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God speaks to us through Scripture. When we are lost, we know that we can look to His Word for guidance. We invite you to join us in daily reading as we go through the Bible together and learn as a family.

When grown men run, something urgent has caused them to abandon their usual dignity. Ahimaaz’s zeal to run was inspired by his joy at being the one to report a victory to his king (2 Samuel 18:28). In the New Testament, Peter and John ran at the thought of the resurrection (John 20:4). When we have an important message to deliver, we, too, will run.

When news so wonderful grips the soul, the usual pace of life is interrupted, and a walk becomes a run. Those who do not know the Lord may not understand your zeal to run with the good news of the Gospel, but they do not hesitate to run for what they are excited about. You need to ask God to quicken your pace of testimony, to thrill your heart with His Word so that a walk just won’t do.

If you have lost your zeal, come back to the empty tomb today and look in. Then run to the waiting nations with your report. Remember what Jesus said when He appeared to His disciples following His resurrection: “As the Father has sent me, so I send you” (John 20:21).

The return of the king was a sudden, unanticipated event that radically changed all perspectives. Those who had mocked David as he left Jerusalem now repented, falling prostrate and begging for mercy. Those who had blessed David in his exile were richly rewarded (2 Samuel 19:23) and invited to sit at his table for the rest of their lives. With his return, David held accountable those whose actions were questionable, and the truth was revealed (v. 25).

What a picture this story is of the return of the King of Kings! When Jesus returns, time will stop. One by one, we will each stand before the judgment seat of Christ and give a detailed account of how we have used our time, money, and gifts. We will answer for every wrong thought and attitude of the mind we have harbored.

How foolish it is to waste our lives or brazenly defy the Lordship of Christ as though He will never return! Why not ponder every day what it will be like the moment after the King returns and it is too late to change anything? One day our King will return. That is a sure fact. May you hear Him say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).

We must take care of unfinished business. God is a God of justice and cannot overlook the horrible reality of sin. Saul killed people with whom Israel had pledged a covenant in the days of Joshua. Though Saul viewed the killings as justifiable, the victims’ innocent blood cried out before God, demanding justice. The heavens remained as brass for David and Israel until they dealt with and atoned for Saul’s actions.

Many things occur in societies because God is avenging past actions and atrocities that were leveled against innocent people. What generational curses have fallen upon our cities and nations because of the past sins of our fathers?

In 2 Samuel 24, we see that God was so serious about justice that seventy thousand people died to appease His wrath (v. 15). We must be serious enough about sins against others to cry out in repentance, approach the offended, and make reconciliation. These actions, as simple as they may seem, will release the blessing of God. As David did, we must help restore and heal the breaches of the past, because after he had made restitution, “the Lord answered his prayer” (v. 25).

What a picture of the conquering power of God we see as David rehearsed the exploits of his mighty men (2 Samuel 23)! One of them killed eight hundred men (v. 8), and others killed hundreds singlehandedly. Three of them broke through an entire army to bring David a drink of water (v. 16). One killed a lion in a pit and snatched a spear from a giant (vv. 20-21). 

Oh, the mighty exploits of those who are filled with the holy power of God! After he was baptized in the Holy Spirit, Peter’s boldness in the face of hostile Jerusalem was just as awesome as the courage of David’s mighty men.

Away with weak, cowardly Christianity! Let us yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit and prepare for triumphant battle with the enemy. We are the mighty men and women of the Holy Spirit under the New Covenant.

Our power is not intended for destruction, but for reconciliation. Our victory will not be a military victory, but a harvest of souls. “Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church—about three thousand in all” (Acts 2:41).

Under the Holy Spirit’s influence, someone will lead thousands to the Lord. Why shouldn’t it be you?

David was in a mess. He had done a foolish thing when he tempted the Lord by counting his fighting men. God gave him three choices of judgment, and they all sounded bad! David wisely chose the option that involved God’s mercy, for he said, “But let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is great. Do not let me fall into human hands” (2 Samuel 24:14).

The man at the gate Beautiful looked at thousands of people every day as he begged for financial mercies. Peter addressed the man, saying, “Look at us!” (Acts 3:4). Peter wanted the lame man to look to the Lord for His mercy. The power of the name of Jesus healed the man, who joyfully jumped up, “walking, leaping, and praising God” (v. 8).

