Hospitality Expands the Kingdom of Heaven By Bobby Schuller

Originally posted here: https://hourofpower.org/hospitality-expands-the-kingdom-of-heaven/

“When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying.”

– Acts 12:12

Anyone who understands my heart knows that I am big on hospitality, whether in the church or at home. The reason I’m so passionate about making people feel welcome is because I truly believe that it opens up their hearts to receive the love of Jesus. When others know that they are safe in our presence, they feel free to let their guard down and receive healing and forgiveness. This brings me to a sometimes overlooked part of a well-known story in the book of Acts that refers to John Mark’s mother, who was named Mary. Peter had just escaped from prison and somehow knew that he would find his brothers and sisters at her residence. From his familiarity with it, we can infer that her home had become a prominent place of meeting for the church, after persecution drove it away from the temple and into hiding. Since the house is described as belonging to her, we can also assume that she was widowed and probably quite wealthy, as her property had an outer gate and could accommodate many people. Somehow the believers felt safe there, and her courage and hospitality enabled the power of God to flood the lives of those early Christians so the Gospel could continue to be spread.

My friend, you don’t need to evangelize thousands to make a difference in the Kingdom of God. Never underestimate the power of an act as simple as opening up your home to a stranger or taking an acquaintance to lunch. Whatever the Lord has blessed and entrusted you with can be used to bring His love to those who are frightened and wandering. When you endeavor to make safe the various atmospheres that surround you, your hospitality opens hearts and expands the Kingdom of Heaven. Hang a welcome sign on the door of your life and make it a place through which weary souls can enter and find respite, retreat, and a living example of Jesus.

Prayer
Jesus, make my life, my home, and everything you have entrusted me with a vehicle of your hospitality.

Reflection
How has your life been impacted by the hospitality of others?

Today’s Word with Joel & Victoria Osteen Ministries

https://www.joelosteen.com/Pages/Blog.aspx?blogid=14189

Today’s Scripture
“Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe…”
(Mark 5:36, NIV)
Wake Up
A synagogue leader named Jairus came to Jesus and pleaded, “Will You please come to my house and heal my little daughter who’s dying?” Jesus said He would, but then was delayed to the point that news came that the girl had died. Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” When Jesus arrived at the house, everyone was upset and crying. He said to them, “The child is not dead but asleep.” He went in and said to the girl, “Wake up,” and instantly she stood up and was perfectly well.

You may have dreams you’ve given up on, promises you think there’s no way they can happen now. The good news is they’re not dead, they’re just asleep. God is about to wake up what you thought was dead. He’s going to bring to life dreams you’ve given up on. Now do your part and start believing, get your hopes up. Your dreams are waking up right now.

A Prayer for Today
“Father, thank You that no matter what happens in my life, You have the final say. Thank You that I can get my hopes up and choose to not dwell on negative reports. I believe that You are waking up the promises and breathing life into my dreams. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

Today’s Word with Joel & Victoria Osteen Ministries

https://www.joelosteen.com/Pages/Blog.aspx?blogid=14188

Today’s Scripture
“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path…”
(Psalm 119:105, NIV)
Step-by-Step
God has a detailed plan for your life. He knows your final destination and the best way to get you there, but God doesn’t show you the details. The Scripture says His Word is a lamp for your feet. A lamp implies you have enough light to see the life path in front of you, but not for the next fifty years. If you trust Him and take that next step into the unknown, not knowing the outcome, He’ll lead you step-by-step into your destiny.

The question is, will you be bold and take the next step that God gives you with the light you have? The unknown is where miracles happen, where you discover abilities you never knew you had, and where you’ll accomplish more than you ever dreamed. If you have the courage to do what you know He’s asking you to do, He has the provision, the favor, and all that you need to go to the next level.

A Prayer for Today
“Father, thank You that what lies ahead and is unknown to me is well known to You. I choose to rely on Your strength and Your Word that guides me step-by-step. I trust that You will go before me and take me to the next level. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

Embrace What You Can’t Explain By Bobby Schuller

Originally posted here: https://hourofpower.org/embrace-what-you-cant-explain/

“Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy.”

