July, 2001

Stay close to Jesus
Ask forgiveness

Look up to heaven

God loves you

Be found

Christ will help you

(July 31, 2001 6:02 AM CDT)

Read Acts 23 .

"Brothers, to this day I have lived my life
with a clear conscience before God." (verse 1)
Live your life well.
Have a clear conscience.
Do what God asks of you.
"I find myself on trial now because of my hope
in the resurrection of the dead." (verse 6)
Have hope in the resurrection.
Trust in the promises of the Lord.
Believe in eternal life.
"Keep up your courage!" (verse 11)
The Christian life is not easy.
Call on the Lord for courage to do what is right.
Give testimony to the power of God.
"What do you have to report?" (verse 19)
You have an important message.
It could save someone's life.
You must not keep it a secret.
Share what you know.
"Here is a man whom the Jews seized
and were about to murder." (verse 27)
Paul was rescued.
He had a mission to accomplish.
He was a faithful witness to Jesus.
The Lord protected him.

(July 30, 2001 5:56 AM CDT)

Read Acts 22 .

"When they heard him addressing them in Hebrew,
they grew quieter still." (verse 2)
The message must be proclaimed in every language.
All people need to hear about Jesus.
Be still and come near to the Lord.
Listen closely.
"Get up and go into Damascus.
There you will be told about everything
you are destined to do." (verse 10)
Lord will guide you.
He brings you closer to him.
Learn from him what you must do.
"I even guarded the cloaks of
those who killed him!" (verse 20)
Paul was there when Stephen was killed.
This must have bothered Paul greatly.
He needed the forgiveness of the Lord.
"They yelled and waved their cloaks
and flung dirt through the air." (verse 23)
How do you reach such people?
Prayer is needed.
Their hearts must be touched by God.
The dirt must be blown away.
"The commander became alarmed
because he realized that in restraining Paul
he had restrained a citizen of Rome." (verse 29)
Be a citizen of heaven.
Nothing can restrain you.
Jesus will defend you.
You will be set free.

(July 29, 2001 8:23 AM CDT)

Read Acts 21 .

"All of them --- wives and children included ---
came out of the city to see us off,
and we knelt down on the beach and prayed." (verse 5)
Kneel down.
Pray to God for a safe journey.
Pray with your whole family.
"Upon hearing this,
both we ourselves and the people of Caesarea
urged Paul not to proceed to Jerusalem." (verse 12)
Paul was led by the Spirit.
He was ready for anything that came his way.
"The Lord's will be done." (verse 14)
That is it---to do the will of the Lord.
Paul was doing that.
Are you doing God's will?
"Before long the whole city was in turmoil.
People came running from all sides.
They seized Paul, dragged him outside the temple,
and immediately closed its gates." (verse 30)
Paul stirred things up.
He wanted to make his points known.
He did not hold back.
The issues had to be confronted.
Today we have stem-cells.
Do you just ignore the issue or do you address it?
What are you going to do?

(July 28, 2001 9:00 AM CDT)

It's a cloudy day in Zermatt today.
Sometimes I check out this webcam to see what's happening there.

Read Acts 20 .

"He traveled throughout its regions,
providing as he went many words of encouragement
for the Christians there." (verse 2)
Paul was a traveler.
He went from city to city, and country to country.
Pray for missionaries today as they spread God's word.
Maybe God is calling you to be a missionary.
"On the first day of the week
when we gathered for the breaking of the bread,
Paul preached to them." (verse 7)
They met for Holy Communion once a week on Sunday.
This goes way back to the early church.
Let us break bread each Sunday together.
"He finally went sound asleep,
and fell from the third story to the ground." (verse 9)
A boy fell from a window and was dead.
Paul prayed over him and
the boy was brought back to life.
It is a touching miracle.
We fall into sin and die.
The Lord restores us to life when we ask for forgiveness.
Let the Lord touch you.
"I am on my way to Jerusalem,
compelled by the Spirit and not knowing
what will happen to me there." (verse 22)
Paul was led by the Holy Spirit.
The directions came from God.
He was a servant of the Lord.
"I have never shrunk from announcing to you
God's design in its entirety." (verse 27)
Paul shared all that he knew.
God has a plan for each of us.
We have only to listen to the Spirit.
Let us pray for guidance.
"I have always pointed out to you
that it is by such hard work
that you must help the weak." (verse 35)
Paul worked hard.
He set a wonderful example.
Work for the Lord.
Help the weak and poor.
"They were deeply distressed to hear that
they would never see his face again." (verse 38)
People come into our lives and then depart.
Learn from them while they are with you.
One day we will all be together again in heaven.

