Friday, February 17, 2012

Bible Reading for February 17th

Reading Through the Bible in a Year
With Notes by Pastor Chuck Smith

Matthew 17:14-27

After the Mount of Transfiguration, no sooner had Jesus and His followers come down from this incredible mountaintop experience than Satan met them at the bottom of the hill.  They encountered a demon-possessed boy who was being tortured by the Enemy, and the other disciples hadn't been able to deliver him.

So Often, when God has done a special work in our lives, and we are so excited about what He has done.  Satan is waiting for us to destroy what God has done.  Satan is waiting at the bottom of every mountaintop experience.

Acts 24

Paul testified to Felix about these things.  Felix, there is a day of judgment that is going to come.  You have not been living a righteous life.  You've indulged yourself in all kinds of evil, and it's going to catch up with you."  Felix was afraid, but he put off making a decision.

This is the pattern of man, indecision.  Deferring the decision.  Putting it off for a more convenient time.  Being convicted by the Spirit, even a powerful experience of conviction, does not guarentee conversion.  It takes acting on that conviction to bering conversion, and that step Felix wouldn't take.  Convicted?  Yes.  Afraid?  Yes.  Conversion?  No.  He put it off.  "Go your way now, Paul.  When it's more convenient, I'll call you."  He was deferring the most important decision of his life.

How many people have made this same mistake, putting off the decision to commit their lives to Jesus Christ?  When the moment came, when the hour of God's Spirit was there, they put it off!  With Felix, the convenient time never came.  Tragic!  It never came.  This is true of so many people who put off their decision for Jesus Christ, waiting for a more convenient time, only to discover that they sinned away the day of grace and that more convenient time never came!  Hell is filled with people who decided to wait for a more convenient time.

Psalms 39

We do often have a delusion of our own immortality.  We just don't expect to die any time soon.  We know death is coming someday, but we don't really expect it in the near future.  We don't realize how frail we actually are.  So we put off the important things in life.  "I'll get right with God one of these days.  I'll serve God someday."

The prayer here in this psalm is, "God, help me to realize how short this life is.  Help me to be realistic about my own fraility."  It is so important that we recognize the shortness of life and our own frailty.  This will help us to use the time we have wisely and will cause us to depend on God completely.

Leviticus 5-7

If you committed a trespass, you couldn't just come with a sacrifice and be forgiven.  You also had to make restitution.  Jesus said, "If you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go your way.  First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer you gift" (Matt 5:23-24).  The shortest distance to God is by way of your offended brother's house.

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