We may look to many men and various sources to help us through our problems, but eventually we must go to “the source of every mercy and the God who comforts us” (2 Corinthians 1:3). Are you in trouble? Don’t take your eyes off God your Father, for “his mercy endureth for ever” (Psalm 118:1 KJV).

David knew what he was talking about, for he had faced one close call after another during his lifetime. Near the end of his life, he faced the ultimate snare: an insurrection in which one of his own rebellious sons attempted to usurp the throne from David’s chosen heir. But God always provides a way of escape! The plot drew the attention of Nathan, and in a swift series of events, the plan of the rebels was foiled and Solomon was installed as king.

The apostles also escaped from a snare set against them. The Sanhedrin rulers were furious with the apostles for healing the cripple. They purposed to beat them, jail them, or threaten them in some way. Instead, the Lord delivered them, restored them to their friends, and filled them with the Holy Spirit (Acts 4:23-31).

Satan’s traps and snares are well hidden and powerful, but just when it seems his plot has succeeded, God provides a way of escape. Never fear—He’ll do it for you!

How well the characters in today’s readings bear out this scripture! Adonijah requested his father’s concubine, a move that would have brought him much political power. Solomon answered that request by having Adonijah and his cohort Joab put to death (1 Kings 2:13-34).

Shimei disobeyed the clear instructions of Solomon to remain in the physical vicinity of Jerusalem. Shimei thought his disobedience in taking a little side trip to Gath would go unnoticed, but Solomon also had him put to death (1 Kings 2:36-46).

Ananias and Sapphira thought that a little deception concerning the sale price of their land would go unnoticed. However, they discovered that God does not judge us by what we think is right, but by what He declares to be right. God’s judgment struck swiftly and left them both dead (Acts 5:1-10).

The devil is constantly filling our minds with little compromises that we must discern as evil. Our thoughts must line up with the measuring rod of God’s Word. If they don’t, we must run from them, because they will lead to certain death!

Wisdom is the most powerful force in the world—a force greater than riches, power, or long life. Solomon realized that without wisdom his youthfulness and lack of experience would quickly disqualify him from leading a nation of millions of people. He therefore asked God, “Give me an understanding mind so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great nation of yours?” (1 Kings 3:9).

God was pleased with Solomon’s request and granted him not only wisdom but also riches, honor, and long life. Because of his great wisdom, the kings and queens of the entire earth came before Solomon’s throne. His God-given wisdom enabled him to efficiently administrate the kingdom by using twelve district governors. Furthermore, he knew the solution to difficult problems of justice in civil disputes (v. 28).

Solomon’s wisdom extended into the natural world, too. “He composed some 3,000 proverbs and wrote 1,005 songs. He could speak with authority about all kinds of plants, from the great cedar of Lebanon to the tiny hyssop that grows from cracks in a wall. He could also speak about animals, birds, reptiles, and fish” (1 Kings 4:32-33).

Peter and the apostles realized that if people were “well respected” and “full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom” (Acts 6:3), they could be placed in positions of responsibility. Today, in faith, ask God for wisdom to enter your heart. Then watch as He promotes you to new responsibility and privilege in the eyes of both God and humanity!

Solomon had a vision to build the most magnificent temple in history, and his success resulted from the blessing of the Lord. First, the Lord gave Solomon wisdom to achieve his purpose (1 Kings 5:12). He showed him how to rotate his labor force in such a way that the men could be in Lebanon one month and at home for two months. Shared responsibility, as indicated by rotating the labor force, was a wise plan from God to cover responsibilities without burning out the laborers.

Second, Solomon achieved success because he followed the plan of the Lord (1 Kings 6:12). You cannot hope to succeed at any work for God if you deviate from the revelation in the Bible. All work must follow the exact plan of the Church as given in the Gospels, Acts, and the Epistles.

Finally, Solomon succeeded because he persevered. He spent seven years building the temple (1 Kings 6:38), never wavering from his goal. Never give up when God is “building” with you. Though it may seem your work is moving at a crawl, keep doing what you know to do.

Purpose, plan, and persevere, and the Lord will build your house!

Solomon’s temple was indeed magnificent when one considers the brass, the silver, and the gold contained within it. For seven years men crafted the temple, with no budget considerations and an unlimited source of building materials. This house was the most magnificent edifice ever created by any human being, before or since.

