DON’T TAKE THIS LIGHTLY—GOD IS AT WORK ALWAYS!

As we go through and the book of Acts and pause along the passages that reveal the glory of God in those whose hearts are completely His, we begin to see more of God’s glory on display today in our own lives!  As we study God’s Word, knowing the love of God that sent His Son to die for our sins, we just cannot take this message lightly.  The Message of God’s plan of salvation, through the sacrificial death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus, bubbles up renewed hope, strengthens our faith and refreshes our souls.  Jesus is the Way to Truth and gives Life for eternity.  No, we cannot take this message lightly for this message is life.

The more we learn about God’s acts through His disciples and followers, we learn that God is doing the same in us today!  The more we realize the love God has for us the better we love each other.  The more we learn about God’s powerful acts we realize that this same God is at consistently at work in and through us with His power, wisdom, clarity, understanding, with insight to see His glory at work all around us!!  Don’t take this lightly, says Paul to new converts, Jewish and Gentiles alike, Jesus lives!  Jesus died for all sin.  Jesus rose again and is our hope of eternal life with Him. 

You can hear the passion in Paul’s preaching as he proclaims God’s message,

I’m doing something right before your eyes
That you won’t believe, though it’s staring you in the face.”

The prophets of God said it first.  Jesus taught and lived every detail of the words of the prophets of God.  Now, Paul, a devout Jew who learned The Law well, is taking his eager audience down the road from history of how God led and protected them to a new covenant—a holy, personal relationship with God—all because of Jesus.

In the background I hear the song, WayMaker…

“Even when I don’t see it, You’re working
Even when I don’t feel it, You’re working
You never stop, You never stop working
You never stop, You never stop working…”

Yes, God has done, is doing and will do what He wills, on our behalf, for our best interests in his mind “right before our eyes…staring us in the face.”  We need to stop and recognize His glory and power at work.  Don’t take His acts lightly!  Grateful people are those who see God at work daily!

Do we really believe what we say we believe about God really real?

Are we part of the grateful group? 

“Don’t take this lightly”, says Paul, as he admonishes the cynics, grumblers, selfish, power hungry, world thinkers.  SEE and recognize God at work daily!  May His salvation bring eternal joy and hope sending us to our knees in grateful praise to God alone through Jesus Christ His Son!  Enjoy His Presence!  God hasn’t changed or moved.  If you don’t “feel” Him, guess who moved. 

Friends, as believers we quote Psalm 46:10 often when we are tired and overwhelmed—Be still and know that I am God”.  But do we take this passage too lightly, too?  Do we really know what it means to be still?  It is a popular verse for comforting ourselves and others—many people tend to think this verse means to rest or relax in who God is. This verse does encourage believers to reflect on who God is, but there is more to this psalm than one verse—and verse 10 is actually more of a wake-up call to be in awe than a gentle call to rest. Taking time out of our day to meditate on Scripture and be silent with listening ears toward God is mentioned in other sections of Scripture (Psalm 119:15, Joshua 1:8, Luke 5:16, and others). But this command— “Be still…”—is written in the context of a time of trouble and war; therefore, we should consider the verse with that context in mind.

Friends, we are at war with our enemy consistently.  Instead of interpreting “be still” as a gentle suggestion, the meaning in this psalm lends itself more to: “cease striving” or “stop” and more specifically in this context “stop fighting,” which is directed toward the enemies of the people of God. The people of God should interpret the command for themselves to read more like: ‘snap out of it,’ ‘wake up,’ ‘stop fearing’—acknowledge who your God is—be in awe!


Consider Psalm 46 in its entirety.  Begin with verse 1.  “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah”


“There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah”

“Come, behold the works of the LORD, how he has brought desolations on the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire. “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth!” The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah” 

Are we in awe of God?  The more in awe of God we are the more we will see Him at work in our lives!

In fact, “Be still” is the same thing that Jesus says to the wind and the waves in Mark 4:39. The wind and the sea completely died down in silence, in awe and worship of the Creator!  Yes!  Camp on this idea, friends.  Our God, Jesus, and His Holy Spirit, the Three-In-One, are always at work on our behalf!  Can I get an Amen?

“There is a silence and stillness that should overtake us in the presence of someone that is so overwhelmingly holy and glorious. The call to all is to be still before our holy, awesome, and glorious God.”  John Casteel, Senior Pastor, The Bridge, South Carolina

Yes, the people of God must stop what they are doing and acknowledge that God alone is the sovereign ruler of the universe and commit to following him. He will one day stop all wars and he will be exalted among the nations (the Gentiles and Jewish believers as one family, the Church) and all the earth. There will be no question of who God is and what he is doing.

Don’t take this too lightly…I’m not! 

ACTS—God’s Acts Through His Disciples

Acts 13:13-52, The Message

(Bold emphasis mine)

Don’t Take This Lightly

13-14 From Paphos, Paul and company put out to sea, sailing on to Perga in Pamphylia. That’s where John called it quits and went back to Jerusalem. From Perga the rest of them traveled on to Antioch in Pisidia.

14-15 On the Sabbath they went to the meeting place and took their places. After the reading of the Scriptures—God’s Law and the Prophets—the president of the meeting asked them, “Friends, do you have anything you want to say? A word of encouragement, perhaps?”

