I wonder if the Jerusalem church prayed for James to the degree that they prayed for Peter. Perhaps they did or perhaps James’ death galvanized them to more earnest prayer for Peter. Whatever the case with James, God did choose to inform us that “prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God” for Peter. Though we know they were astonished at Peter’s literal physical deliverance from prison, we don’t know the specifics of their petitions to God for him. And that is OK. From other Scriptures we can get very specific ideas to “fuel” our own praying for one another.
Source: Panting, Prayer Brings Deliverance, “Applying God’s Word to Me”
Jesus: The only name for salvation. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). I say that and offer no compromise. How can I flex on any of that when God’s Word is clear and unbending? I see no way to accept some sort of “equal partners” coexistence with any belief system that rejects any of that.
Source: Panting, Paul’s Proclamation in Rome, “Applying God’s Word to Me”
The Word, the hand, the grace, the Spirit — no wonder the church grew and prospered! That was then, but now…. Do I believe God could still work in His church that way? Yes! Well, then, do I believe He could work that way in me and my home congregation? Yes! Do I believe He will? Yes, if I want Him to. I do!
Source: Panting, Revival in the Growing Church, “Applying God’s Word to Me”
Where do I find my stability after I have lost it? Where do I get my strength when it weakens and fails? How do I rekindle my hope after it goes out in me? Who steadies my faith when life leaves it shaken and quivering?
Source: Panting, Mutual Ministry in Malta, “Applying God’s Word to Me”
Jesus — the name above all names. Jesus — King of kings. Jesus — “to him give all the prophets witness.” Jesus — of Whom the disciples witnessed. Jesus. What can I say about Him from the Scriptures? I’ll use some fragments from God’s Word, including some from today’s text.
Source: Panting, Light for the Gentiles, “Applying God’s Word to Me”
Here I sit at the kitchen table, the hum of fridge and furnace fans accompanying the high-pitched whine of self-diagnosed tinnitus. And I dare write about how faith-during-the-killer-storm makes sense. Then I have doubt-induced twinges of fear (aka faithlessness) at the thought of having that paragraph tested in my life. Now I’m wondering how to nourish my own already-badly-shaken faith. Will God allow it to be shaken even more?
Source: Panting, Paul Sails for Rome, “Applying God’s Word to Me”
Ananias had plenty of doubts (obviously) about Jesus’ ideas concerning his going to Saul and being used to restore Saul’s sight. He knew from plenty of reliable sources about Saul’s evil track record. He also knew what Saul’s intentions were for him and the other saints in Damascus. Serving as an “accomplice” to any of that didn’t suit Ananias at all. And he likely didn’t see the sense in being the first Christian within the persecutor’s range when he could see again. It seems Ananias fully intended to use his God-given wisdom to avoid compromising the security of the church in Damascus.
Source: Panting, Saul — From Persecutor to Preacher, “Applying God’s Word to Me”
Courage. How do I get it? The Bible says that David “encouraged himself in the Lord his God” (1 Samuel 30:6). I don’t know the specifics of how he did that, but maybe you and I could encourage ourselves in God’s Word.
Source: Panting, Courageous Witness and Radical Gospel, “Applying God’s Word to Me”
So, my friend, let us not balk at His bidding nor chafe at His choices nor anguish over His assignments. Let’s just do as He says and ask Him to change our attitudes and hang ups. Let’s yield ourselves as conduits of His love to those to whom He sends us.
Source: Panting, Philip the Evangelist, “Applying God’s Word to Me”
Once again, I am amazed at faith’s simple obedience and utter sufficiency. I typed that line and thought of this: “But without faith it is impossible to please him” (Hebrews 11:6). If I have faith that simply obeys Jesus, it will be utterly sufficient for securing my standing with Him. Let’s notice some of that in today’s text…
Source: Panting, Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch, “Applying God’s Word to Me”