Daily Nuggets

Jul. 4, 2022

Acts 22:17-23:10 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible

“It happened when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I fell into a trance, 18 and I saw Him saying to me, ‘Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about Me.’ 19 And I said, ‘Lord, they themselves understand that in one synagogue after another I used to imprison and beat those who believed in You. 20 And when the blood of Your witness Stephen was being shed, I also was standing nearby and approving, and watching over the cloaks of those who were killing him.’ 21 And He said to me, ‘Go! For I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’”

22 They listened to him up to this statement, and then they raised their voices and said, “Away with such a man from the earth, for he should not be allowed to live!” 23 And as they were shouting and throwing off their cloaks and tossing dust into the air, 24 the commander ordered that he be brought into the barracks, saying that he was to be interrogated by flogging so that he would find out the reason why they were shouting against him that way. 25 But when they stretched him out with straps, Paul said to the centurion who was standing by, “Is it lawful for you to flog a man who is a Roman and uncondemned?” 26 When the centurion heard this, he went to the commander and told him, saying, “What are you about to do? For this man is a Roman.” 27 The commander came and said to Paul, “Tell me, are you a Roman?” And he said, “Yes.” 28 The commander answered, “I acquired this citizenship for a large sum of money.” And Paul said, “But I was actually born a citizen.” 29 Therefore, those who were about to interrogate him immediately backed away from him; and the commander also was afraid when he found out that he was a Roman, and because he had put him in chains.

30 Now on the next day, wanting to know for certain why Paul had been accused by the Jews, he released him and ordered the chief priests and all the Council to assemble, and he brought Paul down and placed him before them.

23 Now looking intently at the Council, Paul said, “Brothers, I have lived my life with an entirely good conscience before God up to this day.” But the high priest Ananias commanded those standing beside him to strike him on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Do you sit to try me according to the Law, and in violation of the Law, order me to be struck?” But those present said, “Are you insulting God’s high priest?” And Paul said, “I was not aware, brothers, that he is high priest; for it is written: ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’”

But Paul, perceiving that one group were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, began crying out in the Council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; I am on trial for the hope and resurrection of the dead!” When he said this, a dissension occurred between the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor an angel, nor a spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all. And a great uproar occurred; and some of the scribes of the Pharisaic party stood up and started arguing heatedly, saying, “We find nothing wrong with this man; suppose a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?” 10 And when a great dissension occurred, the commander was afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces by them, and he ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force, and bring him into the barracks.

 

Romans 8:28-30 says:  We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.  In John 17:1-5 before Jesus was arrested and crucified, He prayed saying: “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, so that the Son may glorify You, just as You gave Him authority over all mankind, so that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I glorified You on the earth by accomplishing the work which You have given Me to do. And now You, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world existed.”  Jesus was glorified through the cross and the resurrection. To be glorified in heaven might not always look glorious on earth. If we are conformed to the image of Christ and glorified in Him, it may not always look glorious on earth.

In today’s text it says: They listened to him up to this statement, and then they raised their voices and said, “Away with such a man from the earth, for he should not be allowed to live!” And as they were shouting and throwing off their cloaks and tossing dust into the air, the commander ordered that he be brought into the barracks, saying that he was to be interrogated by flogging so that he would find out the reason why they were shouting against him that way.  In the same way that they were opposed to Paul, we see that today there are also those who raise their voices and cause commotion against what is good. On earth the plight of those who are right might not always seem glorious. In John 15:18-25 Jesus says: “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you as well; if they followed My word, they will follow yours also. But all these things they will do to you on account of My name, because they do not know the One who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. The one who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well. But this has happened so that the word that is written in their Law will be fulfilled: ‘They hated Me for no reason.’”  Being conformed to the image of Christ, Paul was hated and persecuted for the cause of Christ. In the same way, if we are conformed to Christ’s image, we can expect that to be glorified in Him, might mean that we are hated for His cause. In John 3:19-21 Jesus says: “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the Light; for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light, so that his deeds will not be exposed. But the one who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds will be revealed as having been performed in God.”