– Acts 5:17

It’s interesting that the Sadducees, the same ones who put Jesus to death, were also the force behind much of the persecution in the early Church, including the death of Stephen, the first Christian martyr, and probably the death of James, who lost his life by the sword at the hand of Herod Agrippa and was the first of the twelve apostles to be martyred for the faith. Feeling empowered by their successful attempts to rid the world of these early church leaders, this political religious class of Jews, which held that there was no supernatural world, set their sights on Peter and John, who would not stop preaching, teaching, and being Jesus to those around them, no matter how scared they were. Because of their relentless pursuit of the Savior, the Sadduccees were constantly forced to witness acts of spiritual power — miracles, healings, changed lives, and a host of other things that pointed to the fact that their view of the world was wrong. They were continually confronted with the truth that the Lord did act supernaturally and do things that were beyond their ability to command. However, instead of acknowledging what they witnessed, they continued pursuing their contrived view of a God who served them, and they lived by the rules of a religion that they controlled. In short, they were extremely jealous and uncomfortable and they wanted to keep doing it their way.

My friend, don’t let the fear of something you don’t understand keep you from embracing it as true. There are elements in your walk with God that will always be beyond your ability to explain and certainly beyond your ability to control. Rather than running from those things and protecting a religion that puts Jesus in a box, choose to accept that He is far greater than your own comprehension. Closed minds and hearts always result in misery for those denying and persecution for those holding a contrary view. Let go of your need to explain everything you see, and your relationship with God will soar to heights you could never reach through the power of your own intellect!

Prayer
Jesus, flood my heart with awe and acceptance of your incomprehensible power, and help me to be at peace with your mystery.

Reflection
How do you feel when you witness something that you can’t explain? Are you willing to alter your stance if it contradicts what you’ve previously accepted as true?

Today’s Word with Joel & Victoria Osteen Ministries

https://www.joelosteen.com/Pages/Blog.aspx?blogid=14188

Today’s Scripture
“…Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha…”
(2 Kings 6:17, NIV)
Surrounded by the Most High
Elisha’s assistant thought they were surrounded by the enemy army until the Lord opened his eyes. Suddenly, he looked out and saw the hills full of powerful, warring angels with their horses and chariots of fire. The enemy was surrounded by our God.

Like this man, you may be surrounded by trouble, but what you can’t see with your natural eyes is that the Most High God is surrounding what’s surrounding you. If God pulled back the curtain, you would see powerful angels at work on your behalf, protecting you, pushing back the forces of darkness. You would see God moving the wrong people out of the way, lining up things in your favor, arranging healings and deliverance. If you only focus on what you see with your physical eyes—the sickness, the addiction, the obstacle—you’ll be worried and discouraged. Through eyes of faith, you need to see that every obstacle that’s holding you back is surrounded by the Most High.

A Prayer for Today
“Father, thank You that no matter what trouble I face, I can stay in peace knowing that You are surrounding me, and You can turn every situation around and put an end to it. I declare that You are greater than any force that comes against me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

Say “Yes” to Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone By Bobby Schuller

Originally posted here: https://hourofpower.org/say-yes-to-stepping-out-of-your-comfort-zone/

“Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, ‘Look at us!’ So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Then Peter said, ‘Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.’”

– Acts 3:2-6

Imagine that a handicapped beggar shows up at your church every day to ask for money, just like he has for years. He hits the staff up on their way into work and he’s always there on Sundays to make His presence known. He’s gotten used to his plight and he’s content living off the gifts of others; the last thing he expects is to be healed. Such was the case with the man at the gate called Beautiful. One rather uneventful morning, he showed up at his usual spot and began begging. However, that day brought a very unexpected encounter, and he happened upon Peter and John as they were entering the temple. Rather than putting money in his pan, they called upon the power of the Name of Jesus, laid hands on him, and he was healed! Talk about upsetting the routine. The man immediately rose to his feet and ran into the temple with his hands in the air praising and glorifying God, and everyone watching was astonished. Not only that, it created an opportunity for Peter to boldly preach and proclaim the Gospel to the gathered crowd.

Friend, if the beggar in this story was at your church, would you be the one to pray for him? Would you step out of your comfort zone and call upon the Name of Jesus to heal, as only He can? Even if you don’t see it manifest in the same miraculous way, my encouragement to you is to be the one who always expects God to do more. Fill your life with His presence and call upon His Spirit to be revealed in and through you. Then, when the opportunity presents itself, be proactive and seize the chance to be a vessel that proves to others what your Savior can do. Say “yes” to Him and the world will be changed by the power of the Gospel!

Prayer
Jesus, I ask for opportunities to step out of my comfort zone and call upon your Name for the healing of others.

Reflection
Had you been at the temple, would you have prayed for the man at the gate? Why or why not?