The same is happening today. Our mainstream cultural leaders try as hard as they can to silence Christians. In many places, those sharing Christ’s message are canceled, silenced, and even imprisoned and severely threatened so “that from now on they speak to no man in [Jesus’] name.” (v.17) We are shut down on social media, removed from schools, and banned from many other public forums. We are “commanded,” as the religious leaders commanded the early Christians, “not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.” (v.18) But a great awakening is taking place today around the world. More and more people are coming to Christ in a final great revival before He returns again. Be BOLD and take COURAGE, Christians! Nothing the enemy tries to do can stop it, “for we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard!” (v.20)Read more →
Notice the abrupt change in Peter. He had been the brash, unpolished, impulsive apostle. He ran away when Jesus was arrested and denied Jesus three times. Yet suddenly, Peter was full of confidence and courage. Suddenly, Peter, an uneducated fisherman, was preaching to crowds of people. The difference was the Holy Spirit. Peter was now filled with the Holy Spirit. This Holy Spirit can be the difference between being a fearful, foolish person and a courageous, wise warrior for Christ.Read more →
But many churches today don’t talk about “repentance.” Many churchgoers have never even heard that word. So many churches water down the gospel message and turn Jesus into a self-help guru. Jesus is just a way to be popular, happy, and successful. Many preachers today don’t even believe there is a hell. But if there is no hell, no judgement, or condemnation, then there is no sin or need for repentance. If there is no need for repentance, then Jesus didn’t need to die. If there are many ways to get to God besides Jesus, then Jesus didn’t need to die. All of these progressive ideologies that have crept into the church make a mockery of Jesus’ death…Read more →
The biggest shift that has ever taken place in the history of humankind had just happened. First, God came to us as a man and performed great miracles. Then He died and came back to life to provide a way of salvation for us. He was only here in human form for a few short years. But He returned in spirit form to stay with us for the rest of our time here on this planet. He’s not leaving us again. And this, THIS is the time period we currently find ourselves in.Read more →
Jesus had told them to wait in Jerusalem for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. And so we see the very first Christian church, comprised of all the 11 disciples (Judas Iscariot was obviously missing), Jesus’ mother Mary, and other followers of Jesus, about 120 people “continually devoting themselves with one mind to prayer.” (v.14) What would the church look like today if we were continually devoting ourselves with one mind to prayer?Read more →
No matter how good we are, we ALL still mess up sometimes. It is part of our human fallen condition. We will never reach absolute perfection while we are in these cursed flesh bodies. But Jesus was perfection for us. We need only follow Jesus, keep our eyes on Him, and He will lead us where He wants us to go. Jesus gives us opportunity for confession when we mess up. But He doesn’t want us wallowing in our failures, nursing our grief. He immediately instructs us to move forward with the business of following Him and feeding His sheep.Read more →
Mary did not recognize Jesus until He says her name, “Mary!” He says her name. I hear such love and tenderness when Jesus says her name.
“Mary!” And then her eyes are opened to recognize her beloved Jesus. And she clings to Him. I also cling to Him. Me… the lowliest prodigal… delivered from demons… brought back to life from the dead. I cling to Him. AND HE SAYS MY NAME!
Jesus was completely in control of how and when He died. Even as His physical body was being broken and tortured, as His life ebbed away, Jesus was totally lucid, completely in control. He knew the exact moment when His sufferings had been enough “that all things had already been accomplished, in order that the Scripture would be fulfilled.” (v.28) He knew when His torment had been sufficient to heal us by His stripes, to save us through His sacrifice. And He said, “‘It is finished!’ And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.”Read more →
It is so painful to read of Jesus being beaten, tortured, and crucified. But we must remember that Jesus allowed these horrors to happen to Him of His own free will. At any moment, He could have removed himself from his torturer’s evil clutches in any millions of ways. He could have instantly struck them all dead. But He did not. He willingly endured their abuse and presented His own body to be sacrificed for you and me.Read more →
This is one of the gifts that the Holy Spirit offers us… deep profound joy that is not dependent upon our outward circumstances… joy that can sustain us through the most difficult times of life.It is up to use to access that peace and joy by diving into our relationship with Jesus. Sometimes we must wrestle with our own imperfect human emotions and wills first to get to that peace and joy. But it IS there for the taking, promised and ready for us when we seek it.Read more →