Women — Day 34

Believe It

Acts 16:13-15: “On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there.  One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.  When she and the members of her household were baptized….”

Live It

We can learn three lessons from today’s text.

  1. Our good decisions help our family. The story of Lydia is powerful, not only because she gave herself to God, but her whole family did so, as well. Other members of our own families will be impacted in a positive way when we make good decisions. Lydia brought blessings to her own family and undoubtedly to many others.
  2. Only God can open the heart. Converting others is not our task. We are responsible to introduce them to the message of Jesus. From there the Holy Spirit will do His work. God is working in the heart of every person. When the call was made that Sabbath there were probably some who rejected it. Don’t worry about the ones who reject it, rejoice with the ones, like Lydia, who choose Christ.
  3. Worship is not enough; you must make a decision. The Sabbath Lydia accepted the invitation to give herself completely to God, wasn’t the first Sabbath she had gone to church. There are those, like Lidia, worshiping in our churches, but not yet committed. It is not enough to be a listener. One must take the relationship with Jesus to the next level. That level is to be baptized, into the family of God.

Share It

Do you know of a woman who needs to make a decision for Jesus, or return to Him? Invite her to the meetings. Offer to provide transportation.

My Prayer Today: For women who need to be baptized.

– Pray that God will remove all obstacles to making decisions.

– Pray that your invitation to the meetings will be accepted.

My Thoughts: ________________________________________________________________________

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Men — Day 33

Believe It

Acts 8:35-39: “Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.  As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, ‘Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?’ And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.  When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.

Live It

We can learn three lessons from today’s text.

  1. If a man seeks God sincerely, he will find Him. The eunuch had apparently failed in his quest for the true God. He was coming back from Jerusalem, and yet he was as confused as ever. He was not clear on the Bible’s central message: salvation in Jesus alone.  A great lesson taught here is that God wants to reveal Himself to those who sincerely search Him out. If you seek Him, he will surely reveal Himself to you, too.
  2. Deciding to follow Jesus brings us joy. What brings joy to your life? Sports? Money? Friends? Some people have the mistaken concept that religion is hard, difficult, and boring, that true happiness lies outside our relationship with God. Nothing could be further from the truth. The man in today’s story discovered that which millions have also, that life with Jesus is worth the effort, it is the source of true happiness.
  3. Don’t allow anything to stand in the way of your decision to follow Jesus. The question Philip asked the eunuch I now ask of you: “What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” Our enemy specializes in inventing stumbling blocks. Don’t allow anything to stand in the way of the most important decision of your life, and if you are already baptized, don’t stand in the way or discourage others from taking this important step.

Share It

Do you know of a man who needs to make a decision to either submit to Jesus or return to Him? Invite him to the meetings. Offer him transportation if you can.

My Prayer Today: For men who need to be baptized.

– Pray that they may overcome every obstacle standing in the way of their decision.

– Pray that they accept your invitation to attend the meetings.

My Thoughts: ________________________________________________________________________

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Promise — Day 32

Believe It

Psalm 119:49, 50: “Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope.  My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life….”

Psalm 89:34: I will not violate my covenant or alter what my lips have uttered.

Live It

We can learn three lessons from today’s texts.

  1. His promises are true. Politicians promise change, but things stay the same. Couples promise to remain faithful, but the divorce rate keeps climbing. Car salesmen promise a good automobile, but it breaks down in a month. God is not like that. What He promises He does. Maybe not at the time or the way you would want, but He always comes through. Make a habit of claiming His promises, when you pray. Remind God of the reality He wishes your life to become.
  2. His promises are personal. I don’t know how often I’ve found Christians who say, “These promises are very nice, but they’re not for me.” Maybe it’s because they don’t see a visual manifestation of God’s blessing. Maybe it’s because they have prayed for a while and nothing seems to happen. Change your way of thinking. Believe those promises are yours, and claim them every day. Wait on the Lord, and rejoice when those promises become reality in your walk.
  3. His promises are for today. Notice that the grammar in Psalm 119:50 is in present tense. The psalmist presents three blessings that you can claim right now: hope, life, and comfort. Those are not material benefits per se, but go deeper, providing healing for your emotions, which is actually priceless.

Share It

Phone someone today who has become discouraged and is not attending church. Share with the person the promises we studied today.

My Prayer Today: For fulfillment of the Bible promises regarding evangelism.

– Pray for a great harvest of souls for His Kingdom.

– Pray that the promise of power from the Holy Spirit will become a reality in the church.

My Thoughts: ________________________________________________________________________

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Harvest — Day 31

Believe It

Matthew 9:37-38: “Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Psalm 67:6: “The land yields its harvest; God, our God, blesses us.”

