Now in the neighborhood of that place were lands belonging to the leading man of the island, named Publius, who welcomed us and entertained us courteously three days. And it happened that the father of Publius was lying in bed afflicted with recurrent fever and dysentery; and Paul went in to see him and after he had prayed, he laid his hands on him and healed him. After this had happened, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases were coming to him and getting cured. They also honored us with many marks of respect; and when we were setting sail, they supplied us with all we needed. Acts 28:7-10
And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain-- for He says, “At the acceptable time I listened to you, and on the day of salvation I helped you.” Behold, now is “the acceptable time,” behold, now is “the day of salvation”-- giving no cause for offense in anything, so that the ministry will not be discredited, but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses, in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in hunger, in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love, in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left, by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report; regarded as deceivers and yet true; as unknown yet well-known, as dying yet behold, we live; as punished yet not put to death, as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things. 2 Corinthians 6:1-10
This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men. Titus 3:8
Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:13-16
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
When God is our center and our focus is on Him and not ourselves, He takes care of our sense of well-being for us and makes it possible for us to be used in the lives of others. When our center is elsewhere and our focus is on our somehow getting our shipwrecked life put back together, we have little room for being used in the lives of other people. We often think “when I get to a better spot myself, I will be able to be helpful to others.” In some ways this is true, but in other ways it is not. That “better spot” never comes from focusing on ourselves. Also, the “better spot” we really need is not far off but is as near as a prayer of faith.
When God is at the center of our life, the life we live is His doing and not ours. So, we don’t focus on being different and becoming better but on being close to the One Who makes the difference and is “better” in us and through us. And this is as close as the next moment when by faith we can come to God in prayer and offer ourselves to Him in absolute surrender. This is true survival and will launch us on a life of communion with God and service to others. This is how the holy life he has called us to comes about.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, I offer myself to you in absolute surrender. So strengthen my connection with you, that I truly become holy in all my behavior. May I know you so closely and fully that you rub off on me to such an extent that it becomes obvious to everyone around me. I am here to serve you and to serve others for the sake of your kingdom. Amen!
Posted on Wed, July 1, 2020
by Alan Porter