There are times when our circumstances might seem awful. But God may very well be working out a plan. If we are seeking and following Him, then we can know for certain that everything that happens to us, even things that might seem dreadful at first, God is actually allowing or causing as part of His perfect plan for us.Read more →
The very same Holy Spirit that led Paul and Timothy can guide us today if we listen. We learn to listen just as the first Christians learned… by seeking God (1) through prayer, (2) in the Scriptures, and by (3) having a pure heart that loves God and is surrendered to His plan. All three of these are important for the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
Scripture forms the foundation to understanding how God works. Prayer is personally interacting with the Holy Spirit. The state of your heart is the most important of the three. All the prayer and Scripture in the world will not help us discern God’s leading if we do not love God and willingly submit to His authority.
It didn’t take long for dissent to well up within the early Christian church. First there was a dispute about whether or not Gentile Christians should be circumcised. Then Paul and Barnabas disagreed about another disciple and “the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another.” (v.39) This story makes me sad. But I’m not surprised. God is true and perfect, but He works through us messy humans. There will always be imperfections in the church as long as humans are involved… all the more reason to keep our eyes on Christ and not on each other.Read more →
God working through us dumb humans will always be a messy imperfect business. Kanye displays all the odd ideologies and eccentricities that most people in such a position of extreme wealth and fame possess (kinda’ reminds me of King Solomon). He says and does a lot of things that make me cringe. And yes, in a perfect world he really should submit to discipleship under a trained Christian teacher. But this isn’t a perfect world and I can tell ya’ right now, that is not going to happen. Kanye listens to no man. But he is evidently trying, albeit imperfectly, to listen to the Holy Spirit. And news flash: we ALL respond to the Holy Spirit imperfectly.Read more →
We are equally certain that God has now shifted us in this new direction. He continues to answer our prayers with unmistakable signs. We have found our new property and will close on it next month. We will still be homesteading but not off grid. So our physical lives will be a bit more comfortable than we originally thought and we are grateful. We know God has plans for us in this new place where He has sent us. We are so excited to watch His plans unfold!Read more →
The Pharisaical Jews did everything in their power to cancel the gospel message. Today, Paul and Barnabas would get shadowbanned on Twitter, canceled on YouTube, mocked on TikTok, and thrown in Facebook jail. But Paul and Barnabas weren’t dissuaded by the persecution. They “shook the dust from their feet against them” and moved on to the next town. And they were “filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” (v.51-52) May we follow their example!Read more →
Jesus’ life and death were foretold repeatedly in the Old Testament, down to the smallest details. But the Jews had not understood that these ancient prophecies, predictions they had learned as children, were actually coming true when Jesus walked the earth. They did not recognize the Christ and so he was executed for blasphemy. But even in executing Him, they were fulfilling prophecy.Read more →
The early Christians sought the Holy Spirit and He spoke to them. They listened and obeyed. They did not try to bend God’s message to fit their own agendas. They didn’t try to use God’s name for personal gain. They submitted and surrendered to God’s Holy guidance. And He responded in miraculous ways. That very same Holy Spirit inhabits us today. If we would also seek God earnestly, spend extended time in prayer and fasting, listen to and obey the Holy Spirit, He will speak to us today too.Read more →
Satan will sometimes blast us with hardships or sickness. But even more often (especially in our wealthy western countries), the enemy will reel us into his clutches with an easy life. A life of comfort leaves us lethargically dog paddling around in the shallow waters, tucked comfortably into our recliners watching tv… never getting deep, never questioning, never crying out to God. A comfortable life is perhaps the enemy’s most dangerous trap of all.Read more →