Living for Christ

December 2010 Daily Devotion Archive

December 1:
The Faith of King Darius, Part 2 of 2

Now the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; and no musicians were brought before him. Also his sleep went from him. Then the king arose very early in the morning and went in haste to the den of lions. And when he came to the den, he cried out with a lamenting voice to Daniel. The king spoke, saying to Daniel, "Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?" - Daniel 6:18-20

King Darius never gave up hope, though he was obviously deeply concerned for Daniel's well-being throughout the night. But to me, he doesn't sound very worried. He sounds like a man who still has faith and who is still believing that Daniel's God will save him from the lions. I don't think King Darius served God prior to this time. But he had respect for the God that Daniel served and was wise enough to see that his God was powerful. He even fasted throughout the night out of respect for God and Daniel and he rushed to the lions' den the next morning, still optimistic that Daniel had been saved from the lions.

December 2:
The Humility of Jesus

But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place. - John 5:13

This refers back to the same scenario that we have been looking at over the last four Thursdays. Jesus healed this man, but at first, the man didn't even know who had healed him! That is a perfect example of the character of Jesus, and the character of God Himself. A large crowd had gathered, but Jesus didn't want to attract any attention to Himself, so He withdrew from that area instead. Once again we see how humble Jesus is. He is God in the flesh, yet as humble as any person has ever been. Who wouldn't want to serve that kind of a God? Some people have the misconception that Jesus is arrogant (in saying that He is the only way to God), or that God is selfish (in demanding our worship). But those ideas couldn't be farther from the truth. We serve a humble, loving, caring God. Yes, Jesus will judge us all in the end (we'll look more closely at that in a couple of weeks), but that judgment only comes as a result of His love for us and His desire for us to do what is right. We serve a truly awesome God!

December 3:
A Picture of Our Culture, Part 5 of 7

But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. - Ephesians 5:3-4

Three weeks ago I addressed the problem of fornication (premarital sex) on TV shows. Most shows these days also contain coarse language and are just generally filthy. Do you watch those types of shows on a regular basis? Do you laugh at nasty jokes and disgusting language? If you do, I would encourage you to stop and seriously re-evaluate how you spend your time. We have allowed Hollywood to push these ideas into our society and we have blindly accepted them, naively assuming that it's just TV and it doesn't impact real life. Well, it does. Our society is collapsing around us and I think the kinds of things shown on TV are largely to blame for that. Think about it: When did society start going downhill? In the 1960s, just as TVs were entering many homes. Then things have gotten much worse over the last decade or so, and Christians desperately need to take a stand for what is right!

December 4:
Laziness vs. Hard Work

He who tills his land will be satisfied with bread,
But he who follows frivolity is devoid of understanding.
The wicked covet the catch of evil men,
But the root of the righteous yields fruit.
A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth,
And the recompense of a man's hands will be rendered to him.
- Proverbs 12:11-12, 14

The Proverbs frequently speak about the topic of laziness in one's work. Many of the people who are currently unemployed simply don't want to work, and that is a horrible attitude to have. Yes, there are some who desperately want to find a job. But plenty of others would be happy just continuing to receive checks from the government without having to do anything. In the early days of this country, everyone had to work hard in order to survive, and that is the model that we all should continue to follow. God expects us to work hard, both in our jobs as well as in our efforts to advance His Kingdom here on earth.

December 5:
Hating Idols

I have hated those who regard useless idols;
But I trust in the Lord.
- Psalm 31:6

I'm not sure David's attitude was entirely correct when he wrote that he hated those people "who regard useless idols," but we should definitely hate the idols themselves. Do you have idols in your life? Most people do, and many probably don't even realize it. An idol is not just a fancy statue; it can be anything that takes first place in your heart and in your life ahead of God. A few examples could be money, possessions, or of course any kind of sinful lifestyle, but an idol can also be your spouse, your job, or your children. An idol isn't necessarily something bad (loving your children obviously isn't bad), but it can become a bad thing if it takes God's #1 place in your life. Still, this verse specifically says "useless idols," and to me that refers more to money and material things that really don't matter from an eternal point of view--yet most people act like it is so important to get more "stuff." God and God alone should have that #1 place in your life. Resist the temptation to put other things first.

December 6:
More Tithing

"And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God's house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You." - Genesis 28:22

Here we see another example of tithing (the first was in Genesis 14:20). Jacob is speaking here, and he just seemed to know that he was supposed to give a tenth back to the Lord. Giving should be that instinctive for us as well. Everything belongs to God. Stop and think about that for a moment: Everything belongs to God. He has chosen to bless you with whatever you have. So, if the money and possessions that you have belong to God, and you don't give much or anything back to Him, you are essentially stealing from God. He has entrusted you with those things, and you have broken that trust by not following His commands. He is a generous God who could ask for much more but doesn't; He even lets you keep up to 90%! But He wants you to give at least a tenth willingly, showing that you understand how important it is to fund ministries that further His Kingdom.

December 7:
Respecting God, Part 2 of 2

And when they came to Nachon's threshing floor, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his error; and he died there by the ark of God. - 2 Samuel 6:6-7

First, it is vitally important that we show God the reverence that He deserves and that we fear Him so that we may more willingly obey His commands. Uzzah should have had enough reverence for God that he wouldn't want to touch something so holy, and he should have feared God enough to respect God's commands. We have a serious lack of both of those things in our society today. We don't show God the kind of fear and reverence that we should; instead, we just live any way that we want. We must also trust God completely. Do you really think that our God, who was powerful enough to create the whole universe, wouldn't have made sure that his ark didn't fall to the ground when the oxen stumbled? We need to have a deep, sincere trust in God at all times.

December 8:
Protection of Angels

Then Daniel said to the king, "O king, live forever! My God sent His angel and shut the lions' mouths, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him; and also, O king, I have done no wrong before you." Now the king was exceedingly glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no injury whatever was found on him, because he believed in his God. - Daniel 6:21-23

God protects His children. You may be facing a difficult time right now, but regardless of your circumstances, they probably don't compare to being thrown down into a den full of hungry lions! Yet God protected Daniel, and if you belong to Him, then He protects you too. Also keep in mind that we can't see the bigger picture, but God can. He always has a plan, and we just have to trust Him and His plan. It may not always be easy, but if you fully trust that God loves you and cares for you, then it should be easy to trust Him. What was His plan in this instance? We will take a closer look at that next week.

December 9:
Jesus Talks About His Father

But Jesus answered them, "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working." Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God. - John 5:17-18

These Jews never stopped for a moment to consider the possibility that Jesus was telling the truth when He made Himself equal with God. Some twenty years earlier when Jesus was still a young boy, many Jews were marveling at His wondrous teachings, but apparently they had forgotten all about that. Instead, it was their own jealousy and pride that got in the way. Jesus was still teaching in astonishing ways--something that a mere human was certainly not capable of doing. Even more impressively, He was healing people and clearly possessed the power of God. How could He do all of those wonderful things, then be capable of telling such a spectacular lie about Himself? It simply isn't possible, but so many people both then and now close their minds to the idea that this man could possibly be the Son of God, usually because they want to remain in control.

December 10:
A Picture of Our Culture, Part 6 of 7

But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. - Ephesians 5:3-4

Instead of doing all of these sinful things, what does Paul say to do? He says we should give thanks! We live in a wealthy country. Despite the financial downturn, even our poor have more than many people in other parts of the world. But how often do we stop and give praise to God for that? Not nearly as often as we should. Instead of taking part in sexual activities outside of marriage, we should be spending time with that significant other in prayer, drawing closer to God. Instead of coveting what other people have, we should be thankful for all that God has blessed us with. Instead of watching disgusting shows on TV, we should use that time in a better way. We can read God's Word, spend time with the family, or do something to help others in need. Stop letting TV dictate how you spend your time. Give control of that over to God instead.

December 11:
Accepting Advice

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
But he who heeds counsel is wise.
- Proverbs 12:15

Have you ever noticed how so many of these self-proclaimed "enlightened" people, who feel they have advanced beyond morality and God, don't like for someone to try to tell them that they might be wrong? That's what came into my mind when I read this verse. Those people don't seem to see anything wrong with what they're doing, yet for some reason they deeply fear advice from others. I find it ironic that these are the same people who say Christians are closed-minded, yet in reality, they are the ones who close their minds to what anyone else tries to tell them! On the other hand, just like I said in a similar devotional a few weeks ago, those who accept the advice of others with an open mind are wise indeed.

December 12:
Don't Be Ashamed

Do not let me be ashamed, O Lord, for I have called upon You;
Let the wicked be ashamed;
Let them be silent in the grave.
Let the lying lips be put to silence,
Which speak insolent things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.
- Psalm 31:17-18

Many non-Christians seem all too proud to boast about their religious beliefs (or lack thereof), mocking Christians for what we believe. They certainly don't appear to be ashamed of their beliefs or their lifestyles! Why, then, are we often so timid to share our beliefs with others? They are the ones who should be ashamed--living sinful lifestyles and acting like they are proud of it. We desperately need to stand up for the truth and for good moral values at a time when sinfulness is prevailing in our culture. The opposing viewpoint certainly isn't ashamed...and we shouldn't be ashamed either, since we know the truth!