We are not though to return the world’s hatred in kind, but rather with kindness. In Matthew 5:44 Jesus says: “I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”  He Himself gave us the example of this when on the cross, He said: “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)  In Romans 12:14;17-18;21 Paul says: Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse… Never repay evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all people. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all people… Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.  In John 8:12 Jesus says: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  If we are conformed to the image of Christ, then we will walk in His light. We overcome evil and darkness by doing what He says in Matthew 5:14-16:  “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”  Many will hate the light, but some will see the glory of Christ and so glorify our Father in heaven.

Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come.
Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. 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.

 

Jul. 3, 2022

Psalm 1 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible

 

Blessed is the person who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the Law of the Lord,
And on His Law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season,
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.

The wicked are not so,
But they are like chaff which the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the wicked will perish.

 

Many people desire the blessings of God. They pray and claim the promises in scripture. In Psalm 1, the psalmist declares the path to the blessings of God saying: Blessed is the person who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the Law of the Lord, And on His Law he meditates day and night.  We cannot expect to be blessed by God if we are not obedient to what He says. Some will say that we are no longer under the law because of grace. In Matthew 5:17-20 Jesus says: “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”  Our righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees and scribes because it is the righteousness of Christ. If we choose to continue in unrighteousness, we will never enter the kingdom of heaven and neither can we expect to receive the benefits and blessings of the kingdom. 

The psalmist says: He will be like a tree planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season, And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers. The blessing of God is not for our own benefit alone, but rather that we are prosperous and that we bear fruit for the kingdom. In John 15:8 Jesus says: By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples.” Galatians 5:22-24 describes the fruit that should be present in our lives saying: The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 

The psalmist says: The wicked are not so, But they are like chaff which the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked will perish. In Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus says: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; leave Me, you who practice lawlessness.’”

If we truly want the blessings of God, we need to do His will. The Lord knows the way of the righteous because it is His way. In John 3:16-21 Jesus says: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him. The one who believes in Him is not judged; the one who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the Light; for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light, so that his deeds will not be exposed. But the one who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds will be revealed as having been performed in God.”  James 2:14-20 says: What use is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? In the same way, faith also, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to acknowledge, you foolish person, that faith without works is useless?  It is not enough for us to say that we believe, yet still love the darkness. Our faith must be demonstrated in what we do. It is not that we just do good to others, but that we are good, that we practice the truth and come to the Light, so that our deeds will be revealed as having been performed in God.

Blessed is the person who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the Law of the Lord, And on His Law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season, And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, But they are like chaff which the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked will perish. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

Jul. 2, 2022

Psalm 150 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible

Praise the Lord!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty expanse.
Praise Him for His mighty deeds;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness.

Praise Him with trumpet sound;
Praise Him with harp and lyre.
Praise Him with tambourine and dancing;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and flute.
Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with resounding cymbals.
Everything that has breath shall praise the Lord.
[Praise the Lord! 

The questions that need to be answered in order to have the whole story are, who, what, when, where, why and how. The psalmist answers all of these in Psalm 150. Who - Everything that has breath. What - shall praise the Lord. When – From the beginning until the end. Praise the Lord!... Praise the Lord! Where - Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty expanse. Why - Praise Him for His mighty deeds; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness. How - Praise Him with trumpet sound; Praise Him with harp and lyre. Praise Him with tambourine and dancing; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flute. Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with resounding cymbals. 

For every question there is only one answer. Praise the Lord!

 

 


 

 

Jul. 1, 2022

Acts 21:1-17 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible

Now when we had parted from them and had set sail, we ran a straight course to Cos, and on the next day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara; and having found a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, we went aboard and set sail. When we came in sight of Cyprus, leaving it on the left, we kept sailing to Syria and landed at Tyre; for the ship was to unload its cargo there. After looking up the disciples, we stayed there for seven days; and they kept telling Paul, through the Spirit, not to set foot in Jerusalem. When our days there were ended, we left and started on our journey, while they all, with wives and children, escorted us until we were out of the city. After kneeling down on the beach and praying, we said farewell to one another. Then we boarded the ship, and they returned home.