(July 27, 2001 6:00 AM CDT)

Read Acts 19 .

"We have not so much as heard
that there is a Holy Spirit." (verse 2)
The people in Ephesus were missing something.
It was the Holy Spirit.
Do you have the Holy Spirit in your life?
"God worked extraordinary miracles
at the hands of Paul." (verse 11)
Paul was there for two years.
He told everyone about Jesus.
God worked many miracles in this time of blessing.
"Many who had become believers came forward
and openly confessed their former practices." (verse 18)
Confess your sins.
You need to be healed.
Ask Jesus to forgive you for the wrong you have done.
"He tells them that man-made gods
are no gods at all." (verse 26)
What is your god?
Is it something man-made?
Serve the Living God.
Worship him alone.
"The majority not even knowing why
they had come together." (verse 32)
Are you just part of the crowd?
Are you doing what everyone else is doing?
Come away from the noisy mob to Jesus.
Follow him.

(July 26, 2001 7:08 AM CDT)

Read Acts 18 .

"He took up lodgings with them and
they worked together as tentmakers." (verse 3)
Aquila, Priscilla and Paul worked together.
Thank God for your job.
Offer your labor back to God.
"Many of the Corinthians, too,
who heard Paul believed and were baptized." (verse 8)
May the word of God be preached.
May many people come to believe and be baptized.
We ask for this all over the world.
"Do not be afraid.
Go on speaking and do not be silenced." (verse 9)
God was with Paul.
God is with you.
He tells you not to be afraid.
Continue to speak out about the Lord.
"God willing, I will come back to you again." (verse 21)
We don't know the future.
We trust in the Lord to keep our journey safe.
One day we might return and maybe not.
It is all in God's hands.
"When he arrived, he greatly strengthened those
who through God's favor had become believers." (verse 27)
Apollos was a powerful speaker.
He knew about John's baptism and
then learned about the new way in Jesus.
Priscilla and Aguila helped Apollos to learn
about the fullness of God's plan.
Let God use you and be willing to learn more.

(July 25, 2001 5:57 AM CDT)

Read Acts 17 .

"This Jesus I am telling you about
is the Messiah!" (verse 3)
Let us pray today for all people
that they may find the Messiah.
Jesus is the Messiah.
"Each day they studied the Scriptures
to see whether these things were so." (verse 11)
Yes, read the Bible each day.
See for yourself that Jesus is the one.
See that God loves you very much.
Read the promises of God.
"We are curious to know
what this new teaching is that you propose." (verse 19)
Paul talked to the people in Athens.
They were curious.
Be curious about the Lord.
There is so much to learn.
"He is not really far
from any one of us." (verse 27)
The Lord is very close.
You have only to call on him.
He is there to comfort you.
"In him we live and move and have our being." (verse 28)
He is everything to us.
He is life.
He gives us life.
He created us.

(July 24, 2001 5:55 AM CDT)

Yesterday someone came out to my house and
fixed the air conditioner.
God bless him.
With the heat and humidity in Omaha you need an A/C.
It was 2 pounds low on Freon.

Read Acts 16 .

"Through all this, the congregations grew stronger in faith
and daily increased in numbers." (verse 5)
May your faith increase every day.
May you grow in the love of Jesus.
As you read the Bible daily, may you come closer to God.
May God bless you and your church with new members.
"Come over to Macedonia and help us." (verse 9)
Paul had a vision.
God spoke to him in this way.
May God give you the vision to know the way.
"We sat down and spoke to the women
who were gathered there." (verse 13)
"We" did this and "we" did that.
Be part of God's team.
Participate in praying with others where they are
and sharing your faith.
"In the name of Jesus Christ I command you,
come out of her!" (verse 18)
This slave girl was possessed by an evil spirit.
Paul used the name of Jesus to free her from this.
Her masters were very upset.
They should have rejoiced at her freedom and new life.
"About midnight, while Paul and Silas were praying
and singing hymns to God as their fellow prisoners listened,
a severe earthquake suddenly shook the place,
rocking the prison to its foundations." (verse 25, 26)
God heard their prayers.
He rescued them.
Sing songs of praise to God.
Sing to him late into the night.
"Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved,
and all your household." (verse 31)
What must you do?
Believe...believe in Jesus.
He will save you and your family.
"Get started, now. On your way!" (verse 36)

(July 23, 2001 5:55 AM CDT)

Read Acts 15 .

