Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Acts 19-20:6

From verse 5, the disciples who were willing to be baptized again in the Name of Jesus spoke to me of a humble willingness to be accurate and complete despite what they did not know.  They did not  trust in their experience or learning as disciples when answering Paul; but were eager to receive what the Lord had for them to do in obedience.  I found it interesting that at this point they received the Holy Spirit as Paul laid his hands on them...they were baptized and then  or as they were baptized they received the gift of the Holy Spirit.  The whole step of obedience was taken before the gift was given.  They had the faith beforehand; but the working out of that faith is when the Spirit became theirs.  Am I willing to receive from my teachers an exhortation that results in a working out of my faith, or would I rather just agree with them and not be moved?
From verse 11:  And God did unusual and extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul,...this just struck me as one of the funniest things I have read in the Word.  I mean, really, God did unusual and extraordinary miracles...does God have an "ordinary and usual miracle list" He normally performs; but this time He kicked it up a notch?  The same God who made all Heaven and earth from nothing, the Lord who gave 10 plagues to hard-hearted Pharaoh, the Lord God Almighty who defeated an ancient city with some trumpets and marching.  The Amazing Salvation Author who let His Son be squeezed out of a human womb, when all creation cannot contain Him?  The same Heavenly Father who let Jesus be potty-trained and learn to walk then save all of humanity with His perfect gift of life?  The One and Only One, Transcendent, Perfect, Holy, Just, Only Wise God did something out of character for His generic miracles?  I know, it's scripture so it's right and true and from God; but I just giggled when my FatherGod says He did something unusual.  There is nothing usual about my God!  So for Him to declare it to be out of the box, then I know this is not a way He should normally be known.  Thank You God for Your diverse and unexpected manner of teaching me.  I bet Paul was blown away by Your display of You.  I can't imagine.  I praise You also that how You did what You did still had the goal of spreading the Fame of Your Name and bringing healing to people.  Lord, give me eyes to see Your Unusual and Extraordinary works in and around my life that I might make You famous in my time.

15...But [one] evil spirit retorted, Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?  Even the demons know God is One and believe and shudder. (James 2:19)  The enemy does not need to be told Who Jesus is.  But do I operate in the full knowledge of Who Jesus is and what He has done for me?  Help me, Lord to stay in touch with You and what You have for me that I might not be tempted to borrow someone else's ministry.  Give me eyes to see my purpose for Your Great Name and plan.    16Then the man in whom the evil spirit dwelt leaped upon them, mastering two of them, and was so violent against them that they dashed out of that house [in fear], stripped naked and wounded.  John 10:10  The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy.  The enemy is really not nice.  He deceives us into not being too impressed by him or by thinking he is not a big concern; but he desires to assail against us violently, strip us down to nothing and comprehensively wound us.  Lord help me to operate from the place of Your authority  You have given me and not from a comparable way of someone else's example.  Let me learn and respond from You.  Keep me teachable that I may witness Your outrageous acts of glory and live in response to Your Word and Holy Spirit.

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