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Quiet Time in Acts 15


EXPAND TO READ: ACTS 15 (HCSB)

 

PERSONAL JOURNAL:


SIN (verse 10): This is a deep verse. How often have I been guilty of trying to put on a yoke on someone else concerning a topic I myself have not been able to bear? How often have I held others to higher standards than I even hold myself? Please forgive me for this disobedience to You, Father. Forgive me for my immaturity and my attempts to be in control of others in some ways. Help me to realize that Your yoke is the only one that we are charged to bear and Your yoke is far lighter and easier to bear than any this world may try to put on us. Help me to always remember that we are to live by Your standards and not mine. Help me to always live in a way that honors and glorifies You, but to also remember that I too make mistakes and am far from perfect so who am I to try and judge others for their mistakes and imperfections?

 

PROMISE (verse 16-18): The promise of rebuilding our foundation of faith is absolutely amazing. This promise has been fulfilled through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as He is our new foundation, which You have built. Thank You for rebuilding the fallen “tent” in our faith, Father. Thank You for knowing what is best for us at all times. Thank You for establishing a new foundation for us to build our faith on through Jesus Christ. Thank You also for opening up this faith to the Gentiles, so that all those who believe may be achieve eternal salvation through Jesus and Your grace.

 

ATTITUDE (verses 19-20): Once again, who am I to judge those who make mistakes or fall to sin just as I have and do often? Here, You tell us that we should not cause difficulties for those who have turned to God. The only thing we’re to do is to make requests that they abstain from certain things which God perceives as not good. Those things listed here are things polluted by idols, sexual immorality, eating anything that has been strangled, and from blood. This is quite a basic list to follow, but for some reason even I have failed to truly stick to abstaining from these things. I have walked in sexual immorality and have been “obsessed” with the things of the world to the point that I made them an idol in my life. Help me to be better at walking in an attitude and obedience to these words, Father, so that I no longer give into the weaknesses of my flesh in such ways.

 

COMMAND (verse 20): This single verse gives us several things that followers of Jesus should abstain from; essentially, they are commands the way I read it. The main things I want to harp on in my journal, as they directly apply to me more than any others, are staying away from things polluted by idols and sexual immorality. I have fallen to both of these often throughout my life, even since coming to faith. Your command here is to abstain from them, however. I have become FAR better as of late that’s for sure, but there is still work in me that must be done in order to ensure I continue to abstain from these things and others in the future. Please continue Your good works in me, Father, so that this walk-in life becomes easier for me to remain more and more in Your will for my life and far less in the will of my flesh.

 

EXAMPLE (verses 1-5): Sometimes it is very difficult to convince people who are “stuck in their old ways” to change. This also applied back then with many believers who truly believe the Law of Moses was still in effect, regardless of their belief in Jesus. Paul and Barnabas refuted them and delved into a healthy debate with them, but ultimately many of them never departed from their old ways. I see this as a great example that although there are many who believe in and follow Jesus as their Lord and Savior, some people have different beliefs on how their walk in their faith should go. Oftentimes it’s based on old beliefs that were passed down through generations of believers as those in this example. Sometimes it’s simply due to a misinterpretation or a “pick-and-choose” from Your word. Regardless of the root-cause, we must remember that Your word is THE truth and if we stick to Your truth, then we are aligning with Your will for our lives. We must be reminded that not everyone will interpret Your truth the same and some will even twist it to their own will and desires, but as long as we profess Your word and stick to it the best we can, then we are doing what is pleasing to You. We cannot control the hearts and minds of others. All we can do is give them the information You want us to give them and then let them make the decision on their own based on that information. Thank You for this example, Father. It serves as a great reminder that I am simply to be a relayer of Your truth, not a controller of others who see things differently.

 

*DAILY NOTE: There were so many trials and hurdles the apostles and disciples had to go through to change some of the minds of the “stubborn” ones who remained around after Jesus’ ascension to Heaven. Even today, 2,000 years later, we still come across similar issues where believers of Jesus from different denominations or even within the same denomination have disagreements on how we are to be living our lives according to Your word. Help me to be better at simply becoming a vessel who relays Your truth to others, Father. Help me to be better at not digging into my flesh when there are disagreements with what I am relaying from You. Instead, help me to simply be one who says what You want me to say, then move on when You want me to move on. Thank You for today’s lesson, Father. I needed this reminder on how to communicate with other believers, but also how to relay Your truth to others in a way that glorifies You, but at the same time is not delving into my fleshly desire to control the outcome of others’ opinions and thoughts.

 

EXPAND TO READ: GENERAL NOTE FOR MY QUIET TIMES


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