Acts 28:30-31 Free To Serve

Acts 28:30-31 (KJV)
And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him,
Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.

Paul was under constant threat when he was at liberty.

  • He was forced to flee Damascus
  • He was forced to flee Jerusalem 
  • He was forced to leave

Ephesus, Phillips, Thessalonica and Berea.[1]

He eventually left Greece by way of Macedonia because, “the Jews laid wait for him” there.[2]

I don’t mean to imply that incarceration was an easy experience for Paul.

  • He was not free to go about as he pleased
  • He was under constant watch of a soldier
  • He was eventually executed 

but those prison years in Rome were years of spiritual liberty. 

  • He received all who came to him
  • He preached confidently and
  • He was never forbidden to do it. 

Your “prisons,” those things you believe hinder you, may be the very tools God means to free you for God’s service.


[1]This is “off the top of my head.” There may have been one or two more. I might have made a mistake on one or more of these. I did not really confirm. But this is close and makes the point. 

[2]Acts 20:3

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4500 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Acts 28:30-31 Free To Serve

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Acts 25:11 Regardless The Consequences

Acts 25:11 (KJV)
For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.

I think it was John R. Rice claimed that this whole mess was created by Paul’s own refusal to obey the Spirit and leave the Jews to themselves. Had he, according to what I think I remember Rice preaching, to stuck to his calling, he would not have been in this fix. 

As it was Paul was stuck between two bad choices:

  • He could return to Jerusalem where he was sure to die
  • He could appeal to Caesar where he did eventually die

To trust his life to a corrupt religious system or to appeal to a wicked worldly system.

What a choice.

I was reminded recently of the experienced hiker who, in order to save his own life, purposely broke his arm bone and cut his arm off. The man who related to incident used it as an example of man’s solution rather than God’s. I am not sure that is a fair representation. I think of Paul. It feels like appealing to Caesar was “man’s solution.” Even Festus and Agrippa would later opine that it was a shame he had done that. I don’t see an alternative. 

What I do see is that God used it. Paul survives many more years. Though a prisoner, he was able to: 

  • Witness to countless more souls 
  • Influence the world through Rome and 
  • Write many of the New Testament epistles 

Who knows what might have happened had he never gone to Jerusalem in the first place? Who knows what might have happened had he agreed to return and be tried in Jerusalem? What we do know is that he remained faithful to Christ until death. 

Follow God’s leadership. Do what you, to the best of your understanding, believe to be God’s will. And then be faithful to God regardless the consequences. 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4500 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

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Acts 25:11 Regardless The Consequences

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Acts 24:1 Set Up

Acts 24:1 (KJV)
And after five days Ananias the high priest descended with the elders, and with a certain orator named Tertullus, who informed the governor against Paul.

I’ve been “set up” before. 

Many years ago, our church sponsored a missionary with the Baptist Bible Fellowship.  He had pastored in our state and, when the church he pastored grew to just one or two elderly ladies meeting in a building the city was going to condemn for needed repairs, the little congregation left had decided to sell their property and use the money to help this pastor reach the mission field. There was another pastor in the state who had some hesitation’s, but he had no legal or biblical authority in this church. When I explained the situation, he told me he understood and was fine with this guy proceeding with the sale of the property and using it for missions work. 

On a certain day I was asked to appear before a group of pastors of the Baptist Bible Fellowship and present this missionary. It required that I travel to Springfield, MO, my first and last trip there. When I arrived, I discovered that the pastor who had hesitations was also there and he had changed his mind. He planned to appear before this group of pastors and object to the approval of the missionary. Further, he had brought another, well known, pastor to support his objection. The other Pastor` was not from our state and had no personal knowledge of the circumstances. He was just a friend of the one opposing and who offer his support of the opposition on that basis. I could have also had well known pastors supporting my position if I had known I was going to be opposed. I did not. 

I was “set up.”

Acts 24 feels like a “set up” to me. Paul had been snuck out of Jerusalem under threat of his life. The Jews, upset that an angry mob had not just done away with Paul, sent a contingent to Caesarea and included in the contingent a famous and gifted speaker. Once he was done with this oratory the Bible says Paul was permitted[1]to speak for himself. 

He did an admirable job and God intervened. The governor refused to let the Jews have him and Paul, though not freed, was protected. His ministry carried on for many more years. Some would say he did his most important work after this. 

Those who “set me up” did not succeed either. I had a few unanticipated hurdles to jump but the missionary was approved and served on the field until his wife’s passing. 

God is bigger than those who try to set us up to fail.


[1]Forced, really.

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4500 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

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Acts 24:1 Set Up

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Acts 21:23-25 Not Necessary

Acts 21:23-25 (KJV)
Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them;
Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.
As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.

We’re looking at some mixed up Christians right here. 

On the one hand they are glad for the work of the Lord in the world.
On the other they are terrified of the misunderstandings of the people.

On the one hand they wished for Paul to keep up Jewish appearances.
On the other they realized that none of these Jewish laws had anything to do with righteousness. 

These three verses prove two things for us:

  • That keeping the Law is a religious act forced upon people
  • That the observation of no such things is necessary for a right standing with God. 

Of course, we ought to maintain a testimony and be moral, separate and holy. 

