Barnabas for Derbe.
This is being written in the midst of political presidential conventions in the USA. Also in the midst of a very dark summer in the world where people feel compelled to kill and hurt others because they believe they can, or have a right. It's all just the saddest thing. That others can just have an emotion and believe they have the right to destroy another's life because they believe they are right in their feelings, despite there being no basis in fact. No jurisprudence allowed. No procedural law followed. Demogogues, terriorist attitudes expressed in terrorism with violence.
Demagogue: a person who gains power and popularity by arousing the emotions, passions & prejudices of the people; a leader who tries to get suppport by making false claims & promisies & using arguments based on emotion rather than reason.
Terrorist: one who threatens or uses the threat of violence, especially against civilians, in the pursuilt of political goals
Terrorism: the use of violence and threats to intimidate.
Violence: any abusive, voilent, coercive, forceful, or threatening act or word inflicted by one on another; also a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another.
In todays lesson, people were turned into a murderous mob by a select faction of few choosing terrorism, believing themselves to be demagogues, and unleashing violence against two of Jesus' followers who were preaching what became the New Testament - the new law - the Good News. The Good News.....a new way of life, of love, peace, and salvation, if...IF....you believe in God and obey him, accept Jesus as your Savior and make him Lord of your life, and are baptized by the Holy Spirit.
This small terrorist faction, which was not representative of all Jews or even many Jews, stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, believing him dead. Then we learn, as the believers stood around him - guessing they were praying - Paul got up and went back into the city!
Luke tells us the terrorists left Paul 'apparently' dead. DEAD as in DEAD!
Remember when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead? Remember when he said we should do as he had done, and more?
Hmmm. The believers believed for Paul's rise to life. They prayed to God 'apparently'. Luke said they "stood around" Paul. It doesn't say they laid hands on him, or even told him to get up and walk. They may have only believed and not prayed. But it worked, whatever they did. Paul was raised from apparent death, and he got up the next day and left with Barnabas for Derbe.
He didn't get on that jet plane, he didn't ride the train, he didn't take a taxi. He would have rode or walked, perhaps carted. But he lived! He was raised to a new life! And he continued to carry on and go forth.
Do you believe? Will you carry on and go forth?
Allow, accept, embrace, believe in, receive, and be grateful for the miracles in your life today and everyday. You CAN be victorious in Christ Jesus! Rejoice!
AFTER NOTE: Regarding the U.S. Presidential election: At the near death of democracy as we've known it, BELIEVE that America will rise again.
12/22/16 12:17 a.m. - As I finally input this 'Thought' today, despite the unofficial outcome of the Electoral College voting, I am going to continue to believe that somehow, some way, Donald Trump (demagogue, terrorist - based on definition) will be dethroned, the American peoples' voices will be heard and counted for Hillary Rodham Clinton to be sworn in as the next President of the United States of America. (Like Paul got up and went back into the city.) We learn through Holy Scripture that if we have faith as small as a mustard seed, we can move mountains. By golly, this a mountain. We need to come together as Christians in America and believe for Donald to be dethroned, and HIllary to somehow become President for everyone's safety in the world....a mountain to be sure at this point. Pray, family in Christ, or just believe, but please, just do it. See the next 'Thoughts' for more on this.
Let Us Pray
Father God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, I have to ask your forgiveness first and foremost for not being timely, for letting Satan cause me at times to be downtrodden, for not fighting through to insure my computer is functional instead of giving up, not being there for you and the people in the world who need your Word and your suppport, and the lack of being heard through me, as you've called me to be a vessel for you. Please forgive me. Satan is a formidable foe. I ask your forgiveness, so that I am a cleansed vessel by which you can continue to use, and to insure you hear my prayers, for you, for myself, my family, and all in the world. Please hear my prayers now. I beg of you to create a miracle, any way you choose, to dethrone Donald Trump and place Hillary Clinton in the White House as the next President of the United States of America. The world needs this for security, safety. Please. I also ask that you would heal myself and my family members who are ill, or ailing. They need your love and healing touch desperately. So do I. I need more wisdom, too. Knowledge I've got, but there are days I lack wisdom. And friends. As you know, it's lonely on the path. Father God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, I am grateful for your love, your support, your friendship. I am so grateful for all you are, who you've been to me and my family, all you've given us, the miles and miles of carrying us. Thank you. Help me lessen your load by showing me what steps to take and when. I usually know the steps, I cannot seem to get them in sequential order....or timely. I know that is true of many, that I am not alone. And I am so grateful to know you are there to guide, lead, direct me and all others in the world, if they would only ask. I love you. I may not show I love you enough, and for that I must ask forgiveness, also. Please forgive me my complacency. It is the worst fence sitting I, or anyone, can do. We are to not be on the fence, lukewarm. We must be on fire for you. Increase my zeal. Thank you. Please continue to convict all Christians who may have gone against any of your Word in the political arena in America and elsewhere in the world. I will not ask forgiveness for those who have sinned in this area because they DO know what they've done. May the havoc that they've unleashed not harm those of us who have fought against it....and prayed earnestly. Heal America. Rain down your healing rain. Raise us to new heights of glory....safely....that we may have many more years of life to share who you are, that you are, and how wonderful you are, so few will be lost. Thank you! I love you! I praise you! Amen.
Grateful for God's lesson today?
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Let us hear from Paul as he prays:
When I think of the wisdom and scope of God's plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope. May he be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages. Amen. Ephesians 3:14-21 NLT
Scroll down to read Jesus' Prayer of Thanksgiving...'The Unforced Rhythms of Grace'.
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One last thing....
Jesus' Prayer of Thanksgiving
'The Unforced Rhythms of Grace'
"Abruptly Jesus broke into prayer: "Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. You've concealed your ways from sophisticates and know-it-alls, but spelled them out clearly to ordinary people. Yes, Father, that's the way you like to work."
Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly. "The Father has given me all these things to do and say. This is a unique Father - Son operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies and knowledge. No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does. But I'm not keeping it to myself; I'm ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen."
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn how to live freely and lightly.
Matthew 11: 25-30
And the people said,
I now write most prayers in the position of ' I ' (first person) because most people are sitting at their computer alone, not in groups, and it allows those reading and praying to personalize the prayer as coming from them going to God. Variations may appear on holidays when families may wish to use the prayer provided. I encourage you to pray your own prayers as well.
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
NOTE: I said it long ago, but let me say it again. If you are wanting to lead a group, start a church, or are confined in an institution, or live in a country where the Gospel is not preached, and you don't know what to say or how to say it, and yet feel led to share, teach, or preach, besides just reading straight out of the Bible and sharing what God puts on your heart, please feel free to share any or all of what I've written, if it will help you, as long as you include where it comes from, due to copyright laws. Jesus gave God's love and healing freely, as well as his message. Our responsibility is to get the Word out to those who need to hear it. If what I've written....by the power and direction of the Holy Spirit....or what he has said through me....has helped you, it may help others that you know. You are welcome to share it. God calls all of us to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the world. Please share it with the fullness of love that God, Jesus, Holy Spirit....and I....have given it. Amen!
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