Apollos, From an Accurate Teacher to an Accurate Practitioner

Acts 16:24 Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. 25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.

Apollos was a man with high motivation and strong gifting. The text says he was bold, eloquent, and accurate in his teaching.

Apollos' best attribute was his willingness to learn and to grow. A person possessing this level of ability could easily become conceited, arrogant, and walled off from others.

Notice how he received the Aquila and Priscilla along with their instruction. A man who was accurate in his teaching became even more accurate in the ways of God as a practitioner.

Accurate knowledge is always important, but knowing the ways of God more accurately always takes one to a higher level of function and purpose. Apollo's was a great teacher who became a great practitioner of the faith. 

That's an excellent example for you and me.

Beware of Misused Scriptures: Americans Do Not Have a King or a Ruler

Here is a basic civics lesson: 
Everyone in America should keep in mind that we don’t have kings and rulers. Therefore, Scriptures that relate to kings and rulers do not specifically apply to American presidents, governors, mayors, etc. 

They are all fellow citizens whom we should respect and pray for, but who are not above critique, censure, and removal. Kings were not citizens and were not chosen “by the consent of the governed.” They were considered divinely appointed representatives of God and above the people.

We don’t have a king to fear, we only fear God. We have a Constitution and a Bill of Rights. Don’t allow the Scriptures to be twisted or misused in an attempt, or as intimidation, to silence your dissent or encourage veneration of political leaders. 

Constitutional principle: “...The right to petition government for redress of grievances is the right to make a complaint to, or seek the assistance of, one's government, without fear of punishment or reprisals, ensured by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution (1791).”

The Safety of the Faithful

This is an excellent Facebook public post by Pastor Hart Ramsey in Dothan, Alabama (used by permission).  Because it corresponded to my devotional reading on the same day, I wanted to share his insight followed by Psalms 4:1-8:

Be encouraged!

There is not a Christian in the world who hasn't been hurt in church.  I've been saved for 36 years, serving in ministry for 30 plus years, & Pastoring for 24 years. 

Over the years I’ve been used, betrayed, lied on, falsely accused, attacked, slandered, rejected, mocked, discarded, abandoned, & told I was nothing. As a result:

•  My will has been broken.
•  My faith has been stretched.
•  My emotions have stabilized.
•  My mind has expanded. 
•  My love has matured. 
    (Hart Ramsey)

I refuse to blame people for what I went through. They may have meant it for evil, but GOD meant it for my good.  

Psalms 4:1 Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
You have relieved me in mydistress; Have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.
2 How long, O you sons of men,
Will you turn my glory to shame?
How longwill you love worthlessness
Andseek falsehood? Selah
3 But know that the Lord has set apart for Himself him who is godly; The Lord will hear when I call to Him.
4 Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Selah
5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, And put your trust in the Lord.
6 There aremany who say, “Who will show us anygood?”
Lord, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us.
7 You have put gladness in my heart,
More than in the season that their grain and wine increased.
8 I will both lie down in peace, and sleep;
For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

40 is More Than Just a Number to Me!

I just remembered that yesterday, July 8th, was the 40th anniversary of becoming a follower of Christ! I received the Lord on my knees in my mother's bedroom, alone. I confessed Him publicly at my granddad's church the following Sunday. 

July 8 also happens to be her birthday. She went home to be with the Lord in 2003. #thankful #newbirth #saved #destiny

"Mind the Gap:" Close the Distance. Remove Dangers. Help Others.

On a recent vacation to England, when my wife and I rode the London trains or subways, upon every entry into a train, or exit from it, we heard the pre-recorded message spoken with a British accent “Mind the Gap.“ The message was a simple warning to pay attention to the space between the platform and the train entrance.

Hearing that message, “Mind the Gap”  numerous times made me think about minding, or considering, gaps in life. 

This message, "Mind the Gap" will teach you how to recognize gaps in your life and and access the grace of God to do three things: 1) Closing the distance, 2) Removing dangers, 3) Helping others and receiving help.

Click here to go to the podcast. Below is the video of the teaching.