16-20 Paul stood up, paused and took a deep breath, then said, “Fellow Israelites and friends of God, listen. God took a special interest in our ancestors, pulled our people who were beaten down in Egyptian exile to their feet, and led them out of there in grand style. He took good care of them for nearly forty years in that godforsaken wilderness and then, having wiped out seven enemies who stood in the way, gave them the land of Canaan for their very own—a span in all of about 450 years.

20-22 “Up to the time of Samuel the prophet, God provided judges to lead them. But then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul, son of Kish, out of the tribe of Benjamin. After Saul had ruled forty years, God removed him from office and put King David in his place, with this commendation: ‘I’ve searched the land and found this David, son of Jesse. He’s a man whose heart beats to my heart, a man who will do what I tell him.’

23-25 “From out of David’s descendants God produced a Savior for Israel, Jesus, exactly as he promised—but only after John had thoroughly alerted the people to his arrival by preparing them for a total life-change. As John was finishing up his work, he said, ‘Did you think I was the One? No, I’m not the One. But the One you’ve been waiting for all these years is just around the corner, about to appear. And I’m about to disappear.’

26-29 “Dear brothers and sisters, children of Abraham, and friends of God, this message of salvation has been precisely targeted to you. The citizens and rulers in Jerusalem didn’t recognize who he was and condemned him to death. They couldn’t find a good reason, but demanded that Pilate execute him anyway. They did just what the prophets said they would do, but had no idea they were following to the letter the script of the prophets, even though those same prophets are read every Sabbath in their meeting places.

29-31 “After they had done everything the prophets said they would do, they took him down from the cross and buried him. And then God raised him from death. There is no disputing that—he appeared over and over again many times and places to those who had known him well in the Galilean years, and these same people continue to give witness that he is alive.

32-35 “And we’re here today bringing you good news: the Message that what God promised the fathers has come true for the children—for us! He raised Jesus, exactly as described in the second Psalm:

My Son! My very own Son!
Today I celebrate you!

“When he raised him from the dead, he did it for good—no going back to that rot and decay for him. That’s why Isaiah said, ‘I’ll give to all of you David’s guaranteed blessings.’ So also the psalmist’s prayer: ‘You’ll never let your Holy One see death’s rot and decay.’

36-39 “David, of course, having completed the work God set out for him, has been in the grave, dust and ashes, a long time now. But the One God raised up—no dust and ashes for him! I want you to know, my very dear friends, that it is on account of this resurrected Jesus that the forgiveness of your sins can be promised. He accomplishes, in those who believe, everything that the Law of Moses could never make good on. But everyone who believes in this raised-up Jesus is declared good and right and whole before God.

40-41 “Don’t take this lightly. You don’t want the prophet’s revelation to describe you:

Watch out, cynics;
Look hard—watch your world fall to pieces.
I’m doing something right before your eyes
That you won’t believe, though it’s staring you in the face.”

42-43 When the service was over, Paul and Barnabas were invited back to preach again the next Sabbath. As the meeting broke up, a good many Jews and converts to Judaism went along with Paul and Barnabas, who urged them in long conversations to stick with what they’d started, this living in and by God’s grace.

44-45 When the next Sabbath came around, practically the whole city showed up to hear the Word of God. Some of the Jews, seeing the crowds, went wild with jealousy and tore into Paul, contradicting everything he was saying, making an ugly scene.

46-47 But Paul and Barnabas didn’t back down. Standing their ground they said, “It was required that God’s Word be spoken first of all to you, the Jews. But seeing that you want no part of it—you’ve made it quite clear that you have no taste or inclination for eternal life—the door is open to all the outsiders. And we’re on our way through it, following orders, doing what God commanded when he said,

I’ve set you up
    as light to all nations.
You’ll proclaim salvation
    to the four winds and seven seas!”

48-49 When the non-Jewish outsiders heard this, they could hardly believe their good fortune. All who were marked out for real life put their trust in God—they honored God’s Word by receiving that life. And this Message of salvation spread like wildfire all through the region.

50-52 Some of the Jews convinced the most respected women and leading men of the town that their precious way of life was about to be destroyed. Alarmed, they turned on Paul and Barnabas and forced them to leave. Paul and Barnabas shrugged their shoulders and went on to the next town, Iconium, brimming with joy and the Holy Spirit, two happy disciples.

Lord,

I stand in awe of you today.  I will be still and be more intent on knowing You and looking for you all day long.  I know you are at work.  I need to recognize you and give you praise always!  Thank you for saving my soul.  Thank you for your Holy Spirit who guides and directs me closer to You.  Thank you for the last lesson of this passage.  Paul and Barnabas had such joy and assurance in you, they just shrugged their shoulders and keep moving on with You in the lead!  You are amazing, Lord!  Thank you!

In Jesus Name, Amen

Even when I don’t see it, You’re working
Even when I don’t feel it, You’re working
You never stop, You never stop working
You never stop, You never stop working you’re the way maker,

Way maker, miracle worker, promise keeper
Light in the darkness, my God
That is who You are…

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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2 Responses to DON’T TAKE THIS LIGHTLY—GOD IS AT WORK ALWAYS!

  1. bobokuma50 says:

    Awesome, more grace to the ministry

    Like

  2. Thank you for reading and commenting! Blessings, Susan

    Like

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