Don’t Quit

Today’s Passages – Acts 1 – 3; Proverbs 15

(Second Milers also read – Psalms 71 – 75; Memorize – Philippians 4:6)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Micah 6:8

Read “Five Ways To Grow Closer to the Lord in November” by Dr. Paul Chappell

If you haven’t read the completed post from yesterday, please go back and read it now. It will be helpful in understanding this one.

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

“But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:” (Acts 2:14)

“And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.” (Acts 3:4)

In yesterday’s post, we read of a discouraged Peter who, though called of God to serve Him in ministry, went back to his vocation of being a commercial fishermen. He thought that because of his denial of the Lord that he was certainly disqualified from ever serving the Lord again. He was wrong. The Lord arranged that special meeting that we read about in John 21. I believe the sole purpose of that meeting was for the Lord to reassure and restore Peter. He convinced Peter to keep going. Peter was down, but not out.

Now look at what the Lord is doing through Peter here in these first three chapters in Acts. After the Lord’s departure Peter is leading the disciples in chapter one as they await the arrival of the Holy Ghost. In chapter 2, through the power of the Holy Ghost, Peter preaches his famous Pentecost sermon resulting in thousands saved. Finally, in chapter 3, he heals a man in the temple which gives him another wonderful opportunity to preach the gospel to the people who had gathered to see what was done.

Peter almost missed it. He almost missed being a prominent part of the greatest works yet of the Lord. I wonder how many of God’s servants missed seeing God use them in miraculous ways simply because they got discouraged and quit. If you are reading this and you are discouraged, let me encourage you: Don’t Quit!!! If you have blown it, as Peter had obviously done, get back up. You are in good company. We all blow it. Maybe now, you will serve in His power instead of your own. But whatever you do, don’t stay down. God still wants to use you. Get back in the game.

Now let me say a word to those of you who might be doing well right now, and you are enjoying the fruits of your ministry for the Lord. I bet you can think of  a “Peter” right now in your life. A person that used to serve with you, but has fallen in his service and testimony. You might think that he wants to be where he is, but remember that no saved person enjoys being out of the will of God. Why don’t you do what you can do to encourage him. Remember the Lord arranged a special post-resurrection meeting with Peter for the sole purpose of encouraging and restoring him. Maybe God will use you to help somebody get back up and serve the Lord.


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Thankful for Preachers

Today’s Passage – Acts 26 – 28

And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him. (Acts 28:30&31)

The last few verses of Acts sum up the purpose of Paul’s entire life, to preach Christ. No matter where he went, and no matter who he was talking to, Paul preached Christ. In these last three chapters we see Paul rehearsing his testimony before Herod and Festus. Later we see him being the spiritual leader during the crisis of the shipwreck; and later still he is ministering to the people on the island of Melita. Paul had one focus in life and that was to be an ambassador for the Lord Jesus Christ. He could have gotten bitter about his unjust treatment; he could have gotten discouraged because of his lack of liberty; but he just kept preaching Christ: to kings and governors; to soldiers; to his fellow prisoners; to the barbarous people on the island; to the Jews and Gentiles at Rome.

I am thankful for the faithfulness of Paul, and men (and women) like him that have also been faithful to preach Christ. I was saved because someone was faithful to preach the gospel to me. In fact, I had several somebodies who had witnessed to me. I am thankful for my friend Kathleen who preached Christ to me; and for Pete; and for Doug, a dairy man at Shoprite who invited me to church; and for Reverend Riter who knocked on my door while canvassing for a bus ministry; and for men on the radio like J. Vernon McGee who were also faithfully preaching and teaching, and were used of God to ultimately reach me.

I am also thankful for the men of God that He has used to influence my life after my conversion; men who discipled and trained me. I couldn’t possibly list all of the people that have helped me a long the way; but let me mention one: Pastor Rick Wedemeyer is the one man that I have had a relationship with since the early days of my salvation. Pastor Rick has never turned me away. Even when he was going through turbulent times himself, he always had time to encourage me, and he always helped me.

