Friday, September 24, 2010

FW: Daily Devotional for September 24, 2010

Bill Rice Ranch - First Light Devotionals 

Acts 18:4  "And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks."
Turn the World Upside Down
Have you ever wished you could literally shake some sense into people?  Sometimes it would be nice to be able to shake them up, wake them up, and get them going!  Instead of literally shaking people, the early church shook the world to its very foundation.  The Bible records that people said of the early church that they "have turned the world upside down." (Acts 17:6)  That would be a pretty good thing, wouldn't it?  I wouldn't mind having my world turned upside down if it turned the right side up in relation to God!
How do you turn the world upside down?  How did the early church do it?  First, Paul "reasoned" with them!  Today, people think that to work with teens or to get people to a service, you must have fancy gimmicks in order to relate.  Paul reasoned (gave them a reason) and aimed at their will.  We should do the same--aim for the heart.  I cannot know anyone's heart, but if I'll give the Bible reason, the Holy Spirit can do the work that only He can.  The Bible is a supernatural book that aims at the heart and mind!
Secondly, notice why Paul reasoned:  "And he reasoned . . . and persuaded. . . ."  His intent was to persuade, not just to fulfill a duty.  He aimed at the heart and mind when he reasoned, but he was also aiming for change!  The purpose of our reasoning and our preaching is to persuade, not to merely beat someone over the head.  We need direct, firm preaching about what God says is right, but the purpose is to persuade people to Bible truth.
All throughout the book of Acts, you will find an emphasis on the Word of God.  In Acts 18:11, Paul stayed in Corinth for 18 months "teaching the word of God among them."  In verse 28, Apollos "mightily convinced the Jews . . . shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ."  In the previous chapter, you'll find more of the same: "And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures." (Acts 17:2)  We reason in order to persuade, using the Word of God.  The Bible is the Authority, and with God's help we ought to reason with people to persuade them to It.
Turning the world upside down begins with turning the world of one person upside down.  The key to what the early church accomplished is found in the words reasoned, persuaded, and scriptures.  Get started this morning with your own corner of the world!

Prayer Requests
1. Bill Rice Ranch Junior High Retreat finishing today
2. Services tonight in Hoopeston, ILEastlake, OH; and Midland, MI
3. Ranch evangelists preaching this weekend in Nashville, TN; Santa Maria, CA; and Clio, MI
Browse our fall events schedule on our website:
Bill Rice Ranch | 627 Bill Rice Ranch Road | Murfreesboro | TN | 37128

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