Devotional for September 30, 2020

Greetings in Christ,

  You cannot help but notice there is someone on a given television channel exploring a house which is supposed to have paranormal activity.  The people have many types of equipment which are capable of detecting any paranormal activity taking place in a given house.  A discussion occurred with several of my coworkers about paranormal activity being a possibility.  One did not believe it could actually take place and it was not real.  Another said he would not go that far, but would consider it to be a possibility.  I suggested it was all possible and we live in a dichotomy. 

  We have the tendency to live in the materialistic world and forget there is a spiritual side to life and it is very real.   There is a warfare taking place around us we do not see, and we should be glad we do not see it, for it would scare us beyond belief.

  Peter in the recording of Acts 12:1-17 found out in person it was more real than even he had imagined.  Now put yourself in Peter’s position.  You have been telling others about Jesus, and you have been facing opposition from the Romans, and the Jewish people you once believed in and listened to for instruction.  They are hounding you day and night, and in some fun way a Roman ruler decides to have fun with you and throws you into jail.

  This Roman ruler has a dark side to him and he enjoys making sport of people for pleasure.  He is even more excited because he has an audience who is applauding his actions.  It is even more exciting for the ruler because this is a special time for the Christians celebrating the Passover.  It would not only be effective for getting rid of one person, but putting a damper on the Passover activities. 

  As you set in jail with two guards chained to you on both sides, you look out of the jail cell to see two more guards at the door.  You look further and see two more guards at the entrance.  You hear foot steps outside the window and you know it is more guards patrolling the perimeter of the jail.  You know you cannot escape, nor can anyone enter into this jail cell to free you.  You feel trapped and see your life coming to an end, but you are OK with all this going on.  You have a peace in your heart and you know all will be well.  You fall asleep knowing you are not going anywhere being content within your own heart.

  You feel a tap on your side, and you awaken.  It is very bright in the room.  It is more brilliant than even the sun would illuminate the room.  As the sleep rolls from your eyes you see a brilliant white man standing before you telling you to stand and to walk with him.   Your mind goes back to the two guards shackled to your arms on both side of you, and just then the shackles just fall away like they had never been attached to your arms.  They remain still and in a trance and you walk forward looking at the other two guards standing at the cell door.  They are standing very still not even moving a muscle as you walk past them.   You move down the corridor and approach the outer door. The other guards are just as the others not responding to the noise of footsteps approaching them and even when the door is opened in front of them. 

  You are on the outside thinking this could not be happening and you are just dreaming, and it hits you.  You just had an angel lead you out of jail and you are free.  You stand at your friends door knocking wanting to get inside to avoid detection from unwanted sources.  As the door opens your heart leaps with joy as you look on the faces of your friends.  You are joyfully telling the story of how God intervened and sent His angel to free you from the clutches of evil.  Oh to know what was really going through Peter’s mind.

  The physical side of actions has a spiritual side as well—a dichotomy.  For every good physical action there is a good spiritual action.  For every negative physical action there is a negative spiritual action.  God sends His angels to defend us all the time.  We do not always see them, but they are very real and present.   In Peter’s case, he was allowed to see his angel in person so he would tell others of what God had done for him.  We must always believe God has our back, and He will never leave us alone.   

  “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting.”  Psalms 118:1

  “Open to me the gates of righteousness; I shall enter through them, I shall give thanks to the Lord.”  Psalms 118:19

  “The Lord is righteous in all His ways,  and kind in all His deeds.”  Psalms 145:17

  Thank you Lord for all You do to keep us from harm and evil.  May we give You the praise despite the things going on in our lives good or bad.  Amen


  Mark Johnson

  Psalm 118, 145; 2 Kings 20:1-21; Acts 12:1-17; Luke 7:11-17

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