December 13:
True Love and Loyalty

Now Jacob loved Rachel; so he said, "I will serve you seven years for Rachel your younger daughter." And Laban said, "It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to another man. Stay with me." So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her. - Genesis 29:18-20

Doing something like this would almost seem crazy in our fast-paced, instantaneous modern society. But to me, it is a beautiful picture of the love and loyalty that Jacob had for Rachel. He was willing to do anything, including working seven long years (or 14 years in all, if you read the rest of the story), just to have her as his wife. He could have easily run away and chosen another woman instead, but he was totally devoted to her. That's the way our relationships need to be, with two people completely devoted to each other, remaining loyal no matter what may happen.

December 14:
True Worship

Then David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod. - 2 Samuel 6:14

Should we stick to traditional hymns, or should we sing contemporary music during our services? What about dancing and clapping? Unfortunately, such debates take our focus away from what is really important--worshipping God. Take a close look at this verse. David danced before the Lord--something that would be unfathomable in some churches, but did God become angry at David for doing that? Of course not! David was celebrating after the ark of God had finally been returned to its proper location in Israel. Considering the nature of God, I can't imagine Him looking down from heaven and shaking his head in disgust because of something like that. In fact, I believe quite the opposite is true. God looks at the heart, and if we have a cheerful heart that is eager to worship Him, then I doubt it matters to Him how we go about doing that. Different people are comfortable worshipping in different ways, and we should never judge one another in that regard. Never forget that worship isn't about us; it's about Him.

December 15:
God's Plan

Then King Darius wrote: To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you. I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel. For He is the living God, and steadfast forever; His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed, and His dominion shall endure to the end. He delivers and rescues, and He works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions. - Daniel 6:25-27

It is easy to see that God had a plan right from the start. By allowing Daniel to be thrown into the lions' den, God was able to display His power and perform a miracle which I am sure became known to everyone in this land. King Darius certainly gained a newfound respect for God and sent out a new decree, that everyone should worship Daniel's God instead of worshipping King Darius himself. Certain people intended this for evil, but God turned it into something good. Daniel only had to endure a brief frightening experience in order to bring an entire country into a closer relationship with God!

December 16:
You Can't Have God Without Jesus

"For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him." - John 5:22-23

Jesus is speaking about Himself here, saying that anyone who does not honor the Son (Himself) does not honor God, since God the Father sent His Son to us. Some people wonder if other religions, especially Islam, worship the same God that we do. The only reasonable answer is that no, they do not. Muslims clearly worship a false "god." Long ago, they may have worshipped the true God, but they ceased to do that when they chose to branch off and follow a different path instead of the one that God laid out for us when He sent Jesus to die for our sins. Make no mistake about it: There is one and only one way to heaven. The world will tell you otherwise, but that's only because Satan is trying to deceive you (don't let him win!) and also because far too many people are focused on pleasing other people instead of proclaiming the absolute truth of Jesus.

December 17:
A Picture of Our Culture, Part 7 of 7

But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. - Ephesians 5:3-7

I am deeply passionate about the ideas presented in this passage and how they apply to the current state of our society. That's why this devotional was broken down into 7 parts--by far the most I have ever written about such a short passage. Each one of us needs to think about God and what He wants us to do when we make day-to-day choices. As we see in the second part of this passage, God takes all of these sins very seriously. We should avoid them at all costs and we must take a stand against what God tells us is sinful.

December 18:
He who speaks truth declares righteousness,
But a false witness, deceit.
The truthful lip shall be established forever,
But a lying tongue is but for a moment.
Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil,
But counselors of peace have joy.
Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord,
But those who deal truthfully are His delight.
- Proverbs 12:17, 19-20, 22

December 19:
Early Prophecies of Jesus' Birth, Part 1 of 5

"When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever." - 2 Samuel 7:12-16

As is the case with many Biblical prophecies, this one had a short-term fulfillment with David's son Solomon (who was God's figurative son and who built the temple in God's name) as well as a long-term fulfillment with God's only begotten Son, Jesus. Still, this is one of the earliest passages in the Bible that alludes to the fact that God's Son will come from the lineage of David and will establish His kingdom, and Jesus was born about 930 years after this passage was written.

December 20:
Early Prophecies of Jesus' Birth, Part 2 of 5

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. - Isaiah 9:6-7

This is one of several times when the prophet Isaiah makes reference to the future Messiah. One word of this verse brings to mind an important idea, and that word is government. The people of Israel thought that God was sending someone who would form an earthly kingdom that would never fail. They weren't even looking for the type of Savior that God actually sent. People who try to make the claim that the Bible is false because the writers could have just made up the story about Jesus coming based on these prophecies miss out on that important point. They couldn't have made up something that they weren't expecting.

