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Showing posts from November 18, 2012

Paul Ministers on Melita

November 18
Lesson 12
Paul Ministers on Melita
Devotional Reading: Ezekiel 34:11–16
Background Scripture: Acts 28:1–10
Acts 28:1–10
1 And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita.

2 And the barbarous people shewed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold .
3 And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand .
4 And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live .

5 And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm .
6 Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god .
7 In the same quar…
November 18: Warring Tendencies and Spiritual Airs
Mark 14:22–50

“I will do this!” I declare as I resolve to get in shape, eat better, save money, study and meditate on the Word more, journal more, read more. My plans escalate, growing grander in scale and depth. Although I succeed in them for a while, I easily become overwhelmed when I can’t live up to the inflated vision I've projected for myself.
It’s especially easy to do this spiritually. It’s simple to hand out godly advice with a spiritual air, to speak wise words about past failings (read subtext: “Look how far I've come!”), and to talk about personal growth. But when we mess up on a colossal scale, it’s humiliating and surprising to all—especially ourselves. “What happened?” we might ask. “I was doing so well!”
Simon Peter had a tendency to make grand plans: “Even if they all fall away, certainly I will not!” he declared, proclaiming his loyalty to the Savior (Mark 14:29). They’re words to fall flat on your face by. Whe…

November 18: Warring Tendencies and Spiritual Airs

November 18: Warring Tendencies and Spiritual Airs
Mark 14:22–50
"I will do this!" I declare as I resolve to get in shape, eat better, save money, study and meditate on the Word more, journal more, read more. My plans escalate, growing grander in scale and depth. Although I succeed in them for a while, I easily become overwhelmed when I can’t live up to the inflated vision I’ve projected for myself.
It’s especially easy to do this spiritually. It’s simple to hand out godly advice with a spiritual air, to speak wise words about past failings (read subtext: "Look how far I’ve come!"), and to talk about personal growth. But when we mess up on a colossal scale, it’s humiliating and surprising to all—especially ourselves. "What happened?" we might ask. "I was doing so well!"
Simon Peter had a tendency to make grand plans: "Even if they all fall away, certainly I will not!" he declared, proclaiming his loyalty to the Savior (Mark 14:29). They…

Transformation (part 2)

Transformation (part 2)
Acts 9:15
The first thing I think of when I hear the word "transformation" is the sudden, radical change that happened in Saul of Tarsus’ life when he met the Risen Lord on the Road to Damascus. Perhaps it is the stark contrast resulting from the encounter or maybe it is the relatively short time the change took that grabs my attention, I’m not sure. But one thing I’m sure of, not all transformations are like that.
Some are slow, tedious and gradual. Sometimes they are so slow, the contrast is camouflaged by the repetitive tick of the clock. Have you ever seen time-lapsed photography of a seed’s germination process? With the clock sped up, the roots extend, the small shoot emerges and a plant begins to grow. But who would have the patience to watch the process without the benefit of time lapse photography? The change is so gradual it will go unnoticed to the naked eye.
But even when the change happens instantaneously, there is a process involved. We of…