“And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.” 1 Samuel 3:10 KJV. This was when God was calling Samuel as a young boy. How wonderful it is that he had the heart to listen to what God wanted to say to him. He was ready to hear God’s voice. And this should be our attitude still today! Everyday we wake up to start a new day, every time we read God’s Word or listen to the preaching of God’s Word, our attitude should be, “Speak to me Lord, because I need to hear Your voice!” But for us to be able to hear the still small voice of God’s Spirit, we must also shut out other voices. Whatever it takes, we must separate ourselves from the noise of this world and get alone with God. This is something almost foreign to this generation who has to have constant noise. So we must make definite effort. We must discipline ourselves to turn off everything else. It may mean we have to go to bed earlier, so we can get up before the noise of the day begins. But whatever it takes, it will be worth it! Because there is nothing we need so much as to hear the voice of our Father. We can only respond to His will for us as we listen to what He is saying.
“And she made him sleep upon her knees…and his strength went from him. And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him.” Judges 16:19-20 KJV. This is one of the most tragic scenes in Biblical history. It is the account of Samson’s tragic fall at the hands of Delilah. He was so deluded by her charms that he did not know that she had deceived him and now his strength was gone! But even more, this is also the story of multitudes of souls who have been led astray by false religion. Everyday, the ‘Delilahs’ of false religion are enticing the hearts of people who are not firmly grounded in God’s Word. And while they imagine that they are doing well, they do not know that they are spiritually weak and helpless because they have rejected truth and swallowed the lies of religious men. May God help us, to be warned from Samson’s example. By God’s grace, let us be sober and vigilant. May we never begin down the path of easy, feel good religion, and cause God’s precious Holy Spirit to depart from us.
“For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; And reproofs of instruction are the way of life: To keep thee from the evil woman…” Proverbs 6:23-24 KJV. In this passage Solomon is warning his son of the danger of wrong relationships and how important God’s Word is to keep us and protect us from evil ways. But as we consider this in the larger context of Biblical history, we know that the ‘evil woman’ is also describing the apostate church. Much like young men are attracted by outward appearances, even so are the minds and hearts of unsuspecting souls attracted by the glitter and smooth sounding words of the false church. Today, more than ever, we must guard our hearts against the lure of man made religion that makes everything sound so nice and easy, and makes no demands for a transformed life of obedience and consecration. And there is no way for us to guard ourselves except by the Word of God! Let us remember as we read and study, and as we listen to the faithful preaching of God’s Word, that these are given to us by God to keep us from evil. Trust in God’s Word and it will be a lamp unto your feet and a light for your path.
“…for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.” Acts 5:38-39 KJV. As Gamaliel spoke in behalf of the apostles, he reminded the Jewish leaders of this truth. In essence he was saying, that whatever men try to do on their own, apart from God, is doomed to failure. But when men are working with God, and God has ordained their work, when it is God’s purpose, nothing in all this world can stop what God has set in motion! And we know, that their work for God did go forward! The early church grew because God was giving them great power and great grace to accomplish this great work. But for us today, in the work of the church and in our individual lives, we should recognize the reality of this truth. Whatever we are trying to do on our own, without the leading of the Lord, without His wisdom directing us, will ultimately fail. It may seem to prosper on a human level, but in God’s eyes it will be a failure. But everything we do under the leadership of His Spirit, everything that He purposes to do in us and through us, it will be done! Because nothing men or devils can do against us will be able to overcome what God purposes! Thank God, greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world.
“And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God…” Acts 4:24 KJV. When Peter and John were released from prison, after being persecuted and threatened, they shared with the other believers their experience. And what a powerful example is given to us here! They didn’t murmur and complain about how mistreated they were. They didn’t write to the newspaper or get on social media and tell everyone how they had suffered unjustly. And they didn’t lay down in discouragement because things were rough. No! They joined with other believers in prayer to God! They sought the Only One Who is truly able to do what is needed. They had the faith to know that whatever evil men may try to do against them, God is still God! And He alone can do what His people need done. May God help us today, to know that lifting up our voice to God and seeking God in prayer with other believers is always the thing to do! May we follow the example of the early church and experience the power there is in unified prayer. And may we be confident, that God is still God, and He is still on His throne.
