Paul Rebukes Simon Peter at Antioch
“But when Simon Peter (Cephas) came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned; for until certain people came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But after they arrived, he drew back and kept himself separate for fear of the circumcision group. And the other Jews joined him in this hypocrisy, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. But when I saw that they were not acting consistently with the truth of the gospel, I said to Simon Peter (Cephas) before them all, ‘If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?’” (Galatians 2:11-14)
Paul teaches us to, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” (1 Corinthians 16:13)
“Be on your guard” against the temptations of this world—wealth, beauty, power, popularity—so Satan cannot infiltrate our hearts and homes. (Proverbs 4:23, 1 Peter 5:8, Ephesians 6:12)
“Stand firm in the faith” to stand our ground and stand on God’s Word no matter what circumstances bring. (2 Thessalonians 2:15)
“Be courageous” as we grow deeper in the Word, go deeper in prayer and delve deeper in the Spirit, courage soars. Boldness builds. We will stand against what we know is false and fight for what we know is true. (Joshua 1:9, Matthew 24:9; Acts 20:29-30)
“Be strong” because we rely not on our own strength but on God’s power at work in us. (Ephesians 6:10, Ephesians 3:20)
Paul’s words to the Galatian churches are relevant for the twenty-first century church today, especially in light of the turmoil and uncertainty that greets us each morning as we power up our computers and turn on the morning news. Will you take up the call to be strong and brave? You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you! (Philippians 4:13) With God nothing is impossible! (Luke 1:37)
©Lorraine Goodwin 1/3/2019 (Inspired through the Holy Spirit)
As we celebrate Christmas, let us not forget our gift from God. Jesus is the greatest gift of Christmas!
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
Bible references: Isaiah 7:14, James 1:17, John 3:16, 1 Corinthians 13:7, Romans 6:23, Romans 15:13, 2 Corinthians 9:15
©Lorraine Goodwin 12/23/2018 (Inspired through the Holy Spirit)
Jesus, there is no other name than Jesus! He is my light in my darkness, always by my side, leading me through to the other side. I will trust in Him with all my soul. He is the one in control. I love Jesus with all my heart, and my eyes are set on Him, with my mind made clear, to hear His voice, even when I am scared. “Don’t fear, my child,” He will say to me, “I have come to give you everlasting eternity.” I believe that the day is coming soon when Jesus will be my bridegroom and I will be His bride, and all who believe in Him, will rise high to the sky, soaring like an eagle, safe and secure beneath His wings. Earth will have passed and Heaven made new, and together, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, will reign in the new city called Jerusalem. All glory to God; all praise to Jesus! Thank you Holy Spirit for teaching me and leading me to His holy light. In Jesus’ name I pray.
©Lorraine Goodwin 12/22/2018
Many times, we here pastors preaching about tithing based on Acts 20:35, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
But, unfortunately, this scripture is taken out of context.
What Paul is telling the elders of the Ephesian church is that it is more blessed for them to give to the needy in the church, than it is for the elders to receive.
In Acts 20:33-34, Paul gives instructions to the elders from Ephesus, reminding them that, “he has not been paid with gold and silver, nor clothing, but has provided for his own needs and for those who traveled with him.” Paul did not accept payment from anyone in Ephesus. Paul not only provided for his own needs, but also for the needs of those who traveled with him.
Paul is instructing the Ephesian elders to follow in his example as he did in his own ministry. That they, too, should labor with their own hands as he has, so they can support the weak (Acts 20:35), to those who are unable to provide for themselves, and to help those with physical needs such as widows, orphans and the sick, and to those who minister with them, who are unable to work.
Pastors should not use this verse to encourage church members to give more generously in tithing, but instead, pastors should be giving sacrificially from their own pockets (of income) to help the needy and the poor in the church and to those who partner with them in their ministry.
It’s ironic, that this passage is misquoted by many pastors to encourage their church members to give generously in tithing. So the next time your pastor is using this verse out of context, “it is more blessed to give than to receive,” remember what Paul has instructed in Acts 20:35 and remind him that he should be the first one to step up to the offering plate.
©Lorraine Goodwin 12/16/2018 (Inspired through the Holy Spirit)
Worship the Lord with all your heart, for He is worthy of our praise.
Worship Him in Your mind, speaking His truth in love.
Worship God everywhere you go, and never be ashamed of who you are.
Stand firm in Your faith; worshiping Him to your dying breath, because those who believe and love Him, follow Jesus. They will become His brides, heirs of God’s Kingdom, a promise He will not break.
Worship the Lord everyday and allow the Holy Spirit to work through you, bringing you peace, joy, and happiness, for He is worthy of our praise! Amen
Written by Lorraine Goodwin 12/16/2018
As a child, I always believed in God. I always felt the presence of the Lord in and around my life. I knew that I was loved by Him and I shared that love with others. But as I grew older, my belief in who God was, started to fade away. Trying to do good for Him soon became a chore. The thrill was gone. I had grown weary in well-doing. I lost my heart. Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.” Well-doing is having the fruit of the Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23) These character qualities are not a new list of laws or moral codes that must be kept; they are the result of living and being led by the Spirit.
©Lorraine Goodwin 12/14/2018 (Inspired through the Holy Spirit)
Responsibility Of Self
Are you taking responsibility in your own personal life or are you shifting the blame onto others and everything around you? Are you making up excuses for your sinful way of life by believing that because you come from a family of alcoholics, addicts, gamblers, etc., etc., that this gives you the right to be who you are today? We all start off in life as babies, with someone always there to tend to us. We are loved and cared for. We are fed, clothed, kept clean and given a warm bed to sleep in at night. Life is good being cared for because there is no responsibility. But as we grow and mature, our lives begin to change, and soon, personal responsibility is handed out in small portions, such as clearing the table, folding the laundry, clothing ourselves, and making our beds, etc.. We learn that with responsibility, there comes a reward but with irresponsibility, there is a penalty. Suffering in sin has a less-than-desirable effect on our minds, hearts, and reality. When we become adults, we are now responsible for our own self. Now is the time for us to quit making excuses for our actions and shifting the blame onto others and things around us. We need to listen to Paul and ‘put the ways of childhood behind us’ (1 Corinthians 13:11).
God repeatedly tells us of right and wrong in the bible. Adam was given a specific command and expected to obey it (Genesis 2:15). But, Adam tried to blame Eve for his sin and God for giving him her (Genesis 3:12). Later, Adam’s son Cain was warned by God that he would be held personally responsible for his actions (Genesis 4:7). Cain tried to avoid responsibility (Genesis 4:9). By blaming others and things of this world, we are not taking responsibility for ourselves. Thus, we are going against God’s law and as God clearly states, “You may be sure that your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23). We all have the personal responsibility, “to repent and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15). Those who choose to reject the truth of God “are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). Come to Christ now, repent of your sins and be washed of your guilt. Start by being responsible for yourself.
©Lorraine Goodwin 12/10/2018 (Inspired through the Holy Spirit)
God’s Sovereign Choice
The passage, Roman 9:11 in Scripture, is talking about the integrity of God. Paul is addressing this to converted Jews that he was teaching to at the time. You see, the Jews thought they were being replaced – that God had forsaken them and that they would not be His first “chosen ones” any longer. But Paul is saying, “No! This is not true! God has not changed His mind. He does not favor the Gentiles over you because then the Gentiles would come to believe that God is going to be unfaithful to them at any given time.” God’s word is based on the deep foundation of His promises of faithfulness given by His sovereign grace (Romans 8). God does not break His word. Now, we know that God knows all things, so who are we to question His authority in His decisions? When it comes to God’s election, yes, we can be a part of it, but some will not be saved. God foreknew this when He elected Israel as His chosen people. Look what happened out in the wilderness to the Israelites and how many actually were “elected” and saved?
God calls on specific people to do specific tasks, all for His glory. God anointed Cyrus (Isaiah 45:1) but yet he was not saved. He also chose Jacob over Esau, “in order for God’s purpose in election might stand” (vs.11). God did not predestine sin. God knew all were sinners. But, God graphed in the Gentiles with the Jews so that all could be united with Christ. Paul is giving warning to the Gentile Christians that if God could break off those Jews who disobeyed Him then God too could do the same to the Gentiles. Bottom line, it all comes down to the attitude and the behavior towards God in all of this. Who are they to question who God chooses or what He does in His “election?”
Jesus Christ is the testing stone for the Jew and the Gentile.” This is all God’s work, God’s business, His plan and His will.
The last phrase in Romans 9 clearly states, “whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame!” This means that Christians are to truly believe in the son of God, Jesus Christ, by faith and obey the commandments that are written in the gospel. But, Paul will point out in the next chapter (10:16) “… not all obeyed the gospel.”
©?Lorraine Goodwin 12/4/2018 (Inspired through the Holy Spirit)