TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 28:3-20
TO CHEW ON: "He inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him . . . . Saul then said to his attendants, 'Find me a woman who is a medium, so I may go and inquire of her.'” 1 Samuel 28:6,7
The Philistines were threatening again and Saul was terrified. He wanted to talk to God and find out what to do. But Samuel had died, Saul had killed the priests, and no prophet came with any message. God was silent.
In desperation Saul asked his servants to find a medium. A medium was a person who could contact the spirits of dead people and get messages from them. But this power came from Satan and not God. God had commanded Saul to rid the land of all mediums and spiritists.
Still Saul’s men managed to find a medium. Saul disguised himself and went to her house. He persuaded her to try to bring up the spirit of Samuel so Saul could talk to him.
Soon the woman saw something coming out of the ground. And then Samuel’s voice filled the room, “Why have you disturbed me?...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Chronicles 33:7-13
TO CHEW ON: "And when he prayed to him, the Lord was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord is God." 2 Chronicles 33:13
“The Assyrians are coming!” A messenger blurted the news to King Manasseh.
Manasseh called his priests and told them to pray to the gods, check the omens, and make sacrifices. But not to the God of heaven. For Manasseh, Hezekiah’s son and Judah’s king, was not like his dad. Instead of worshiping God, he rebuilt hilltop shrines where people went to pray to statues of Chemosh and Baal.Illustration by Annie Vallotton from the Good News Bible © American Bible Society 1976, 1992
He sacrificed his own sons to idols, was deeply into witchcraft and even built idol altars in the temple. God had tried to talk to Manasseh and the people, but they refused to listen.
The sacrifices Manasseh made that day did no good. He was captured by the Assyrian generals, chained and taken to prison in Babylon. There, in a dungeon and all alone, he had time to think. He remembered the things his father...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Acts 13:6-12
TO CHEW ON: "But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith." Acts 13:8
What happens on mission trips but problems?
Barnabas and Saul (from now on called Paul - Acts 13:8), were invited by one of Cyprus’s government officials, Sergius Paulus, to talk about God. But one of the servants, Elymas who was a sorcerer told his boss not to listen to them and not to believe in God.
Then the Holy Spirit showed Paul whose side Elymas was on. So Paul went to him and said, “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right.” To prove God’s power was behind his words, Paul told Elymas he would go blind - and he did.The Conversion of the Proconsul - By Raphael, 1515-1516
When Sergius Paulus saw God’s power, he believed in God. Isn’t it just like God to turn a problem into praise!
We should not be surprised if we get resistance when we’re telling people about Jesus. Satan, Jesus’ enemy and ours, doesn’t want people to know about Him or trust Him. But we don’t need to fear Satan or...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Acts 16:16-22
TO CHEW ON: "She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her." (Acts 16:18)
Paul went on two more mission trips. On one of them he took Silas as his helper. They visited the city of Philippi and met with the Christians there.
Every day as they walked to their prayer meeting, a slave girl followed them. She made money for her owners by telling fortunes. Every day as she walked behind Paul and Silas she shouted, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.”
What she said was true. But Paul knew the spirit who inspired her to say it was not the Holy Spirit but an evil spirit. One day he had had enough. He turned around and commanded the evil spirit to come out of her. (A word that describes casting an evil spirit out of someone is exorcism.) The spirit did come out of her. But when the spirit was gone the slave...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Acts 19:11-20
TO CHEW ON: "Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly." Acts 19: 18-19a
Paul went back to Ephesus. His powerful sermons and miracles had made him famous. God worked so mightily through him that people took clothes that Paul had touched, laid them on sick people, and they were healed.
"Healings" by Christoph Weigel - 1695
When some Jews in the city tried to heal and do exorcisms (make evil spirits leave people) in Jesus’ name, like Paul did, the evil spirits knew they were fakers. The demon-possessed people beat up the imitation healers....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Joel 2:28-32
TO CHEW ON: "And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions." Joel 2:28
If someone asked you, “What will happen next week?” could you tell them? What if they asked about tomorrow, or even later today?
Without God’s help, people have no way of knowing the future. But when God’s Spirit tells people what to say about the future, as He did to the Old Testament prophets, we get accurate predictions.
God gave Joel words to say about the distant future. He told about a time when God would pour out His Spirit on all people – old and young, women and men.
Hundreds of years later a small band of Jesus’ followers were gathered in a Jerusalem room. Jesus had recently died, risen again and gone back to heaven. Just before He left, Jesus told His followers to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit.
That’s what they were doing this day when suddenly there was the sound of wind and the sight of fire tongues sitting on each person’s head. Then people began praising God in languages they didn’t...
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