“For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:20 KJV. As Peter and John answered the religious authorities, they made this truth very clear. They would not talk about a lot of other issues that most religious people become obsessed with. They were not politicians or lawyers or even religious scholars. But they were followers and disciples of Jesus Christ! And they had been with Him for the past 3 years. They had heard His wonderful words of life. They had seen the great miracles and the holy example that He set. They had witnessed the atoning sacrifice that Jesus had made. And praise God, they had seen Him as the Risen Saviour, triumphant over death, hell and the grave. And as a result of of their experience with Jesus, HE was all that they could talk about, because HE was the supreme focus of their lives. For each of us, the things we speak about reflect what we are looking at, listening to and putting into our minds. Everyday we are speaking about the things we have seen and heard. May God help us, that it is more about Jesus and less of this fallen world.
“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, Thou wilt revive me: Thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and Thy right hand shall save me.” Psalm 138:7 KJV. What a wonderful thing it is to know that even in our darkest hours, our faithful God will be right there with us, ready to revive and restore our weary spirits. Often we feel the wrath of our spiritual enemies raging against our souls. The world, the flesh and the devil daily oppose all that would live Godly in Christ. We feel the attacks of people who despise our beliefs and the Saviour we love. We face principalities and powers of darkness that try to threaten and intimidate our witness for Christ. We read in the news of how the governments of men are bringing more and more pressure upon God’s church. But thank God, in the midst of all of this trouble, our God is with us and He will restore our souls! It is not our fight to try to take vengeance against our enemies. Praise God the battle is the Lord’s! We can be confident that the strong arm of the Lord will be against every enemy of His people! And because He is with us, we will be delivered, we will saved and we will be revived.
“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 KJV. What a wonderful thing it is when this world notices that we have been with Jesus! Those Jewish religious leaders were amazed that these ‘unlearned’ fishermen could have such boldness in their speech. When they listened to them talk about the things of God it was with a fervency and a passion that other men did not have. When they talked about Jesus it was with the love and devotion that only a true follower of Christ possesses. And what a difference it would make in our world if others could recognize that we have been with Jesus! If they could sense His loving Spirit in us. If they could see light of Christ reflected in our lives. If they could know that we are different from this ungodly world, because we have been with Jesus! But for this to happen, we must actually spend time with Jesus. It must be more than a couple hours a week at church. It must be daily, spending personal time in the presence of Jesus, talking with Him, hearing His voice and yielding ourselves completely to Him. May we live so this can be true of us.
“forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” Colossians 3:13 KJV. In this chapter Paul is describing the ‘new person’ we are to become when we experience the new spiritual birth. And he reminds us here that there might be disagreements (quarrels) as we interact with others. Because each person sees things differently, we don’t always agree on what to do. But then, as believers, we are not to allow these disagreements to separate us. We are not to allow them to bring division and cause wrong attitudes. So we must forbear. But then, we must not only forbear, or tolerate, but we must freely forgive! But we should also understand that we are not to forgive as the world does. We cannot forgive and still carry a grudge. We cannot forgive and continue to hold it over someone. That is not true Christian forgiveness. In fact, the standard we are called to, is to freely and fully forgive, even as Christ forgives us! So in those times we feel hurt because of some disagreement, or insulted because of some injustice, let us forgive as we want Christ to forgive us.
“This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.” Acts 2:32 KJV. These words were a part of Peters’s extraordinary message on the day of Pentecost. He preached Christ crucified and risen, as the only Hope for fallen man. But he also said that we are His witnesses. In that immediate context He was referring to the apostles and close followers of Jesus, those who had been eye witnesses of the Risen Christ. But what he said then, is also true for every genuine child of God today, spiritually. We are called to be His witnesses! We are witnesses to the resurrection power of God! Thank God the very same power that raised Jesus from the grave over 2000 years ago is the power that works in us today! Everyday our lives should witness to this life changing truth! In all that we go through in this fallen world, our lives should witness the reality that the Risen Saviour Who lives in us, is greater than all of the forces that be against us. And thank God, because He conquered death, we also can overcome the powers of spiritual death and darkness that war against our souls! Let us be witnesses to our Risen and Triumphant Lord.