March 14, 2022
New Life – Spiritual Life
In Ezekiel 37:9-14 NLT says, “9 Then He said to me, “Speak a prophetic message to the winds, son of man. Speak a prophetic message and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, O breath, from the four winds! Breathe into these dead bodies so they may live again.’” 10 So I spoke the message as He commanded me, and breath came into their bodies. They all came to life and stood up on their feet – a great army. 11 Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones represent the people of Israel. They are saying, ‘We have become old, dry bones – all hope is gone. Our nation is finished.’ 12 Therefore, prophesy to them and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: O my people, I will open your graves of exile and cause you to rise again. Then I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 When this happens, O my people, you will know that I am the Lord. 14 I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live again and return home to your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken, and I have done what I said. Yes, the Lord has spoken!’“
The restoration promised was the second (Ezekiel 36:24; cf. Isaiah 11:11), or final, return to the land by the Jews after the Tribulation’s scattering. This return is based on the provisions of Deuteronomy 30:1-10. Ezekiel did not use the expression “new covenant” in this passage (Ezekiel 36:25-28), but the provisions are identical with those of the new covenant described in Jeremiah 31:31-34. The remnant of Israel will be gathered back to their land as a believing, redeemed people (Ezekiel 36:28; cf. Matthew 24:31).
The vision of the dry bones illustrated how the restoration of the nation (Ezekiel 36:24) will be accomplished. There were two stages in the resurrection of the dry bones (Ezekiel 37:7-10). As Ezekiel prophesied over the bones, they came together and formed human beings, but without the breath of life. Ezekiel prophesied again and “breath” came into them and they came to life (Ezekiel 37:9-10). In the interpretation of the vision, it was revealed that Israel would first be brought to national life and restored to the land (Ezekiel 37:12), and then the Lord would give the nation spiritual life (Ezekiel 37:14). The first stage may have taken place on May 14, 1948, when Israel once again became a nation after a two-thousand-year eclipse. The “graves” (Ezekiel 37:12) may have been a reference to the foreign countries of Israel’s captivities or were simply a reference to Israel’s lost hope (similar to the “dry bones”). Amen!
You may stop, wait, and read the ABIDE – Good Night, until before you go to bed to have a restful and peaceful sleep.
Abide – Good Night
The Transformation of Saul and Conversion to Paul
In Acts 9:1-19 NLT says, “1 Meanwhile, Saul was uttering threats with every breath and was eager to kill the Lord’s followers. So he went to the high priest. 2 He requested letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, asking for their cooperation in the arrest of any followers of the Way he found there. He wanted to bring them – both men and women – back to Jerusalem in chains. 3 As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?” 5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! 6 Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” 7 The men with Saul stood speechless, for they heard the sound of someone’s voice but saw no one! 8 Saul picked himself up off the ground, but when he opened his eyes, he was blind. So, his companions led him by the hand to Damascus. 9 He remained there blind for three days and did not eat or drink. 10 Now there was a believer in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, calling, “Ananias!” “Yes, Lord!” he replied. 11 The Lord said, “Go over to Straight Street, to the house of Judas. When you get there, ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying to me right now. 12 I have shown him a vision of a man named Ananias coming in and laying hands on him so he can see again.” 13 “But Lord,” exclaimed Ananias, “I’ve heard many people talk about the terrible things this man has done to the believers in Jerusalem! 14 And he is authorized by the leading priests to arrest everyone who calls upon your name.” 15 But the Lord said, “Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel. 16 And I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake.” 17 So Ananias went and found Saul. He laid his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Instantly something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized. 19 Afterward he ate some food and regained his strength.”
Saul (later called Paul) was so zealous for his Jewish beliefs that he began a persecution campaign against anyone who believed in our Lord Jesus Christ (“followers of the Way”). Why would the Jews in Jerusalem want to persecute Christians as far away as Damascus? There are several possibilities: (1) to seize the Christians who had fled, (2) to prevent the spread of Christianity to other major cities, (3) to keep the Christians from causing any trouble with Rome, (4) to advance Saul’s career and build his reputation as a true Pharisee, zealous for the law, (5) to unify the factions of Judaism by giving them a common enemy.