I wonder if my life will have the same impact and influence on this generation. I want to be faithful to preach Christ to my generation as Paul was to his; and I also want to be used of the Lord to help develop and mentor younger Christians. How about you? Do you desire to be a faithful ambassador for the Lord? Do you witness when given the opportunity? Do you take time to teach those that are still babes in Christ? You and I are saved because somebody else was faithful. Let’s be faithful also.


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Don’t Put It Off

Today’s Passage – Acts 23 – 25

“And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.” (Acts 24:24 & 25)

In the passage that we have read today, Paul, after having been arrested for allegedly inciting a riot at the temple in Jerusalem, has been brought to Caesarea for his own protection. The Jews at Jerusalem wanted him dead, so in order to protect Paul who was a Roman citizen, the chief captain secretly brought him out of the city. While in Caesarea, Paul had the opportunity to proclaim the Christian faith to the governor, Felix, and his wife, Drusilla. The Bible tells us that Felix trembled, which means that he was under conviction, he believed at least partially what Paul had testified to him about the Lord Jesus, and about the consequences of rejecting Christ,  yet he postponed a decision for Christ until he had a “convenient season”. I wonder if that convenient season ever came for Felix or his wife. I hope he did, but somehow I doubt it. History teaches that Felix’ wife Drusilla was tragically killed when Mt. Vesuvius, a volcano near Pompeii, erupted in 79 AD. Imagine dying in such a way, only to spend eternity in a much worse state.

It has been my observation throughout the years since my salvation that people need to decide for Christ when they are being invited to receive Him. Many times that convenient season never comes. I strongly urge you who are reading this post, if you are not sure about your eternal destiny, please open your heart to the Lord today. Don’t put it off, tomorrow is not guaranteed. Salvation is simple:

First, you must recognize your need – you are a sinner, and the wages (payment) for sin is death (eternal separation from God in Hell). (Romans 3:10; 23; 6:23)

Second, you must believe that Jesus Christ, God the Son, came to earth and died to satisfy the debt that you and I owed for our sins. The Bible tells us that without the shedding of blood there can be no remission of sins. Somebody has to pay for your sins. Jesus already did, so you don’t have to.

Third, you must receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. The Bible is clear that if you call upon the name of the Lord Jesus, placing your faith in Him, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9 – 13)

You can call upon the Lord today and be assured that He not only will hear you, but He will also save you! You don’t have to worry about eternity ever again.

“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:13)

By the way, if you are a Christian, now is also a convenient season for submitting to the will of God for your life. God expects our full obedience to Him. It is our reasonable service.

“(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)” (2 Corinthians 6:2)


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Paul’s Farewell Address to the Ephesians

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Today’s Reading – Acts 20 – 22

“And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.” (Acts 20:25)

In Acts chapter 20 we have the account of the Apostle Paul on his way back to Jerusalem from his third recorded missionary journey. He wants to make it to Jerusalem for Pentecost so he doesn’t have time to visit Ephesus personally. However, he knows that there is great potential for problems in Jerusalem, and that he will most likely not be able to get back to Ephesus, so he wants to say good-bye to them. So this is a farewell visit with people who he loved dearly, and had ministered to for almost three years.

While reading this passage I was intrigued by four reflections that Paul had regarding his ministry to the Ephesians. The interesting part about these remembrances is that they refer to what Paul did not do rather than what he did.

1  He didn’t withhold from them anything that was profitable.

Paul was a giver. He gave all that he had in order to meet their need. There was no part of his time, talent, or treasure that was hoarded for himself.

“And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 20:20 & 21)

4  He didn’t walk away from the will of God when the pressure was on.

He didn’t move. Too many men of God jump ship whenever the going gets tough. I know how it feels as I have been close to throwing in the towel myself. We must learn to endure hardship as a good soldier. We must learn to be steadfast and unmoveable, always abounding in the work; in season and out of season.

“But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” (Acts 20:24)

3  He didn’t wait to declare all the counsel of God.

Previously, we mentioned Paul’s time, talent, and treasure. Here we see that Paul held nothing back as far as doctrine was concerned. He showed them from the Scriptures how to be saved; but he also declared unto them all the counsel of God, so that they could completely fulfill God’s will for their lives. Paul wasn’t lazy.

“Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.” (Acts 20:26 &27)

4  He didn’t want any of their money or stuff.

Paul was a giver, not a taker. He didn’t demand that others meet his needs, he worked so that, not only his need, but also the needs of others were met.

“I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:33 – 35)

These four reflections would be good “don’ts” for all of us who are in the battle trying to serve the Lord.



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The Beauty of Salvation

Today’s Reading – Acts 9 & 10

The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) … To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. (Acts 10:36 & 43)

As I was musing on the reading this morning, I was actually having a mental block as to what I would write about. Not that there isn’t enough material here to pique my interest as this is obviously one of the most exciting passages of Scripture in the Bible. Sometimes when there is so much going on, I have a hard time picking one thought from a passage. However, I have decided t develop a thought regarding the beauty and wonder of salvation. In both of the chapters that we have read today, there is a prominent individual who receives Christ as Saviour.

In Acts 9, we read of the marvelous conversion of Saul of Tarsus; a man that was enemy number one to every Christian. Saul was the most zealous persecutor of the Christians, who wasn’t satisfied by just driving them out of Jerusalem; he requested and received permission to chase them to the places where they had fled. Paul is on his way to Damascus to prosecute the Christians there when suddenly the Lord appears to him personally. I can’t be sure about this, but I believe that the Lord handled Paul’s conversion in this way because Paul would have never listened to another man. Paul’s life is changed 180 degrees and he served Christ with an intensity that surpassed even the zeal of his days as a persecutor. What a conversion. I have often wondered if we will ever see a conversion like this ever again. I am not referring to the way the Lord revealed himself, but to the extent the convert would be used of the Lord after his salvation.

In chapter ten, we learn about Cornelius, a Gentile centurion. Now Cornelius was also a prominent figure in his circles. Though he was a Gentile, he was a man who feared God, and to the best of his knowledge and understanding, he served him. Jesus revealed himself to Cornelius in a different way than Paul, yet just as dramatic. An angel appears to him and tells him to send for Peter. Peter has to be specially prepared by the Lord for this meeting, because he would never, without God’s specific intervention, go and present Christ to a Gentile. Peter eventually goes to Caesarea to preach the gospel to Cornelius, and he and many others who were present were gloriously saved.

I love the Book of Acts. It is all about people getting saved. Sometimes in church we lose sight of the main thing which is winning people to Christ. We get very caught up in the administrative aspects of ministry, and other good things that we forget about the best things. I always want to be involved with a church that has a heart for people and a zeal for the winning of souls. We should never get tired of seeing people saved. I can’t wait to go out tonight for soulwinning visitation!

And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. (Jude 22 & 23)


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Say Cheeeeeeese!

Today’s Passage – Acts 7 – 8

And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep. (Acts 8:59 & 60)

The world is taking a picture of our lives every day; but what image are they getting. When people look at me do they see me, or do they see Christ. As Christians, we are supposed to be pictures of Christ to this godless world. We are to show them Christ through our lives and testimonies. When people see us they are supposed to get a glimpse of what Jesus would be like if He were here in the flesh personally. In our passage today, we see a man who demonstrated Christ to his generation. He lived like Christ, and he died like Christ.

1  Stephen was fearless in his preaching. He knew that the crowd that he was witnessing to had already killed the Lord, and they had already beaten and imprisoned Peter and John. He knew that he was risking his life by saying the things that he said, yet he preached the truth.

2  Stephen was faithful in his passing. He had his eyes on the Lord right up until he died. He was not thinking about his circumstances, he was looking straight into the eyes of the Lord. And the Lord was standing at the right hand of the Father, waiting to receive Stephen. What a way to go.

3  He was forgiving to his persecutors.  Perhaps this is the most striking picture of Christ. When Jesus died on the cross, He said, “Forgive them Father”. Here Stephen says virtually the same thing. He says, “Lay not this sin to their charge”.

There was a young man named Saul in the crowd that day that got a good look at the picture that Stephen was portraying that day. Saul would get another look at the Lord, first hand, later on; but I contend to you that he had already seen the Lord through the testimony of Stephen.

