PRAYER & FASTING
Suggested Reading: Acts 14-15
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Key Verse: Acts 14:23
So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
Imagine… After a miracle was performed, they thought Barnabas was Zeus and Paul another one of their gods. Before long, the crowd considered them demons to be stoned. We cannot depend on popular opinion. We must have solid teaching based on the Scriptures. James, now recognized as the Pastor of Jerusalem, brings the Church back to their foundation by quoting God’s Word. This clear dependence on the Hebrew Bible was essential for consistent doctrine. As it was then, so it must be today. With prayer and fasting, elders who are well established in Scripture should be placed in leadership roles. They may not always agree, as in the case of the dissension between Paul and Barnabas. Their differences were not doctrinal but procedural. Today, this disagreement might result in an independent church being planted nearby, which might become a new denomination. Paul and Barnabas, while they separated, did not act in such a way. They simply went in different directions in spreading God’s Word.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Dear Lord, while our leaders may have differences in how to proceed with Your work, may they be in complete unity in the doctrines of eternal salvation. Give me the grace of loyalty to those who lead in my church. With Your help, Lord, I commit to prayer and fasting on their behalf. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
I am amazed at the gigantic temples, such as the one to Zeus, pictured above, which are found everywhere in the ancient world. Lucifer, one time known in Heaven as “the anointed cherub,” desired worship for himself and tried to take the place of God. I believe he inspired the building of these temples, and then he and his fallen angels inhabited these temples in order to receive worship here on the earth to which they were banished. The religion business is filled with what the Bible calls “deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Tim. 4:1). I don’t worry about these entities taking control of my thoughts and my life, because I practise daily prayer for protection by the Blood of Jesus, and I daily do as James, the Pastor referred to above, teaches me, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you!” (James 4:7-8).
Yours for a consistent, joy-filled life in Christ,