Psalm 85:12: “The Lord will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest.”

Live It

We can learn three lessons from today’s text.

  1. People are more inclined to listen than we think. The Lord promises an abundant harvest. If so, why do so many Christians persist in saying that “people are hard, they don’t want anything to do” with God’s word? In an exhaustive survey of non-believers, 40 percent said they would attend a church, if invited. That is millions of people. Let them say no. Don’t say no for them, without even asking them.
  2. God is better prepared to bless than we imagine. Most of us have responsibilities that keep us from teaching others of Jesus, full time. But God has no such limitations. His Spirit works from the moment a person is born, to bring him/her into a saving relationship with Him. What good news for us! We are not going at this alone. If we ask the God of the harvest for His help, He will answer.
  3. We’re better prepared to share than we think we are. To share Christ does not require a degree in theology. With the knowledge you have, you’re ready. Someone has said that witnessing for Christ is like one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.

Share It

Invite three persons today to attend the week of changed lives. Pray in advance for God to show you whom to invite.

My Prayer Today: For all those invited to come.

– Pray that God will help them respond positively to the invitation.

– Pray that the promise of the harvest will be made real at these meetings.

My Thoughts: ________________________________________________________________________

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Freedom — Day 30

Believe It

Isaiah 61:1: “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners….”

Live It

We can learn three lessons from today’s text.

  1. Each of us struggles with overcoming something. Drugs, alcohol, pornography, gossip, constant bad moods, workaholism, inappropriate sex, irritability, materialism, legalism. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it does tell us about the reality of being human. We’re bad when we’re born, and we get worse. The first step to being free is recognize what enslaves you. Offer a prayer right now and confess your weakness before God.
  2. All can be set free. Whatever your question, God has an answer. Whatever your need, God has the solution. Whatever your wound, God has the cure. Freedom is not only for the few and the privileged, but for everyone—for you. Do you believe that?
  3. Freedom is a process. The Bible tells us that it may take some time from the time you are declared free (justification) to the moment you experience it (sanctification). It’s like walking on dry land after being in a boat. For a while you still feel like you’re at sea, though you’re really on land. It’s a very real feeling, though temporary. The fact that you may still feel the effects of the chains around your ankles doesn’t mean that they are not gone. You’re now free. Believe it. Live it.

Share It

You probably know people who are battling an addiction. If you can, share with someone today your testimony of how God has set you free and offer to pray with them and for them.

My Prayer Today: For people that struggle with addictions

– Pray that God will break the chains of addiction.

– Pray that those afflicted will believe they can be free.

My Thoughts: ________________________________________________________________________

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Urgency — Day 29

Believe It

Romans 13:11: “And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.”

Live It

We can learn three lessons from today’s text. We need to be:

  1. Awake. A sleeping person, though alive, has become disconnected from reality. It doesn’t matter to Satan if you’re alive or not, so long as you’re asleep, for he knows that a sleeping Christian is an ineffective one. Hence the call to wake up. The reality of Jesus’ soon return as well as the millions that live far away from Him, should be the alarm that awakens a slumbering church. Wake up!
  2. Aware. It usually takes someone a few moments to get oriented after he wakes up. When we are already spiritually awake, we start to understand the times in which we are living. It’s a lot harder for the devil to overcome us while we’re awake and aware.
  3. Active. Once we are awake and conscious of the reality that surrounds us, it’s time to take action. As Christians we cannot stay on the sidelines. Motivated by a sense of urgency, we need to be active participants in reaching our communities with the everlasting gospel. We need to see every person we come in contact with, as a candidate for the Kingdom of God. 

Share It

Ask God to place someone in your path this week—one who needs to hear the good news of Jesus.

My Prayer Today: For the local church leadership.

– Pray that God will keep the members awake, aware, and active.

– Pray that God will bring a spirit of unity to the leadership.

My Thoughts: ________________________________________________________________________

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Sabbath — Day 28

Believe It

Isaiah 58:13, 14: “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the LORD, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land….”

Live It

We can learn three lessons from today’s text.

  1. The Sabbath is to be respected. Today’s text mentions three things to avoid: business, non-spiritual activities, and idle words. Why? Because God is a God of relationships. He knows we can’t do two or three things at the same time and pay attention to them all. He wants that time for Himself. By not doing what he asks us to avoid, our attention will be focused on God and on His love, instead of on ourselves and our problems.
  2. Enjoy next Sabbath. Get up early. Pray with your family before leaving for church. Look forward to being a blessing as well as receiving one. Sing with joy. Take an active part in the service. Sit near the front. Greet visitors. Invite someone over to eat at your home. Rest. Do good to others. Spend quality time with the family. Close the Sabbath with worship, and begin looking forward to the return of the Sabbath, next week.
  3. The Sabbath brings great blessings. As the only day blessed by God, the Sabbath brings blessings that are unique in nature. Today’s text mentions three: experiencing joy, climbing to new height, and indescribable delight. Claim these promises for yourself.

