30 October 2007
29 October 2007
28 October 2007
- they were all praying;
- they were all filled;
- there was shaking/a great sound - tangible evidence of God's power; and
- the result was speaking with boldness the great things of God;
Thus, we can conclude that extraordinary enabling of believers by the Holy Spirit is not unique to Pentacost, and is necessary in even the very best, the very strongest of churches.
2) Because of who was praying-- Peter and John, just released, went to their friends and prayed with their friends. That word "friends" literally means "their own." It is the same word used when the rulers allow Paul while in prison to be ministered to by "his own," and also the same word used in John 1:11 ("He came unto his own, and his own received him not.) Thus, it was normal, everyday church believers who prayed this prayer. To pray this prayer does not require "apostalic authority"
Now, in our day and age, we may not face such physical threats, but we do face some other, incredible obstacles:
- the anonymnity of our mobile and busy lives;
- entertainment round the clock - we live in a world saturated with entertainment that continually shouts, "Don't think of God... PLAY!";
- we are in a God-ignoring culture; medical technology - Americans don't give much thought to God when they get sick due to medical advances. Elsewhere in the world, poor health is an issue of eternity;
- the church exhibits great weakness in speaking boldly, so we need the extraordinary power of the Holy Spirit.
4) Because of to whom this prayer was prayed-- 5/7ths of this prayer is man telling God who God is. Now, God does not need to know who God is, but we do... especially whn w are aobut to ask God to do something awesome. We need to remind ourselves who He is to give ourselves the courage - and then to know it and believe it completely in our hearts.
What do these believers say about God? In vs 24, they recognize Him as the Creator. In vs. 25-28 (my paraphrase of Piper's paraphrase) they essentially say, "You, God, control everything, even the wickedest deeds of the wickedest men and turn them to be meet for your plan and your purposes to save the world." Read vs. 27 and 28 again carefully to see this truth!
Theology matters - think of the doctrinal truths contained within this prayer: the doctrine of creation, the doctrine of the inspiration of the Word of God (part of Ps. 2 is quoted), the doctrine of the Sovereignty of God, the doctrine of prophesy and its ultimate glorious fulfillment. Yes, accurate theology is important.
5) Because of what was asked for--
- Look upon their threats! Peter and John were told to never speak the name of Jesus again in that city, EVER! The believers are crying out to God, "Look at how they are insulting Your Son!
- Then first, they ask to speak with boldness, that His Word go forth in power.
- Next, they ask Him to heal and do mighty works in the name of Jesus- in other words, to stretch forth His hand and bear divine witness of His Word after and as it was being preached. Why? Because of THE NAME!
25 October 2007
We are so pleased with Anna's courage - we know French school is not easy (in fact, it is a bit scary) for her! And we are so pleased with her hard work. It truly is a privilege to be her mama and daddy!
24 October 2007
"People from many nations will pass by this city and will ask one another, 'Why has the Lord done such a thing to this great city?' And the answer will be; 'Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord their God and have worshipped and served other gods.' "
I've been starting to work on our Christmas prayer letter, and there is a theme that God has been impressing in my heart for several months, now - maybe longer. He has given me clear direction - there are really only two things He asks of me as one who carries His name:1) To love Him above all else; and 2) To serve Him by allowing Him to love others through me.
That was what Jesus did so perfectly: 1) He loved God the Father so totally that even though He could claim equality, He chose submission and obedience and allowed His Father to lead Him into a place that must have been such a desert, I can not begin to imagine... 2) He allowed God to love man, so unutterably unlovely, through Him: through His birth, His life, His words and teaching, His anger, His suffering, His death, His resurrection, His ascension, and even now, His intercession on our behalf...
The Lord says in verse 15:"He did what was right and just, so all went well with him. He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me? declares the Lord."I've been thinking about that verse for several minutes now. I am curious about the words "went well" and am wondering if that has a different meaning for God than it does for us? For instance I might think it means no sickness, job, home... and God may mean it to be well with my soul and have nothing whatsoever to do with material things (and can I [Richelle] add, temporal things?).
22 October 2007
14 October 2007
when Richelle was just a young'un,
she resisted giving her Pop-pop a kiss.
She would cry and cry
(and everyone else would laugh, so the story goes...)
All that fuss for nothing!
We had fun showing the kids the above photos,
as well as some other ones
of Richelle as a baby,
and their general opinion was
that Elsie Mae looks an awful lot like her mama.
Take a moment
and let us know what you think
by leaving a comment -
since we can't set up a poll for this one!
09 October 2007
He Giveth More Grace (Annie Flint Johnson)
He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater, He sendeth more strength when the labors increase; To added affliction He addeth His mercy; To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance, When our strength has failed ere the day is half done, When we reach the end of our hoarded resources, Our Father's full giving is only begun.
Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision, Our God ever yearns His resources to share; Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing; The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.
His love has no limit; His grace has no measure. His pow'r has no boundary known unto men; For out of His infinite riches in Jesus, He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again!
2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
(If you'd like to hear the song, play the video. The song is sung by Larry Ford.)
04 October 2007
Actually, I hope you are more than smiling...