Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The light of the world (Acts 8:1-25, Matthew 28:16-20, Genesis 11:1-7)

Isn't it amazing how beautiful the flowers are with light?
We are too, with the light within from God.
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.

14 “ You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."
(Matthew 5:14-16 NKJV)

I'm not sure if you remember in one of my last posts I pointed out how God doesn't want all of us to be together all the time in one place.  Like the Tower of Babel, we get into so much trouble when we are left with no faith and our own devices.  Especially all men or all women hahaha.  God gave us intelligence and love, we just need to use it responsibly. 

"The Tower of Babel"
1 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2 As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.
3 They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”
5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. 6 The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
(Genesis 11:1-7 NIV)

Can't you just see a giant face doing a facepalm?  Oy!  My personal take on this is that God knew our potential to fight and be greedy.  The more powerful we become, the more dangerous the world is.  We are seeing that today.  We have a lot of checks and balances in the USA.

"The Great Commission."
Today we also need to get out and use our God given gifts and talents.  After Jesus resurrected, He had a message for the disciples and for us today.
16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
(Matthew 28:16-20 NKJV)
Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus by leading the Roman soldiers to take Him captive.  We know that this happened so we could have a Savior.  But there was still one disciple missing from the twelve now.  The disciples chose someone, but God had another idea.  After Stephen was killed, a man named, "Saul" stepped in to help defeat this new religion.  But, it didn't actually go the way he planned. 

1 And Saul approved of their killing him.
My last post I began with Stephen glowing like an angel.  This post we see a very dangerous Saul seeking to destroy others.

On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. 2 Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. 3 But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison.

4 Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. 5 Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. 6 When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.
It must've been so exciting : )

9 Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great, 10 and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, “This man is rightly called the Great Power of God.” 11 They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his sorcery. 12 But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.
A great revival was taking place and even the man who practiced sorcery (sounds like a magician) knew He needed a Savior.

14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19 and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
I've said things in Church or around Christians that didn't make sense too.  It's so embarassing.  For some reason we all feel we should know everything.  And never say anything stupid.  We are human.  God made us that way.  I actually feel sorry for Simon.  I hope someone explained the truth to him in a kind way allowing him to move forward in his faith.

20 Peter answered:“May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! 21 You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. 23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.”
24 Then Simon answered, “Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me.”
25 After they had further proclaimed the word of the Lord and testified about Jesus, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages.
(Acts 8:1-25 NKJV)

Dear Heavenly Father,
I thank and praise You for music that lifts our spirits, flowers that show us how much You love beauty and color.
  I pray You will guide those in the middle-east that are struggling to survive.  Bless all the nations:  Saudi Arabia, Europe, Ukraine, Russia, Israel.  Israel is such a testimony of Your ability to save.  Bless France, Egypt and all those in harms way.  You know all and see all.  I pray the good will prevail.  Your creativity is awesome! And please bless the USA.

Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
10 Set the world right;
Do what's best––
  as above, so below.
11 Keep us alive with three square meals.
12 Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
13 Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You're in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You're ablaze in beauty!
  Yes. Yes. Yes.
(Matthew 6:9-13 Message)

In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen   

Here's a song from Kari Jobe, We are (link)

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