Tag Archives: Bible

Daily devotional for 10 January 2018 – Jeremiah 29:11-14

untitled

Dear brothers and sisters,

On Monday my wife and I started fasting for 10 days for this new year and to grow closer to God. Let the main priority of fasting be to come closer to God and secondary all the things in your life you want to bring before His throne. Know that praying and fasting is necessary to get real breakthroughs in your life. And what subjects can you fast on? According to Rick Warren in one of his recent sermons: if it is worth worrying about, than it is also worth fasting about!

Today I want to meditate with you on the words from Jeremiah 29:11-14 (NIV):

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity.a I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

These verses are dealing with the exile of Jewish nation to Babylon for 70 years. This was because they did not obey God on certain matters (of which idol worshipping for once, but also not respecting the jubilee year every 7th year. But even before they went into exile God already let them know that they would only be in exile for a fixed time.

In our lifes we should also know that God has plans for us and wants to let this plans come into fruitition in our lifes. It is important that through our faith that we are open and willing to follow his plans for our lifes. If we do, we will see the blessings come more and more in our lifes.

 

Advertisements

Bible study on Acts of the Apostles – Chapter 25

acts

Bible study on Acts of the Apostles – Chapter 25

Dear brothers and sisters,

In the Bible study on the 25th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles I will discuss:

  • Paul’s trial before Festus
  • Festus consults King Agrippa

Paul’s trial before Festus

Again we see that the chief priest and the Jewish leaders were determined to kill Paul. How can they call themselves followers of God, when the only thing in their heart seems to be hate.

At that moment Festus arrived in the province and travelled from Caesarea to Jerusalem, where the chief priest and Jewish leaders appeared before him and again brought their charges on Paul to him. Again they asked a favor to have Paul brought Paul to Jerusalem hoping to kill him along the way.

Festus however told them that he was held at Caesarea and if they wanted to press charges to could come along and press charges there. Again God saved Paul from this ambush! After being in Caesarea for 10 days they finally got to see Paul and they brought all wild acquisitions against him, but none of them they could prove. Paul again had as his only defense that he had done nothing wrong, which was actually true. Don’t spent your energy defending elaborately when your enemy isn’t even interested in the truth.

Festus, apparently, not being a very strong man was trying to appease the Jews and asked a favor to Paul to go with them and stand trial. Paul was led by the Holy Spirit and told him that he wasn’t unwilling to die if he committed any crime, but he hadn’t. Also he rightfully said that he did nothing to the Jews and if someone was to judge him it was Caesar, so he demanded that if he was to be tried and sentenced it was to be in Rome by Caesar. I love the book of Acts because we continuously see how Paul was protected and led by the Holy Spirit. Never allow a false court / accuser to demand to prosecute you as they have no right.

Festus consults King Agrippa

A few days later King Agrippa and Bernice came to Caesarea to pay respect to Festus. Because Festus now consulted Agrippa on the matter regarding Paul. Festus explained the whole situation and asked Festus to speak with Agrippa himself. See how God can really make all our enemies clueless. It doesn’t matter how powerful or smart a human may think he or she is, God can easily bring confusion in that person.

Again Paul was brought before an audience including King Agrippa. They did not know how to handle Paul’s demand to be tried in Rome, as they needed something to have to accuse him on and the Jewish leaders only could bring religious disputes before them.

God is amazing, because he will not allow our enemies to take us with lies!

Bible study on Acts of the Apostles – Chapter 23

acts

Bible study on Acts of the Apostles – Chapter 23

Dear brothers and sisters,

In the Bible study on the 23th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles I will discuss:

  • Paul before the Sanhedrin
  • The plot to kill Paul
  • Paul transferred to Caesarea

Paul before the Sanhedrin

This part of chapter 22 shows an amazing ability of God to put division in our enemies. Paul was put before the Sanhedrin for both Sadducees and Pharisees were joined together with the goal to judge (and eventually kill) Paul.

Paul opened the “trial” by stating that he had fulfilled his duty to God in all good conscience to this day, which was actually true. But this truth was not acceptable for the high priest, because they were not looking for the truth, but for a reason to kill Paul. So the high priest ordered his man to slap Paul the face. Paul told them that God would strike them, because they claim to defend the law, but they themselves were in violation of the law by striking him. And now the men claimed that Paul was insulting the high priest. How is it not insulting to hurt someone just for telling the truth?

