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  • Acts 7:58 – First mention of Paul.
  • Acts 8:1-3 – Paul persecutes Christians.
  • Acts 9:1-6, 9, 11 – Jesus appears to Paul on the road to Damascus.
  • Acts 9:18-22 – Paul was converted and began teaching Christ.

Paul confessed his sins completely.

  • I Corinthians 15:8
  • I John 1:10
  • I Timothy 1:12-16

Paul learned how to truly love people.

  • The old Paul:
    • Acts 26:10-11 – Paul was violent against Christians!
  • The new Paul:
    • II Corinthians 7:3; 12:15; Philippians 1:8 – He helped and encouraged them to repent like he did.
  • I Corinthians 9:19, 22; 8:9, 13
  • It must have been difficult for Paul to love those who were less zealous in their beliefs than he was, yet he did that with the Corinthians.
  • I Corinthians 9:20
  • Philippians 3:5-6
  • Acts 26:15-18 – Paul was a Pharisee sent to the Gentiles.
  • Galatians 3:28
  • Ephesians 3:1, 6

Paul defended every inch of God’s truth.

  • Acts 15
  • Acts 26:25
  • Don’t overreact to error and swing too far the other way!
  • Psalms 119:1-2

For further study, see also:

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We are commanded to be grateful

  • Ephesians 5:20
  • I Thessalonians 5:16-18
  • Matthew 7:21
  • David – I Chronicles 16:7-11
    • Psalm 136 – The writer of this psalm constantly stops to be thankful.
  • Daniel – Daniel 6:10
    • We should be thankful to God whether things are good or bad.

How to overcome ingratitude

  • Prayer can often help us get our attitude right.
  • Don’t take your blessings for granted.
    • Psalms 103:1-5
    • Luke 17:11-19 – Only one of the ten lepers who were cured return to thank Jesus.
    • “Blessed are those who give without remembering and those who can receive without forgetting.” – Elizabeth Asquith Bibesco
  • Don’t focus on your problems and troubles
    • The key is contentment.
      • I Timothy 6:8
      • Hebrews 13:5
      • Philippians 4:10-13 – Paul was in prison when he wrote this! He had learned to be content in all circumstances.
      • Fanny Crosby
        • She was content and even thankful for her blindness!
  • Count your blessings
  • Stop complaining
  • Remember where your blessings come from.
    • I Corinthians 15:10 – Paul knew.
    • Luke 12:16-21 – The rich farmer didn’t.

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Acts 17:30-31:

And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

Judgment is coming. It is certain. Thus, it behooves us to consider the question of Job 31:14: “What then shall I do when God riseth up? And when he visiteth, what shall I answer him?” Most live their lives without giving this momentous question much thought. Let us not make this mistake, for judgment is coming.

Judgment is sure. “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Acts 9:27). All things will be made known then - even secret things. “In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” (Romans 2:12) “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” (Ecclesiastes. 12:14) How would you like for one to reveal to this congregation every thought you have had the last seven days? God knows, “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” (Hebrews 4:13) All will be open at the judgment, every deed (Colossians 3:17), every word (Matthew 12:37), every thought (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). Thus, it so behooves us to live so that our record will be clear on that day.

There will be no excuses at the judgment. People make many excuses now: too busy, not enough time, not enough ability, intend to do it soon, let someone else do it, etc. Jesus never did accept excuses while on earth; thus, He will receive none at the judgment (Matthew 7:21-23).

Judgment will be individual. It will not be what parents believed or did, what wife believed or did, what brethren believed or did. It will just be God and me (Galatians 6:7-8).

Consider the opportunities the sinner will not have at the judgment. He cannot believe unto salvation. I did not say that the sinner will not then believe, for he will, but too late (Philippians 2:10-11). He cannot repent unto remission of sins. He will repent – have a change of heart, but to no avail. He cannot confess unto salvation. Yes, he will confess Jesus to be Lord but to no benefit. He cannot be baptized for remission of sins. He then will be baptized (Matthew 3:11-12). But he will think less of that baptism than he did of baptism in Jesus’ Name. He can plead with Jesus (Matthew 7:22-23) but the answer will be “Depart, I never knew you.”

If we now consider God’s judgment and prepare, we will have opportunities that we do not have now. We will hear Him say “well done” (Matthew 5:21). We will have glorious bodies like Jesus (Philippians 3:21). We will see Him as He is (1 John 3:2). We will ever be with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

We will be as the angels of heaven (Matthew 22:30). We will have blessings unmanageable.

The wise will take advantage of opportunities now that will result with these glorious opportunities then.

