November Showing posts from December 2020 December 29, 2020Tuesday THE REFINER’S FIRE MALACHI 2:17–3:5 Start Reading December 28, 2020Monday LOVE SCORNED MALACHI 1:1–5; 2:10–16 Start Reading December 27, 2020Sunday SUFFERING FOR HIS NAME PSALM 83 Start Reading December 26, 2020Saturday READING BETWEEN THE LINES MATTHEW 2:13–23 Start Reading December 25, … We cannot be sure that the second person, the slave girl, actually got saved, since the text does not say. God providentially works to draw very different people to Himself through the same gospel. The Search OF the Savior: Why Jesus Came, Part 1 (Luke 19:1-10), Bible Storying Series - Teaching The Story Of God Chronologically. The Greek term is that she had a “Python spirit.” This referred to the legendary snake that guarded the Delphic Oracle in central Greece. I was imprisoned in a harnas of false strength. Out of this extreme crisis, he met the Lord. How comforting it is to understand that Our God knows and calls us by name! We cannot be sure that the second person, the slave girl, actually got saved, since the text does not say. Some examples of this in the bible is the experience of the Prophets, Ezekiel, Isaiah, and … Why/why not? And yet this was how God intended to start the church in Europe. Some people experience transformative events that can be extraordinary. From successful entrepreneurs to blue-collar workers, from expectant mothers to arrogant leaders, from broken prophets to wayward prophets, each of these encounter God in unique ways: some through a thunderous word from God and others through His gentle whisper. He graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M., 1976 in Bible exposition) and Califo... More, Happy New Year: Past, Present, and Future Perspectives, 4. I once knew a man who was living as an immoral, drug-using hippie in one of the canyons leading to the beach northwest of Los Angeles. 1:29). And the jailer didn’t join the military chapel. The Christ he preached is the Christ revealed in the Old Testament and the Gospels. God showed his indescribable majesty and greatness to me, and at the same time embraced me in his arms of amazing love. In the middle of the night I had a flash back of the hard drugs, and I was overwhelmed with intense fear. In your hardness of heart, will you cling to your greed and sin and respond in anger to the message, as the slave owners in the story did? I will also explain you how you can have an encounter with God. What He said was an important personal message for me. And they are recounted here to encourage and inspire you and others as well. Many blessings, The jailer was a hardened military man. We may not have any stories quite like that here today, but if we went around the room, we would hear some very different ways that God worked to bring each of us to salvation. I once was lost in sin and darkness, rebellion and hatred. God had already worked in Lydia’s heart to make her a seeker after Him and so she was in a prayer meeting. So he was left alone with the dog. How can we know that all things are ordered by a wise and loving Providence? A few years later my pastor shocked me, when he suddenly said: ‘David, I believe you are a true prophet in our church.’ I had no clue! The dog sat down near the aisle, in his usual place. A missionary to Africa many years ago told of a woman who came to every service, accompanied by her dog. Should evangelicals work together with Roman Catholics or Mormons on social issues, such as abortion? That second I knew without a shadow of a doubt that it was God indeed, and I was safe to let go of all my control and surrender to the Holy Spirit. The man was so touched in his spirit that he, too, went forward and gave his life to Christ. I was overwhelmed with the presence of God, and felt a power rushing through me, that was incredible. When they say, “We are one with you; we believe just as you do. When I grew up however, many hard and painful things happened to me and my family, causing me to become bitter. a) Visions. And don’t forget to sign up for the emails! He loves us so passionately, that He became a man to die for us, so we could become His children, who are forgiven and forever loved by Him. But I rarely met with people who had actually experienced the love of God. “These men are bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation” (16:17). As said before, the real foundation for genuine Christian experience is a spiritual encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ. In this real life story you can read how I encountered God in a very dramatic way. At the end of the service, when the pastor gave the invitation to come forward for prayer, she would go forward, and the dog would come along beside her. In fact, he beat her so severely because of her Christian lifestyle that she died. But they missed their opportunity to meet God, because as good politicians, they wanted to keep their constituency happy. If you had asked Paul if his intention was to start a church with a group of women, I’m sure he would have said, “No way!” But it was God’s way to begin the church in Europe. But why was he upset with her shouting out the truth? I hope GOD IS REAL will be a tool in the hands of Jesus Christ to bring His rivers of love and goodness in your life and the lives of millions of others. David Sorensen had a dramatic encounter with God, which completely transformed his life. … When I was five year old, I told my mom: ‘You need to read the Bible more often.’ She often found me on my knees, praying – all alone. According to polls, there's a 50-50 chance you have had at least one spiritual experience — an overpowering feeling that you've touched God, or another dimension of reality. The experience leaves a person with a new and profound sense of awareness or understanding regarding God, a truth, or other religious expressions. But Paul told the jailer, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved” (16:31). Ministering under His wonderful presence has healed the trauma that caused my handicap, and now I can speak fluently. So God used a dog to lead a hardened sinner to repentance! They stayed in Philippi for some days, but no Macedonian man materialized. Luke does not tell us if this girl got saved, but we can hope that since her owners had no further use for her, the church would have taken her in and that she did meet the Lord Jesus. The slave girl didn’t join the hippie church for former street people. Content may be used, after permission has been obtained from the author David Sorensen. Why would Paul get irritated? Emperors and Roman senators, as well as the wealthy, wore purple garments as a status symbol. But this had become a false identity. But these three encounters with God teach us that …. But after a while, an insect landed on his face, and so he had to take one finger out of his ear to brush it off. It serves you right, you barbarian!” But their focus was not on themselves. As we move through this study on the Knowledge of the Holy, it is useful to look at some actual encounters that people had with God. The jailer and his family also believed and were baptized (16:33-34). We’ve seen that God works providentially to draw very different people to Himself. In His voice I heard both great authority, power, joy and peace. It would have been counter to Paul’s pharisaic background to teach women about spiritual matters. It was extremely horrible… I felt as if I was suddenly part of a psycho horror movie…. 2. The Jesus Christ that Paul proclaimed is clearly eternal God in human flesh, who came to bear on the cross the just penalty that God requires for our sins. We can easily think, “This person is not a ‘key’ person. Badly! Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught” (Isa. Please make sure you always link back to this website, when sharing our content: https://www.GodisReal.today Thank you. I am the God who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau.” So Jacob said to his family and those who were with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods which you have, wash yourselves until you are ritually clean, and change your clothes. The Bible says that when we ask the Father for the Holy Spirit, He will not give us a demon. “I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” (Revelation 2:4 NKJV) Our nation is at a point of a moral and spiritual crisis; much like it was during the time when Isaiah experienced his fresh encounter with God. Those were perfectly true words! Lord, help…’. After the service, he watched the dog go forward and take his place at the altar, where his wife had prayed. But the truth is, the Roman Catholic Church and the Mormon Church both proclaim different ways of salvation than the gospel. In Isaiah 6:1-8, is recorded an account of when the man of God had an encounter with God. So as soon as the pastor began speaking, the man put his fingers in his ears. He taught that we are justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Rom. The result: he went into the desert and then started a … Isn’t it interesting that the Lord picked these three very different types of people to form the nucleus of the infant church in Philippi? Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman … The best way for me to help you with this, is by sending you regular messages from the heart of God. One day I tried to give a testimony in church, and afterwards a lady came to my mother, saying: ‘Can you please make sure David never does this again? Suddenly the lady prophecied over me. Notice how different these three individuals were. Also, every Sunday morning, the dog would leave about 9 and return about noon. But the jailer and his entire household believed in the gospel and got saved. 4:18, 19). One that changed your life? She would sit on the outside, next to the aisle. Even though Lydia was a religious woman who feared God, she was not converted. This means that when people and angels encounter the Lord Jesus Christ, they are not encountering some angel or group of angels filled with God’s presence. If God must grant saving faith, why can’t unbelievers blame Him for not giving it to them. But He loved me, even before I truly knew Him. God’s normal means of saving people is to use His servants to proclaim “the way of salvation” (16:17) to those He intends to save. God however does not fit in any box of a religion, but He is the creator of all mankind and He wants to bring all of us into an intimate relationship with Him. There are some in evangelical circles who say that since salvation is by faith alone, that to tell people that they must accept Jesus not only as Savior, but also as Lord, is to mix faith and works. but this time it was for real! Many people have had encounters with Jesus Christ. Now I use my God-given talens to show His love, His beauty and His goodness to people. From that day on, I knew that God is real – very real. They were themselves: pure, innocent, real. In other words, nothing happens by chance, even though it may seem to us to be by chance. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture Quotations are from the New American Standard Bible, Updated Edition © The Lockman Foundation, Related Topics: Character of God, Evangelism, Predestination, Soteriology (Salvation), Steve served as the pastor of Flagstaff Christian Fellowship from May, 1992 through his retirement in December, 2018. Sunday evening, again the dog would leave for a couple of hours and then return. He could take prisoners with their backs bleeding, throw them into the prison, fasten their feet into the stocks (which were not designed for personal comfort! I'm sure he wasn't a common man because nobody comes for a walk in that area at 7:30 p.m. when its getting pitch dark. The only thing I knew about prophets, was what I had heard in sundayschool: prophets were weird, dressed in animal skins and always shouting about coming destruction. The "Spiritual Encounters" page is a new addition to the Trusting in Jesus website. I had built a thick wall around myself, to protect me from the evil world. If you rejoice in the Lord and keep your focus on the salvation of those who are mistreating you, your life and words can lead them to the Savior. Invariably in every case those who saw the glory of God could not adequately describe what they saw and experienced because it … Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit. He followed it to the church and he took a seat in the back to watch. 