Now we see how the Holy Spirit led Paul to bring confusion. The Holy Spirit let him now that amongst the men were both Sadducees and Pharisees. He told him that he himself was a Pharisee from Sadducee descent and was only on trial because he had hope for the resurrection  of dead. Because Sadducees don’t believe that there is such a thing as resurrection a dispute between both the Pharisees and Sadducees broke loose and they forgot about Paul.

The Roman commander however was afraid (because the Holy Spirit sent him to protect the  life of Paul) that Paul would be killed, he took him away barracks. That night God came to Paul and told him that he needed to testify the same way in Rome as he did in Jerusalem. See again how God continuously leads and protects us through the Holy Spirit Therefore it is vital that you are baptized in the Holy Spirit so that God can let Him work in your life.

The plot to kill Paul

I love the book of Acts so much, because it shows how the Holy Spirit continuously works in our life. People, of whom the hard has been so made full of hatred of God’s people (and knowingly of unknowingly also hate God) will not rest until they achieved their goal. But because we serve the Almighty God, He will always protect us.

Amongst Jews a conspiracy was formed to kill Paul. A total of 40 man took an oath not to drink nor eat, before they killed Paul. They discussed their plan with the chief priest and the elders and instead of  stopping them from this devilish plan, they actually agreed to it. The plan was to ask the Roman commander to bring Paul to the Sanhedrin for some further questioning, and on the way there the 40 would ambush and kill them.

The Holy Spirit however made sure that the sister heard of this plan and she went to Paul and told him. Paul asked the commander to listen to her and God really touched his heart because he listened and urged her not to tell anyone about this.

Paul transferred to Caesarea

The Roman commander was immediately guided by the Holy Spirit (not specifically mentioned, but the only one that can guide a non-believer to protect a believer is God himself. He arranged for a big escort and ordered them to bring him at 9 in the evening to Caesarea to governor Felix together with a letter explaining that Paul was captured by the Jews for a dispute on the law for which he found no reason to kill him, still the Jews were trying to everything to do so.

Paul arrived safely and gave the letter. The governor took him in and protected him and allowed him to stay there and took it on himself to order the accusers to come to him to discuss the whole situation giving Paul a fair trial.

I pray that we trust fully on the Holy Spirit (and listen to His guidance) in everything. Never hear Him and decide not to listen. If God tells you something, then it is the only good thing!

Thanks you God for protecting and guiding us!

Amen!

 

Bible study on Acts of the Apostles – Chapter 16

acts.jpg

Bible study on Acts of the Apostles – Chapter 16

Dear brothers and sisters,

In the Bible study on the 16th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles I will discuss:

  • Timothy joins Paul and Silas
  • Paul’s vision of the man of Macedonia
  • Lydia’s conversion in Philippi
  • Paul and Silas in prison

Timothy joins Paul and Silas

map-antioch-lystra.jpg

Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple called Timothy lived. He was a disciple with a Jewish mother and a believer with a Greek father. The believers in Lystra spoke well of him, so Paul wanted him to join him. Because everyone knew of his Greek father, he had Timothy circumcised. We see that the main reason for his circumcision was to let people know that he was truly a believer. Although after Jesus died on the cross for our sin, circumcision was no longer required, he did it to show believers that he was truly a child of God. He made this decision to honor God, because by this people could see that he was truly devoted to God. We see that while they travelled from city to city that the churches were strengthened and grew in numbers. Sometimes God will require us to make steps in faith, so that it will help others to grow closer to God. So, I pray that we are also willing to make decisions that can help others to also grow in faith. Never feel to good to make decisions in your life, if you know that God will use that act of faith to help others to grow in faith as well.

Paul’s vision  of the man of Macedonia

In this part of Acts 16 we see how important it is to listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. God didn’t just gave us the guidance of the Holy Spirit for fun, but because this Gods way of protecting us.

We see that they were travelling through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, but that they were kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. We see that they reached the border of Mysia, but that they were stopped from entering Bithynia. Instead of forcing to go in they passed Mysia and entered Troas.

During that night Paul received a vision from God about a man from Macedonia to come over and help them. Not until this vision Paul and his travelling companions decided that God gave them approval to Macedonia.

