Pastor's Devotional Thoughts

"For by occupation they were tentmakers." Acts 18:3

One of the books in the Bible that I enjoy is the book of Acts. This book is fascinating. I get excited when I read how the gospel was spread and how the Holy Spirit was working with them and sometimes of how much these apostles went through sufferings and all that. But what excites me the most is just how more people were being changed by hearing the word of God.

Paul was a great leader, author, theologian, etc. But you know what? He was a tentmaker! That simple line tells me something. We all can be like Paul. It's not just pastors that should do all the preaching, praying, evangelizing. But it's all believers of Christ that should be doing this! Jesus tells us through the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20 that we should change the world! We should change the world by telling of the good gospel of Jesus! Paul was a tentmaker yet he changed the world. You can do it, too.

God tells us in the same chapter in verse 9, "Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent. For I am with you!"

Let’s think of something we can do for Jesus and for the community this week. It doesn’t have to be big. It can be small. But God will surely use you to make a change.

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"Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Matthew 26:41

We see numerous times where Jesus is praying in the Gospels and this text is one of them. Jesus is now moments away from His ultimate sacrifice on the cross for us. Jesus decides to go pray at a place called Gethsemane. He asks three of the disciples, Peter, James, and John to come with Him to pray as well.

It is certainly not an easy moment for Jesus as He is facing the cross and He is in need of encouragement and help. Jesus prays earnestly. It's not an easy task for Jesus to bear upon the cross for the entire world yet He finalized His commitment for us.

But what were the disciples doing when Jesus needed their prayers the most? They fell asleep... not once, but twice. Jesus tells them the verse written above. “That we continue to watch and pray.” Friends it's not always easy to stay awake and pray. But it brings up spiritual awareness in our lives today. Are we sleeping when Jesus is asking us to pray? Are we sleeping when we should be aware that Jesus’ second coming is right around the corner? If so, let us “watch and pray.” We need to pray, pray, pray. Let's remember what Jesus has done for each of us. He has given Himself to us! Let us not fall into our spiritual sleep and drift away from Jesus. Let us remember to stay awake and be faithful to Jesus!

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Are you familiar with the story of Mary where she is caught in the act of adultery? Mary is brought to Jesus by the Jewish leaders because they want to trick and trap Jesus. According to the Mosaic Law, she is to be stoned. But being under the Roman authorities, they cannot kill (or stone) this woman. What should Jesus do?

Instead Jesus says, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first." (John 8:7) Then He wrote on the ground. We don't know what Jesus wrote on the ground, but the Jewish leaders, one by one, left the scene in haste! The following is the famous dialogue between Jesus and Mary:

"Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?"

She said, "No one, Lord."

And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more."

John 8:10-11

Ah! Isn't this a famous text? We always talk about that line: "Go and sin no more." We like to put emphasis in this line and make it the climax of this story. And I agree with it, too. But we need to read a little bit more into the story and find out that this story does not end here.

This is what verse 12 says:

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I AM the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."

Yes! This is one of those famous "I AM" texts in the gospel of John! I AM the water, I AM the bread... I AM the LIGHT says Jesus. It is important to "sin no more" now that Jesus does not condemn us and that we should live a purer life. BUT, it is more important to live in JESUS! The best way to succeed in the "sin no more" life is to live in the Light of the world, Jesus Christ. Attempting to "sin no more" without Jesus is just very difficult. We need to expose ourselves in the Light where there is no more sin. If we are in darkness, no matter how much we run we will still be in darkness, unless we turn on the LIGHT of JESUS, for He will get rid of the darkness.

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