Nothing But The Truth

(Acts 24:10-21)

Paul had been imprisoned and dragged before governors and tribunals to defend himself against a rash of trumped up charges from the Jewish leaders of his time. And aside from his imprisonment, a plot had been made to ambush him while on the road to kill him.

Nothing but the truth
Nothing but the truth

When these things failed, the Jewish leaders turned to receipt and flattery in an attempt to sway the magistrate and Roman governor to their side. They attempted to “butter up” the governor by use of flattery to sway him to hand over Paul. But they failed.

In this section of scripture we see how Paul defended himself against the taunts of the leaders of the Jews and hosed down all of their accusations.

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All Things To All People

(Acts 21:15-26)

The process of evangelism and bringing people to The Lord is an intersesting one. This section of Acts 21 is not about evangelism, but it does show an aspect of it, and more importantly how we should live, act and behave amongst others who do not believe as we do.

Unclean food
Unclean food

There is a fine line in the behaviours described here, which Paul describes in another place and we will look at that too. Paul recognised what needed to be done as he travelled and he was instructed likewise by James, the elders and apostles when he came to Jerusalem.

Paul had learned that the best method of evangelism was to blend in with the locals. He said that he had become all things to all people so as to win the more to Christ. And what we see him doing here when he returned to Jerusalem is the same so that the people would not take offense at what he was preaching.

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Turning the World Upside Down

(Acts 17:1-9)

As Paul and Silas came to Thessalonica they went into the synagogue and over a period of several weeks they presented the gospel of Jesus Christ. There were quite a number of those who heard, both Jews and Gentiles who listened to them and believed the truth of the gospel.

Turning the world upside down
Turning the world upside down

But this annoyed and upset the Jewish leaders of the synagogue so much that they became jealous. They incited a mob led by some wicked men and set the city in uproar. They sought Paul and Silas but could not find them, so they took another man, Jason, and dragged him before the city authorities.

However what they said to the authorities as they made their accusations is an apt and accurate description of the truth of the gospel. They said in verse 6, “These men who have turned the world upside down…”

This is true in a number of ways. How did they turn the world upside down? What is the message that turns the world upside down? We will look at these things now.

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You Can’t Please Everyone

(John 10:31-39)

If there is one thing we must learn and understand as Christians it is that we cannot please everyone. You cannot be the friend of every person and you will not be able to prove your faith to everyone, even though we know it is the greatest thing on earth and we want everyone else to share in it.

Rejection

Bottom line is that it just ain't gonna happen! We see it clearly in this section of scripture where Jesus, for all the good that he did amongst the people, was not accepted and in fact they tried to stone him to death. There is a lesson for us in this too. Don't expect that everyone will listen to the truth even when you know it is to their advantage.

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The Blame Game

(John 9:1-5)

There is a sickness in this world today that I call the blame game. No one is prepared to take responsibility. From politicians to the workplace, from supposed leaders to the person in the street, everyone seems to be looking for someone else to blame for the situations they find themselves in.

Who is to blame?
Photo taken by Colin Adamson

What we see in the start of this scripture is that this is not a new phenomenon. This same blame game existed back in the days when Jesus walked the earth too. But we also see the answer to the problem as well for Jesus is the answer. Continue reading “The Blame Game”

Don’t Make Assumptions, Find Out

(John 7:40-44)

get the facts
Get to the Facts
Photo source: stock.xchng taken by Thomas Römer

The Jews at the time of Jesus were in a quandary. Here was this man doing all kinds of signs and wonders and good things, and yet the authorities wanted him arrested and put to death. They were divided as to what to think.

The authorities who they expected to know the truth, especially the teachers of Judaism, gave no credence to Jesus at all. And yet the works he was doing were so astounding, so incomprehensible that they believed he just had to be a prophet or man of God. Here is a great lesson for all of us.

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The Woman at the Well – Part 2

(John 4:27-30, 39-45)

In the last post we looked at the conversation between Jesus and the woman at the well. We saw the interactions between them and there were lessons that are useful to understand today coming from that discussion. As we continue to look at this situation there is still more to be understood. So now we will pick up from when the disciples returned and when the woman left them to return into the town.

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Jesus on the Road to Emmaus

(Luke 24:13-35)

After his resurrection Jesus began to appear to his followers. It was necessary for I’m to do this to prove to them all the things he had told them. He spoke to them many times of the resurrection, but they still could not grasp it and did not believe until they saw him with their own eyes. Here in this section of the scripture we see how he spoke to two of his disciples as they travelled on the road to Emmaus and eventually their eyes were opened to see the truth, both of Jesus return and the truth of why he died and was resurrected.

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Increase Our Faith

(Luke 17:5-6)

Ever cried out to the Lord saying those words? “Increase our faith!” Have you ever felt that your faith was lacking? Almost every Christian has asked at some time these same words that the disciples of the Lord asked him in this section of scripture. But the answer Jesus gave them is quite revealing, especially when we look at what faith is all about.mustard seed Continue reading “Increase Our Faith”

Jesus Speaks of His Death and Resurrection

(Mark 9:30-32)

Jesus had shown on many occasions that he did not want his disciples to be uninformed. In the world today one of the things used by people as power is the withholding of information. But this was not Jesus’ way then and it is not his way now.

In this section of scripture we see Jesus begin to speak to his disciples about his coming death at the hands of the Jews and his subsequent resurrection. At no time did he withhold information from the disciples that they needed to know. He wanted them to understand all things and he kept nothing from them.

jesus-with-his-disciplesJesus showed this desire to ensure the disciples understood all things, for it was not only his desire but the desire of the Father also. He shows this saying, “He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:14-15) Paul also showed this when speaking to the church at Ephesus saying, “I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance to God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 20:20-21)

So it is the will of God that his people are forewarned and forearmed in all matters pertaining to the truth of the Gospel so that they are not left in the dark. It is commonly understood that one of the greatest causes of fear among man is caused by lack of knowledge. But when knowledge comes, fear is taken away. That is part of the reason why the Lord wants us to be fully informed, and that is why he was teaching his disciples about what was to happen to him in due course.

Had the Jews just dragged Jesus off without him having pre-warned the disciples, they would have been in utter fear and confusion. Doubtless they suffered these things to some extent anyway. But when they came to themselves and considered the matter, they knew this was to happen for the Lord had spent much time telling them about it. Thus they could move forward without questioning why it happened and suffering grief and remorse.

Naturally when Jesus was risen from the dead they were greatly comforted. And because he had told them these things and they came to pass, they were further encouraged knowing that nothing was hidden from God and that the Lord had revealed to them in advance what was going on, and more importantly why these things were to happen.

So too we should take encouragement from the knowledge that Jesus is still showing us all we need to know. It is by the Holy Spirit that knowledge is revealed to us today as we study, pray and seek the Lord. And his guidance and leadership helps us to know the paths to take when we listen and follow his direction. We have no need to fear regardless of what may come against us for the Lord has said he is with us and will protect us. It is his desire to show us his kingdom when we learn about him and come to him seeking his knowledge and his ways.

(Picture sourced from ChristiansUnite.com: http://clipart.christiansunite.com)