God does extraordinary miracles
While Paul was in Ephesus in the course of his missionary
work, God did extraordinary miracles through Him (Acts 19:11-12).
It was God
who did the miracles, not Paul (Acts 19:11-12). He did them through
Paul(Acts 19:11-12). Genuine miracles come from God, not from His
human instruments. All credit must be given to God for all genuine
not to His human media. We must look to God for miracles, not to
men (see Acts 4:29-30). The miracles were extraordinary (Acts 19:11-12).
Handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched Paul were taken to the
and they were cured (Acts 19:11-12). God’s power is subject
to no hindrances or limitations. Miracles, extraordinary miracles,
even much more extraordinary miracles are still possible today
because we are serving the same God as Paul and our God is ever
13:8; Rev. 1:18). Jesus even promised that His followers will do
not only what he did, but even greater things than the ones He
14:12). God used miracles to confirm His word and bring people
to believe in His son (Acts 4:29-30; Jn. 20:30-31). He still uses
them today for
the same purpose. Therefore, we should not hesitate to ask God
not only for extraordinary miracles but for much more extraordinary
(Acts 4:29-30; Jn. 14:12). For nothing is indeed impossible with
our God (Lk. 1:37).
PRAYER: 1. Father, please perform even much more extraordinary
miracles in my life.
2. Father, please perform even much more extraordinary miracles through
How the Lord judges
What form was God’s promised judgment of Damascus going to take?
The nation was to go into exile to Assyria, with all the consequences
thereof (Amos 1:4-5). They were all to forfeit their liberty and become
slaves in a foreign land (cf. Is. 8:1-10; Jer.49:23-27). This was just
one form that God’s judgment took against the people of Damascus.
God can judge in several ways. He may use drought (1 Kgs. 17:1) ,
exile (Jer. 52:3), and even death (Acts 12:23). God is not limited
of the form with which to execute His judgments. It is a fearful
thing to come under His judgment, its form not withstanding (Heb.
We should seek His mercy, not His judgment (Prov. 28:13). Our God
is indeed a consuming fire (Heb. 12:29). No one can stand before
PRAYER: 1. Father, please save me from your judgment.
2. Father, please deliver me from anything that can bring your judgment
God raises the dead
In Troas, a young man named Eutychus, who was sitting
in a window, sank into a deep sleep as he was listening to Paul in
the night, and
when he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third storey
and died (Acts 20:9). Paul went down to him, throw himself on him and
put his arms around him and he came back to life (Acts 20:11-12). This
is another instance in which God did a miracle through Paul (see Acts
19:11-12). This is another instance in which someone was raised from
dead (Jn. 11:38-44). Jesus promise is fulfilled as Paul does for Eutychus
what Jesus did for Lazarus (Jn. 14:12; Jn. 11:38-44). We are serving
the same God as Paul. As God heard him, He will not fail to hear us
as well (Jn. 14:12). And nothing is impossible with our God (Lk. 1:37).
What we need is the kind of faith and devotion to Him that Paul had.
PRAYER: 1. Father, please always honour your name
and hear me when I call upon you as you heard Paul.
2. Father, please keep me from anything that hinders you from hearing
Jos. 1:6, 7
The benefit of courage
After the death of Moses, Joshua took over the mantle
of leadership of the Israelites (Jos. 1:1-5). God commanded him to
be strong and
courageous because of the task
ahead of him (Jos.1:6, 7). The task of leading the Israelites to the Promised
Land demanded it (Jos.1:6). Joshua needed courage to succeed in this enormous
task. Without it, success would have been unthinkable and impossible for him.
Courage guaranteed his success. David gave this same command to his son, Solomon
(1 Kgs.2:2). Courage is an indispensable attribute of leadership. It is also
an indispensable attribute for the Christian life. The challenges of leadership
and the Christian life make courage most essential. The early disciples saw the
need for courage and asked God for it (Acts 4:29). Like Joshua, believers are
also commanded to be courageous (1 Cor. 16:13; cf. Acts 4:29). A courageous man
is a successful man. Similarly, a courageous believer is a successful believer
(see Acts 5:27-42). In fact, courage is synonymous with success. It is God who
makes one strong and courageous (Ps. 138:3).
PRAYER: 1. Father, please give me courage.
2. Father, please take away from me everything that makes me not
to be courageous.
The Lord’s angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and spoke to him (Matt.
1:20-21). Joseph obeyed what the angel commanded him in the dream and acted upon
it (Matt. 1:24). Joseph did not entertain any doubt concerning the legitimacy
of his dream. By acting upon it, it means he considered it as legitimate because
it came from God (Matt. 1:24). God does speak through dreams (see Num. 12:6;
Joel 2:28). But not all dreams are legitimate. A dream is legitimate if God sends
it. Dreams that are not sent by God are wholly illegitimate. Therefore all dreams
must be tested against the Scripture before they are taken seriously (1 Jn. 4:1-3).
Any dream that is not in agreement with the Scripture must be discarded. God
will not reveal anything that is contrary to His word. All dreams must be subject
to God’s word. No dream has the status of Scripture or is equal to
it. The Scripture is the final authority on all matters of life and faith,
PRAYER: 1. Father, please do not allow me to have
dreams you have not sent.
2. Father, please make your will clear to me in all things.
How to overcome fear and despair
Joshua is to be strong, courageous, not terrified,
and not discouraged because of the Lord’s presence with him (Jos.
1:9). God’s presence with him
makes fear and discouragement unnecessary (Jos. 1:9). God’s presence
with him extended to everything he did and everywhere he went (Jos.1:9). With
presence with him, Joshua had no basis to be afraid and in despair (Jos. 1:9).
Jesus also promised His presence to His followers (Matt. 28:20). He also made
the same promise to Paul (Acts 18:9-11). There is no basis for fear and despair
whatever when the Lord is with us (Matt. 28:20). God’s presence with
His children is an effective remedy against fear and despair. No fear and despair
can withstand God’s presence. His presence covers all aspects of our
lives (Matt. 28:20). No one can overcome fear and despair of his own. It is
the Lord is with us, that we can overcome all fear and despair (Jos.1:9; Ps.
138:3; Rom. 8:31). Without the Lord’s presence, our fear persists (see
Jos. 1:9; Ps. 138:3; Rom. 8:31). Fear is the common ailment of those who
do not know or have the Lord as their God. There is victory over fear and
all who turn to God wholeheartedly and make Him their God.
PRAYER: 1. Father, please let your presence be my
2. Father, please overcome every fear for me.
2 Thess. 1:4
One of the attributes for which Paul boasts about
the Thessalonian brethren is their perseverance in suffering (2 Thess.
perseverance in all
persecutions and trials they experienced was well known that Paul boasted
about it (2 Thess. 1:4). This means they remained steadfast, unshaken
and firm in their faith in spite of the persecutions and trials they encountered.
Instead of abandoning Christ and His cause under suffering, they held fast
both. This is how to handle suffering. Believers are called upon to persevere
under it (Heb. 12:1). In fact, perseverance is a proof of genuine faith
(cf. Jam. 1:2-4). Anyone who does not persevere under suffering cannot
have true faith. It is the one who perseveres under suffering who earns
not the one who abandons his faith (Jam. 1:12).
PRAYER: 1. Father, please enable me to persevere
2. Father, please take away whatever hinders me from persevering