For all the beauty and greatness of Solomon’s house, however, “the Most High doesn’t live in temples made by human hands” (Acts 7:48). To think that God would be tied down to any building, temple, denomination, or culture is ridiculous! We are not building an earthly temple for God, but a spiritual temple. God has chosen to live in human hearts, and the temple we are constructing is made of living stones (1 Peter 2:5)— believers from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation.

Someone once told a story of three men who were working side-by-side laying brick. When asked, “What are you doing?” one answered, “Laying brick.” Another answered, “Raising a wall.” The last answered, “Building a great cathedral.” 

Lord, give us spiritual vision to see that we are building the greatest temple in the universe: the Church of Jesus Christ!

Philip preached the Word, and God performed miracles. The manifested presence of God brought joy, and the miracles attested to the fact that God was in Samaria.

In 1 Kings 8:11, God’s presence so permeated the atmosphere in the magnificent temple that “the priests could not continue their work because the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple.” After the celebration of the Festival of Shelters that followed the dedication of Solomon’s temple, the people of Jerusalem were “joyful and happy because the Lord had been good to his servant David and to his people Israel” (1 Kings 8:66).

When we, as believers, become dry and lethargic in our worship and evangelism, our real need is for more of the manifested presence of God. His presence refreshes, rejoices, renews, and makes us desire to tell everyone of His goodness. As Solomon did, let us fall to our knees and pray for His presence to fill our temples. Then all men will see and believe that “there is no God like [ours] in all heaven or earth” (1 Kings 8:23).

Money does not satisfy. Had it satisfied the queen of Sheba, she never would have traveled for hundreds of miles over ancient roads and deserts just to hear the words of God from Solomon. The human heart craves more than money. It craves answers to life’s purpose and longs to see the wisdom and power of God.

Simon was willing to pay money to obtain the power of laying hands on people to receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:18-19). The treasurer for Candace, the queen of Ethiopia, was more interested in knowing whom Isaiah was describing than he was in acquiring all the wealth of which he was steward (v. 34). Even Solomon with his hundreds of talents of gold per year was not satisfied with worldly wealth, and his wandering, searching heart thus delved into idolatry.

Don’t let the devil dangle riches before your eyes, telling you that money will fulfill you. Those who have handled vast sums of it will tell you otherwise. Use money as a tool to evangelize the world, and enjoy the free riches of the Kingdom of God!

How can we explain God’s choices? In John 15:16, Jesus said, “You didn’t choose me. I chose you.” Saul was the last person we would have expected God to select as an instrument to tell the world about Jesus. But we know from 1 Corinthians 1:27 that God deliberately chooses “things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise.” In choosing Saul as a divine instrument, God certainly knew that his testimony would totally confound the Jews.  

 Jeroboam, another of God’s unlikely choices, was equally surprised when the prophet Ahijah informed him of his future destiny as the king of Israel (1 Kings 11:29). In a moment, because of God’s sovereign selection, the entire course of his life was altered.  

 You may never figure out the ways of God in laying His hand on seemingly unworthy vessels in order to glorify Himself. Yet if you are a Christian, you are chosen. If you are chosen, you are ordained. If you are ordained, you will produce fruit (John 15:16).  

 Relax, and carry out your calling!

This remarkable prophecy reminds us of the foreknowledge of God, for King Josiah of Judah was not born until nearly three hundred years after the word of the Lord had foretold it! Imagine if someone on the Mayflower had announced the exact name of a recently elected American president and had described in detail his policies and actions. Such a scenario would be similar to what happened with Josiah, for he fulfilled the prophecy concerning his life down to the smallest detail (2 Kings 23:15-16).

Our lives are not accidental, but are carefully purposed by God to bring glory to His name. We are indeed children of destiny. The Lord told Jeremiah, “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my spokesman to the world” (Jeremiah 1:5). Rest today in the foreknowledge of God concerning your destiny. From the beginning of time, God has had His eye upon you!

The spiritual gift of the word of knowledge enabled both Peter and Ahijah (1 Kings 14:5) to know the purpose of their household visitors. Without a direct revelation from the Holy Spirit, neither of these men would have had any idea who their guests were or why they were visiting.

