Day 351-352: Acts 28:1-31 Light in the Darkness
This is the last chapter of Acts but not the last one of the lives of Paul. This chapter did record that Paul was imprisoned but he wisely used his time there to share the gospel with the authority and the visitors. Church tradition records that Paul was finally executed by Roman emperor Neo a few years later. Luke finished this book with a clear statement that no matter where Paul was or under what condition he was bounded for, Paul always remembered his calling and fulfilled his mission. His story reminds that God may not change our difficult situation instead He is using us to be the light at such moment.
Day 353: Ephesians 1:15-2:13 Source of joyfulness
Paul wrote this letter while he was imprisoned. He did not express any frustration due to his situation but instead he showed thankfulness because he heard all the good news from the Ephesian church. The brothers and sisters in the church experienced the grace of God and got redeemed through the blood of Christ. God continually did His works amongst them. Such good news gave Paul the encouragement. Where do you get the encouragement – from His words, works and Kingdom or from our own situations or conditions?
Day 354: Ephesians 2:14-3:21 Amazing works of God?!
The faithfulness of brothers and sisters in Ephesian church gave Paul lots of encouragement. It did not happen easily. Indeed the church was started up in the city proud of their own god – Diana - and temple – one of the seven wonders in ancient world – packed with thousands of temple prostitutes. Paul met a few group of faithful brothers and sisters and started the church there. Then he saw the amazing works of God that brought together Gentiles and Jews by the blood of Christ. Do you see any amazing works of God around you (not necessarily about you)? That is your joy and strength!
Day 355-356: Ephesians 4:1-5:20 What matters!
“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” Paul made this statement when he was a prisoner. He did not use his authority to make a charge. Instead, he demonstrated to us a life worthy of calling. He suffered but he had joys. He was beaten but he never lost hope. That is what matters: “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” What matters to you right now? Is it something that you would lose it? Or is it something that has eternal value and impact?
Day 357: Reflection on this week of devotion!
Day 358-359: Ephesians 5:21-6:20 Christ-centered relationship
Paul demonstrates to us why Christ should be the center of our family relationship, which indirectly helps us to understand the relationship between church and God. Therefore, the true meaning and purpose of marriage is reviewed. There is no better way to understand the true nature of marriage when Christ is not sitting in the center of our relationship. Let’s pray that we are able to see the truth of marriage.
Day 360: Colossians 1:1-2:5 We get the Answer
“And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. (1:9-12)” - the Answer to our common questions of living – what should I do? How should I live?
Day 361: Colossians 3:1-25 Holy Living
Do you need more instruction on how to live for Christ? Here it is! The passage gives us more details and summarises it as “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (3:17)”
Day 362: Philemon 1-25 Redeemed and Repaired
In Christ, all broken relationships can be redeemed and repaired with submission, obedience, thankfulness and forgiveness. In this letter, Paul made a revolutionary request to Philemon that he was asked to accept his slave, Onesimus, as his brother in Christ. He is no more a salve to Philemon. This all can happen only when we realize we are forgiven and redeemed by the blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ first!
Day 363: Titus 2:1-3:8 Forever Truth!
Paul wrote this letter to help Titus deal with various groups of people in his ministries – older men & women, younger men & women, slaves – that “they should say “No” to ungodliness & worldly passions and live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age” (2:12). Still applicable today!
Day 364-365: 1 Tim 1:1-3:8 The Lord is my shepherd
The last day for this year devotion. We end at this book that Paul encouraged Timothy to stay strong when he is dealing with all the challenges in the church. It is real that there are many challenges in serving God but Christ has given us Holy Spirit, His words, His promise and His love to strengthen us. “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1)