Word for the Week...JUNE 13-19/2005

"Now about that time Herod the King streched forth his hands to vex certain of the Church.(v.2) And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.(v.3) And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) (v.4) And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison and delivered him to four quarternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.(v.5) Peter therefore was kept in prison:but prayer was made without ceasing unto God for him.(v.6) And when Herod would have brought him forth,the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers,bound with two chains:and the keepers before the door kept the prison(v.7) And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.(v.8) And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself and bind on thy sandals, and so he did. And he saith unto him, cast thy garment about thee and follow me.(v.9) And he went out and followed him and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel: but thought he saw a vision.(v.10) When they were past the first and second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord:and they went out and passed on through one street: and forthwith the angel departed from him.(v.11) And when Peter was come to himself, he said, now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod,and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.(v.12) And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.(v.13) And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken named Rhoda.(v.14) And when she knew Peter's voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in and told how Peter stood before the gate.(v.15) And thy said unto her Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, it is his angel.(v.16) But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door and saw him, they were astonished.(v.17) But he, beckoning to them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go show these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed and went into another place." Can we handle it, when our prayers are answered???! This passage concerns the miraculous escape of Peter from prison as a direct result of intercession by the early Church! It is one thing to see another's prayers answered, but what about our own? The temptation has always been to.... 'expect the worst,and you won't be dissapointed!'...but the changes that are brought about by sudden success can be challenging, to say the least! In a similar way to the disciples,(v.16),we can be 'astonished' as well! James, in fulfilment of prophesy; (Mark 10:39), was the first Apostle to be martyred.This event marked a new attitude of hostility toward the Church, from the Jews. The 'days of unleavened bread' were the seven holy days following the 'Passover'.(A.V.'Easter'is incorrect here).Because of these holy days an execution would be delayed,so Peter was Imprisoned.A quaternion was a squad of four soldiers.Four of these were used, in three hour intervals, to cover the night watch.You see, the Romans knew how to delegate,as well as how to subjugate! We can learn much from their tactics,as did Paul (Eph.6:14-18)... (v.5)In many parts of the world, the Church continues to practice continuing, earnest prayer. The results, in revival and soulwinning are abundantly evident,Praise God! The western Church may be ahead materially, but is it 'on fire' spiritually? With humility, we can learn much,but pride will only produce ignorance!(Prov.16:5). Remember the three kinds of people?... [1] the ones who did it [2] the ones who saw it [3] the ones who knew nothing about it !!! ............................................. May The Lord deliver us from being No.[3]. !!! The Lord Is Sovereign.Both time and space,in which we dwell, are subject to Him, because He Created them.'Is anything too hard for The Lord'?(Gen.18:14)Certainly not the opening of prison doors.We often sing 'My chains fell off ',dutifully and traditionally! (v.7),but have we really considered the true meaning of those words? We who are Christ's have been delivered from the bondage of the enemy;satan, in order that we may one day share in the glories of Heaven,knowing abundant Life here and now, through Jesus Christ our Lord. No wonder Peter took 'time out'(v.17).When something as powerfully dramatic as that takes place,one needs time alone with The Lord to pray and spiritually digest it's implications.Eventually,Peter was also martyred for his faith.The timing was in The Lord's Hands;(Ecc.3:12).Our faith level will rise as we S-E-E-K... [S]tand on His Word...[E]xpect Him to move...[E]liminate doubt...[K]eep trusting and obeying Him... May The Lord Bless you.

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