The Holy Spirit knows all things and occasionally releases into our minds critical information that does not come from our own investigative powers. How miraculous it was for the blind prophet Ahijah not to be fooled by a masquerading queen! Instead, he called the queen by name and told her the reason she had come. He even gave an accurate prediction of her son’s imminent death, which came to pass exactly as he had said (1 Kings 14:12, 17).

Let us reverence the Holy Spirit’s gifts, for they are incredible tools that enable us to know both the circumstances and the motives of human hearts. Also, because He knows us as well as He knew Ahijah’s and Peter’s visitors, it would be well for us to keep our own lives pure!

Someone has called Elijah’s journey the place called there. During the three and one-half years of drought, God always directed him to go there. God commanded a widow to feed him there (1 Kings 17:9). There is an exact place where God wants us to be so He can sustain and bless us.

Peter found the place called there when he was obedient and went to the house of Cornelius. Peter, like Elijah, was instructed to go to the home of a Gentile. This was the opposite of what they had been taught in their Jewish upbringing.

The place called there may not be the place we would naturally choose. However, it is the place where there is the greatest hunger. A desperately hungry widow and a spiritually hungry centurion both received the blessing from a man of God directed to their homes. As someone once said, “Where God guides, He provides.” We must endeavor to always remain in the place called there.

The truth of this scripture was demonstrated in Elijah’s powerful confrontation with the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18). First, God sent the drought to draw the people into the arena of decision. Then, He sent the fire to convince them of their sin. Finally, He sent the rain to remind them of His blessing.

God is able to do “whatever pleases Him,” at whatever time it pleases Him. When God was ready to visit the Gentiles, He did whatever pleased Him! But Peter had to spend time trying to convince the Jerusalem eldership that God was the Author of the Cornelius visitation (Acts 11:4).

He is a mighty God, and His power can flow in whatever direction His love desires. Get out of the way and let God move! The result will be as it was in Acts 11:21 NIV: “The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people turned and believed in the Lord.”

The One who remembers us in our times of trouble also remembered Elijah and Peter at their lowest points. Elijah was suffering from burnout after fighting the victorious battle on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 19:4), but an angel of the Lord came and strengthened him. God gave him new vision and direction for his life. Peter, also in dire straits, had an angelic visitation and was rescued from prison the night before he was to be executed.

You can learn from these examples that God remembers you in your human frailty when you are worn-out in mind, body, and spirit from the fatigue of spiritual warfare. When you are at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. Help is on the way!

God receives the greatest glory when His servants come to the end of their resources and can only look up. Ask Him to strengthen you today in your weakness, for His love truly endures forever.

Oh, the power of prophetic confrontation! Since earliest times, kings and leaders of nations have been challenged by the miracles and rebukes of anointed prophets. Ahab was shown a miraculous sign when God delivered the Arameans into his hands. Then Elijah confronted Ahab in Naboth’s vineyard as God judged him for Naboth’s murder (1 Kings 21:17). The proconsul Sergius Paulus witnessed a powerful miracle when God struck the sorcerer blind (Acts 13:11). These confrontational miracles were intended to demonstrate to those in authority that God is Lord of heaven and earth.

In Christ you have the authority to confront those in leadership with the claims of Christ. No power is greater than God, and He has given you power so you might bring the Gospel to world leaders. The same Spirit that filled Paul and blinded Elymas (Acts 13:9) is in you. Don’t be afraid, but speak boldly. God will surely back you up!

Compromise is the price a person is willing to pay to a false god. That was Jehoshaphat’s problem. In an effort to promote peace and unity, he was willing to ally himself with Ahab, a man who was vile and wicked before God (1 Kings 22:4).

People often compromise because of a desire to be socially accepted. They overlook glaring abuses of God’s Word in order to maintain relationships. Micaiah, however, refused to compromise or make even one small concession to Ahab’s false religious system. He was willing to endure physical attack and imprisonment just to maintain the witness of truth against Ahab (1 Kings 22:17, 22-24). Although confined in prison, Micaiah was safer than was Jehoshaphat, who almost lost his life in the brief battle that ensued.

Look at the end result of compromise, and settle in your mind that you owe no allegiance to the idols of this world. They and their worshipers will one day perish with the same fate as Ahab’s!