Jesse G. Jenkins

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Simon Peter before Luke 5

  • Luke 4:31, 38; John 1:44; I Corinthians 9:5 – Peter was a married fisherman from Bethsaida.
  • John 1:35-42 – Peter met Jesus through his brother Andrew.
  • Mark 1:29-31; Luke 4:38-39

The Scene (Luke 5)

  • Peter, Andrew, James, and John are cleaning up after an unsuccessful night of fishing (Luke 5:2, 5; Matthew 4:18-22).

“At your word I will let down the nets”

  • Peter calls Jesus “Master”
  • Jesus command probably didn’t make much sense to Peter.
    • He obeyed
    • Jesus as an example (Matthew 26:39, 42; John 6:38; Philippians 2:8)
  • Worldly wisdom and God’s word are often in conflict.
  • We must know God’s word.

Bible examples

  • Noah
  • Abraham
  • Conquering Jericho

Practical applications for today

  • Matthew 5:21-26
  • Matthew 5:27-30
  • Matthew 5:31-32; 19:3-9
  • Matthew 5:38-42; Romans 12:17, 19
  • Matthew 5:43-48; 7:12
  • Romans 14 – Foregoing a liberty

Breaking nets and sinking boats

  • By Luke 5:8, what is Peter’s main concern? His own sin!
  • Isaiah 6:5
  • This is not the last time Peter is afraid (Matthew 14:30; 17:6; Galatians 2:12).
  • Peter now calls Jesus “Lord” (Luke 5:8)
  • What is the connection between what Peter experienced (aw and felt) and what he said?
  • Sometimes our lives must crumble before we seek God.
    • I John 2:15-17; Hebrews 4:16; James 4:8
    • Matthew 27:3-5 – Contrast with Judas.
  • I Peter 5:5
  • Other Bible characters whose lives crumbled, yet remained steadfast:
    • Naomi – Ruth 1
    • Job – James 5:11
  • Being a following of Jesus means humbling ourselves – emptying ourselves of our own will and desires and replacing them with God’s.
  • How to remain steadfast during difficult times?
    • Build strength during easier times (Did Job get that way overnight (Job 1:8)?)
    • Lean on God – Psalm 55:22; I Peter 5:6-7
    • Lean on fellow Christians – I Peter 4:8-9
    • Read, study, and meditate on the Bible (Psalms 119:105)
    • Pray and sing (James 1:5-6; 5:13; Colossians 3:16)
    • Shun worldly wisdom (Proverbs 16:22, 25)

Leaving everything and following Jesus

  • Jesus as comforter – Luke 5:10; Matthew 5:4
  • They left everything.
    • I Peter 1:3-9
  • Jesus call, rejected – Matthew 19:22
  • Matthew 10:38
    • Matthew 16:24
  • I Corinthians 15:58 – We are called to work.
  • What is something you’re holding on to that is preventing you from following Jesus fully?

For further study, see also:

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  • We’re told religion must be saved from extremism.

Jesus is the way

  • John 14:6 – “I am THE way.”
    • John 8:21-24
    • Acts 4:12 – “Neither is there salvation in any other.”
    • Mark 16:16
    • John 6:44-45 – Man is to be taught, then learn and come to God.
    • Matthew 7:21
    • Mark 16:15-16 – Those that don’t believe will be condemned.
    • John 15:6
  • I Corinthians 6:9-10 – Adulterers shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
    • Matthew 19:9 – Jesus teaches that after a divorce, all remarriages are adulterous relationships, with one exception.

Worship must be as God commanded

  • John 4:23-24 – Worship must be in spirit (from the heart) and in truth.
  • I John 1:9 – We must abide in the teaching of Christ.
    • The truth – the teaching of Christ
      • Sing – vocal music from the heart
        • Acts 16:25
        • Romans 15:4
        • I Corinthians 14:15
        • Ephesians 5:19
        • Colossians 3:16
        • Hebrews 2:12
        • James 5:13
      • Lord’s Supper on the first day of the week
        • Matthew 26:29
        • Acts 20:7
      • The unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God
        • I Corinthians 6:9-10 – homosexuals, drunkards, thieves, covetous

Conflict with the world

  • Some contend that such extremism promotes physical fighting and wars, and terrorism against others.
    • II Corinthians 5:11; 10:3-5 – We do not war according to the flesh. We must bring every thought into captivity.
    • Ephesians 6:11-20
  • As we persuade men, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, as Christ did …
    • John 7:7 – The world hated Jesus.
    • John 15:18-19 – The world hated Jesus’ disciples.
    • II Timothy 3:12 – Living godly includes being an extremist like Jesus and His disciples.

For further study, see also:

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