Scripture: Acts 15:7: “And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them.”
Observations: Today’s reading had the death of Aaron’s sons because they did not follow the commands of the Lord. I used to think that was such a harsh punishment, but I realize God was attempting to purify the people, and if the leaders wouldn’t follow the rules, what chance was there that the people would follow them? Chapter 11 was all about unclean and clean animals. I guess if I were more agrarian I would have a better grasp of what was clean vs. unclean, but I truly find it very confusing. Chapter 12 went into purification rights after childbirth. Why would a woman’ have a longer cleansing period for bearing a girl than a boy? There are many things in Leviticus that just don’t make sense to me. Someday I hope to have complete understanding. In Acts, we have the Macedonian Call. That always reminds me of a hymn we hardly ever sing called “Macedonia”. Surprisingly, it was written in 1966 and copyrighted by Anne Ortlund, but put against music composed in 1872.
The vision of a dying world Is vast before our eyes;
We feel the heartbeat of its need,
We hear its feeble cries.
Lord Jesus Christ, revive Thy Church
In this, her crucial hour!
Lord Jesus Christ, awake Thy Church
With Spirit given power.
The savage hugs his god of stone
And fears descent of night.
The city dweller cringes lone
Amid the garish light.
Lord Jesus Christ, arouse Thy Church
To see their mute distress!
Lord Jesus Christ, equip Thy Church
With love and tenderness.
Today, as understanding’s bounds
Are stretched on every hand,
O clothe Thy Word in bright, new sounds
And speed It o’er the land.
Lord Jesus Christ, empower us
To preach by ev’ry means!
Lord Jesus Christ, embolden us
In near and distant scenes.
The warning bell of judgment tolls,
Above us looms the cross.
Around are ever dying souls
How great how great the loss.
O Lord, constrain and move Thy Church
The glad new to impart!
And Lord, as Thou dost stir Thy Church.
Begin within my heart.
Paul met Lydia from Thyatira, at a place by the river where women met to pray. She was converted and baptized. Also in today’s reading Paul and Silas were wrongly imprisoned. An earthquake could have freed them, but they chose to honor God by converting the jailer and his entire household.
Application: In the Scripture that jumped out at me today, Paul and Silas found closed doors. The Holy Spirit PREVENTED them from going where they wanted to go. It doesn’t say HOW he prevented them, but it is a good lesson for us. If a door is closed, it is closed. Yes, if we pray, God may open it eventually, but in the meantime, if God calls us elsewhere, we can’t just hang out waiting for the door we wanted to go through to open. Go where God wants you to go. There are too many waiting to be reached for us to be bullheaded and stubborn.
Prayer: Father, God, creator of all – Sustainer of All – My guide, I plead with you today to keep me on the correct payth. Don’t let me get ahead of where you want me to go, and don’t let me ignore where I am to be. Lord, I trust you with my life, and with the lives of my family and friends. Do with us as you will!
Tomorrow’s Reading: Leviticus 13, 14; Acts 1