Thought for the Week - 3rd January

Pastor Gareth Watkins

Acts 17:6-12

But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other brothers before the city officials,
shouting: “These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here,
and Jason has welcomed them into his house.
They are all defying Caesar’s decrees,
saying that there is another king, one called Jesus.”
When they heard this, the crowd and the city officials were thrown into turmoil.
Then they made Jason and the others post bond and let them go.

We can be in the place where in the natural we have nothing, but in spiritual places God has asked us to turn the world upside down.

In these verses above, the people had found salvation in Christ, forgiveness of their sins, a new freedom and liberty, and life with abundant living.  Satan couldn’t hold them down.  And he didn’t like it!  He started to arrest them and cause problems for them.  People were enraged with what they saw in the Christians lives.

Jesus Himself says He came to set the captives free!  But the world doesn’t like people who are free – people who are free thinking and alive in God!

In 2016, the world has exactly the same things going on, and some people still don’t like people who are free in Christ.  But we have been called to turn the world upside down!

This verse says that the effects their freedom has are against the laws of Caesar.  Indeed, sometimes the very things that we say and the person we become is contrary to the oppression of satan himself.  We thereby we become opposed to the system and country we live in.  Even today, in 2016, Christians aren’t always free or allowed to speak openly!  But still God moves.

If you visited the Colosseum in Rome today you would see a big cross.  This represents the thousands of men, women and children who were put to death there.

Christ asks God for Himself, and those who God would give Him, to be enabled to go to a deeper place, right into the throne room of God.  He can take us into a place in God that’s deeper than we’ve ever been before.  We have to see the future in the depths of God.

Is your confidence in God or something else?

Back in the 16th century, Catholic Queen Mary took the throne and started persecuted the “heretics”.  John Foxe witnessed what he considered a genocide of Christians.  He and John Day used this in the establishment of the Protestant faith… these men had their trust and confidence in God.  They could have been killed, but they kept going!  They kept their focus, despite thousands being killed and under threat themselves, and hundreds of years later we’re still reading their works.

They changed this Christian world upside down.  They had their struggles and problems!  We too might have them, but we need to keep our confidence in God… and carry on to do what God has called you to do.  Don’t look at the problems and the situations that hold you back.  Instead, follow Him to where He wants you to go!

Hebrews 10:35-36
Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.
For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.

There’s not just a confidence in God… there’s a reward too!  If you don’t have confidence in God, where will you end up?  A confidence in God brings about a result – we will receive the promise!

Our place is in God, our confidence in God and our reward will be from God!  Depths of God, and encounters of God that no man can match or money can buy!  As we do what God wants us to do, God can do the impossible.

Would you follow Him in 2016 and see your reward and confidence come from Him?  Will you see Christ as your saviour, your comforter and your provider through all your weaknesses and failures?  Will you see Him heal your backsliding?  Will you see Him heal your wrong thinking?

Jesus Christ wants to take you through 2016 and into eternity, turning the spiritual world upside down as you go!

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