Today: Psalms 74:1-9; Acts 9:32-43; Acts 10:1-23; 2 Samuel 23:8-39; 2 Samuel 24
There has never been a time since Christ walked the earth that Christians were NOT being persecuted somewhere. There have always been believers somewhere in the world who could say along with Asaph, “They have set fire to Your sanctuary; they have defiled the dwelling place of Your name to the ground. They said in their hearts, ‘Let us destroy them altogether.’ They have burned up all the meeting places of God in the land.” (v.7-8)
Christians have been spared of such persecutions in this country for a very long time. Our United States of America was founded in part to escape religious persecutions in Europe. And our Constitution was written in such a way to ensure freedom from religious persecution here. 250 years later, our Constitution and our faith is increasingly under attack. Satan always infiltrates. Get ready, Christians. Asaph’s words in Psalm 74 will not be foreign to us forever.
We can learn much about how the Holy Spirit can work by reading Acts. God worked fantastic miracles through Peter and the other apostles. They healed many people, delivered many others from demons, and even brought a woman back to life from the dead.
The Holy Spirit can be so much more powerful in our lives than many of us have ever experienced. The apostles had witnessed amazing miracles. Their faith in the power of God was so strong. They KNEW that nothing was too difficult for God. They were also completely sold out to Jesus Christ, willing to follow Him unto death.
When we have such strong faith, such complete commitment to Jesus, such passion for God far surpassing our love for anything else, we can expect the Holy Spirit to do mighty things!
2 Samuel 24
I have never read a satisfactory explanation of why it was wrong for David to order a census of the Israelites. It will likely always be a mystery. Perhaps it was as simple as that God had told David NOT to take a census.
Some sin is relative… Sometimes what one believer is free to do, another is not. I don’t think there is anything inherently evil about a census. I personally feel free to drink alcohol (in moderation) and listen to secular music. But I know many Christians who have strong convictions against those things.
I believe that each of us answer to God for our own actions. If we are committed to following God, seeking Him for guidance, and studying His messages to us in His word, then the Holy Spirit is more than capable of leading us into the personalized path God has planned for each of us.