Response To Truth!

A man with his head bowed and holding a holy bible in prayer

“Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, “We will hear you again about this.” (Acts 17:32)

Paul was dealing with a severely Greek influenced culture with many wise and well thought out perceptions. The philosophers were known for unraveling new ideas and voicing their opinions on various matters. They even had ideas on the reality of gods and what was recognized as the Unknown God. Which Paul used as a segue to the gospel of Jesus Christ. But the key here is the various responses to the Good News.

Believers; has God been sharing new perspectives in your lives? Has he been calling you to new truths or deeper conformity? Are your convictions being challenged? And if so, what’s your response? Do we mock it, reject it because it’s different from which you are comfortable, or delay and say I will hear at another time?

“But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.” (Acts 17:34)

This is the response I enjoyed. These men heard the truth and their actions followed. We are faced with trying times and confusing circumstances. This is not the time to be casual in our walks with Christ. Jesus did not die on the cross for us to be lukewarm in our walks. God didn’t not call you out of darkness to display a dim reflection of His glory. He wants us to respond to His truths in a way that there will be immeasurable evidence that we are in Him. Respond well my friend!

Written by Juan Mendez: Juan is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and full-time staff member at America’s Keswick.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 23; Proverbs 23

Daily Quote: There is nothing that makes us love a man so much as praying for him. ~William Law

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. ~II Corinthians 5:6

Past Performances

Moment of rest

He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. ~Psalm 23:3

Not many of us learn from our mistakes, if we’re honest the truth is we usually are creatures of habit. A habit is defined – as a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up. Our reputation is based on our past performance as well as how we may react or conduct ourselves given the current circumstances. What we need is our souls restored. There are times when we can surely say “my soul is satisfied”. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

The transformational healing message of the Gospel is that we no longer have to react according to our past performances. Our next move or reaction will be determined by whether we are walking in the Spirit or the flesh. I am someone who can be overwhelmed by anxieties usually brought on by fear, so when I find myself in a situation where I’m about to react, there’s an uncomfortable knot in my stomach that is ready to explode. It’s then I have a choice, a pure antidote for putting the deeds of the flesh to death is scripture. I can recite certain verses such as

“The LORD is my shepherd;

I shall not want.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside the still waters.

He restores my soul”

To be able to allow God to “Restore my soul” is a sure fire way to step out of your typical “Past Performance” and walk according to the Spirit. I love when I am out of character especially when the character displayed resembles Jesus. I have often walked away from a situation thinking to myself, “that wasn’t me.” No, I would have not handled that well apart from the help from God.

I was in church recently and one of the songs during our worship time we sang “God with us, God for us, nothing can come against, no one can stand between us”. I was reminded of the passage in Romans 8:31 “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

There is a truth that we need to be reminded of and that is we belong to God. When I commit myself to God’s word it allows the Holy Spirit to restore my soul. I then respond to things according to the Spirit.

What are your anxieties today? What are you fearing? I believe God is waiting for you to come to Him so He can do what only He can do.

Our poor past performances no longer define us, we can walk in a newness of life when we commit ourselves to Jesus. Amen

Written by Rob Russomano: Rob is married to Terri, he is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and a full time staff member. He is also available as a speaker of the grace of God with a message of Hope for church events. You can contact him at rrussomano@americaskeswick.org.

 

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 17; Proverbs 17

Daily Quote: The greatest tragedy of life is not unanswered prayer, but unoffered prayer. ~F.B. Meyer

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.– Philippians 3:10-11

The Open Book Test

Male student in classroom writing in notebook

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all Liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” ~James 1:5

I was never accused of being a straight A student, in fact, I was more than willing to accept a C or D anytime. I would panic when hearing we were having a test or a quiz, except if it was an “open book” test.

The Bible teaches that God will never tempt us (James 1:13) but He will test us (1st Thes 2:4). Either way He will allow things in our life to grow us. It’s how we respond that will determine whether we learn and grow or ignore and become confused. But, He will always make a way of escape for a temptation and if He’s testing us it’s always an open book test.

The book of James is a good source of reference when it comes to the practical life we have in Christ. Before coming to Christ I would fail miserably at life, it seemed that even the simplest things would turn out to be a failure. When I became a Christian it was as if someone gave me the Teachers edition workbook, all the answers were there. I realized that with the Holy Spirit in me I was given the opportunity to access wisdom from above.

In James 3:17 he writes “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy”. My first thought was “if I knew this before it would have saved me a lot of trouble”.

I remember reading verses in Isaiah 55 that said,

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,

Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

So are My ways higher than your ways,

And My thoughts than your thoughts”.

These verses come as “An Invitation to Abundant Life”.

I have this sense of security that the God of the universe has my best interest in mind. I no longer have to wander around aimlessly but am given the words of life and will be able to face every test and temptation with an “open book” full of answers. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”

The other benefit I get is that even when I fail the test God will let me take it over again. I need to be willing to confess that His ways are higher and repent by turning around and walking towards Him. I don’t know if I can find the scripture to back up the idea that He also grades with a curve, but I know He doesn’t expect too much from anyone but does want us to give our all.

So if you’re feeling like you’ve been failing the test, open the Book, it’s got all the answers, Amen!

Rob_FF 2016Written by Rob Russomano: Rob is married to Terri, he is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and a full time staff member. He is also available as a speaker of the grace of God with a message of Hope for church events.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 70; Proverbs 9

Daily Quote: “Everything God does is love — even when we do not understand Him.” ~Basilea Schlink

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”

~Zephaniah 3:17