1:4-5), is not left to chance! God is in the small things and He’s in the big things. Before my encounter with God I wanted to use my creative gift to become rich and famous. God’s providence refers to the fact that He is sovereignly working behind the scenes, even when we are not aware of it, to work all things after the counsel of His will. A few months later, I was reading the Bible and had finished praying, while suddenly I heard the voice of God, really loud. Claudius had more important matters to attend to than this! Read more about knowing God for real, on this website. Yes, God Encounters have … That fascinated me. Don’t miss the application: If you ever are treated unfairly, you are probably being given a major opportunity for witness. No, I did not want to be a prophet, so I pushed it away. Yet, "the biblical perspective on sex is robust and stands contrary to the three alternative views that have been popular throughout history: sex-is- bad , sex-is- god , and sex-is- … Take the case of Lydia. She was from Thyatira, in western Turkey. They all had to learn to accept and love each other in the same church in Philippi. The man’s curiosity was so aroused that he decided to follow the dog. The city magistrates could have listened to Paul’s defense, which surely would have included the gospel. He said this three times. For the last ten years, my stammer has been gone. Because sometimes one image can say more than a thousand words. We literally become different people. Have you ever had a deep spiritual encounter? Moses had a divine encounter with God in the form of a burning bush and this was a turning point in his life. This slave girl was being used by her owners for fortune-telling, much to the fortunes of the owners! The religious experience can be visual, auditory, and/or a sense of the presence of something “other.”. God uses some unusual means to bring people to salvation. Paul’s gospel always centered on Jesus Christ and Him crucified (1 Cor. Rather, they are experiencing God’s own divinely human presence. The New Testament is clear that if we believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, it is not because we were so brilliant as to make that decision. Spiritual encounters have a life all their own and we can reach back over years, not to recreate them, but to touch the invigorating life we gained from the Christ who met us there. One of the signs that you have had an angel encounter is if another person with you feels the same way. There is no such thing as group salvation based on someone else’s faith. It is dedicated to the numerous visitors who love to read about others who have had encounters with God, Jesus, angels, and other heavenly experiences - and for those who would like to share their experiences that often transform, and even change the direction of their lives. I surrender and let Him do the talking. These spiritual encounters are obvious ones because we exist in spirit and what we experience is spiritual. Let me first say that everything that I am about to tell you is in no way false, or an exaggeration of the truth. These three encounters should encourage us to be faithful to share our faith as we see how God uses the gospel to save different people. I began using drugs and alcohol and got addicted to pornography. Charles Spurgeon tells of a man who once went to a chapel to listen to the singing, but he didn’t want to hear the preaching. At that moment it dawned on me that I had become too tough. Just imagine the blessings that we can similarly experience, if we devote ourselves to meeting with God often in … Upon reflection, we may come to see these incidents as spiritual and intellectual turning points—decisive events with beneficial results. But the moment I had to speak, I felt His presence come over me and His words just flowed out of my mouth like a supernatural river of life, healing, deliverance and love. But if he had been operating on that basis, he would have missed this opportunity to explain the gospel to this small group of women by the river. The Macedonian man turned out to be an Asian woman! Only God knew this! ‘But the Holy Spirit has healed me’ he added excited. Isaiah’s encounter with the Lord in today’s reading provides a good example. You may recall that Paul would have preached in Lydia’s home region, but the Holy Spirit forbade him at that time (16:6). Jacob’s Fifth Encounter with God - Then God said to Jacob, “Go to Bethel and live there. The Lord opened Lydia’s heart, along with the hearts of those in her household, to respond to the gospel (16:14), and they got saved. One morning a pastor and his wife prayed that God would direct their day and perhaps lead them to someone who needed to hear about the Savior. I became very active in evangelism amongst students and helped lead citywide crusades. Make an altar there. I was listening to christian music and suddenly I became aware of the tender purity I heard in the voices of the singers. My childlike faith believed God heard me, and that what mattered to me also mattered to Him. Lydia, who was probably a widow, had moved from Thyatira to Philippi to do business there. 