Prudently receiving instruction

Pr. 15:5:  “A fool despises his father’s instruction, but he who receives correction is prudent.”

Peter once had a remarkable vision of instruction from the Lord.

Meet another man:  a Gentile named Cornelius, a devout man who feared God with all his household, giving generously and praying to God always.  In a vision, he was told that His prayers and alms had come up for a memorial before God, and that a man named Peter would come and tell him what to do.

In His vision, the Lord revealed to Peter that no man is common or unclean, and that God shows no partiality.  This was a life-changing revelation!  When Peter preached to Cornelius’ household, the Holy Spirit fell upon the household.  The Gentiles not only spoke in tongues and magnified God through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but they were baptized with water, as well.

Because Peter received the correction of his Father, this was a major shift in the church and in the meaning of the Great Commission.

Peter certainly had a choice.  He could have ignored the correction and refused to go to Cornelius.  Upon arriving at Cornelius’ house, he even reminded Cornelius that it was unlawful for him to be there.  He went on; however, explaining that God had given him new instructions.  Peter prudently followed the instructions of the Lord and our lives have never been the same.

Also worth noting…Cornelius was following the instructions of the Lord long before this happened, this fact went up as a memorial before the Lord, and his life was forever changed.  God’s instructions are always for good.  Perhaps they are for our own good, as in the case of Cornelius.  Perhaps they are for the good of others, as we see with Peter’s instructions.  Regardless, He knows best.

The Lord humbles Himself to behold the things that are in the heavens and in the earth.  (Ps. 113:6)  It is prudent for us to follow His lead.

Listening,

jamie

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The good path

Pr. 2:9:  “Then you will understand righteousness and justice, equity and every good path.”

Not all paths are equal.  In order to understand the good paths, we must encounter God.

Saul is an amazing example of this.  He is found in Acts 9 “still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord.”  He had already wreaked havoc of the church, imprisoned men and women, and consented to the stoning of Stephen.  He is now found journeying on a path to Damascus prepared to bind and bring back to Jerusalem any he found that belonged to Christ.

Interesting path.

However, as he journeyed a light suddenly shone around him from heaven and He encountered the Lord.  The Lord pointed Saul to a different path.  Of this man who had persecuted the Lord (vs. 4), the Lord said, “He is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.”

And that is just what Saul (later called Paul) did.  If you follow Paul’s path after his encounter with the Lord, you will find that he preached the name of Jesus Christ far and wide, and trained others to do the same.  In addition, 14 books in the Bible are letters written by Paul.  He is still preaching the name of Jesus Christ today!

Encountering God certainly enabled Paul to understand and keep to a good path.  When we are looking for the good path, we needn’t look any further than the Lord.  As God’s chosen vessels, I wonder what we’ve been chosen to bear?

Amazed,

jamie

An enigma explained

Pr. 1:5-6:  “A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel, to understand a proverb and an enigma, the words of the wise and their riddles.”

Continuing in Acts 8 today I again found Philip, doing something for which he is probably more famous than the verses I referred to yesterday.

In vs. 26 an angel of the Lord told him to get up and go south.  Philip did so and found a very powerful Ethiopian eunuch in a chariot, reading the prophet Isaiah.  Philip asked the man, “Do you understand what you are reading?”  And the man said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?”  He then asked Philip to come sit with him, read him a passage that was confusing him, and asked Philip to explain.

Philip then explained, preaching Jesus to him and the man was baptized immediately.  Hallelujah!

Sometimes the Word can be an enigma.  The proverb above says that wise people increase learning and attain wise counsel.

If there is something in the Word that we don’t understand, we don’t need to be afraid to ask for help.  That is wisdom, and the Word was given to us in order that we may know our Lord.

If, like Philip, the Holy Spirit sends us to someone who does not understand, we must trust that God will give us the words.  But we must know the Lord and His Word in order to share.  We must continue to feed on the Word of God (the Bread of Life) and spend time with the Lord in prayer.

Philip was ready to explain.  The Holy Spirit called upon him, knowing full well that Philip was the one for the job.  Certainly God was with Philip the entire time, and Philip was not only willing, but also able.  He was full of the Lord and able to offer the Ethiopian the same gift.

Sometimes people are just waiting for someone to show up and guide them.  Perhaps we’re the ones for the job.

Keep feeding on that Bread!

jamie