I was supposed to get a delivery yesterday, but the scheduled delivery never happened. The post office marked the reason as “business is closed.” I never knew that I was running a business at my home. If we are, there are no employees, no services provided, and no profits so we are failing miserably. The non-existent business may need to close its doors soon.
I’m assuming that this reasoning was a simple technical glitch or possibly someone wanting to push through their Sunday deliveries. It is possible that someone would assume a business-like order would actually be delivered to a business. By a quick review of the deliveries that often come to my home, one would assume there was a business here. I can understand the confusion.
Today, consider what people would say about you when they look at you. Could they tell that you are a Christian? Would they see some fruit in your life that would point them to Jesus? Do you look like everyone else? Would your actions give them a false assumption? Or is it possible the assumption isn’t false at all? Reflect inward today. Ask God to open your eyes. Are you shining His light? Are you living life on the narrow path? Has your religious routine neglected to impact your heart for Jesus?
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2 [NIV]
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light — for the fruit of the light results in all goodness, righteousness, and truth — discerning what is pleasing to the Lord. Don’t participate in the fruitless works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what is done by them in secret. Everything exposed by the light is made clear, for what makes everything clear is light. Therefore it is said: Get up, sleeper and rise up from the dead, and the Messiah will shine on you. Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk — not as unwise people but as wise — making the most of the time, because the days are evil.” – Ephesians 5:8-16 [HCSB]
God positions people beside us to help. In a world that tries to teach us to use people and to see what they can do for us, the Bible speaks of a reverse system. Rather than seeking what we can get in this world, and what people can do for us, we are taught that we should seek the best interests of others. We are taught that we are to look out for our fellow man. We are to speak life. We are to encourage, We are to build up.
In Romans 15, the Apostle Paul speaks about people who are strong in the Lord. These spiritually mature are to be considerate to others. We are to recognize what is most important. It isn’t about pleasing ourselves. It is not about us at all. Answering the command of the Lord, we are to love others. We should help others to do what is right. We should invest in people. Build them up in the Lord. This is relationship. This is living intentional. This is reaching outward.
Today, consider who God has placed around you. There are mentors around you, who are being led by the Spirit to help build you up. Then there are people around you who are growing in the Lord. Speak life to them. Walk beside them. Take time with them. Invest in them. Remember that you once were there. Align yourself to them and help them to sink their roots deeper into Christ Jesus.
“We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not just please ourselves. We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord.” – Romans 15:1-2 [NLT]
There is something so awesome and indescribable, the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. People fall on their knees before Him. When soldiers encountered Him in the garden, and He said, “I AM He,” they fell to the ground. When the wise men heard of His birth, they traveled a great distance to fall before Him and worship. Yet, the Bible tells us to clothe ourselves with this presence of the Lord—to clothe ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Instead of indulging own evil desires, instead of allowing our sinful heart to control our path, we are to clothe ourselves with Him. How can you be clothed in the Presence? How can someone like you or I be clothed in Jesus? It is because He freely, willingly, purposefully died for us that we can do this. It is because He did not die, but He died and rose again, that we have this great hope. It is because of the Resurrection that we are clothed in His righteousness.
It is because of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit among all believers that we have the power to put on His righteousness. When our deceitful hearts try to lead us, the Spirit moves freely within us and we can instead, clothe ourselves with Him. We let go of control. We let go of selfish desires. We let go of our will and say, “Your will be done.” As we are Spirit led, we will not only be clothed in Christ Jesus on the inside—but we will be light bearers to the dark world as an overflowing unto the outside. We will take the presence of the Lord wherever we travel. Today, check to see if you are clothed in His Presence before you start your day.
“Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.” – Romans 13:14 [NLT]
Do Good. It’s a simple phrase but it’s not so easy for us. We have bad within us. The Bible says that our hearts are evil. Jeremiah 17:9 says that the “human heart is the most deceitful of all things.” The heart is so deceitful we cannot even know how bad it truly is because it’s that bad. Jesus says that evil comes from the hearts of men (see Mark 7:21). So we have bad inside us but we must do good. What a quandary!?!
Romans 12:21 says, “Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.” So don’t let the evil conquer you. Don’t let the evil control you. Don’t let all that evil within you be what guides your steps. Instead, do good and you’ll conquer the evil. How does this work? How can you do the good when the bad is within?
The Holy Spirit is called the Advocate for a reason. An advocate has a lot to do with support. The Spirit guides us, convicts us, teaches us, reveals to us, and more. The Fruit of the Spirit grows within us more as we continue to live in the Spirit, and allow Him to freely move within us. As He leads you to do good, you’ll find the more and more good you do will allow for less and less evil. What you put in, you get out. Then when the evil of the world comes at you, you will be filled with so much of the goodness that comes from God. You will be able to continue to do good despite the evil you are facing head on. If the evil doesn’t keep you from doing good, then there is victory. You can conquer evil by doing good. Start today. Do something good. Allow the Spirit to control your steps. The victory will come. Conquer the evil with good.
“Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.” – Romans 12:21 [NLT]
My daughter went out to eat for her first sit down dinner with a group, where she was then required to take care of her own bill and tip accordingly. She was well prepared for the trip and was excited to have some time to spend with her friends dining out. When it was time to pay the bill, my daughter figured out the tip like I taught her using a simple math trick. She rounded up as well, something else I taught her. Hey, I like my kids to be equipped.
My daughter was ready to pay, but then a few people questioned the tip she was leaving. You aren’t leaving that amount are you?!? That’s too much. A few gasped at the thought. But she was determined to bless the person with a good tip like she saw in action so many times. Nonetheless, there were more gasps and some people telling her it was too much to give. Just an FYI, it was only $5 for a $15 meal; it wasn’t something outrageous. Even so, she didn’t give the tip she planned. She listened to her friends who told her it was too much, and followed their instructions to get change and leave precisely the exact percentage down to the penny as best she could get.
Often during tip time, people do what reminds me of doing a duty, giving what had to be given by society’s terms. Like paying union dues or a gas bill. My daughter felt bad that she caved in. I told her that for the next meal, she can say she wishes to bless the person and just give what is placed on her heart. This was the first time she was in this situation, and with her innocent eyes, she hasn’t witnessed people trying to tip the minimum. All she sees is an outpouring of generosity. Today, stand bold. Don’t allow the people around you to dictate your actions. God is generous, more generous than anyone. You will never out give God. Truth. If the Spirit leads you to bless someone, whether it be a nice tip, some cash, a gift card, some manual labor, etc., listen. We are blessed to be a blessing. And it’s such a blessing to be a blessing. This world is a dark place. We are called to be the light. Don’t hide it. Shine it. Be the difference. Show the love.
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” – 2 Corinthians 9:7 [NIV]
“And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” – Acts 20:35 [NLT]
Peter and John were proclaiming the Good News. It disturbed people and they were put in prison. Annas the high priest and Caiaphas questioned them. They spoke of Jesus and the salvation only possible through Him. They were commanded to not speak or teach in the name of Jesus.
“As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard” – Acts 4:20 [NIV]
- “We cannot stop telling” [NLT]
- “We cannot stop talking” [GW]
- “There’s no question – we can’t keep quiet” [MSG]
Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch
Told to “Rise and go toward the south” (v. 26) “he rose and went” (v. 27)
2) Spirit Led
Ready to listen to God’s instruction – an angel of the Lord said (v. 26)
3) Specific Instructions
Spirit said go over and join this chariot (v. 29)
4) Concern for Others
Concerned about others understanding
“Do you understand what you are reading?” (v. 30)
5) Wait for the Open Door
No I need help – BOOM – DOOR OPEN
Begins with Isaiah passage and then speaks about the Good News of Jesus (v. 31)
6) Don’t stand in the way
What prevents me from being baptized?
Nothing (v. 37-38)
7) Don’t miss a beat
Spirit of Philip is carried away
His service is done – Onward and upward (v. 39-40)
This is one of the 4 part Acts series: