Seeable Changes

October 14, 2019: SOAP #3602:  Nehemiah 11-12; Psalm 1; Acts 3

Scripture:  Acts (NIV) 3:2 Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. …
7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. …
16 [From Peter’s message to the crowd] By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.

Observation:   God makes changes in people’s lives that are seeable.  When the Spirit of God interacts with human flesh and blood, some things are going to change—and the change will be easily seen.

Application:   Some changes will be temporary and seen in my reaction to what God is doing.  It may be a shout, or a burst of joy.  It may be weeping.

Other changes will be lifelong.  Changes in how I see things.  Changes in my attitude.  Changes in how I talk.  Changes in habits.  Changes in health.  Changes in finances…

Prayer:   Heavenly Father, for a God who never changes, you sure bring a lot of change to our lives, and I am so glad you do!  Every change you make is me is for my good.  Keep changing me to be like Jesus. Amen

Pastor Leon
Making friends for time and eternity! 

 

The “Suddenlies”

October 13, 2019: SOAP #3601:  Nehemiah 9-10; Acts 2

Scripture:  Acts (NIV) 1:4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.|
Acts (NIV) 2:2  Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.

Observation:   They had been told to “go into all the world” but then they were told to wait.  Then, in a moment of time, everything changed!  Suddenly!  Suddenly they were empowered and equipped to go into all the world.

Soon and suddenly are two different words.  God’s suddenly does not always happen soon enough for me, but it is worth the wait.

Application:   When the Lord tells me to wait, I can be assured that it is worth waiting for!   I find that I am thinking too small.  God has something better and bigger in mind.

Suddenly God gives me a thought or word that changes my perspective.  Suddenly God gives me insight to a scripture passage.  Suddenly I receive a phone call.  Suddenly I hear a song on the radio.  Suddenly I see inspiration in something along the road.  Suddenly someone lifts my spirit or my thoughts by something they say.  Suddenly I become aware of God’s Presence—suddenly God speaks and everything changes!

Suddenly a word is impressed in my mind.  Suddenly I know what needs to be said or done.  Suddenly I have faith to interject myself into the ongoing process.

Prayer:   Holy Spirit, I am finding that you often work in the “suddenlies.”  Help me be ready when you bring a “suddenly” my way.  May I respond in faith and obedience.  Amen

Pastor Leon
Making friends for time and eternity! 

The REPLACEMENT!

October 12, 2019: SOAP #3600:  Nehemiah 7-8; Acts 1

Scripture:  Acts (NIV) 1:4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days, you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.

Observation:   Luke begins the book of Acts where he ended the book of Luke.  Jesus leaving earth to return to the Father in heaven was not the end of God’s work with people.  The word “sent” is used many times referring to Jesus; most of the time it is Jesus speaking about himself.  He was leaving, but another was to be “sent” in His place—The Holy Spirit!  The REPLACEMENT was coming!  God’s plan in dealing with man was continuing.

Jesus was not being replaced because he had failed in some way.  It was His success that required the replacement.  Jesus had wonderfully succeeded in becoming the perfect sinless man who died in payment for man’s sins.  He who had taken on limitations as a man was returning to the Father’s throne.  One without the limitations of being a man could be omnipresent and dwell within each believer!   And through the ministry of the Holy Spirit we can enjoy the presence of both the Father and the Son!  Hallelujah!

Application:   I must be open to the Holy Spirit as the early disciples were to Jesus.   My relationship with the Holy Spirit, who dwells within me, is closer that the relationship of the early disciples to Jesus, who walked among them.  I can talk to the Holy Spirit as the early disciples talked to Jesus.  Jesus died on the cross to make this relationship possible.  It would be a shame to miss it!

Prayer:   Holy Spirit, the Father knew what I would need if I was to live a life like Jesus—if I was going to be a fruitful, joy-filled Christian.  Jesus did not begin his ministry until empowered by you, Holy Spirit.  If He needed you, how much more do I need you.  Fill me again and again with your presence; keep me full is my prayer.  Amen

Pastor Leon
Making friends for time and eternity! 

More To Come!

