It has been said that self-satisfaction is the death of progress. Any Christian who really knows what it is to follow Jesus always will realize there is a long way to go. We want to keep moving forward spiritually. We have to keep growing and learning.
Acts 27:23-25 (NIV) 23Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me 24and said, 'Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.' 25So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.
2 Chronicles 7:11-12 (NIV) 11When Solomon had finished the temple of the LORD and the royal palace, and had succeeded in carrying out all he had in mind to do in the temple of the LORD and in his own palace, 12the LORD appeared to him at night and said: "I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices.
Have you ever lost something and searched endlessly for it? I lost my iPhone the other day. I looked everywhere for it but couldn't find it. So I used a feature called Find My iPhone. As it turned out, the phone was eight feet from where I was sitting. I had dropped it in the cushion of a chair. When I mentioned this to my son Jonathan, he said, "I've done even worse. I used it, and my phone was in my shirt pocket."
When Paul arrived at Miletus, he sent for the elders (overseers or bishops) of the church at Ephesus. The church had grown so much that he could not address them all, so instead, he spoke to the church leaders. He told them that the Spirit was leading him to Jerusalem but also warning him that it meant hardship. Yet Paul was not worried about his life; he was concerned about finishing
2 Chronicles 4:1 (NIV) 1He made a bronze altar twenty cubits long, twenty cubits wide and ten cubits high. Solomon made the bronze altar a square of about 30 feet and 15 feet high. The priests had to go up stairs to offer upon this altar. There is no record of the thickness of the brass but it is guessed to be about 3 inches. That would make the weight of this structure over 200 tons! Brass is the metal that symbolizes judgment. Imagine walking into the temple court and seeing this gigantic altar with the smoke ascending as the priests laid out the sacrifices.
I remember one night in particular, when God seemed to really bless Billy's message, with many people coming to Christ. We left the stadium together in a car, with Billy's longtime friend T. W. Wilson driving, while I rode shotgun. Billy and his son Franklin were in the back seat. As we were pulling out of the parking lot, I leaned over the back seat and said, "That was a great message tonight, Billy." Billy looked at me with those steely blue eyes and said, "It's just gospel."
Acts 8:26, 30-31 (NIV) 26Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, "Go south to the road-the desert road-that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." 30Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. "Do you understand what you are reading?" Philip asked. 31"How can I," he said, "unless someone explains it to me?" So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
As long as you are stationary, no one will complain. Dogs don't bark at parked cars. But as soon as you accelerate-once you step out of drunkenness into sobriety; dishonesty into integrity; or lethargy into compassion-expect the yapping to begin.
Acts 8:14-16 (NIV) 14When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.
The other disciples therefore said to him, "We have seen the Lord." So he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe."