Thursday, October 22, 2015

Fight the good fight (Acts 18, 1 Thess 4:11-12, Matthew 18:21-22, Ephes. 2:8-9, Isaiah 40:8)

God's Word stands forever!
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.

Here's the book I was talking about in my last post about God's design in the universe and how playful He really is - Indescribable, by Matt Redman, and Louie Giglio.  It's available for $5.00 on in hardcover.

This actually might be a good book for youth groups to study. I love astronomy and the Bible.  It's a good mix.

Acts Chapter 18

1 After these things Paul departed from Athens and went to Corinth. 2 And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome); and he came to them. 3 So, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers. 4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks.
One of the great things in these verses is how Paul and Aquila are both tentmakers.  This has been an inspiration to many missionaries to find ways to earn money while they are ministering.  It reminded me of this verse:
...aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, 12 that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.
(1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 NKJV)
For me, drawing, shooting photos, and studying the Bible help me find peace.  There's a time to share the gospel and a time to relax and find strength.

5 When Silas and Timothy had come from Macedonia, Paul was compelled by the Spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ. 6 But when they opposed him and blasphemed, he shook his garments and said to them, “Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” 7 And he departed from there and entered the house of a certain man named Justus, one who worshiped God, whose house was next door to the synagogue. 8 Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized.
Sometimes I think I'm doing something so great and grand, then I realize I'm full of myself and not the Holy Spirit.  Sounds like Paul had a similar experience.  We can't force people to have faith.  Sometimes it's best to move on.  Like Jesus said, "Wipe the dust off your feet."  (Matthew 10:14)

9 Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, "Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; 10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city.” 11 And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
Paul heard the still, small voice of God like Elijah did.  

12 When Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him to the judgment seat, 13 saying, “This fellow persuades men to worship God contrary to the law.”
Poor Paul here he goes again.  I can understand how the Jews would feel intimidated by Paul and Christianity.  Most of us as Christians get angry or annoyed when people use Jesus name in a bad way.  I try and remind myself to keep fighting the good fight.  Don't let it get me down.  Jesus clearly said we'd have days like these.  We all mess up.  

21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven."
(Matthew 18:21-22 NKJV)
Ok so 70 x 7= 490   I believe my forgiveness factor is at 489 at least.  That means I need a Grace Card.  Oh wait Jesus did that!
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
(Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV)
So the only thing Jesus asked is that we don't boast.  He wants us to love and forgive each other.  That's a lot better than my credit card company!!!

Ok back to Paul...  So I'm sure he prayed, felt a little anxiety, and fear.

14 And when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, “If it were a matter of wrongdoing or wicked crimes, O Jews, there would be reason why I should bear with you. 15 But if it is a question of words and names and your own law, look to it yourselves; for I do not want to be a judge of such matters.” 16 And he drove them from the judgment seat. 17 Then all the Greeks took Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. But Gallio took no notice of these things.
I actually like Gallio's response.  He didn't attack Paul.  He told the Jews to handle their own problems.  When I worked in business there was always someone who was jealous, someone who liked picking on others instead of working.  Someone who had to run to the boss and complain.
(Acts 18:1-17 NKJV)

Heavenly Father,
I pray for our families in the USA that parents will stay together and really understand what's going on with the kids.  The temptation for more money is great, but the cost is so high.  Please bless those in the middle east that they will be able to bring peace to their countries.  I also pray for wisdom as we elect the next president.

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

(Matthew 6:9-13 NKJV)

In Jesus' Name, Amen.

This is a great song from, "Unspoken."
 Good Fight (link)


  1. Hi Karen! Oh mannz it has been so long since I last visited your blog! Hope all has been going well for you! I am resuming regular postings from today on my devotion notes. I hope it will be a blessing for you! Also, I pray that there will be an establishment of good, godly government and implementations for your nation even in the next election! :D

  2. Hi Joy! It's good to see you again : ) I'll check out your blog. May God bless you abundantly!