"God, who reads the hearts of men,
showed his approval by granting the Holy Spirit
to them just as he did to us." (verse 8)
The message of the gospel is for all people.
Open your heart to the Lord.
Receive the Holy Spirit.
"You will be well advised to avoid these things." (verse 29)
Avoid evil.
It will destroy you.
The Spirit will point these things out.
Stay clear of them.
"The disagreement which ensued was so sharp
that the two separated." (verse 39)
Paul and Barnabas had a disagreement.
They went two different ways.
This happens in the church,
but we are still one body under Christ.
The result was that they went to twice as many towns.

(July 22, 2001 8:30 AM CDT)

Read Acts 14 .

"Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there
and spoke out fearlessly,
in complete reliance on the Lord." (verse 3)
Trust in the Lord.
Lean on him.
He will give you all that you need.
Have no fear.
"We are only men, human like you." (verse 15)
Don't elevate anyone too high.
Only God deserves that kind of honor.
Give praise to Almighty God.
"He has not hidden himself completely,
without a clue." (verse 17)
God reveals himself.
He announces he is here and alive.
He sent Jesus to announce this good news.
"His disciples quickly formed a circle about him,
and before long he got up and
went back into the town." (verse 20)
They stoned Paul, but he quickly recovered.
He was instantly healed.
The Lord was with him.
There is nothing you can't do when God is on your side.
"They gave their disciples reassurances,
and encouraged them to persevere in the faith." (verse 22)
The Christian life is not easy.
If you follow Jesus, you will be persecuted.
But Jesus has promised to be with you.
He is there in your trials.

(July 21, 2001 8:59 AM CDT)

Read Acts 13 .

"Set apart Barnabas and Saul for me to do the work
for which I have called them." (verse 2)
The Spirit speaks to you.
You are set apart to do God's work.
You are called by God.
"Will you never stop trying to make crooked
the straight paths of the Lord?" (verse 10)
You look at the issues.
The truth is so twisted by people sometimes.
Walk straight paths with the Lord.
Don't go off on your own way.
"Brothers, if you have any exhortation to address
to the people, please speak up." (verse 15)
We have so much to say.
We know all about the Lord.
Please, speak up.
"I have found David son of Jesse
to be a man after my own heart
who will fulfill my every wish." (verse 22)
May you be a child of God.
May your heart be like the heart of Jesus.
David was a man of God.
Be like David.
"For I am doing a deed in your days
which you never would have believed
even if you had been told." (verse 41)
God is at work today.
He is alive today.
He is active in the world.
Do you believe it?
"I have made you a light to the nations,
a means of salvation to the ends of the earth." (verse 47)
This verse is in my kitchen on the wall.
It has been there for a long time.
Let your light shine to all around you.
"The disciples could not but be filled
with joy and the Holy Spirit." (verse 52)
When you do God's will you will get blessed.
You can't help it.
You receive the joy of the Lord.
The Spirit comes into your life.

(July 20, 2001 6:01 AM CDT)

Read Acts 12 .

"Peter was thus detained in prison,
while the church prayed fervently
to God on his behalf." (verse 5)
Pray for your leaders.
They may have to suffer for the kingdom.
May they be strong in the faith in time of trials.
"Suddenly an angel of the Lord stood nearby
and light shone in the cell." (verse 7)
Their prayers were answered.
An angel was sent to rescue Peter.
The light of God shone in the darkness.
"Peter followed him out,
but with no clear realization
that this was taking place
through the angel's help." (verse 9)
God is there helping us, but we don't always realize it.
He is doing things for us all the time.
He is a loving God and watches over us.
"On recognizing his voice
she was so overjoyed that she did not stop to open the door,
but ran in and announced that Peter was outside." (verse 14)
Rhoda forgot to open the door.
It is such a simple thing.
Open the door in your life for the Lord to come in.
"At daybreak confusion broke out among the soldiers,
who did not know what had happened to Peter." (verse 18)
Without the Lord there is confusion.
You don't know what happened or what to do.
Be on the side of the Lord.
Avoid all the confusion.
"Meanwhile the word of the Lord
continued to spread and increase." (verse 24)
The word of God grows.
It increases and spreads.
It is a joyful message that continues
from generation to generation.