As Saul traveled to Damascus, pursuing Christians, he was confronted by the risen Jesus Christ and brought face to face with the truth of the Good News. Sometimes God breaks into a life in a spectacular manner, and sometimes conversion is a quiet experience. Beware of people who insist that you must have a particular type of conversion experience. The right way to come to faith in our Lord Jesus Christ is whatever way God brings you.
Damascus, a key commercial city, was located about 150 miles northeast of Jerusalem in the Roman province of Syria. Several trade routes linked Damascus to other cities throughout the Roman world. Saul may have thought that by stamping out Christianity in Damascus, he could prevent its spread to other areas.
Paul refers to this experience as the start of his new life in our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 9:1; 15:8; Galatians 1:15-16). At the center of this wonderful experience was Jesus Christ. Paul did not see a vision; he saw the risen Jesus Christ Himself (Acts 9:17). Paul acknowledged Jesus as Lord, confessed his own sin, surrendered his life to our Lord Jesus Christ, and resolved to obey Him. True conversion comes from a personal encounter with our Lord Jesus Christ and leads to a new life in relationship with Him.
Saul thought he was pursuing heretics, but he was persecuting our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Anyone who persecutes believers today is also guilty of persecuting our Lord Jesus Christ (see Matthew 25:40, 45), because we as Born-Again Christian believers are the body of Jesus Christ on earth. Amen!
In Verse 13-14 described and said, “Not him, Lord; that’s impossible. He could never become a Christian!” In essence, that’s what Ananias said when God told him of Saul’s conversion. After all, Saul had pursued believers to their death. Despite these understandable feelings, Ananias obeyed God and ministered to Saul. We must not limit God – He can do anything. We must obey and follow God’s leading, even when He leads us to difficult people and places.
Faith in Jesus Christ brings great blessings but often great suffering, too. Paul would suffer for his faith (see 2 Corinthians 11:23-27). God calls us to commitment, not to comfort. He promises to be with us through suffering and hardship, not to spare us from them.
Ananias found Saul, as he had been instructed, and greeted him as “Brother Saul.” Ananias feared this meeting because Saul had come to Damascus to capture the believers and take them as prisoners to Jerusalem (Acts 9:2). But in obedience to the Holy Spirit, Ananias greeted Saul lovingly. It is not always easy to show love to others, especially when we are afraid of them or doubt their motives. Nevertheless, we must follow our Lord Jesus Christ’s command (John 13:34) and Ananias’s example, showing loving acceptance to other believers. Amen!
Although there is no mention of a special filling of the Holy Spirit for Saul, his changed life and subsequent accomplishments bear strong witness to the Holy Spirit’s presence and power in his life. Evidently, the Holy Spirit filled Saul when he received his sight and was baptized.
This concludes our Daily Devotional Good Morning & Good Night as of March 14, 2022.
Our home church is https://bridge.church.
Please continue if you want to experience of being Born-Again Christian.
Being Born-Again Christian Believer
Please continue to scroll down if you have not experience of being Born-Again in Spirit as our Lord Jesus Christ said in these passages of John 3:3-8 NLT, and I quoted below;
3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” 4 “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” 5 Jesus replied, “I assure you; no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. 6 Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. 7 So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”
Let’s meditate and look for the life application of these passages.
What did Nicodemus know about the Kingdom? From the Bible he knew it would be ruled by God, it would be restored on earth, and it would incorporate God’s people. Our Lord Jesus Christ revealed to this devout Pharisee that the Kingdom would come to the whole world (John 3:16, see The Gospel – The Good News), not just the Jews, and that Nicodemus wouldn’t be a part of it unless he was personally born again (John 3:5). This was a revolutionary concept: The Kingdom is personal, not national or ethnic, and its entrance requirements are repentance and spiritual rebirth. Our Lord Jesus Christ later taught that God’s Kingdom has already begun in the hearts of believers (Luke 17:21). It will be fully realized when our Lord Jesus Christ returns again to judge the world and abolish evil forever (Revelation 21–22).
