Thursday
Dec132018

December 13, 2018

December 13, 2018

Judy Hollaway

 

September 6

Running with Jesus  

 

Acts 8:3   "As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and hauling men and women committed them to prison."

     Christianity is spreading throughout Jerusalem and God is going to use this man Saul to spread the gospel. Christ and His disciples were turning the world upside down. Christianity and the church was being born in the middle of persecution. 

      Let's look back and think about the times people will most likely cry out to God? In difficulty! When 9/11 happened the churches were filled. Prayer vigils were held all over. During our difficult days we draw closer to God. Had God not allowed sorrow and suffering to be our companions man would not seek and find Him. 

      It is in our pain we find God is our hope and help in present times of trouble. We are turned inward and feel hopeless discovering we have hope and that hope is in the person of Jesus Christ.

           

Father, we don't enjoy pain and don't dare ask for it, however, we are so thankful to know we have You and You arrive in the midst of our pain to help us. Thank You for sustaining grace to go through life and You can turn our sorrow and suffering into joy and peace! Forever greatful! Sending You love this morning and praise!

   

Saul is still lurking around but meantime let's run over to Samaria with Philip tomorrow! God is up to something!

Wednesday
Dec122018

December 12, 2018

December 12, 2018

Judy Hollaway

 

September 5

Running with Jesus

 

Acts 7:59-60 “And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.  And when he had said this, he fell asleep.”

 

     I couldn’t help but remember Christ response on the cross, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” as I read Stephen’s response right before he died.

     This is a tough response when we are being crucified for things we know we are innocent.  Yet we see how we are to respond when others are hurting us.  We can know and understand Satan has blinded their eyes and they cannot know and understand the truth.  The truth is we are not enemies; Satan is the enemy of man. He wants to destroy lives and he is the chief deceiver and seeks whom he may devour. Are you going through something with a person?  Don’t let it make you quit, get bitter, or angry. Look at your circumstance from heavens view.  See them and have compassion because they are blinded by Satan and are walking in darkness.  We want to be free to serve with a joyful heart so we lay this burden at Your feet and will run our race with a joyful spirit, because our joy is in You, not people, places, and things.

 

I told you we would run into Saul and he will be here in the morning!

Tuesday
Dec112018

December 11, 2018

December 11, 2018

Judy Hollaway

 

September 4

Running with Jesus  

 

Acts 7:57-58 Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.

      It is so sad because this angel faced man will be stoned for sharing the gospel. He never backed down. Stephen presented the truth to these men and they could not stand to hear his soul piercing sermon because they were guilty. They would not humble themselves and pray and ask for forgiveness. They could get rid of the messenger but not the message. But behind the scenes God was getting ready to do a greater work even in this innocent man’s death. Where was God working in this horrible thing, a stoning, you say? Look where they laid Stephen's coat at the feet of a young man named Saul. 

     Saul was a Christian’s greatest feared enemy at this time. Saul was gazing into this whole matter and his life would be affected by this whole moment. We will run into him down this dusty road.

     We never know what God is up to in catastrophic events in our lives. We can trust an all knowing God ,Who is going to do what He promised "all things work together for the good for those who love Him." We have a God, Who is faithful to His word. No matter what stone is being thrown at us we can know and understand that He will use each stone to work out His plan and purposes and will in some way bring honor and glory to His name. We must remember to give Him praise in our difficulties. This is a difficult task to do when your heart is breaking and your emotions are running wild. We will only see victory in our lives and protection from becoming bitter and hard when we place our faith and trust in Him while the devil is trying to stone us. Remember he wants our joy and joy is birthed out of loving and trusting God with all your circumstance.  So today humble your heart and talk to God about your stoning this morning.

               

 Here is a prayer for you: Father I feel all beat up this morning. The pain is more than I can bear and I don't understand what is going on in my life. Today because Your Word tells me You are working things out for good in my life, I will trust You. You might be teaching me or wanting me to be a witness of how You keep us stable in hard times so I will trust You, I will sing praise to You and I will give You honor and glory because my joy is not in my circumstance but in You. You are my awesome sustainer of life! Amen, amen and amen!

 

Stephen's response, in the morning.

Monday
Dec102018

December 10, 2018

December 10, 2018

Judy Hollaway

 

September 3

Running with Jesus

 

Acts 7:54-56 When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and  said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

     There is a way we can leave this scene, and will be here tomorrow!  Don’t stay away linger with me! Stephen made this group so mad that it will cost him his life.  He was in a very difficult place but God, God did not forsake Stephen he gave him dying grace. God opened a window to heaven so Stephen could look upon Himself to help him endure the difficult task given him.

      If we are going to endure the hardships of life we too will have to learn to gaze intently into heaven and see Christ.  We must know and understand salvation is all about God’s glory and grace. Grace is the measure of faith God grants us to endure life.  That grace sustains us through difficulty and returns GLORY to God. He becomes our power source and strength to live through each difficult place we run face to face with.

     Jesus is right beside the Father saying, “that one is mine, and that one is mine, and that one is mine!”  Jesus has our circumstance and don’t forget it.

     This morning receive the grace you need to handle your difficulty.  Gaze intently through the window   of heaven and see Jesus there for you and claiming you.  Now be filled, renewed, and regenerated and get running. Jesus isn’t asleep He has this so run with power and authority, because He Is all you need.  On your mark, get set, gaze, and run.

 

Don’t miss out run with me tomorrow.

Monday
Dec102018

December 9, 2018

December 9, 2018

Judy Hollaway

 

September 2

Running with Jesus  

 

Acts 6:12-13  "And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council, And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law:"

 

      Stephen was busy doing His Father's business ministering and leading people to Christ and verse 9 says,

 “Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen."

      Stephen was doing a great work and the devil couldn't stand it, so what does he do? He stirs up the RELIGIOUS leaders who loved their power and position. These were men who had rejected the Messiah, Jesus Christ! They despised Stephen so much they even found false witness to say He was guilty of blasphemy. 

      When people have their own agendas apart from God, they will go to the extreme to maintain their own power and position. These men were wise in their own eyes and had they truly known God they would have known Jesus was the Messiah. Their personal agendas would lead them to kill innocent men.  We must examine ourselves today and make sure our faith-life is true faith and not just religious people who have our own personal agendas. When we have personal agendas instead of God's agendas we cause confusion in the body of Christ and sow discord. We must humble ourselves and examine all of our motives in serving.

               

Father, help us today to lay down anything that has selfish motives at the center. Help us to seek to help encourage our fellow laborer so that Your kingdom work can go forward. Take out self and put in Your Spirit. Take out negative thoughts we might have toward a brother and put in pure thoughts. Guide us along and help us to see where You are working and join You in helping to reconcile the world through the blood of Christ.

 

In the morning what happens when we tell people the truth, Stephen didn't back down and it will cost him! Don't miss this scene.