(July 19, 2001 7:15 AM CDT)

Read Acts 11 .

"All through Judea the apostles and the brothers
heard that Gentiles, too,
had accepted the word of God." (verse 1)
The word of God spread.
It went all over the place.
It was received by many different people.
"This happened three times;
then the canvas with everything in it
was drawn up into the sky." (verse 10)
Peter had a vision.
God spoke to him and instructed him.
God provided leadership for the church.
"If God was giving them the same gift he gave us
when we first believed in the Lord Jesus Christ,
who was I to interfere with him?" (verse 17)
The Lord has his plan.
He will accomplish his work.
He wishes all people to know him and love him.
"He encouraged them all to remain firm
in their commitment to the Lord,
since he himself was a good man
filled with the Holy Spirit and faith." (verse 23, 24)
Keep your commitment.
May your faith be strong.
Be filled with the Holy Spirit.

(July 18, 2001 5:55 AM CDT)

Read Acts 10 .

"He was in the habit of giving generously to the people
and he constantly prayed to God." (verse 2)
Be a generous person.
Remember those in need.
Pray everyday.
Talk to the Lord.
"Your prayers and your generosity
have risen in God's sight,
and because of them he remembered you." (verse 4)
God hears your prayers.
He responds to you.
He remembers you.
"Go downstairs and set out with them unhesitatingly,
for it is I who sent them." (verse 20)
Peter received a message.
He received directions from God.
He did what the Lord told him to do.
"Get up! I am only a man myself." (verse 26)
Peter understood who he was.
Only God alone should be worshipped.
He was a servant of God.
"All of us stand before God at this moment
to hear whatever directives the Lord has given you." (verse 33)
Be open to God's directives.
Seek his wisdom and guidance.
He will lead you to life.
"To him all the prophets testify,
saying that everyone who believes in him
has forgiveness of sins through his name." (verse 43)
The prophets pointed to Jesus.
Call on the name of the Lord.
Ask him to forgive your sins today.
"Peter had not finished these words
when the Holy Spirit descended upon all
who were listening to Peter's message." (verse 44)
Peter shared what he knew about Jesus.
These words touched Cornelius and his family and friends.
They heard the word of God and it changed them.

(July 17, 2001 5:56 AM CDT)

Read Acts 9 .

"Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" (verse 4)
The Lord asked Saul a question.
What was he doing?
He persecuted the "new way."
"For three days he continued blind,
during which time he neither ate nor drank." (verse 9)
Saul was in shock.
He was wrong.
He was not with the Lord, he was against him.
"You must go!" (verse 15)
The Lord sent Ananias to Saul.
He did not want to go.
He had heard all about Saul.
But the Lord had touched Saul.
He was not the same.
"Immediately something like scales fell from his eyes
and he regained his sight." (verse 18)
Saul was blind in more ways than one.
The Lord healed him and showed him new things.
He was baptized and became a believer in Jesus.
"Isn't this the man who worked such havoc in Jerusalem
among those who invoke this name?" (verse 21)
Saul spoke out about Jesus.
The people could not believe it.
One day he is attacking them and
the next day he is on their side.
"When he arrived back in Jerusalem
he tried to join the disciples there;
but it turned out that they were all afraid of him." (verse 26)
God works in people's lives.
How hard is it for us to accept a new believer?
You hear about conversions in prisons.
Do you welcome these new people into the church?
"It was being built up and was making steady progress
in the fear of the Lord; at the same time
it enjoyed the increased consolation of the Holy Spirit." (verse 31)
The church was growing.
The Lord was with them.
God blessed his people.
God blesses his people today.
"Tabitha, stand up." (verse 40)
They requested that Peter come and pray.
Peter called out to Tabitha.
The Lord brought her back to life.
It was a miracle.
The Lord restored her to all her friends.
She was alive again.
May the Lord restore you.

