KJB Daily Devotion – Following Jesus Through Every Chapter
Date: Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Chapters: Acts 20-22
Message: Knowing God’s Will
Hello My Friend,
As Christians, we long to be in the will of God, after all, we know the greatest blessings come from doing the things He directs us to do, we even want our prayers to be in His will. Did you know that we can, even though we are not doing anything sinful, believe something to be in the will of God when it is not? Once in a while I start asking God to just come out and tell me what He wants me to do that way I know whether or not I am in His will. Of course, He does tell us what He wants, but since we are stubborn and full of more pride than we care to admit we keep on asking, wondering, and hoping that His will is actually something that we want. My goodness, does that make you think, huh? So, how do we know that we are in God’s will? God will never ask us to do anything that goes against His Word. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.” – II Timothy 2:15-16.
“a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,” Let me tell you, God’s will is not always fun, He will take us to places that challenge our faith, not to tempt, trick, or scare us into doing anything at all, but to see if we are going to do the things He asks us to do, and trust His judgment. Keep in mind that even doing His work we can be out of His will. When Paul began his ministry he swore that he would walk the path of Jesus to speak, that he was supposed to go to Jerusalem where he would be persecuted. While in Troas he speaks to the people, reminding them that there are still souls to be saved, and gives them a warning that the wolves are coming to draw believers away.
“And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” – Acts 20:22-30.
“to feed the church of God,” It is a true fact that if you are not being fed in the church that you will literally starve spiritually, the building itself is not where the Holy Spirit lies, He is within every saved, born again Christian, but we all need spiritual food to nourish and grow, and that is where the church comes in as we gather together as one likeminded. However, many churches today are not feeding the flock with the nourishing words of God. Sadly, they have forgotten that Jesus bought and paid for the church with His very own blood and the wolves are coming in, giving a watered down version of the Gospel, one that lacks substance, and drawing even the elect away. “For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.” – Mark 13:22.
“For false Christs and false prophets shall rise,” Knowing we are following the will of God can be a bit tricky sometimes because we are relying on His Word as well as the Holy Spirit to guide us. We may be on fire for God, even to the point of tears, convinced that we are doing what He wants us to do, even thinking that any opposition is the devil just trying to stop us. The truth is, it may be the devil trying to stop us from doing God’s will. Paul continues on his journey to Jerusalem, passing through Greece, he spends some time with Philip, it was then that several people warned him not to go, even led by the Holy Spirit, but he thought they were just trying to hinder him.
“And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem. And when we had accomplished those days, we departed and went our way; and they all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of the city: and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed. Act 21:8 And the next day we that were of Paul’s company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him. And when he was come unto us, he took Paul’s girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles. And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus. And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.” – Acts 21:4-5,8,11-14.
“And when he would not be persuaded,” For years I did well as a web designer, I thought that as long as I was doing God’s work through it that He would bless me financially with it, and He did for a while. I went back to field work, thinking I could still do it part-time, still persuaded that He wanted me to do this. Well, three years, and six jobs later, God has blessed me with a permanent part-time job, that pays what the average full-time job would pay, and if I am patient I know it will become full-time. So, right there, God is telling me that the only one I am designing websites for is Him anymore right now. “The will of the Lord be done.” We have to be careful, God will give us several warnings, but if we are that persistent then He has no choice, but to let us find out the hard way that it was not something He wanted for us. You see, after they did everything they could to warn Paul that God did not want him to go to Jerusalem, he persisted, and that is when they handed it all over to God. Paul arrives in Jerusalem, and at first he was welcomed, but something happened, the saved Jews, who insisted that the Law of Moses still be instituted, they urge him to be an example by following the Law concerning purification, and he went along with it.
“What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come. Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them; Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law. As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication. Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them. And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him,” – Acts 21:22-27.
“and laid hands on him,” Do you see what God did here? He intervened to stop them from offering the sacrifice. Do you see the error in this? They were mixing the Law with grace. Jesus purifies us with His blood the second we receive Him as our Saviour, there is no need to shave heads, circumcise, and walk after the customs needed to be reconciled with God. And by the way, we respect and keep God’s commands through our faith, not through obligation, and there is no need for an offering, Jesus is the one and only offering we need. We may not always be in God’s will, but that does not mean He will not use it to our advantage, and get us back in His will. Now, that Paul is captured, God would use this to His advantage, it would be a perfect time to preach the Gospel. The best way we can tell people about Jesus is to give our own testimony. Paul tells the people how he got saved.
“I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day. And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women. As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished. And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me. And they gave him audience unto this word, and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live. And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said unto the centurion that stood by, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned? When the centurion heard that, he went and told the chief captain, saying, Take heed what thou doest: for this man is a Roman. Then the chief captain came, and said unto him, Tell me, art thou a Roman? He said, Yea. And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born.” – Acts 22:3-6,22,25-28.
“But I was free born.” God would now use this time, and we will see this later, to sent Paul to Rome, where he was actually supposed to be going. Jesus set us free from bondage to the Law, we are not bound by any laws concerning our salvation apart from accepting Jesus Christ as our Saviour. Another way we can tell that we are in God’s will is that He is pretty persistent about us doing something, even if we try to walk away from it, He brings us back to it. Remember, God will never give us something that we cannot handle nor will He take us somewhere that goes against His Word. “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20.
Jesus Christ Magnified: “And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do.” – Acts 22:10.
Today’s Prayer: Jesus, You chose me, I did not choose You, but You chose me, all because I knew something was missing in my life and it was nothing the world had to offer. Although I try to follow Your will I know there are times where I am out of it, but also know that Your grace is sufficient enough for me to get back in it. Lord, lead me and guide me, help me to make the right decisions, and to understand when You are simply trying to tell me that I need to stop what I am persistent in my own will to do. I know I can do and endure all things through You as I keep my eyes and focus on You, not my suffering or own reasoning. I love You Lord and pray in Your name, Jesus. Amen.
God Bless You, I am praying for you,
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