Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Acts 24:1, Psalm 90:12, 2 Corinthians 2:5, Romans 12:5; Keep our focus on God and we will love as Christ Jesus did and does.

Acts 24:1
"Now after five days Ananias the high priest came down with the elders and a certain orator named Tertullus. These gave evidence to the governor against Paul."
What was Ananias doing chasing Paul around? As the High Priest, he should have been serving God and ministering to the people of Israel. Ananias was around 80 years old, yet he was so caught up in resentment that he was willing to make the 60 mile journey from Jerusalem to Caesarea to bring accusation against Paul. It's been said, that "a distraction is what you see when you take your eyes off of the goal." When we spend our time chasing distractions, we accomplish nothing. We only have so much time and so many hours in a day. In Matthew 5:37-40, Jesus told us to love God and love others, yet often we take our eyes off of Jesus and place them on ourselves.
Ps 90:12 "So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." NKJV

If you are over 35, you are probably more than half way through your lifetime. At the age of 50, you have likely used seventy percent of your time. Friends, as you get older the numbers don't get better. Take a moment and reflect. Are you distracted? If you are focused on Jesus, then you will love God and love others. Do you love others? How? If you are making a long journey and your course gets off by even one degree, you will miss your destination by hundreds of miles. This is why we have to constantly make course corrections in our lives. Are you focused on Jesus or distracted by other things? Distracted? Uh oh, time for a course correction. Do you love other people? No? Oops... time for another course correction.
Life Lesson: As we follow Jesus we should not get distracted.
Dear Father,
I love You. Please help me to love and serve others. Please forgive me for times when I have been distracted. If I am off course Lord, I ask that You would show me through Your Word, through a Bible teaching church, and through fellowship with other Christians, so that I make corrections. I pray this in Jesus' name, Amen.
2 Corinthians 2:5
"I am not overstating it when I say that the man who caused all the trouble hurt all of you more than he hurt me."
The church of Jesus Christ is a family. In fact, I would say it can be an even deeper relationship than those found in a family. As believers, we weep together over heartaches, rejoice together in victories and share our lives with each other. This is not odd; this is the way God intended it to be.
Romans 12:5 "so it is with Christ's body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other."
If I was to cut my hand and you began to bleed, we would know there was a deep connection between us. In the church, we all are connected. When something good happens to you, I will be there to rejoice with you. Unfortunately, there are Christians who would rather pout over the blessing of another believer than to experience the joy of celebration with them. That person is missing out on one of the many joys of the church. Today, look for ways to connect with other believers. If they are struggling, then be there with them. If they are excited, then cheer them on as they seek Christ. Let's unite under the name of Christ and find fresh unity among all believers.
Life Lesson: When part of the body is hurt, we all feel their pain. When part of the body is attacked, we all stand with them.
Dear God,
Thank You for Your church and the fellowship of believers. Help us all to remain united and not to allow petty issues to cause division. Give me a heart that rejoices with others and is willing to mourn with them as well. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Living to tell what He died to say,
Pastor David McGee
Back to the Bible, Cross the Bridge Ministries

My Comments: In the first lesson we see mans lost focus on God (we all do that at times don’t we?) and we see it, also, in the second yet the focus is in differing directions. We as mankind seem prone (because of sin) to loose our focus on God and divert it onto other things (not profitable to us or anyone else).

Ananias, the elders and others took their focus off of God and sought to discredit and harm others (doesn’t gossip do the same thing) and some in the church body do the same when they gossip. Some in family groups gossip and seek to hurt other family members and the church body is no different. This stems from pride. The same kind of pride Satan fell from heaven from.

If we have love we do not need to make ourselves look better to others nor make others look bad. We seek to ease pain not bring pain to others especially our brothers and sisters and most especially our brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus.

Ananias did not have the love of God in him. Many claim to have the love of God in them yet if we listen to them or watch them we know they do not. Friends we all must look closely at how we treat others, what we say and how we say it. We must, if we say we are of Christ Jesus, lift others up not seek to tear them down or beat them up emotionally. Love builds up and cherishes and forgives as God has done for us; as Christ Jesus did when He loved us enough to allow Himself to be crucified on the cross. We can love that much if we Love Him and accept the gift He offers to us; the gift of salvation. Then we have His love in us and we can with His love, love others that way.

Abba Father, thank You for the love You have shown us and given to us freely in offering Your Son as a propitiation for our sin. Thank You for forgiving us and accepting us into Your family as Your adopted children. We praise You for Your grace and pray we will be filled with Your love and speak with Your words, love with Your heart and not listen to the Words of the evil one nor follow any of his ways. We pray we will be wholly Yours, that we will be Your light in a dark world. Amen

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