(July 16, 2001 6:00 AM CDT)

Last night I drove by 96th and Chicago in Omaha.
It is just off West Dodge Road on the south side.
There was a car accident there a few nights ago.
The utility pole had been replaced on the east side.
Some branches of a tree had been cut back.
There were a few signs at the base of the pole.
One was a cross.
"Our prayers are with you, Steve," said one sign.
Steve is in the hospital,
so pray for him and his family.
(He died a few days later.)

Read Acts 8 .

"Saul, for his part,
concurred in the act of killing." (verse 1)
Stephen was killed for his faith.
Saul (later Paul) thought it was needed.
He was wrong.
Saul persecuted the believers of Jesus.
They suffered for what they believed.
"The members of the church who had been dispersed
went about preaching the word." (verse 4)
They were forced to move.
They took with them the news of Jesus.
They spread his message.
Good came from the persecution.
"The rejoicing in that town
rose to fever pitch." (verse 8)
Philip went to Samaria.
He preached and performed miracles.
He was a man of God.
The town was totally changed.
"The two went down to these people
and prayed that they might receive the Holy Spirit." (verse 15)
Peter and John went and prayed in Samaria.
They imposed hands on the people.
The Spirit came down on the people.
"Reform your evil ways." (verse 22)
Simon tried to buy the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit is not for sale.
It is free to all that sincerely ask.
"Philip ran ahead and heard the man
reading the prophet Isaiah." (verse 30)
Philip was sent by an angel to this man.
Philip explained to him what he was reading.
The reading pointed to Jesus.
"Look, there is some water right there.
What is to keep me from being baptized?" (verse 37)
Philip baptized this man.
He came to faith.
What is keeping you from being baptized?

(July 15, 2001 11:37 AM CDT)

Read Acts 7 .

"God said to him,
'Leave your country and your kinsfolk,
and go to the land I will show you.'" (verse 3)
God has something new for you.
He wants to show you new things.
You have much to learn.
He will lead you to a new land.
"When famine and great trial came upon Egypt and Canaan,
our fathers could find no sustenance." (verse 11)
Is your life dry and boring?
Are you in great need?
Are you suffering great trials?
Come away to another land.
Come to a land of plenty.
"It was at this time that Moses was born." (verse 20)
It was at this time that you were born.
You are here for a reason.
God has created you.
God has called you to great things.
"I am the God of your fathers,
the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob." (verse 32)
God spoke to Moses.
Moses trembled.
He had nothing to fear.
God was on his side.
"Yet the Most High does not dwell in buildings
made by human hands." (verse 48)
God is immense.
He is larger than the universe.
He is huge.
We worship the Most High God.
He made all things.
"Look! I see an opening in the sky,
and the Son of Man standing at God's right hand." (verse 56)
Stephen saw a glimpse of heaven.
The veil was opened for a few moments.
He saw the other side.
He saw the glory that awaits us.
"Then they rushed at him as one man,
dragged him out of the city,
and began to stone him." (verse 57, 58)
How could they be so wrong?
Here was someone trying to tell them the truth.
They killed him for no reason.
He died as a witness to Jesus.

(July 14, 2001 9:15 AM CDT)

Someone stole something from my car.
Pray for them.
They need help.

Read Acts 6 .

"It is not right for us to neglect the word of God
in order to wait on tables." (verse 2)
Pray for your pastor.
May God protect them.
May they be a holy person.
God bless them.
"They presented these men to the apostles,
who first prayed over them
and then imposed hands on them." (verse 6)
Pray over your deacons and ministers.
Lay your hands on them.
Call forth the leaders in your community.
Encourage them.
"They proved no match for the wisdom and spirit
with which he spoke." (verse 10)
Stephen was a man of God.
He was filled with the Holy Spirit.
He used the wisdom of God to defend the faith.
With God on his side he was no match for them.
"The members of the Sanhedrin who sat there
stared at him intently.
Throughout, Stephen's face
seemed like that of an angel." (verse 15)
The holiness of God will shine through.
They saw it in Stephen.
It is a joyful sight.
He was a holy man.
Be like Stephen.

