July 10

Acts 16:1-15

Paul begins his second missionary journey with Silas. On his first journey, Paul had encountered angry, violent men who were passionate about stopping the spread of Christianity. Why would Paul take the risk to go back a second time? One reason is the love Paul had for God. Another reason is the understanding and zeal Paul had to spread the message of salvation in Jesus Christ and build church leaders and congregations. Another reason was the love Paul had for the people in the churches he had started. Because Paul went back, the churches were strengthened in faith and increased in number daily.

Paul and Timothy meet in the Lystra area. Timothy is known to be a man of good character, raised by a Jewish mother and a Greek father. Timothy becomes a disciple of Paul’s, joining Paul and Silas in their travels and ministry. Because of the danger with the Jews in that region and their knowledge that Timothy was part Greek, Paul had Timothy circumcised. While Paul did not believe circumcision and other Jewish customs should be imposed on Gentiles, he knew circumcision could help protect Timothy from the legalistic Jews.

Paul, Silas, and Timothy were traveling from place to place in Galatia when the Holy Spirit redirected their steps. Notice that Paul and his team were ACTIVE. They were DOING the work of the ministry when God led them another direction. One problem some Christians have is that they think they have to have divine, specific direction before they will step out and do anything. Jesus said, “GO, and make disciples.” That’s all the instruction we need to start sharing our faith in Christ.

AS THEY WERE GOING, The Holy Spirit gave Paul and his team redirection. God had PURPOSE in sending the team where He wanted them to go. Because Paul went to Macedonia, northern Greece, Paul reached people in Thessalonica and Philippi.

AS THEY WERE GOING, Paul received a supernatural vision. If we want to operate in the things of the spirit just out of curiosity or a fascination with the supernatural, our focus needs a shift. Supernatural manifestations of the spirit have purpose. Step out and obey God, and the manifestations of the spirit will flow!

AS THEY WERE GOING, God provided for Paul and his team’s needs. Lydia was saved and then provided lodging for Paul and his men. Notice that Paul did not travel alone. He did nothing that would give reproach to the cause of Christ. In addition, having a partner means you have help, encouragement, support, and protection.

Let’s be inspired to continue to share our faith wherever we go.
Let’s be reminded to keep open to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Let’s make sure to work together with others as the body of Christ, committed to one another in love.

Psalm 1-3

The Book of Psalms in Hebrew is “Book of Praises.” Songs were used both for congregational worship and personal expression. Psalms is a compilation of Hebrew songs and poetry, written by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, conveying the heart of God and the heart of the men writing them. Worship music would exalt God with a spirit of faith and joy. Poetry songs include petitions, laments, elegies, and prayers. Some of the psalms were prophetic, telling of the Messiah and future plans for Israel.

There are several different authors, with most of them belonging to King David. Other authors include Asaph, Heman, King Solomon, Ethan, Jeduthun, Moses, and sons of Korah. Other psalms are from unknown writers.

When the Psalms were put together for the Bible the way we have it today, there are five sections of collections:

Book 1 (chapters 1-41): Most of the songs are attributed to David.
Book 2 (chapters 42-72): A collection of songs by or for Asaph, the sons of Korah, David, and Solomon. Four songs are anonymous.
Book 3 (chapters 73-89): Many were written by Asaph, David’s worship leader (1 Chronicles 16:4-7).
Book 4 (chapters 90-106): Songs have contributions from Moses, David, and Solomon, but most are without authors.
Book 5 (chapters 107-150): Mostly David’s songs.

The first word in Psalms is “blessed.” Blessed is what we want to be, and blessed and happy we will be when we delight in living for the Lord. According to the first psalm, to have prosperity, a person will surround himself or herself with godly counsel. We ought to be wise with whom we surround ourselves.

In Psalm 2, we read about Jesus and His kingdom. He is the Lord’s “Anointed.” This song is prophetic about Christ’s coming kingdom, established and overcoming the Lord’s enemies. In triumph over the, God shall laugh over them as the victor. In verse 7, it says, “You are My Son, today I have begotten You.” Jesus is the Son of God. God birthed Jesus into the earth through Mary, giving him legal access to operate as the Son of man.

In Psalm 2:8, God says to Jesus, “Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession.” The Hebrew word for possession means “something obtained, seized, or held.” This psalm is about taking territory back for God. Jesus is a conquering king, redeeming the people of the earth back to their Creator. Jesus is a redeemer, purchasing back what belongs to the Lord. Jesus is a rescuer, returning stolen, missing children back to their Father.

Psalm 3 was written when David fled from Absalom his son. David is king of Israel, yet so many were rising up against him. Not only were David’s enemies increasing, but they were led by a son he loved and wanted to protect. David’s sin with Uriah and Bathsheba opened a door where God allowed David’s house to be troubled. David knew He couldn’t come before God based on his own merit. David knew he brought on the trouble with his son. Still, David turns to the Lord for mercy knowing that God loved him and would hear his voice and act on David’s behalf. At the end of the song, David says, “Your blessing is on your people.” David knew God’s salvation was not just for himself, but to bring Israel back in unity and peace.

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