WHEN THE SPIRIT SPEAKS

“Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert. So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.” So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him. The place in the Scripture which he read was this: “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; And as a lamb before its shearer is silent, So He opened not His mouth. In His humiliation His justice was taken away, And who will declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth.” So the eunuch answered Philip and said, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus. And passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea.”
‭‭Acts‬ ‭8:26-40‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Several things come to mind as I read this passage of the bible

1. Philip’s sensitivity and obedience to the Spirit – He heard the Spirit speak and He moved, no question! He wasn’t so bothered about where or if he ever got there, he was just ready to go as the Spirit led him. Philip was available, he was present to be used. Sometimes being produces more than doing. Philip obeys the command to go and be near the chariot. He was there, he was present, he was available.

2. The eunuch is returning from a pilgrimage to the Temple, a place laden with Spirit-filled 1st century Christians, and he leaves still not knowing Christ. Was he overlooked or ignored? Was there no one there that could see his need and help him? Was he not connected? Did he not see or feel God in that gathering? What went wrong? Was it not his time? Or was God just preparing him for a closer encounter? We may never know exactly the reason but we can be assured of one thing, God saw his heart, that he was seeking for a personal knowledge of Him and He made it possible through a Faithful, Available and Teachable (FAT) vessel.

As we go through today can we ask the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to opportunities to meet the needs of others and may we be sensitive enough to see when He is prompting us. May we take our eyes off the ‘destination’ and enjoy the journey and go as He leads.

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NOTHING CAN SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF GOD

“So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture: They kill us in cold blood because they hate you. We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one. None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:31-39‬

He loves me even when I fall beneath His will
He loves me, oh, oh, oh, He loves me
When my broken heart just won’t keeps still
He loves me oh, oh, oh, He loves me
Even though He knew sometimes I’d fall
Yet and still my name He called, He loves me
Jesus, I’m so grateful for Your love
He loves me even though I was born in sin
He loves me, oh, oh, oh, He loves me, yeah
Took me like I was and now I’m free again, yeah
He loves me, yeah, oh, oh, oh, He loves me

Kirk Franklin – He Loves Me

THE HEART OF WORSHIP

“You groped your way through that murk once, but no longer. You’re out in the open now. The bright light of Christ makes your way plain. So no more stumbling around. Get on with it! The good, the right, the true—these are the actions appropriate for daylight hours. Figure out what will please Christ, and then do it.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭5:8-10‬ ‭MSG‬‬

How many times do we come to the presence of our Father and all we do is stroke our egos, make ourselves feel good, enjoy the music or message without pleasing the One whom we have come for? Do we even realize that the reason for worship is to please Him? Do we know that the purpose of our lives is to p,ease Him? To find what pleases Him and just do it? The lyrics of the song Heart of Worship says it all

When the music fades,

all is striped away and I simply come,

longing just to bring something that’s of worth,

that will bless Your heart.

I’ll bring You more than a song,

for a song in itself is not what You have required.

You search much deeper within through the way things appear,

You’re looking into my heart.”

“I’m coming back to the heart of worship and it’s all about You,

it’s all about You, Jesus.”

when we come to Him to please Him and Him only, when all that matters is that He smiles in satisfaction when He sees or hears from us, when every other thing is put in the background and we simply come, He pours Himself into us and our lives never remain the same!

I’m coming back to the heart of worship and it’s all about You Jesus!

WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING FOR?

Two men were walking down the sidewalks of Manhattan, one a Native American and the other a born-and-bred New Yorker. The noise was incredible: cars, buses, horns, sirens, people talking loudly in the midst of chaos. Suddenly, the Native American said, “Listen! I hear a cricket! Do you hear it?” The New Yorker was incredulous. “No way! You couldn’t possibly hear a cricket on a Manhattan sidewalk during rush hour.” His friend disagreed, and to prove his statement, he bent down and retrieved a chirping cricket from a crack in the sidewalk. “How could you hear it?” the New Yorker asked. “Easy,” said his friend. “I’ve lived outdoors all my life. I can hear a cricket over any other kind of noise. That’s not amazing. If you want to see amazing, watch this!” And with those words, he reached into his pocket, pulled out a quarter, and dropped it on the pavement. As soon as he did, heads began to turn. It seemed as if every Manhattan-ite for blocks heard the coin as it hit the sidewalk. He had proved his point: you hear what you are listening for. Our ears pick up the sounds to which they are tuned. Let me ask you a question. What are you listening for? Do you hear God’s voice amidst the cacophony of everyday living? Do you see his hand at work all around you? Is your heart tuned to sing His praise? We can either listen to the din of the world, or strive to hear the voice of God. The choice is ours.

Copied from the Youversion bible plan : Everywhere I go: Learning to see Jesus

SAVED BY LOVE

““For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
‭‭John‬ ‭3:16‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Every teacher has students that are harder to love than most, and Teddy Stoddard was one fo those students for Jean Thompson. Teddy came to class dirty, was unresponsive, and turned in abominable work. Mrs. Thompson returned many of Teddy’s papers with a large, red “F” on the top. If she had read Teddy’s permanent record, she would have seen a history of trouble from first grade on. His home life was in turmoil. His mother became terminally ill, then died the next year. The school counselor noted his depression, and recommended psychiatric help. It was all in the record . . . but Mrs. Thompson never read it. On the last day before the Christmas holidays, Mrs. Thompson received gifts from all of her students, including Teddy. His was crudely wrapped in brown paper and contained a rhinestone bracelet with a few stones missing, and a half-used bottle of perfume. The other children laughed as Mrs. Thompson put on the bracelet and dabbed the perfume on her wrist. “Isn’t this lovely,” she said, nodding to Teddy with a smile. After class Teddy approached her desk. He had never come forward before. “Mrs. Thompson,” he said, “thank you for liking my presents. You smell like my mother used to smell, and her bracelet looks good on you, too.” When he walked out, Jean Thompson sank to her knees and prayed, “God, I sought to be a teacher of facts and not a lover of children. Forgive me for misunderstanding Teddy. Help me to love him more.” The next morning Jean Thompson arrived in class a changed teacher, and Teddy Stoddard was a changed boy. She tutored him so he could catch up with the other students. She looked for things she might praise him for, no matter how small. He had never encountered that kind of love before, and he blossomed under her care. At the end of the year, Teddy graduated into the next grade, but Mrs. Thompson received notes from her student for many years after that. The last one read, “Dear Mrs. Thompson: You can now call me Theodore J. Stoddard, M.D. Would you ever have believed it? By the way I’m getting married July 26th, and I would love for you to come. You can sit where my mother would have sat. You’re all the family I have. My dad died this year. Hope to see you soon. Love, Teddy.” Teddy was saved by love. And so are we.

 

COPIED FROM THE YOUVERSION BIBLE APP

First blog post

In times like these when all around is confusion, when the storms of life seem to batter you on every side, you need an anchor that provides stability, that holds you down and makes you know that the storm will soon pass. Generation next is a place for all ages, sex and denomination to come into contact with the anchor that holds in the midst of the storm, His Name is Jesus