When we had finished the voyage from Tyre, we arrived at Ptolemais, and after greeting the brothers and sisters, we stayed with them for a day. On the next day we left and came to Caesarea, and we entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. Now this man had four virgin daughters who were prophetesses. 10 As we were staying there for some days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 And he came to us and took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands, and said, “This is what the Holy Spirit says: ‘In this way the Jews in Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and hand him over to the Gentiles.’” 12 When we had heard this, we as well as the local residents began begging him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul replied, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” 14 And since he would not be persuaded, we became quiet, remarking, “The will of the Lord be done!”

15 After these days we got ready and started on our way up to Jerusalem. 16 Some of the disciples from Caesarea also came with us, taking us to Mnason of Cyprus, a disciple of long standing with whom we were to stay.

17 After we arrived in Jerusalem, the brothers and sisters received us gladly.

 

In John 10:10 Jesus says: The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came so that they would have life, and have it abundantly.” There are many people today who focus on the abundant life that we have in Christ, but possibly misunderstand what that abundance might be. The abundance Jesus promises in the original Greek means: beyond measure, extraordinary  2) greatly, exceedingly.  But, it is life that we have beyond measure, not things. We have both an extraordinary life here and now, and also eternal life, beyond the measurement of finite time.   In Philippians 4:11-13 Paul shares a secret of living the abundant life in Christ saying: I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with little, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. 

In today’s text it says: Then Paul replied, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”  And since he would not be persuaded, we became quiet, remarking, “The will of the Lord be done!” Paul was content with what he had, because he had truly done what Jesus says is necessary and denied himself to follow Jesus. In Philippians 3:8-10 Paul says: I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them mere rubbish, so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death. The truth is, we owe our lives to Christ, who purchased them on the cross. There is nothing we could give that would repay the price He paid and there is nothing more we can gain than what He has already given us. Romans 8:15-17 says: You have received a spirit of adoption as sons and daughters by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.  We are heirs of the kingdom of God, with all the benefits of sons and daughters of the King. In Mark 10:29-30 Jesus says: “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.” The abundant life that we have in Christ does not keep us from having difficult times. Rather the abundance of Christ keeps us in difficult times. We have all that we could ever want, because He is all that we need.

Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit, thank You for the extraordinary life beyond measure that You have given me. Like Paul may I learn to be content in whatever situation I am in, knowing that in You I have everything I need. May I daily deny myself so that I can receive the hundred fold blessings that You have for me. As the psalmist says, I delight myself in You, trusting that You will give me the desires of my heart. Like Paul, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them mere rubbish, so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him. Amen.   

 

 

Jun. 30, 2022

Acts 20 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible

After the uproar had ceased, Paul sent for the disciples, and when he had encouraged them and taken his leave of them, he left to go to Macedonia. When he had gone through those regions and had given them much encouragement, he came to Greece. And there he spent three months, and when a plot was formed against him by the Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he decided to return through Macedonia. And he was accompanied by Sopater of Berea, the son of Pyrrhus, and by Aristarchus and Secundus of the Thessalonians, and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy, and Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia. Now these had gone on ahead and were waiting for us at Troas. We sailed from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and reached them at Troas within five days; and we stayed there for seven days.

On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to leave the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight. There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were gathered together. And there was a young man named Eutychus sitting on the window sill, sinking into a deep sleep; and as Paul kept on talking, Eutychus was overcome by sleep and fell down from the third floor, and was picked up dead. 10 But Paul went down and fell upon him, and after embracing him, he said, “Do not be troubled, for he is still alive.” 11 When Paul had gone back up and had broken the bread and eaten, he talked with them a long while until daybreak, and then left. 12 They took away the boy alive, and were greatly comforted.

13 But we went ahead to the ship and set sail for Assos, intending from there to take Paul on board; for that was what he had arranged, intending himself to go by land. 14 And when he met us at Assos, we took him on board and came to Mitylene. 15 Sailing from there, we arrived the following day opposite Chios; and the next day we crossed over to Samos, and on the following day we came to Miletus. 16 For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus so that he would not have to lose time in Asia; for he was hurrying, if it might be possible for him to be in Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.

