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Looming Large

Daily Reading: Acts 18

Scripture Focus: I have many in this city who are my people. (Acts 18.11)

Devotional Thought: Several years ago, I went through a very difficult time in my life and ministry. During this time, I let those problems grow way out of proportion. I lost my focus on God, and could only see the problems around me. God helped me to get refocused on him, however, and to regain my spiritual perspective.

In Acts 18, Paul was in danger of doing that, as he ministered to the Corinthians. And, just as God did for me, he did for Paul. He spoke to Paul one night and reminded him that he was with him, and more than that - that God had many other people who were with Paul as well. Paul took courage from that message from the Lord, and stayed another 18 months, preaching the gospel and establishing the church.

I am reminded of the story in 2 Kings 6, where the servant of Elisha could only see the Syrian army surrounding them in Dothan. He despaired, crying, "Alas my master! What shall we do?" Elisha had the perfect answer: get your eyes off the enemy of man and on the army of God... "O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see." When the servant opened his spiritual eyes, he saw indeed that "the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha."

Are problems looming large in your life? You need to make sure that you have the right spiritual focus. He has not left you, and he also gives you helpers all around. "Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in his wonderful face. And the things [problems] of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace."

Prayer: Lord, when troubles surround me, help me to keep my spiritual focus on you - to fix my eyes on Jesus, and to find courage and comfort in those whom you send to help me. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 71.9-16

9 Do not cast me off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength is spent. 10 For my enemies speak concerning me; those who watch for my life consult together 11 and say, “God has forsaken him; pursue and seize him, for there is none to deliver him.”

12 O God, be not far from me; O my God, make haste to help me! 13 May my accusers be put to shame and consumed; with scorn and disgrace may they be covered who seek my hurt. 14 But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more. 15 My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge. 16 With the mighty deeds of the Lord God I will come; I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone.

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