VIDEO He Waited Too Long

Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you. Acts 24:25


When we procrastinate in an endeavor or decision, we’re yielding to sluggishness at the expense of change. It sometimes seems impossible to make ourselves move forward. But we must, especially in terms of the Gospel. We learn that from Felix in Acts 24.

Billy Graham once preached, “There never was a more convenient season for Felix. We never read that he ever responded to the Gospel of Christ. He procrastinated too long, and Felix tonight, as far as we know, is in hell.”

Graham continued, “I spoke to a man in Moody Church one Monday night…. He was trembling as he stood there under mighty conviction. And I said, ‘Sir, won’t you give your heart to Christ?’ He said, ‘Not tonight. I’ll give my life to Christ on Friday night’…. On Friday morning, a stray bullet from a policeman’s gun went through that man’s head, and he died and never came to Christ.”4

Don’t allow procrastination to impact your spiritual life. Today is the day of salvation!

To procrastinate the business of salvation is the real madness. Timothy Dwight

Righteousness, Temperance, and Judgment, Acts 24:24-25 – Pastor Chuck Smith – Topical Bible Study

Water of Life

You would have asked him and he would have given you living water. John 4:10

Andrea’s home life was unstable, and she left at fourteen, finding a job and living with friends. Yearning for love and affirmation, she later moved in with a man who introduced her to drugs, which she added to the alcohol she already drank regularly. But the relationship and the substances didn’t satisfy her longings. She kept searching, and after several years she met some believers in Jesus who reached out to her, offering to pray with her. A few months later, she finally found the One who would quench her thirst for love—Jesus.

The Samaritan woman at the well whom Jesus approached for water found her thirst satisfied too. She was there in the heat of the day (John 4:5–7), probably to avoid the stares and gossip of other women, who would have known her history of multiple husbands and her current adulterous relationship (vv. 17–18). When Jesus approached her and asked her for a drink, He bucked the social conventions of the day, for He, as a Jewish teacher, would not normally have associated with a Samaritan woman. But He wanted to give her the gift of living water that would lead her to eternal life (v. 10). He wanted to satisfy her thirst.

When we receive Jesus as our Savior, we too drink of this living water. We can then share a cup with others as we invite them to follow Him.

By:  Amy Boucher Pye

Reflect & Pray

How do you think the woman at the well felt when Jesus asked her for some water? What does it mean to you to receive His living water?

Father God, You welcome all who are thirsty to come to the waters and drink. Satisfy my thirst through Your living water.

The Foundation of Wisdom

Truly understanding who God is will change our entire outlook on life Proverbs 9:7-12

Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Initially, however, the connection may not be clear, and we may wonder, How can fearing God make us wise?

First, let’s look at what the expression means. “To fear God” conveys awesome reverence for Him. And that mindset moves us to acknowledge the Lord as the sovereign Ruler of heaven and earth, submit to His will, and walk in obedience.

Those who commit themselves to living for God’s purposes will gain greater understanding of Him. The Holy Spirit will enable them to see circumstances and people from His divine perspective. This kind of wisdom reaches beyond human perception and gives us discernment to make decisions that fit into the Lord’s plans for our life.

What is your attitude toward the Lord? If you truly revere Him, you will listen for His directions and heed His warnings. A desire to honor and please Him will motivate you to turn from evil and seek to live in obedience. And the result will be wisdom beyond human understanding.

The Cure for Spiritual Weariness

“For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” (Hebrews 12:3)

Faith in Christ does not make one immune to spiritual weariness and faintness of mind. This condition may arise from frustration at our own natures, our inability to love God as we ought, to pray effectively, to understand the Scriptures, or to bear fruit for Him. We may feel that our best efforts to represent God in our community have been of no avail and very few show by their lives that our witness and ministry have been effective.

Sometimes we may question why God does not choose to favor all those who follow Him with material blessings and pleasant circumstances, but instead, at times, the wicked prosper. Looking at the tide of evil sweeping our world can leave us faint and weary.

But the answer to our dilemma is Christ! Reflection on Him will re-energize even the most discouraged saint, for He “endured such contradiction [or opposition] of sinners” (today’s verse), was victorious, and now promises to lead us to similar victory (see Hebrews 2:17-18; 4:15-16, for example). It will help us to persevere if we notice how He endured, “who, when he was reviled, reviled not again” (1 Peter 2:23), and that He endured it all, not just for Himself or just for His followers, but also for us, who, “when we were enemies [of Christ], we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son” (Romans 5:10).

The so-called Hall of Fame of Faith (Hebrews 11) immediately precedes today’s verse. Reflection on the testimonies of those faithful and victorious warriors, coupled with our example of Christ, will make our greatest burden seem light and should spur us on to even more effective and sacrificial labor. JDM

The Family of the Spirit

Mark 3:31-35

OFTEN we overlook the rich truths contained in those little incidents in the life of our Lord which take up little space and, therefore, receive too little attention. One such is found in the visit of His relatives (Matt. 12:46-50; Mark 3:31-35; Luke 8:19-21).