What comfort and fear it should bring to know that God is intimately acquainted with both our every move and also our every mistake! He sent Elijah to intercept the messengers of Ahaziah and to inform them of God’s verdict on his injury (2 Kings 1:4). Nothing was hidden from God’s eyes, even things intended to be kept secret. Through a revelation given by the Holy Spirit, the prophets of Jericho and Bethel discerned that Elijah would be taken to heaven on the very day that he eventually was (2 Kings 2:3, 5).

God knows your every step and misstep, and He even records your actions in His book before one of them comes to be (Psalm 139:16). Wherever you go, whatever you do today, God’s Spirit will be there, observing, helping, and protecting. Relax in His great omniscience, and walk carefully. The greatest miracle of all is that He knows you intimately and still loves you unconditionally!

God’s miracles always start with the question, What do you have? The little boy with five loaves and two fish provided the only resource for Jesus to bless and feed the five thousand. The widow who fed Elijah during the famine possessed only a little meal and a little oil as a resource. The common thread in both these miracles is that faith was mixed with a few small things offered to God.

If you have a need, you must first put something into God’s hand for Him to work with and multiply back to you. We call this seed sowing, or placing into the soil of faith some object that we “lose” in order that God may multiply it into a harvest. 

Don’t wait for God to supply your need—use what you have! God asked Moses, “What do you have there in your hand?” (Exodus 4:2), and the rod became the means of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt. Give your resources to God, and watch Him multiply them for your deliverance!

Naaman’s young servant girl had no idea how important her little remark to his wife would be in bringing about her master’s deliverance from leprosy. God often uses the faith of others to start the cycle of healing and deliverance when a person is unable to start it for himself.

The four men who brought the paralytic to Christ and let him down through the roof were the direct agents of their friend’s healing (Mark 2:3). Perhaps you can “hold the rope” for some sick friend who has no knowledge of (or hope for) healing. Though this person may not realize the importance of believing God’s healing promises, you must remain convinced that God is the answer.

The little servant girl risked her life to confirm assuredly to Naaman’s wife that if her husband went to the prophet in Samaria, he would cure him of leprosy. This bold statement of faith started the cycle of Naaman’s deliverance and ended with his flesh becoming as clean as the flesh of a young boy.

In whose life could your faith make a difference today?

The story of the lost ax head is so descriptive of the human condition. First, the ax head was not with its rightful master. In the same way, we once belonged to God, but Satan stole us in the Garden of Eden and made us his slaves.

Second, the ax head was in the wrong place. It should have been out doing its work, but instead it was on the bottom of the Jordan in an alien environment. When we were in sin, we were completely submerged in the wrong environment—dead to God and alienated from His life.

Finally, the ax head could not save itself. The ax head had no power to change its situation; thus, it was destined to remain stuck in the mud. Only when “Elisha cut a stick and threw it into the water” (2 Kings 6:6) did the ax head supernaturally begin to rise from the bottom in a physical “resurrection.” What a picture of Jesus’ death and resurrection!

No amount of personal desire or willpower can lift us from the muddy quagmire of sin if we are stuck fast in it. Only Jesus can deliver us. We then belong to God, never to return to the bottom again!

Household salvation is a promise stated throughout the Word of God. Paul told the Philippian jailer that if he gave his heart to Jesus, he and his family would be saved. That night both he and his entire family became Christians (Acts 16:34). At that moment, all their names were recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

As the children of Israel waited for judgment to fall upon their nation, they were instructed to offer a lamb for a household (Exodus 12:3). We should never stop pressing this claim of the Word of God for our families to be saved from the wrath to come. 

We must daily bring our families and relatives before the Father. Noah entered the ark with his entire family. Job prayed continually for his children, in case one of them had done something to offend God. It pleases the Lord when we remind Him of our kindred relationship to our families and stand against Satan’s attempts to totally defeat them.

Place the blood of Jesus daily over the doorpost of your household. Claim today that all your household will join you in heaven and will bring you joy here on earth as well!

We are locked into a spiritual battle over areas of our lives that the enemy seeks to control, including our families, our finances, and our safety. But God gives us the strength and ability to skillfully confront and win every battle that rages against us.