The Words > “Of water and the Spirit” could refer to (1) the contrast between physical birth (water) and spiritual birth (Spirit), or (2) being regenerated by the Holy Spirit and signifying that rebirth by Christian baptism. The water may also represent the cleansing action of God’s Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5). Nicodemus undoubtedly would have been familiar with God’s promise in Ezekiel 36:25, 26. Our Lord Jesus Christ was explaining the importance of a spiritual rebirth, saying that people don’t enter the Kingdom by living a better life, but by being spiritually reborn.
Who is the Holy Spirit? God is three persons in one – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God became a man in Jesus Christ so that Jesus Christ could die for our sins. Our Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead to offer salvation to all people through spiritual renewal and rebirth. When our Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven, His physical presence left the earth, but He promised to send the Holy Spirit so that His spiritual presence would still be among humankind (see Luke 24:49). The Holy Spirit first became available to all believers at Pentecost (Acts 2). Whereas in Old Testament days the Holy Spirit empowered specific individuals for specific purposes, now all believers have the power of the Holy Spirit available to them. For more on the Holy Spirit, read John 14:16-28; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:13; and 2 Corinthians 1:22.
Our Lord Jesus Christ explained that we cannot control the work of the Holy Spirit. He works in ways we cannot predict or understand. Just as you did not control your physical birth, so you cannot control your spiritual birth. It is a gift from God through the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:16; 1 Corinthians 2:10-12; 1 Thessalonians 1:5, 6).
Let me encourage you to visit this page link An Invitation to Meet Our Lord Jesus Christ | HOME FELLOWSHIP CHURCHES in how you can experience of being Born-Again Christian Believer. Amen!
The Gospel – The Good News
In John 3:16-17 NLT says, “16 “For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.”
The message of The Good News – The Gospel comes to a focus in these verses. God’s love is not static or self-centered; it reaches out and draws others in. Here God sets the pattern of true love, the basis for all love relationships – when we love someone dearly, we are willing to give freely to the point of self-sacrifice. God paid dearly with the life of His Son, the highest price He could pay. Our Lord Jesus Christ accepted our punishment, paid the price for our sins, and then offered us the new life that He had bought for us. When we share the Good News with others, our love must be like our Lord Jesus Christ’s – willingly giving up our own comfort and security so that others might join us in receiving God’s unconditional love.
In John 14:6-7 NLT says, “6 Jesus told him, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through Me. 7 If you had really known Me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him!”
This is one of the most basic and important passages in Scripture. How can we know the way to God? Only through our Lord Jesus Christ. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Way because He is both God and man. By uniting our lives with His, we are united with God. Trust our Lord Jesus Christ, and in the power of the Holy Spirit to take you to our Father God, and all the benefits of being God’s child will be yours.
Home Fellowship Churches Services
We are glad to invite you all to join us in person at our church, and/or in our Zoom Services; Evangelism, Leadership & Discipleship at 5 pm every Sunday except some holidays and important events of the month, Bible Studies on Tuesday at 7 pm, and Praise & Worship/Karaoke on Friday at 7 pm Central Time (CT). Karaoke location TBA or call/text/email us. Our home church is at https://bridge.church.
To Join our Zoom Meetings, just click the link below:
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If you have any questions and/or concerns, please don’t hesitate to send them to:
Podcast Messages & Bible Studies Topic: Fruit of the Holy Spirit, God’s Promises for All Our Every Needs, Books of Leviticus, the Gospel Books (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John), Revelation and Romans, Pastor/Chaplain Elias’ books – “From the Words and Thoughts to the Swords and Battlegrounds”, and “From the Battlegrounds and Wars to the Overcoming and Victories” portions (to be published soon).
Love God, Love People, and Make Disciples,
Pastor/Chaplain Elias Aguilar Busuego Jr PhD DTM
Small Group Leader – https://bridge.church > ENCOURAGE > ENLIGHTEN > EMPOWER
Founding Pastor – Home Fellowship Churches – https://homefellowshipchurches.org
Chaplain – American Legion (AL) District 10 – Texas, AL Post 302 Hutto, TX, formerly at AL Post 447 Round Rock, TX
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