For us it is also important to wait for God to get approval to do His work on His time and not our own time. If we do this, than we will see that it will be blessed when we undertake something.

Lydia’s conversion in Philippi

After the vision they travelled to Philippi in the region of Macedonia. They stayed there for a couple of days and on the Sabbath, they went outside the city gate to the river, where they expected to find a place for prayer. We see that they found woman there and they started to talk with them. One of the woman was Lydia. She was a worshipper of God and God opened her heart to respond to the message of Paul. She and her members of her household were baptized and after that she invited them to stay at their home. See how they continuously followed the Holy Spirit and through this God provided for them.

I pray that we all follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit so that God can protect us and guide us to the right place and persons we need in our work for God.

Paul and Silas in prison

At one moment Paul and Silas went to the place of prayer and were followed by a slave that was possessed by a fortune-telling spirit. With this spirit she earned a lot of money for her owners. She kept shouting the reason that Paul and Silas were there: that they were servants of the most high God, who were telling everyone the way to be saved.

She continued to do this for days and after a while Paul became annoyed by this and addressed the spirit in her directly and commanded the spirit in the name of God to leave her, which it did. See how we can command spirits to leave as long as we do it in the name of God!

After this the spirit left her and she could no longer tell the future. This made her owners very angry and they captures Paul and Silas. See how not everyone will be happy when we save people in the name of Jesus. They brought them to the magistrates and told everyone that they were causing problems and soon they had people joining them and they got the magistrates to strip them and flog them. Afterwards they were thrown in jail.

Instead of being in despair they used their time in prison to pray and sing hymns to God, which other prisoners could also hear. How beautiful and amazing that God will use everything in our life to His benefit! At that moment an earthquake took place and all doors were opened of the prison and the guard was about to kill himself afraid of the repercussions on his life. But Paul immediately told him not to do it, because all prisoners were still there. This had such an impact on the guard that he went to Paul and Silas and asked how he could be saved. They told him to believe in the Lord. See how God let all this happen so that this guard could be saved and become a Christian! Wow!

That same night he and his household were baptized and they were taken to the house of the guard were they were treated for their injuries and got also food. The next day the magistrates ordered him to release Paul and Silas so they could leave. but Paul did not agree with this, because as Roman citizens they were punished and thrown in jail without a (fair) trial. Because the magistrates knew they were wrong and hoped that Paul and Silas would leave quietly, so that they would not be embarrassed by their actions.

Know that God will make sure that if we have to suffer because of our work for God, that God will make sure that the people that do us harm, will be the ones that will be punished for it. After they appeased by the magistrates they went to the house of Lydia were they first encourage them, before they left.

God is so good!

Daily word for 21 June 2016 – Proverbs 10:17

Daily encouraging word

Daily word for 21 June 2016 – Proverbs 10:17

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today I want to encourage you with the words from Proverbs 10:17 (NIV):

17 Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.

Make sure that you are never to proud to listen to correction or to have discipline. These are not bad things, as the world sometimes wants us to believe. No, there are a part of Gods love for you to show you the way of life and give you blessings!

Daily word for 20 June 2016 – Ephesians 4:25

images

Daily word for 20 June 2016 – Ephesians 4:25

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today I want to encourage you with the words from Ephesians 4:25 (NIV):

25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.

As a Christian you need to be aware that it also brings responsibility. This is because others will view what you do (as a Christian) as something that represents all Christians. Therefore make sure that you always speak the truth and don’t commit any sins.

Daily word for 15 June 2016 – Isaiah 43:18-19

images

Daily word for 15 June 2016 – Isaiah 43:18-19

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today I want to encourage you with the words from Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV):

18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

God doesn’t want us to life in the past and continuously think of things that went wrong. No, He wants us to look at today and the future and all that God is doing now in your life and is still going to do!

Amen!

Daily word for 14 June 2016 – 1 Peter 2:15-16

Daily encouraging word

Daily word for 14 June 2016 – 1 Peter 2:15-16

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today I want to encourage you with the words from 1 Peter 2:15-16 (NIV):

15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.

God tells us that we are free to life our life, however don’t see this as a justification to do evil. God gives us the trust that we can make our own decisions, but it is up to us, to show that we are worthy of this trust.

Also, by doing Gods will you will see that unbelievers will be silenced!