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The Moral of the Story
Key Passage: Acts 20:7-12
Topic: Christian Living

And a young man named Eutychus, sitting at the window, sank into a deep sleep as Paul talked still longer. And being overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. (Acts 20:9, ESV)

Did you read the whole passage for today's Devotion? Then what would you say is the lesson in these verses?

Maybe it's: If you're listening to a long sermon, don't sit by an open window especially if it's on the third floor and you're sleepy.

Or, if you are a speaker, how about, Limit your preaching to a specified duration?

The Bible doesn't indicate that either point is the reason this story was included. The man, the one who fell asleep and toppled from an open, third-story window wasn't condemned in the Bible nor was the apostle Paul who had preached past midnight.

In fact, the incident seemed only to create a brief interlude in Paul's talk. Paul took care of Eutychus and got back to the business at hand--speaking to the believers.

It sort of makes you think that the lesson could be that, as Christians, we can't let ourselves be slowed down from doing whatever the Spirit of God has asked us to do.

There will be occasions in our lives when we'll have to deal with something that sidetracks us for a time--grief, illness, some sort of disaster.

But once we've dealt with whatever slows us down--with God's help-- we need to get on with doing what God has assigned to us to do for Him, whatever that is.


"I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power."  Philippians 4:13 TLB

   Since I have begun walking closely with the Lord, and have made a commitment to follow Him wholeheartedly, I have been able to overcome many habitual sins and bad habits.  But there are some that remain and continue to trouble me.  I know that I will never reach perfection in this life, but I also know that God’s Word commands us to “aim for perfection” (2 Corinthians 13:11 NIV).  So it is my heartfelt desire to cooperate with the Lord’s plan to make me more like Christ every day. (2 Corinthians 3:18)  When I earnestly sought the Lord recently about my deep desire to be free from some of my lingering bad habits, He revealed some principles from Scripture to help and encourage me in this area, and I would like to share them with you.

   First, the Lord told me that we must “face” our sin.  Even as believers, you and I have a tendency to run from God when He’s trying to deal with us about something in our lives that no longer fits who we are as followers of Christ.  But this kind of attitude only hinders our spiritual growth, and limits God’s ability to bless us and use us for His highest purposes.  The Bible says: “The Lord corrects and disciplines everyone whom He loves, and He punishes, even scourges, every son whom He accepts and welcomes to His heart and cherishes.  You must submit to and endure [correction] for discipline; God is dealing with you as with sons.” (Hebrews 12:6-7 AMP)  When we allow the Lord to deal with us about our attitudes and conduct, we are well on our way to victory.  In the heat of battle, God once told His people:  “You will not have to fight this battle.  Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you…  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.  Go out to FACE them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you." (2 Chronicles 20:17 NIV)  Facing our sin is the first step to overcoming it.

   The second step is heartfelt repentance.  Repentance goes beyond simply confessing our sin to the Lord.  A good definition for repentance is, “A change of heart, which includes sorrow for sin and a determination to live a holy life.”  Very often, we are truly sorry for our sinful behavior, but we lack a sincere determination to leave it behind.  God wants to set us free, but He expects us to do our part.  And He usually requires us to show some good, old-fashioned backbone by taking a step or two away from our sin.   We may have to avoid certain people, places, or things in order to cooperate with God’s plan for our deliverance.  Very rarely are we able to overcome habitual sins without making a considerable sacrifice of some kind.  But it will be well worth it in the end, because this kind of true repentance prepares the way for God to work mightily on our behalf.  Scripture says:  “Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him.  And all mankind will see God’s salvation.” (Luke 3:4,6 NIV)  These are the words of John the Baptist, who preached that repentance for sins would reveal God’s glory and saving power.

   Lastly, we must rely on the presence and power of God’s Spirit.  Every time we try to overcome our sins, addictions, and bad habits without depending on the Spirit of God’s enabling power, we will fail.  Zechariah 4:6 (NIV) says:  “'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the Lord Almighty.” The Living Bible translation says, “You will succeed because of My Spirit.” Our ultimate success lies in becoming more God-inside-minded, and learning to hear and heed the promptings of the Holy Spirit on a moment-by-moment basis.  You and I can rejoice because the Lord’s will for us is total freedom from everything that would hinder us from fulfilling our God-given purpose and potential.  And He’s given every believer in Christ His Spirit to guide us and strengthen us with His own divine wisdom and power.  His Word says:  "Wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  And the Lord--who is the Spirit--makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image." (2 Corinthians 3:17,18 NLT)  You were created anew in Christ to be an overcomer.  Are you ready and willing to become all that He created you to be?
   Lord, today I renew my commitment to live for You, and to turn my back on sin.  Give me the strength and the resolve I need to face my sin, and to allow You to deal with me about it.  Move me to study and meditate on Your Word, and use it to correct, guide, and train me to live a holy life. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)  Thank You that as I follow Your plan for my transformation, I will experience the victory, success, and freedom that can only come from Christ!

On Evil

"In the Bible, the serpent symbolizes evil, but according to cabbalists it can only reach certain sephiroth; beyond that, the highest region, formed of the three sephiroth Kether, Chokmah and Binah, is forbidden to it. What conclusion, then, can we draw from this statement regarding our inner life? Since we were created in the image of the universe, there is a realm within us too, where evil no longer finds favourable conditions for existence. In the sublime realms of our being and of the universe, there reign such light and such intensity of vibrations that whatever is not in harmony with this purity and light disintegrates.

Yes, evil has no right to exist in the sublime realms; it is repelled. It can only exist in the lower regions, where it roams around, wreaking havoc and tormenting humans, because in these lower layers of matter all the conditions are right for it. So, depending on which region you are in, you may or may not be reached by evil."

On Perceptions of Life

"In the swamps and jungles, you'll see nothing but animals devouring one another. But if you go much higher, among the angelic hierarchies in heaven, all you will see are beings ceaselessly giving each other love and light. Yes, on high, there is love and light but, below, hostility and merciless combat. In the same way, there are people whose desires and concerns have sunk to such depths that they can do nothing but fight and devour each other. Then, they draw conclusions about life on earth, saying it's a dog-eat-dog world, where the law of the jungle rules. Yes, it's true so long as they remain down there. But if they make their thoughts and feelings pure and luminous, they will find love and light with each other. "

It's been a while since I've posted.  Praying that all is well with the Getbig clan.  :) - Colossus

by J.M. Farro
   “Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.”  Colossians 2:8 NLT


   A young man wrote me recently asking for some advice.  He said that he had given his life to Christ two years ago, and believed that he was saved, but he was having some serious doubts about his faith.  He was attending college, and he was taking a philosophy course whose instructor was an atheist, and who professed that Christianity was utter nonsense.  This teacher insisted that people only believed in God to help themselves cope with the trials of daily living, and to console themselves with the belief that they were going to heaven someday.  He didn’t believe a word of the Bible, and he didn’t believe God was real.  Thanks to this man’s worldly philosophy, his student was wavering in his faith.

   I gave this young believer some advice straight from the Word of God.  Scripture says: "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." (Proverbs 4:23 NIV)  It also says: "Don't let others spoil your faith and joy with their philosophies, their wrong and shallow answers built on men's thoughts and ideas, instead of on what Christ has said." (Colossians 2:8 TLB)  I told this young man that it was up to HIM to “guard” his heart, and to not allow others to “spoil” his faith.  God is willing to protect us and our faith, but we must partner with Him in the process.  When we are being influenced by ungodly people and their philosophies, it’s our responsibility as followers of Christ to remove ourselves from their influence.  We must seek the Lord’s wisdom and guidance in the matter, determining to do whatever we have to in order to please Him.  The apostle Peter wrote: "Be careful!  Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy.  He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour.  Take a firm stand against him, and be strong in your faith.  Remember that Christians all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are." (1 Peter 5:8-9 NLT)  The devil can’t “devour” just anyone.  He has to search for believers who are weak and struggling in their faith, and who are receptive and vulnerable to his lies and deceptions.  Those of us who stand firm in our faith may have fleeting moments of doubt, but we will not let them take hold in ways that will open the door to destruction.

  Peter also wrote: “Be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position.  But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”  (2 Peter 3:17-18 NIV)  Becoming mature in Christ, and getting to know Him better, is our best defense against ungodly people and philosophies.  Every time we read the Bible, or listen to good preaching and teaching--taking godly principles to heart, and applying them to our lives—we have the potential to grow and mature in our faith.  Then, as the apostle Paul says:  "We will no longer be immature like children.  We won't be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching.  We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth." (Ephesians 4:14 NLT)  Whenever I get the slightest inkling that I am wavering in my faith, the first thing I do is quote Scripture, either aloud or to myself, until my doubts evaporate.  That’s because it’s the truth of God’s Word that renews our minds to think like God, instead of like the world.  Paul wrote:  "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." (Romans 12:2 NASB)  Having a working knowledge of Scripture is a powerful defense against Satan and his attacks against our minds and hearts.

   Before Jesus went to the cross, He told His disciples:  "Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you.  Not as the world gives do I give to you.  Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.  [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]" (John 14:27 AMP)  Notice that the Savior says that we should “stop allowing” ourselves to disturbed and unsettled.  As followers of Christ, we have been endued with supernatural power to resist and refuse wrong thinking and behavior, and to walk in the divine peace that is our inheritance in Christ.  Are you ready to take your stand against the ungodly philosophies of this world?

   Lord, thank You that You have equipped me with the Holy Spirit to resist thinking and acting like the world.  Remind me often to cast down arguments, theories, and reasonings—and everything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God—and to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5 AMP)  I praise You for the victory and peace I will walk in as a result!


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