(July 13, 2001 5:58 AM CDT)

Read Acts 5 .

"At the sound of these words,
Ananias fell dead." (verse 5)
He tried to deceive the Lord.
He failed.
The Lord sees all things.
Be honest with the Lord.
Offer him your best.
"Through the hands of the apostles,
many signs and wonders occurred among the people." (verse 12)
The disciples of Jesus followed his lead.
They preached the word of God and they healed the sick.
It is no wonder---
Jesus said they would do greater things than he did.
"During the night, however, an angel of the Lord
opened the gates of the jail, and led them forth." (verse 19)
When you work for the Lord amazing things happen.
A jail is no problem for God.
God's work must be done.
He will lead you forth to continue his work.
"Better for us to obey God than men!" (verse 29)
The authorities told them to keep quiet,
but the Lord wanted them to speak up.
With all that you know about Jesus
how can you keep silent?
"If, on the other hand, it comes from God,
you will not be able to destroy them
without fighting God himself." (verse 39)
Don't fight the Lord.
You won't win.
Join the Lord.
Follow the Lord all the days of your life.

(July 12, 2001 6:00 AM CDT)

Read Acts 4 .

"Many of those who had heard the speech believed;
the number of the men came to about five thousand." (verse 4)
The church grew very fast.
They heard the word of God proclaimed and responded.
They believed in Jesus.
The words of Peter and John touched their hearts.
"In the power of that name
this man stands before you perfectly sound." (verse 10)
Jesus restores you to health.
He is all-powerful.
Call on the name of Jesus to heal.
Stand up.
"There is no salvation in anyone else." (verse 12)
Jesus is the only one.
He is the way to life.
There is no other.
Jesus is the one.
"We cannot deny it." (verse 16)
The power of God is there.
It is active.
You can't deny it.
God is working in our lives.
"Surely we cannot help speaking
of what we have heard and seen." (verse 20)
How can you keep silent?
Jesus has blessed you abundantly.
He has changed your life.
He is everything to you.
"Grant to your servants,
even as we speak your words,
complete assurance by stretching forth your hand
in cures and signs and wonders
to be worked in the name of Jesus,
your holy Servant." (verse 29, 30)
Be assured of Jesus.
Be changed by him.
He stretches his hand out to you.
Be cured.
"Nor was there anyone needy among them." (verse 34)
Share with your brothers and sisters.
There is enough for all.
Think of others.
Help the needy.

(July 11, 2001 5:57 AM CDT)

Read Acts 3 .

"Peter and John were going up to the temple for prayer
at the three o'clock hour." (verse 1)
Go to church and pray.
Take someone with you.
Worship God.
"In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, walk!" (verse 6)
Stand up.
Get up.
Walk with the Lord's strength.
Walk with the Lord.
"You put to death the Author of life.
But God raised him from the dead." (verse 15)
Jesus is the source of life.
He "wrote the book."
Death was pushed aside.
He is raised on high.
"May a season of refreshment be granted you
by the Lord." (verse 20)
Be refreshed.
Be made new.
Change the season of your life.
The Lord be with you.

(July 10, 2001 6:02 AM CDT)

Read Acts 2 .

"All were filled with the Holy Spirit." (verse 4)
Jesus, send your Holy Spirit today to us.
Come Spirit of light.
Renew our lives.
Change us, Lord.
"They were much confused
because each one heard these men
speaking his own language.
The whole occurrence astonished them." (verse 6, 7)
The Holy Spirit speaks to each of us.
We receive inspiration.
We are astonished at the workings of God.
We hear the Spirit.
"It shall come to pass in the last days, says God,
that I will pour out a portion of my spirit
on all mankind." (verse 17)
The Spirit is for all people.
It is for you.
It is for everyone.
Let it change you.
"It was impossible that death
should keep its hold on him." (verse 24)
Jesus overcame death.
It is not to be feared anymore.
Jesus is life.
You are free now.
"This is the Jesus God has raised up,
and we are his witnesses." (verse 32)
Peter is a witness.
He is a witness to the truth.
We are witnesses.
Testify to the love of God.
"What are we to do?"
"You must reform and be baptized,
each one of you,
in the name of Jesus Christ,
that your sins may be forgiven." (verse 37, 38)
Ask Jesus to forgive your sins.
With the grace of God change your life.
Be baptized in the name of Jesus.
Start a new life.
"A reverent fear overtook them all,
for many wonders and signs were performed
by the apostles." (verse 43)
The power of God is an amazing thing to see.
He comes into our lives and we are in awe.
God is wonderful.
He is most beautiful.