Beyond that, the law, whose only purpose was to lead us to see our need of Jesus Christ, has become a tool of men to dominate over other men. 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4500 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

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Acts 21:23-25 Not Necessary

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Acts 20:11-12 Comfort in Fellowship

Acts 20:11-12 (KJV)
When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed.
And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted.

Having Jews who laid wait for Paul and would, no doubt, do him terrible harm, Paul moved from the one place to the next where he did “business as usual.” Threats were an inconvenience but certainly not a reason to quit his work. Having gotten to Troas he and the disciples there:

  • Gathered on the first day of the week
  • Preached the word of God and
  • Planned to share a meal together 

Having the threat behind him and a trip ahead of him, the believers were in no way in a hurry. When Eutychus had fallen, Paul simply restored him and continued on with the service. Imagine the conversations they must have had:

  • Of the goodness of salvation 
  • Of the fellowship because of Christ 
  • Of the hope of eternal life
  • Of the coming day when no one need ever leave
  • Of the rest that is in Jesus Christ 
  • Of a day when no one dies
  • Of a time when no enemies exist 

Comfort implies trouble. That trouble can be comforted in fellowship is a great value. 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4500 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Acts 20:11-12 Comfort in Fellowship

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Acts 15:2 Worth Contending

Acts 15:2 (KJV)
When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.

Paul and Barnabas would later have a dissension of their own, but they are in agreement here, those who add Jewish law to Christian faith are to be disputed against. Notice it was no small dissension. This thing is worth contending with vigor and passion. 

I note that the way they fixed this contention was not with gossip and continued debate. They took it to the authority of their day. They took it to the apostles and elders in Jerusalem. 

I note too that, though Peter was there, and spoke to the issue, it was James, the pastor of the church, who made the decision. Good leadership listens to those with influence but the decisions, especially doctrinal ones, belong to the preachers of each church. 

Once the decision was made, Word was sent concerning that decision. But those who opposed the choice still opposed it. Only now they did it from outside. At this point Paul was willing to call them ministers of Satan. They were no longer part of the Christian community. They were heretics and marked as such. 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4500 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

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Acts 15:2 Worth Contending

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Acts 9:22 It Was Jesus

Acts 9:22 (KJV)
But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.

Amazing, isn’t it, that one whose sole purpose was to destroy the Christians became such a proponent of the faith?

  • He already knew the Bible 
  • He was a well-educated Pharisee
  • He already had heard the Christian message
  • He was there when Stephen preached and died

What brought about the change?

It was Jesus. 

  • The Bible alone cannot change a man
  • The preaching of Christ alone cannot convince a man

Jesus is the one who converts a man. 

The saved Saul increased in strength and proved Jesus is very Christ.[1]But this only confounded the Jews and made them anxious to kill him. His power was not one to save but to convict. Jesus must be the one who saves. 


[1]The word, proved, has to do with comparing one thing with another. Converted, Saul was able to compare what he knew in the Scriptures with what he knew to be true of Jesus.

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4500 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Acts 9:22 It Was Jesus

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Acts 13:22 After God’s Heart

Our subject will be King David. What an anomaly he is.
  • Such a key figure in the Bible
  • Such sin coming from a believer and yet
  • Such a desire for God
Let’s consider each of those: I. SUCH A KEY FIGURE IN THE BIBLE Acts 13:22-23 (KJV) And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will. Of this man’s seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus: David is mentioned 59 times in the New Testament:
  • 39 times in the Gospels
  • 11 times in the book of Acts
  • 6 times in the Epistles and
  • 3 times in the book of the Revelation
II. SUCH SIN FROM A BELIEVER 2 Samuel 12:7-9 (KJV) And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; andif that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. David
  • Took multiple wives
  • Refused to discipline his children and
  • Became bitter toward some of his children, refusing to speak with them
  As great a man as David was, he was not a good father and, in the end, it hurt him to his core[1].   III. SUCH A DESIRE FOR GOD One of the most beautiful passages of Bible anyone has ever know isPsalms 23:1-6 (KJV) The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.I’ll tell you one thing. If revival comes it’s going to have to be from God. We’re not going to organize it down, preach it down or maybe even pray it down. It’s just going to have to be God’s choosing.” (Larry Clayton) [1]Can you imagine being forced to enter battle against your own son or to choose to defend one son over another?  

Acts 13:22 After God’s Heart

Acts 27:29 Wishing For The Day

Act 27:29
Then fearing lest we should have fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day.

The sailors had done all they could do. They had labored and, to the best of their ability, plied their skills against Euroclydon. So they cast their anchors and “wished for the day.”

Daylight would not solve their problem. It could very well spell their doom. But at least they could look their problem in the eyes. They could confront their situation head on.

No good thing comes from hiding in the shadows of difficulty. Regardless of the storm we face we are always best to face it and deal with it.

Acts 27:29 Wishing For the Day

Acts 27:29 (KJV)
Then fearing lest we should have fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day.

The sailors had done all they could do. They had labored and, to the best of their ability, plied their skills against Euroclydon. So they cast their anchors and “wished for the day.”

Daylight would not solve their problem. It could very well spell their doom. But at least they could look their problem in the eyes. They could confront their situation head on.

No good thing comes from hiding in the shadows of difficulty. Regardless of the storm we face we are always best to face it and deal with it.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4300 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Acts 27:29 Wishing For the Day

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