October 11, 2019: SOAP #3599:  Nehemiah 5-6; Psalm 146; Luke 24

Scripture:  Luke (NIV) 24:49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

Observation:  Included in Jesus final words to His disciples is this promise made by His Father of more to come.  The plan of God did not begin in Luke chapter 1, and it is not finished at the end of Luke 24.  The plan of God did not begin with Jesus coming to earth as a baby, nor does it end with His return to heaven as the resurrected Lord.  There was more to come!  In a few days, the Holy Spirit would be poured upon them and into them.
The One who had sent Jesus had promised the Holy Spirit.  Jesus himself promised to send the Holy Spirit.   Without a doubt, this must be good!!!

Application:   I need to make myself available to the ministry of the Holy Spirit.  He wants to minister to me!  He wants to minister through me!

Prayer:   Heavenly Father, you promised the Holy Spirit.  Jesus, you in coordination with the Father, promised to send Him.  What a special blessing is mine as I receive this heavenly promise.  He makes me a blessing to others as He ministers through me.   Amen

Pastor Leon
Making friends for time and eternity! 

 

 

Leon, what are you thinking!

October 10, 2019: SOAP #3598:  Nehemiah 3-4; Luke 23

Scripture:  Luke (NIV) 23:22 For the third time he spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore, I will have him punished and then release him.” 23 But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. 24 So Pilate decided to grant their demand. 25 He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will.

Observation:  Pilate found no basis of any of the charges.  Herod found no basis and returned Jesus to Pilate.  Pilate again declares that he finds no basis of the charges.  Five times Jesus has been declared innocent!

Yet Pilate surrendered Jesus to “their will.”

Application:  Jesus tells me He is in control.  I read in the scriptures two or three places that He is in control.  I hear testimonies how Jesus took charge of a problem.  People specifically tell me to trust Jesus to take charge.  Many more than five times I have heard that Jesus can control my circumstances; yet, I run ahead worrying and in desperation doing what I think best!  And I condemn Pilate???  Leon, what are you thinking!

Prayer:   Yes, Lord.  You have more than enough wisdom and more than enough power to bring about what is best in my circumstances.  In big and in small things, I do best when I follow your lead. Amen

Pastor Leon
Making friends for time and eternity! 

The Guest Room

October 09, 2019: SOAP #3597:  Nehemiah 1-2; Psalm 133-134; Luke 22

Scripture:  Luke (NIV) 22:9 “Where do you want us to prepare for it?” they asked.  10 He replied, “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, 11 and say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 12 He will show you a large upper room, all furnished. Make preparations there.”

Observation:  I wonder about the history of this house.  Was it built with a guest room?  Had a son or daughter once lived in the room?  When they moved out, did it become the guest room?  Whatever, it was now a designated guest room.  It was furnished and ready for guests.

Jesus was not making his permanent residence in this “guest room.”  It was just a short stop on the way to the cross.

Application:    So it is with my physical body.  This is not my permanent residence.  When I die, I will leave it behind.  At the resurrection, it will be changed to be like his glorious body!  This worldly residence I live in is not my permanent home.  I am just passing through.  I should consider it as a “guest room.” It is to be furnished and ready for Jesus to use as He desires.

Prayer:   Jesus, this body is yours to use how and when you desire.  You may want to use it as a meeting place for some of your disciples.  You may want to use it to meet with people who have not yet made you their Lord and Savior.   What a special honor that you would use me as your “guest room.” Amen

Pastor Leon
Making friends for time and eternity! 

He is all my hope! To Him goes all the glory!

 

October 08, 2019: SOAP #3596:  Ezra 9-10; Psalm 131; Luke 21

Scripture:  Psalm (NIV) 131:1 of David.  My heart is not proud, O LORD, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. 2 But I have stilled and quietened my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me. 3 O Israel, put your hope in the LORD both now and for evermore.

Observation:   David lived out the attitude presented in this Psalm.  Although he was anointed to be king of Israel, he did nothing to bring about the removal of King Saul.  When Saul was trying to kill David and God twice delivered Saul into David’s hands, David refused to take Saul’s life both times.

David would make no move to take Saul’s place.  Like a child, he would be content with the place he had in life.  It was God’s word that he would be king; David would let God make it happen.

Application:  I can rest in God’s plan for my life.  Like a child I can rest in God’s care!  God is very capable of bringing about His plan.  I do not need to force my way or push others out of my way.

Prayer:   Heavenly Father, I am unworthy of the blessings you bring my way.  My hope is in You alone.  You are the planner of my life.  You are the director of my steps.  Your Son purchased my salvation.  Your Holy Spirit is the energizer of my life.  To you goes all the glory!    Amen

Pastor Leon
Making friends for time and eternity!