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July 5

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“I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me” (Psalm 3:5 NKJV).

From: July 5, 2020

THE LORD SUSTAINS US EVEN WHILE WE SLEEP

David wrote this psalm after he had to flee from his son, Absalom, who sought to overthrow him and take the crown. Surely he was overcome by grief from this betrayal. Sleep had no doubt eluded him during this time. Yet, he finally lay down and slept. And when he awoke, he was thankful that the Lord had sustained him.
 
Have worries and fears ever kept you from sleep? When sleep finally comes, it is a gift. For who watches over us when we sleep? Who keeps our hearts beating and our lungs breathing? And who keeps the earth spinning and causes the sun to rise the next day? Certainly not those who sleep. And even those awake have no sustaining power. For it is the Lord who sustains us.
 
PRAYER: Dear Father, we thank You. For You are our Creator, Savior and Sustainer. You alone are worthy of our praise. Thank You for sleep and for the joy of a new day with You. Strengthen us for Your service today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“When they arrived in Caesarea, they presented Paul and the letter to Governor Felix” (Acts 23:33 NLT).

From: July 5, 2018

PAUL’S ALL-EXPENSES PAID 4TH MISSIONARY JOURNEY
After being arrested by the Roman authorities in Jerusalem for being at the center of a riot, Paul was taken to Governor Felix at Caesarea. He was transported on horseback at night to avoid the conspiracy threatening his life by certain Jewish zealots. As a Roman citizen he was afforded better treatment and protection than he otherwise would have received. He had shared the gospel with both the Jews and Romans at Jerusalem. Now, he would be able to proclaim the gospel to the Roman governor, Felix, and even to King Herod, who had a summer home at Caesarea. This was the beginning of Paul’s all-expenses paid (By the Romans), 4th missionary journey, which would ultimately take him to Rome and to bringing his appeal before Caesar. The Lord had told Paul he would appear before kings on the Lord’s behalf, and now this very thing was taking place.

“Adam, Seth, Enosh, Cainan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth” (1 Chronicles 1:1-4 NKJV).

From: July 5, 2017

Ezra, the writer of 1 and 2 Chronicles, began with a lengthy genealogy that began with the first man, Adam. The genealogy continues through chapter nine. Its purpose seems to be to retain a record of all the family lines of Israel, especially that of King David, this need being made more profound by the fall of Israel and Judah and their 70 year captivity in Babylon.
 
Ezra’s Chronicles began without commentary, just the listing of names. Yet, we are reminded that all people, regardless of race, belong to the human race. And that all of us are descended from Adam, and more specifically from Noah. The careful record-keeping of the ancient Jews made possible the genealogies of Matthew and Luke that show Jesus to be in the physical line of David as prophesied.
 
We are all children of Adam. And we have all been born with Adam’s sin nature. Yet, Jesus Christ, the second Adam (1 Cor. 15:45-49), makes it possible for us to be born again into God’s family, having our sins forgiven and washed away.

‘The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.”’ (Acts 23:11 ESV)

From: July 5, 2016

Paul testified one last time before the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem, but their hearts continued to be hardened. After being arrested by the Roman authorities, he heard Christ’s call to be encouraged and to set his sights on Rome. It seems that Paul’s final assignment was to testify of Jesus to those in authority in Rome. Paul had planted churches throughout Asia Minor and Greece, but his final mission was to represent Christ before the world’s greatest political leader, namely Caesar. If one viewed history only through a 1st-century lens, it would seem that Paul’s mission was a failure. Sure, he appeared before Caesar, but it ended with Paul’s execution. However, by the 3rd century, the Roman empire, including its emperor, had embraced Christianity.

“Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome” (Acts 23:11 NKJV)

From: July 5, 2015

Paul testified one last time before the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem, but their hearts continued to be hardened. After being arrested by the Roman authorities, he heard Christ’s call to be encouraged and to set his sights on Rome. It seems that Paul’s final assignment was to testify of Jesus to those in authority in Rome. Paul had planted churches throughout Asia Minor and Greece, but his final mission was to represent Christ before the world’s greatest political leader, namely Caesar. If one viewed history only through a 1st-century lens, it would seem that Paul’s mission was a failure. Sure, he appeared before Caesar, but it ended with Paul’s execution. However, by the 3rd century, the Roman empire, including its emperor, had embraced Christianity.

“Intelligent people are always ready to learn. Their ears are open for knowledge” (Proverbs 18:15 NLT)

From: July 5, 2014

You’ve heard it said, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Yet, the Bible teaches otherwise. Wisdom loves learning. No matter your age, retaining a child-like curiosity for learning is the secret to never growing old. Leaders are readers. And leaders are learners. The apathetic scoff at learning, while seeking the next passive entertainment. The know-it-all lacks the humility to learn, claiming to know better. Only the wise, the humble and curious are “always ready to learn.” The truly wise are those who have submitted their minds to Christ and experienced His transforming power over their thinking. As a result, according to Romans 12:2, they are able to “learn” God’s good, pleasing and perfect will for them.

“That night the Lord appeared to Paul and said, ‘Be encouraged, Paul. Just as you have been a witness to me here in Jerusalem, you must preach the Good News in Rome as well'” (Acts 23:11)

From: July 5, 2012

Jesus told Paul that the criminal charges and chains were really the means for his mission to stand before governors, kings and even Caesar himself. God can use our suffering as a platform for His gospel being preached when we are willing.

“A man’s spirit sustains him in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?” (Proverbs 18:14)

From: July 5, 2011

Discouragement can be more disabling than disease. It steals your will and throws water on your faith. It immobilizes. But we have the Holy Spirit. He is never depressed. Be filled with His joy and depend on His power to act. Then, watch the gray skies turn blue again.