The brothers of our Lord were puzzled by His ministry. John tells us that they did not believe in Him (7:5). And Mary, His mother, was far from that faultless character which she has been made out to be; our Lord made clear to her several times by gentle rebuke His greater loyalty to the Father (Luke 2:49; John 2:4). Now, while He was teaching the people, it appears that His mother and brethren made a rather unseasonable visit, perhaps to caution Him not to overtax Himself or maybe to warn Him not to bring down the wrath of the Pharisees. It is easy to see how well-meaning relatives could interfere with One who was pursuing a course so certain to bring trouble and so dangerously unusual.

Our Lord’s answer, like so many of His replies, was abrupt and seemingly severe, but it was meant to bring out a great truth in a way that would command attention and make the audience sit up and take notice. He asks, “Who is My mother? And who are My brethren?” Then He declares, as He points out His disciples, “Behold My mother and My brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is My brother and sister and mother.” He was declaring that His family was the spiritual fellowship of all who do the will of God. He was not ignoring or despising earthly relationships, which have their place and value; He was simply taking opportunity to illustrate the higher relationship of all who are children of God by faith in Himself.

This explains such sharp demands as that we must “hate” father and mother and wife and children and brethren and sisters, and even our own lives, if we are to be His disciples (Luke 14:26). So much greater and higher is this heavenly relationship that our love for our relatives must be as hate compared with our love for Him. It also explains His terse refusal to let would-be disciples return home to bury their dead or bid their families goodbye (Luke 9:59-62). No ties of flesh and blood, no relationships of earth, are worthy to hinder our utter abandon to Him. We must ever beware of those, even of our families, who would tone us down or cramp our freedom with even the most well-meant advice if it runs counter to His will.

While, of course, this truth can be misapplied to the point of fanaticism, few today have reached its point. There must be loyalty to the highest that will brook no interference from even the closest hearts of earth. Many a man is hampered in his ministry today because of a divided affection. Unlike Jesus, he interrupts his work for the Father to confer with the relatives who wait.

“His banner over me was love.”

Genesis 43:15, 16, 18-23, 26-34

So deeply interesting is this story of Joseph, that we must needs linger over it. The Holy Spirit indulges us with details, and we may be sure that he intended our profit thereby.

Genesis 43:15-16

Thus Joseph’s love sought an opportunity for closer personal intercourse with them.

Genesis 43:18

Love intended pleasure, but fear turned it into dread. Beware of doubts and mistrusts of the Lord Jesus, lest even his goodness should make us afraid.

Genesis 43:19-22

Open confession was natural to honest men when in fear; it is also the ready way to peace with God.

Genesis 43:23

The hostage being delivered all was well. The bringing of our Lord Jesus from the dead was a token for good to all his brethren.

Genesis 43:28

By calling their father “thy servant,” and making obeisance for themselves and him, they fulfilled his second dream. The sun and the moon and the eleven stars did him homage.

Genesis 43:29, 30

Love longs to express itself, but there is a time for everything. Jesus loves his brethren always, but he prudently conceals himself at times for their good.

Genesis 43:31-34

How they must have wondered while they feasted to see the order in which he placed them, and the favour shown to Benjamin. How plainly everything said, “I am. Joseph” yet they perceived him not; and just so, despite all the loving deeds of Jesus, none ever discover him till he reveals himself by his Spirit.

Speak to us, Lord, thyself reveal,

While here on earth we rove;

Speak to our hearts and let us feel

The kindlings of thy love.

With thee conversing, we forget

All time, and toil, and care;

Labour is rest, and pain is sweet,

If thou, our God, art there.

Keys to Greatness: Submission and Service

... Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant. Matthew 20:26, 27

The essence of Christ’s teaching concerning greatness was this: true greatness among humans must be found in character, not in ability or position.

While a few philosophers and religionists of pre-Christian times had noted the fallacy in man’s ideas of dominion and status, it was Christ who defined and demonstrated true greatness.

“Let him be your minister: let him be your servant.” It is that simple and that easy—and that difficult!

We have but to follow Christ in service to the human race, a selfless service that seeks only to serve, and greatness will be ours! That is all, but it is too much, for it runs counter to all that is Adam in us. Adam still feels the instinct for dominion; he hears deep within him the command, “Replenish the earth and subdue it.” Therefore he does not take kindly to the command to serve!

Sin must go and Adam must give way to Christ: so says our Lord in effect. By sin men have lost dominion, even their very right to it, until they win it back by humble service.

Though redeemed from death and hell by the vicarious labor of Christ on the cross, still the right to have dominion must be won by each man separately. Each must fulfill a long apprenticeship as a servant before he is fit to rule.

After Christ had served (and His service included death) God highly exalted Him and gave Him a name above every name. As a man He served and won His right to have dominion. He knew where true greatness lay—and we do not.