17 From Miletus he sent word to Ephesus and called to himself the elders of the church. 18 And when they came to him, he said to them,

“You yourselves know, from the first day that I set foot in Asia, how I was with you the whole time, 19 serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and trials which came upon me through the plots of the Jews; 20 how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was beneficial, and teaching you publicly and from house to house, 21 solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. 22 And now, behold, bound by the Spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that chains and afflictions await me. 24 But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of God’s grace.

25 “And now behold, I know that all of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will no longer see my face. 26 Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all people. 27 For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God. 28 Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things to draw away the disciples after them. 31 Therefore, be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears. 32 And now I entrust you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33 I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothes. 34 You yourselves know that these hands served my own needs and the men who were with me. 35 In everything I showed you that by working hard in this way you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

36 When he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. 37 And they all began to weep aloud and embraced Paul, and repeatedly kissed him, 38 grieving especially over the word which he had spoken, that they would not see his face again. And they were accompanying him to the ship.

 

In today’s text it says: On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to leave the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight. There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were gathered together. And there was a young man named Eutychus sitting on the window sill, sinking into a deep sleep; and as Paul kept on talking, Eutychus was overcome by sleep and fell down from the third floor, and was picked up dead. But Paul went down and fell upon him, and after embracing him, he said, “Do not be troubled, for he is still alive.” When Paul had gone back up and had broken the bread and eaten, he talked with them a long while until daybreak, and then left. They took away the boy alive, and were greatly comforted.  The message of the gospel was Paul’s priority. Even to the extent that the boy falling, dying and being brought back to life barely interrupted the meeting. In Matthew 18:20 Jesus says: “Where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” Perhaps we need to put more of a priority on the message of the gospel and gathering in Jesus name. Then we might see and know the power of Jesus presence in our midst. In John 14:12-14 Jesus says: Truly, truly I say to you, the one who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and  greater works than these he will do; because I am going to the Father. And whatever you ask in My name, this I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.”  It was the power of the presence of Jesus that raised that boy back to life and that same power will work in our midst, doing the works that Jesus did if we will, if we will focus on Him and the gospel message.

In the text it says: Behold, I know that all of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will no longer see my face. Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all people. For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God.   Ezekiel 3:17-21 God says: “Son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman for the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me. When I say to the wicked, ‘You will certainly die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to warn the wicked from his wicked way so that he may live, that wicked person shall die for wrongdoing, but his blood I will require from your hand. However if you have warned the wicked and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his wicked way, he shall die for wrongdoing, but you have saved yourself. Again, when a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and commits sin, and I place an obstacle before him, he will die; since you have not warned him, he shall die in his sin, and his righteous deeds which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require from your hand. However, if you have warned the righteous person that the righteous is not to sin, and he does not sin, he shall certainly live because he took warning; and you have saved yourself.”  Can those today who preach a watered down gospel message make the same claim as Paul, that they are innocent of the blood of all people? If rather than warning people of the consequences of sin, we only try to entice them to a gospel of blessings and benefits, are we innocent of their blood?

In the text, Paul continues saying: Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore, be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears. And now I entrust you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.  Surely in our day we have seen these savage wolves who speak perverse things to draw disciples after them. Many speak of a gospel that embraces the lawlessness and immorality of our culture and society. They say that if Jesus were here today, He Himself would tolerate and condone these things. We need to entrust ourselves to God’s word which does not change. In John 3:16-21 Jesus says:  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him. The one who believes in Him is not judged; the one who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the Light; for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light, so that his deeds will not be exposed. But the one who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds will be revealed as having been performed in God.” Jesus will not join in the midst of those who love the darkness. In John 8:12 Jesus says: “I am the Light of the world; the one who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” 

Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit. Your word is truth and like You it is unchanging. May the unchanging message of the gospel be our focus, that You would be in our midst. May we never fail to warn people about the consequences of sin. May we shine Your light and share Your love so that the darkness of our day would be dispelled. Amen.