What do people see in our lives? Do they see Jesus or do they see us? We need to peel back the layers of our own desires and personalities, and allow Christ to live through us. This world desperately needs to see the real Jesus. There have certainly been many impersonators out there; but through our surrendered lives, we can show the world Christ.


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They Had Been With Jesus – Have You?

Today’s Reading – Acts 4 – 6

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13)

In our text today, Peter and John are in the temple and are being interrogated by the religious leaders for the healing of the lame man on the previous day. (See Acts 3) The problem was not that this man was healed, but that Peter and John used the occasion of the healing to preach the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, and many were saved as a result. The Pharisees now understood that they had a real problem on their hands. In the last couple of weeks there had been nearly ten thousand of their ranks that had joined the Christians. Something had to be done about these trouble makers.

In the midst of all of this the Jewish leadership made some observations about Peter and John found in verse 13 above:

1  They were bold – evidence of their being filled with the Holy Spirit. When was the last time you asked the Holy Ghost of God to fill you? Are you willing to yield to what He wants to do with your life?

And ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you… (Acts 1:8)

2  They were uneducated – yet they possessed a wisdom and knowledge that could not be refuted. These men were fishermen by trade. They were not trained in the Scriptures by Gamaliel as Paul was. But they knew the Word of God. Consider all of the passages that were quoted by Peter in his sermons. This is a good lesson for us to learn. We do not need to know and preach all of the junk that this world teaches, but we should know and preach the Word of God.

3  The had been with Jesus – this is perhaps the greatest compliment a Christian can be given. These two humble fishermen reminded the Pharisees of Jesus. They saw Jesus in them. Can people see Jesus in us? Maybe it’s because we do not spend enough time with Him. My preacher used to say, “You are, or you soon will be, who you hang around.” It was obvious to the Jews that these two fishermen were hanging out with the Lord.

If you are reading this, then you have probably read the Scripture passage for today. At least I hope you have. That’s good! Then you will be a little more like Jesus as a result of the time you have spent with Him, and maybe people will begin to recognize the Lord’s presence in your life. They should be able to spot Him in your attitude, in your compassion, in your integrity, in your work ethic, and in your separation from the evil of this world.


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He Was Down, But He Got Back Up

Today’s Reading – Acts 1 – 3

If you haven’t read the completed post from yesterday, please go back and read it now. It will be helpful in understanding this one.

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: (Acts 2:14)

And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. (Acts 3:4)

In yesterday’s post, we read of a discouraged Peter who, though called of God to serve Him in ministry, went back to his vocation of being a commercial fishermen. He thought that because of his denial of the Lord that he was certainly disqualified from ever serving the Lord again. He was wrong. The Lord arranged that special meeting that we read about in John 21. I believe the sole purpose of that meeting was for the Lord to reassure and restore Peter. He convinced Peter to keep going. Peter was down, but not out.

Now look at what the Lord is doing through Peter here in these first three chapters in Acts. After the Lord’s departure Peter is leading the disciples in chapter one as they await the arrival of the Holy Ghost. In chapter 2, through the power of the Holy Ghost, Peter preaches his famous Pentecost sermon resulting in thousands saved. Finally, in chapter 3, he heals a man in the temple which gives him another wonderful opportunity to preach the gospel to the people who had gathered to see what was done.

Peter almost missed it. He almost missed being a prominent part of the greatest works yet of the Lord. I wonder how many of God’s servants missed seeing God use them in miraculous ways simply because they got discouraged and quit. If you are reading this and you are discouraged, let me encourage you: Don’t Quit!!! If you have blown it, as Peter had obviously done, get back up. You are in good company. We all blow it. Maybe now, you will serve in His power instead of your own. But whatever you do, don’t stay down. God still wants to use you. Get back in the game.

Now let me say a word to those of you who might be doing well right now, and you are enjoying the fruits of your ministry for the Lord. I bet you can think of  a “Peter” right now in your life. A person that used to serve with you, but has fallen in his service and testimony. You might think that he wants to be where he is, but remember that no saved person enjoys being out of the will of God. Why don’t you do what you can do to encourage him. Remember the Lord arranged a special post-resurrection meeting with Peter for the sole purpose of encouraging and restoring him. Maybe God will use you to help somebody get back up and serve the Lord.


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