David understood the principles of both spiritual and natural warfare; consequently, he fought his battles with not only the sword but also praise and worship. The results of his victory in spiritual warfare are evident in Psalm 144: blessings to his sons and daughters.

God wants to bless you, but until you learn spiritual warfare, you will live under the enemy’s curse. You may be begging and pleading with God for blessing, while all the time the thief is actually stealing your inheritance and blessings!

Begin today to praise and worship the Lord for the victory won for you at the cross and through the resurrection. Focus on your position in the heavenly (Ephesians 2:6), and demand that the devil loose your family, finances, and security. Your blessings must release. You may have to fight for a while, but the victory is assured if you persevere!

How beautifully this principle is illustrated in the lives of Joash and Paul! Little Joash, at only seven years of age, was defenseless against the ruthless Queen Athaliah. “Joash and his nurse remained hidden in the Temple of the Lord for six years while Athaliah ruled over the land” (2 Kings 11:3). Only the Lord could have kept him from crying at the wrong moment or being seen by someone who was friendly to the queen. Athaliah finally met her death, the Lord fulfilling His promise to destroy the wicked.

Paul faced great danger from the Jews at Corinth. “One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision and told him, ‘Don’t be afraid! Speak out! Don’t be silent! For I am with you, and no one will harm you because many people here in this city belong to me’ ” (Acts 18:9-10). The Jews’ efforts to bring legal action against Paul ended in their being thrown out of court in one moment of time.

Satan makes you think the end is here, the worst has come, and the game is lost. Remember: It’s not over until it’s over. The Lord is watching over you!

The power of God is tangible! Elisha had been buried for an undetermined period of time when another dead man was accidentally thrown into his grave. Elisha’s bones had so much of the power of God still residing in them that they caused the dead man to resurrect. And to think, we have trouble raising the dead while we are still alive!

Paul’s body also contained great power from God. Even handkerchiefs that he had touched could be taken to the sick to bring healing (Acts 19:11-12). Obviously, Jesus carried this power, too. People could touch the hem of His garment and be completely healed.

In each of these cases, the power of God inhabited the physical world and was able to be transmitted. Why should we think it strange that God’s supernatural, miracle-working power can break into the physical world and change even the most desperate of circumstances?

If we are filled with the Holy Spirit, this same power is in us. We must exercise it to minister justice to the oppressed, provide food for the hungry, and bring freedom to the captives (Psalm 146:7).

Satan’s ugly, violent acts of horror are graphically painted throughout the Old Testament. We find monarchs murdered, pregnant women mutilated, and children sacrificed in fire (2 Kings 15:16, 16:3). We see idolatry in its basest form with the establishment of demonic altars in the temple of God (2 Kings 16:10-14).

In the New Testament, we find Jewish exorcists helpless before the violent power of demon spirits. One man possessed by an evil spirit overcame the seven sons of Sceva, taunting, “I know Jesus, and I know Paul. But who are you?” (Acts 19:15). We see that many people in Ephesus lived under demonic oppression and practiced magic before coming to Christ (v. 19). In fact, so steeped in idolatry was Ephesus that the entire city ranted and raved against Paul and rose up to defend the honor of the false goddess Artemis (v. 27). 

We cannot deny that Satan has spread his unclean message across all cultures and throughout all history. The good news is that we are not of his kingdom! We are those to whom the Lord grants peace and satisfaction.

Claim the peace of God for your life, and allow no trace of Satan’s kingdom to penetrate!

From this verse in Acts, we get “20/20 vision”! Paul reminded the Ephesian elders that his message had been consistent everywhere he had gone, both in public forums and to individuals in their own homes. He did not confine his ministry only to open, public services, but he also went into homes. This was the pattern of ministry for the early Church. 

The second part of 20/20 vision was Paul’s declaration for men to turn to God in repentance and have faith in Christ Jesus (Acts 20:21). The message was twofold: repent and believe. This was the pattern of preaching for the early Church. When we stray from the simplicity of this message, we will not be effective in reaching a godless, confused society.

The final part of Paul’s 20/20 vision was the pattern for commitment. Knowing he was facing trouble and death in Jerusalem, he still said, “My life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about God’s wonderful kindness and love” (Acts 20:24). This was the pattern of sacrifice for the early Church. Christians were willing to die to reach the world with the message of salvation.

Have you checked your 20/20 vision lately?