Archive for December 21st, 2007

Fused With God

Friday, December 21st, 2007

Today’s scripture: Acts 21:37-40; Acts 22:1-16 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Steve Adams):

Here was a violent mob that had beaten Paul and tried to kill him. So, how was he able to be “Mr. Cool” under such enormous pressure?

Reading the account gives me the definite impression he was not frazzled, but poised and calm, as he politely asked permission of the tribune to speak to the crowd and then told them his story in a thorough, step-by-step manner. He seemed to have an unshakable confidence that all he needed to do was show them the process by which God had led him to beliefs that were different from theirs; and what happened after that was God’s business, not his.

It’s striking to see that Paul truly believed what he wrote in his epistles, like:

Bless those who persecute you. . . do not repay evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. (Romans 12:14a, 17).

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God – what is good, and acceptable, and perfect. (Romans 12:2).

Let the peace of God rule in your hearts. . . (Colossians 3:15a).

It takes great love for God’s truth, great perseverance, and great tenacity to instill these truths into our souls to the extent that, when the pressure’s on, we live that way.

Think of the verses above, and imagine that “when you walk, they will lead you: when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you” (Proverbs 6:22). It often gives me strength to recite verses to myself, especially when I know I’m going to be facing a challenging situation.

But, the only reason I’m able to do that is years ago one of my spiritual mentors challenged me to memorize them, and after I got started, I thought, “This is cool — and helpful. I’m gonna memorize some more!”

Here’s an idea: why not make it a small group project to memorize some inspiring verses together (or do it with a friend if you don’t have an Oasis or other small group near you)?

Thought for the day: What do I need to do to get more of God’s character fused into mine?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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