Share It

Invite someone to eat in your home, next Sabbath. Do it today! Preferably invite a newly baptized member or visitor.

My Prayer Today: The weather.

– Pray for appropriate weather, so it does not interfere or discourage people from attending the event.

– Pray that the weather will be our ally, not our enemy.

My Thoughts: ________________________________________________________________________

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This weekend at TAF…

We hope you can join us tomorrow.  
 
Our breakfast, Bible studies and fellowship begins at 10:00am.  Our worship service will begin at 11:00am.  Matt Stockdale will bring us a message entitled Heromaker.  Join us for lunch afterwards as we are having barbecue and cheesy potatoes.  
 
Don’t forget to check-in on Facebook each week.  TAF will make a donation to Second Harvest Food Bank for each and every check-in this month.  
 
Don’t forget to register for the We All Have Hope series.  Everyone needs to register even if you are volunteering.  You can register at www.registerforhope.com.  Keep inviting people to come to the series.  
 
Volunteers are needed to go out after lunch tomorrow and deliver flyers for the We All Have Hope series.  Please stay and help get the word out to those in our community.  
 
Join us in serving breakfast to homeless individuals at Center City Park in downtown Greensboro on Fridays from 7:15-8:30am.  Use the link below to sign-up.  If there are no formal slots available, still considering joining us as a compassionate listener.
 
There is a community member that needs some help cleaning up her overgrown yard.  This is an excellent opportunity to help someone in need without expecting anything in return.  If you are willing to help, please see Olga after church.  
 
Don’t forget to support TAF financially.  Together, we can continue to reach our community and present the love and saving grace of Jesus Christ.  
 
We hope to see you tomorrow!!


Trouble — Day 27

Believe It

John 16:33: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Live It

We can learn three lessons from today’s text.

  1. Pain is a gift. Imagine for a moment what it would be like to live in a world with no pain. A bone breaks, you feel nothing. You burn your hand, but you can’t tell. You puncture your skin and don’t even notice. Good or bad? Could it be that the feeling we call pain is a gift from God—a gift God created to protect us.
  2. Ask yourself “what for” rather than “why? When a person finds himself being afflicted, he asks himself, “Why me?” Why now? Why this? Answers to those “whys” belong to God. Instead ask yourself, “What for?” Focus on the purpose, not the cause, of your pain.
  3. There are places you can reach only through pain. The path to the next level of your spiritual life can be called pain. Sometimes that road is unrelenting, sometimes complicated, but always blessed. There are no shortcuts for those who wish to experience the fullness of God’s blessing.

Share It

Knock on the doors of two neighbors and ask them if they have any request that you can pray for. Then go home and pray for them.

My Prayer Today: For the decision calls to commitment that will be made each evening.

– Pray that God will help people make decisions for Him every night.

– Pray that God will help the speaker use the right words as he invites people to respond.

My Thoughts: ________________________________________________________________________

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Refine — Day 26

Believe It

1 Peter 1:7 These [tests] have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Live It

We can learn three lessons from today’s text.

  1. God allows us to be tested, to refine and purify our character. I wish I could tell you that the system God uses to refine and purify us is different than the one taught in this text. We have been programmed by society to avoid anything that produces pain and awkwardness. Reality is, we can’t avoid, or eliminate, the very situation God intends to use to transform our character, i/e pain. As weird as it sounds, pain can be a good thing.
  2. The process of refinement is sometimes painful. Without the cross, there is no glory. Without contractions there can be no childbirth. Without exercise there can be no physical conditioning. Without testing, there can be no purity. They are like the two faces of the same coin. Look for one, and the other shows up too. Remember that the devil will attack everything God blesses, so if you feel you are under attack right now, be of good courage, God will be glorified and you will be blessed from this experience.
  3. Refining begins on the inside. Jesus called out the Pharisees for their interest in purifying outward behavior, while they neglected transformation of character. True change begins when you give God the control He needs to change your character. That change may happen more slowly, but it will be more permanent.

Share It

Ask someone, “How are you?” and take time to listen to their answer. Ask God to send you someone this week who is going through a hard time, and minister to them.

My Prayer Today: For all the church volunteers.

– Pray that they may be attentive to the needs of visitors.

– Pray that they will maintain a positive, cheerful attitude.

My Thoughts: ________________________________________________________________________

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