(July 9, 2001 5:56 AM CDT)

That's right.
You just keep reading through the Bible.
Today we start Acts.

Read Acts 1 .

"In the time after his suffering
he showed them in many convincing ways that he was alive,
appearing to them over the course of forty days
and speaking to them about the reign of God." (verse 3)
Jesus stayed around for a time.
He taught them many things.
He strengthened them.
He set the foundation.
"You will receive power
when the Holy Spirit comes down on you." (verse 8)
Come Holy Spirit!
Come Spirit of life.
Give us your power.
Give us your wisdom.
"He was lifted up before their eyes in a cloud
which took him from their sight." (verse 9)
Jesus returned to heaven.
He returned to the Father.
They were witnesses to this wonderful sight.
They were amazed.
"Together they devoted themselves to constant prayer." (verse 14)
Let us pray.
Let us pray with others.
Praise the Lord for all he has done.
Lift him up on high.
"It is entirely fitting, therefore,
that one of those who was of our company
while the Lord Jesus moved among us,
from the baptism of John until the day he was taken up from us,
should be named as witness with us to his resurrection." (verse 22)
Jesus had many disciples.
He had many faithful followers.
Matthias was one of them.
Are you one of them, also?

(July 8, 2001 9:21 AM CDT)

Read John 21 .

"I am going out to fish."
"We will join you." (verse 3)
They returned to what they knew.
The disciples knew how to fish.
They fell back to some old way of life.
After all that we know about the Lord
after all the time we have spent with him
do we fall back to something old?
"It is the Lord!" (verse 7)
Here they were conversing with Jesus
and they did not know it.
They did not recognize him.
He calls them children.
They have so much to learn.
"Bring some of the fish you just caught." (verse 10)
God has blessed us beyond our wildest dreams.
153 sizable fish is a lot of fish.
Do we use those blessings?
Do we share our blessings?
"Jesus came over, took the bread and gave it to them,
and did the same with the fish." (verse 13)
Jesus shared a meal with them.
He ate bread and fish with them.
He feeds us.
Make him part of your meals.
He has provided for you.
Thank him.
"Simon, son of John, do you love me?" (verse 15, 16, 17)
Jesus asked Simon 3 times the same question.
Do you love Jesus?
Does he mean everything to you?
Will you follow him all the days of your life?
"Follow me." (verse 19)
"There are still many other things that Jesus did,
yet if they were written about in detail,
I doubt there would be room enough in the entire world
to hold the books to record them." (verse 25)
Not every detail is recorded of Jesus' life.
He was very busy.
He did many many things.
But enough has been written for you to believe.
Believe in Jesus.

(July 7, 2001 9:41 AM CDT)

Read John 20 .

"She saw that the stone had been moved away." (verse 1)
Mary Magdalene saw the stone.
She observed what had happened, but did not know why.
We see things also.
We don't always know what wonderful thing God is doing for us.
"They were running side by side,
but then the other disciple outran Peter
and reached the tomb first." (verse 4)
We all run to the Lord.
Some are ahead of others in their spiritual journey.
That is to be expected.
Share what you know with others.
"She saw two angels in dazzling robes." (verse 12)
Angels are messengers from God.
They are most beautiful to behold.
They bring us good news of great joy.
"She turned around and caught sight of Jesus standing there.
But she did not know him." (verse 14)
I wonder how often this happens to us.
Jesus is right there and we don't recognize him.
Is Mary so different than us?
"Jesus said to her, 'Mary!'" (verse 16)
This is very significant.
He calls all of us by name.
Do we recognize it is the voice of the Lord?
"I have seen the Lord!" she announced. (verse 18)
Mary shared what she saw.
She shared her insights.
She shared her faith.
"He showed them his hands and his side." (verse 20)
It was Jesus.
It was him.
It was very hard to believe he was alive.
"I will never believe it
without probing the nail prints in his hands,
without putting my finger in the nail marks
and my hand into his side." (verse 25)
Thomas is just like us.
He wants proof.
He wants to see and touch the evidence.
He doubted the words of his friends.
"Blessed are they who have not seen and have believed." (verse 29)
Thomas believed because he saw the risen Jesus in person.
We believe based on our faith.
It is Jesus.
He died and rose from the dead.
We believe.
We are blessed.