2:2). Are Religious Experiences Evidence for God? Their rights had been violated, their backs were ripped open by the rods that beat them, and they were thrown into the stocks in prison. As this continued for many days, Paul became greatly annoyed, so he commanded the spirit in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her, and it did so instantly. The question is, how will you respond? This girl kept following after the missionaries, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation” (Acts 16:17). But we can hope that she was saved, since God delivered her from demonic forces. I would be tougher than the rest…. That very moment I encountered God in a way I can’t really describe. When Protestants publicly confirm that they are one with Roman Catholics, the world mistakenly thinks that both groups are just different flavors of Christianity. On the Sabbath, Paul said, “Let’s find out where the Jews gather for worship.” Philippi lacked the ten Jewish men in a town that it took to form a synagogue. When, though a lifelong nonbeliever, I had my own encounter with God, I found three striking traits — God was undeniably real, benign, and authoritative. People over the millennia have reported having deeply moving religious experiences either spontaneously or while under the influence of psychedelic substances such as psilocybin-containing mushrooms or the Amazonian brew ayahuasca, and a portion of those experiences have been encounters with what the person regards as “God” or “ultimate reality.” He decided to spend the rest of his life showing others show real God is and how much he loves us. A few years after I turned my back on God, I took an overdose of drugs and ended up in hospital. Instead of helping me deal with the overdose, the male nurse locked me up in an isolation cell. If their focus had been on their own well-being, as soon as the prison doors flew open they would have said, “All right! These three encounters may seem insignificant, but actually they were the beginning of a movement that changed world history. It was on glorifying God and seeing other people, no matter how undeserving, experience God’s saving grace. Surely, God was with them now! He plainly stated, “But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness” (Rom. The owners of the slave girl missed God because of their greed and anger toward Paul for taking away the source of their income (16:19). Finally, through the vision of the Macedonian man calling for help, Paul and the missionary team went to Europe. Our text shows us three very different people who had different encounters with God. How does God’s providence relate to not losing our temper when we are treated unjustly? Yet this shouldn’t surprise us. When I was nine years old, I had made up my mind: I wanted to become a missionary and tell people about God! I was at the end of my rope, as building a home, while caring for a family and a sick father, is the hardest thing I have ever done. The Search OF the Savior: Why Jesus Came, Part 2 (Gal. God loves people and wants to bring them into His own family. The jailer was saved in connection with doing his job. Our text shows us three very different people who had different encounters with God. As this pastor was driving down this canyon, his muffler fell off his car right in front of this hippie’s shack. But these three encounters with God teach us that … I also read a book by Benny Hinn, who used to stammer as a little boy, and who is a famous healing evangelist now. He gave us the Bible as His guideline to learn about His plan for mankind and to reveal who He is. 1:27-29). So a “Python spirit” referred to a spirit that enabled someone to predict the future. 1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Some years later I began to receive invitations to speak in churches, and when I stood there, I trembled with fear, thinking: ‘I can’t speak! It’s free and it will help you tremendously to experience God for yourself and encounter Him in a life changing way! Many of us who are spiritual directors have been asked where God is in this pandemic, but we have also heard reports of God becoming manifest in unexpected ways, of people … Rather, “God opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul” (16:14). The initial evidence that these converts submitted to Jesus as Savior and Lord is seen in their obedience through baptism and in the good deeds that followed their faith (16:15, 33, 34). David's desire is that people would learn how to experience God as the most beautiful reality there is. They are responsible for their own sin. I stammer! When he adds, “you and your household,” he means that the same promise applied to his household: If they would believe in the Lord Jesus, they, too, would be saved. Those who reject Jesus Christ cannot blame God for not opening their hearts to the gospel. Messages that He has given to me, to touch you with His heart of love and help you get closer to Him than you have ever been. The Lord said, through her voice: This was a bible verse that I had been reading often that week, plus I had been very fascinated by the name, THE LORD OF HOSTS. The Lord works through His providence to draw very different people from different backgrounds to Himself, and He wants them to learn to love one another as a testimony to the world of His saving grace. Copyright text 2019 by God Is Real. With intentionality and focus, it's relatively easy to have an encounter with God. The next moment a river of supernatural words flowed out of my mouth. After months of studying the Bible and praying, I decided that I wanted to be baptized in the Spirit of God, and allowed the couple to pray for me. This became a painful frustration for me, because I wanted to serve the Lord and tell people about him! You can take your pick in accordance with your preferences. My harness fell off of me, and I became myself again: a child of God. God does not owe them salvation. The town was noted, among other commercial ventures, for its trade in expensive purple cloth. Other leaders began to say the same thing to me…, It sometimes even happened that I could not speak at all, and when I wanted to buy coffee, I ended up buying milk, because I could not say the word ‘coffee’. You will miss the application: if you ever are treated unfairly, you are probably being given a opportunity... You tremendously to experience God ’ s gospel always centered on Jesus Christ did want. 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