December 21:
Early Prophecies of Jesus' Birth, Part 3 of 5

"Indeed He says, it is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth." Thus says the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, their Holy One, to Him whom man despises, to Him whom the nation abhors, to the Servant of rulers: "Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the Lord who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel; and He has chosen You." - Isaiah 49:6-7

About 700 years before His birth, the prophet Isaiah once again writes about the coming Savior. Here we learn a little more about Him. We learn that He will save everyone, Jews and gentiles alike; and we learn that mankind will despise Him (as many Jews did 2,000 years ago and as many people still do today). Yes, these words which were written some 2,700 years ago directly apply to both Jesus' birth and life here on earth as well as how many people still treat Him today. Only a prophecy from the one true God could be so accurate.

December 22:
Early Prophecies of Jesus' Birth, Part 4 of 5

"But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting." - Micah 5:2

Similar to the prophecies from Isaiah that we have been looking at, this was also written some 700 years before Jesus' birth. Yet it accurately predicts His first and His future second coming. The One, Jesus, will come out of Bethlehem to rule over Israel. This prophecy itself would have been impossible for an ordinary man to fulfill; after all, you can't control your own birth! His "goings forth are from of old, from everlasting"--meaning that He has been in existence since the beginning. Then "He shall give them up" when He returns to heaven, until "she who is in labor" (meaning the earth, I believe, as described in Revelation) "has given birth", then all His children will return to Him. The last few words are key as well--Jesus was, and is, peace. He is Peace and He freely gives that peace to us if we ask and openly accept His offer. This is yet another amazing prophecy of Jesus!

December 23:
Early Prophecies of Jesus' Birth, Part 5 of 5

"Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel." - Isaiah 7:14

Immanuel: God with us. That is the meaning of the word Immanuel, and indeed God is with us. We don't pray to some distant "god," hoping he'll hear if He isn't too busy doing something else. We pray to a God who is with us, who came to this earth in the form of His Son Jesus, and who abides within us in the form of the Holy Spirit. That's a big part of what sets Christianity apart from other religions that have been invented by mankind. Many other religions involve praying to some distant "god," and because those religions are not based on truth, there is no true God to have a relationship with. But our God is true. He loves us and He is right here with us all the time. How amazing and wonderful is that?! Take some time this Christmas to think about the wonderful, loving, true God that we serve.

December 24:
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. - Luke 2:1-10

December 25:
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. - Luke 2:11-20

December 26:
Renew and Refresh, Part 1 of 7

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. - Acts 2:1-4

This week we will take a close look at a powerful sermon that Peter gave right after the Day of Pentecost, the day when the Holy Spirit came to the earth and entered into all believers. We will see that the non-believers in the crowd started to mock them, saying they were drunk, instead of realizing what was actually going on. But Peter takes the stand and delivers a powerful message that leaves no doubt: God is real and the Holy Spirit has come! We can learn a lot from what he has to say, and it is my hope that Peter's words will renew and refresh your faith and also inspire you to take a bold stand for Jesus in the new year to come.

December 27:
Renew and Refresh, Part 2 of 7

And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, "Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs--we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God." So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "Whatever could this mean?" Others mocking said, "They are full of new wine." - Acts 2:5-13

This took place just after the Holy Spirit had come upon these believers. How would you respond if you were mocked or insulted for your beliefs? Over the next few days, we will see the powerful response that Peter gave to those remarks.

December 28:
Renew and Refresh, Part 3 of 7

But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, "Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy. I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." - Acts 2:14-21

Peter begins by referring back to the prophet Joel, who wrote about the very event that was happening centuries earlier.

December 29:
Renew and Refresh, Part 4 of 7

"Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know--Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it. For David says concerning Him: I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken. Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad; moreover my flesh also will rest in hope. For You will not leave my soul in Hades, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You have made known to me the ways of life; you will make me full of joy in Your presence." - Acts 2:22-28

Peter continues by describing who Jesus is. Many of these people had seen Jesus with their very eyes and still did not believe! We can be incredibly stubborn sometimes. Yet Peter's passion for the truth clearly shines through in this message.

December 30:
Renew and Refresh, Part 5 of 7

"Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. "For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool." "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." - Acts 2:29-36

Peter's bold, passionate message continues. Make no mistake about it--Jesus IS our risen Savior and Lord!

December 31:
Renew and Refresh, Part 6 of 7

Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call." And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation." Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. - Acts 2:37-41

Peter's message cut right to the heart. It had a powerful impact on these people. That's what we need in this world today! We don't need "God loves you so let's all be happy" messages. Yes, God does love you--but there is much more to Christianity than that. We need to share the absolute truth of Jesus with the world around us--a dark, perverse world that desperately needs to hear this truth!