(July 6, 2001 10:23 AM CDT)

I just got back from Nevada a few hours ago.
We had three days over 110F degrees.
That is hot.
It makes 95F degrees feel not that bad.
I saw the fireworks on the 4th of July
near the Stratosphere in Las Vegas.
We were about a half mile away in the parking garage
of Circus Circus.
It was a Circus.
There are a lot of people in that town.
I didn't gamble at all while I was there.
I went there to visit my niece and her family.

Read John 19 .

"Look at the man!" (verse 5)
Examine Jesus.
See who he is.
Learn about him.
See the man.
"Where do you come from?" (verse 9)
Pilate asks questions that we would ask if we were there.
We try to figure him out.
Jesus comes from the Father.
He is different than us.
"In the end, Pilate handed Jesus over
to be crucified." (verse 16)
Pilate failed.
He failed to see who Jesus was.
Jesus was right there with him.
He questioned Jesus and did not understand.
In the end, what will you do?
"What I have written, I have written." (verse 22)
What will you write?
What will others see in your actions?
Live a life worth reading.
Live a holy life.
"Woman, there is your son." (verse 26)
It is a strange way for Jesus to talk to his mother.
It must have a deeper meaning.
Mary must have played a key role
in the faith of the disciples and early church.
She was there for them.
She knew all about Jesus and shared her insights.
Let us be like her.
Let us build the body of Christ.
"Now it is finished." (verse 30)
Jesus died once.
It was the perfect sacrifice.
He overcame sin and death.
He did it for us.
Thank you, Jesus!
"One of the soldiers thrust a lance into his side,
and immediately blood and water flowed out." (verse 34)
This is why some people think that Jesus died
of a broken heart literally.
That is what I have read.
I don't know if that is true or not.
We do know he gave everything for us.
He did not hold anything back.
He died for us.
We thank him over and over.
Thank you, Jesus!

(July 2, 2001 6:00 AM CDT)

Spring To Life is on hold until July 6th.
Keep reading the Bible one chapter each day.

Read John 18 .

"Who is it you want?" (verse 4, 7)
"I am he." (verse 5, 6, 8)
Jesus is the one.
He is the one you want.
Seek him.
Search for him.
Find him.
"I have spoken publicly to any who would listen." (verse 20)
It is not a secret.
Jesus is public knowledge.
His words are there for all to read and hear.
He is there in the open.
"My kingdom does not belong to this world." (verse 36)
Jesus came from the Father and returned to the Father.
The treasure is not here---it is in heaven.
We follow Jesus to the Father.
We don't get attached to this world.
"Anyone committed to the truth hears my voice." (verse 37)
Listen carefully.
The words of Jesus are true.
They ring true.
There is something about them.
They move your heart.

(July 1, 2001 8:07 AM CDT)

Read John 17 .

"Father, the hour has come!" (verse 1)
It is the defining moment for Jesus.
His hour has arrived.
He will witness to the truth for all to see.
He will be put to death.
"Eternal life is this:
to know you, the only true God,
and him whom you have sent, Jesus Christ." (verse 3)
Learn of God.
Open your mind and heart.
Learn of Jesus the Lord.
He was sent to save us.
"I entrusted to them the message
you entrusted to me." (verse 8)
You have a great responsibility.
You know Jesus.
You know all about him.
Receive this message.
Pass this message along to others.
"For these I pray." (verse 9)
Jesus is praying for you.
He is right behind you.
He is backing you up.
Move forward with confidence.
"I kept careful watch,
and not one of them was lost." (verse 12)
Once you have known Jesus he is there forever.
You belong to him.
He carefully watches over you and your family.
He will see you don't get lost.
"I pray also for those who will believe in me through their word,
that all may be one." (verse 20-21)
Let us join together.
May all Christians be one.
Jesus wants it this way.
Let us come together and forgive each other.

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