Friday Morning Prayers (Wk38/2022) – Acts 17:16-34

Paul in Athens

16 Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was greatly angered when he saw that the city was full of idols.

17 So he had discussions in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the market place day after day with any who happened to be there.

18 And some of the [1]Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to engage in conversation with him. And some said, “What could this idle babbler [with his eclectic, scrap-heap learning] have in mind to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a proclaimer of strange deities”—because he was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.

19 They took him and brought him to the [2]Areopagus (Hill of Ares, the Greek god of war), saying, “May we know what this [strange] new teaching is which you are proclaiming?

20 For you are bringing some startling and strange things to our ears; so we want to know what they mean.”

21 (Now all the Athenians and the foreigners visiting there used to spend their [leisure] time in nothing other than telling or hearing something new.)

Sermon on Mars Hill

22 So Paul, standing in the center of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I observe [with every turn I make throughout the city] that you are very religious and devout in all respects.

23 Now as I was going along and carefully looking at your objects of worship, I came to an altar with this inscription: ‘TO AN [3]UNKNOWN GOD.’ Therefore what you already worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.

24 The God who created the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands;

25 nor is He [4]served by human hands, as though He needed anything, because it is He who gives to all [people] life and breath and all things.

26 And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands and territories.

27 This was so that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grasp for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. 28 For in Him we live and move and exist [that is, in Him we actually have our being], as even some of [5]your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’

29 So then, being God’s children, we should not think that the Divine Nature (deity) is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination or skill of man.

30 Therefore God overlooked and disregarded the formerages of ignorance; but now He commands all people everywhere to repent [that is, to change their old way of thinking, to regret their past sins, and to seek God’s purpose for their lives],

31 because He has set a day when He will judge the inhabited world in righteousness by a Man whom He has appointed and destined for that task, and He has provided credible proof to everyone by raising Him from the dead.”

32 Now when they heard [the term] resurrection from the dead, [6]some mocked and sneered; but others said, “We will hear from you again about this matter.”

33 So Paul left them.

34 But some men joined him and believed; among them were Dionysius, [a judge] of the Council of Areopagus, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

Acts 17:16-34 (AMP)

Footnotes

  1. Acts 17:18 These were among the leading philosophies of the day. Neither believed in a personal God; indeed, the Epicureans were confirmed atheists. Their goal was to get as much out of life as possible. The Stoics had a strong, fatalistic sense of duty, seeking to improve the inner man.
  2. Acts 17:19 Also known as Mars Hill, named for Mars, the Roman god of war. It was the place where the ancient Greek Areopagus Council convened and had varying powers in the course of its history. In Roman times it was where the supreme government of Athens met.
  3. Acts 17:23 While the philosophers had little or no regard for the old mythological gods of the Greeks, the temples to various deities remained and worship practices continued, at least as a formal tradition. The altar to the Unknown seems to have been constructed for the purpose of acknowledging any god who had been overlooked. Paul seized upon it as an opportunity to introduce the Greeks to Christ.
  4. Acts 17:25 Here Paul uses an unusual word which normally refers to healing. He was educated in classical Greek literature to some extent (see note v 28 and 22:3), and what he says here recalls earlier arguments by Plato (in his dialogues the Euthyphro and the Symposium) which should have struck a responsive chord in the listeners. In the dialogues, Plato represents Socrates as analyzing the nature of service to a god, and points out that the god can only receive actual benefit from service if he is in need or lacking something. Paul masterfully adapts himself to the thinking of the Athenians, demonstrating to them that the gods whom they serve with sacrifices and worship cannot really be gods at all, unless it is possible for a god to have faults or needs that have to be satisfied. This is also a good point for the Christian to bear in mind; believers are to serve God, but this is not a service that in any way actually benefits Him, because He is perfect and in no need of anything which man can supply. The same is true for the sacrificial system of the OT. While God is represented there as demanding sacrifices and sometimes enjoying their pleasant aromas, the sacrifices did not actually benefit Him. In reality they pointed ahead to the supreme sacrifice of Christ, which was the ultimate payment for mankind’s sins.
  5. Acts 17:28 Paul was probably exposed to Greek literature when he studied with Gamaliel, and quoting or paraphrasing a line from one of their poets would have surprised and kept the attention of the audience. See note 22:3.
  6. Acts 17:32 See note v 18.

Lion Bites – Global Prophetic Alliance – Live, Move, Exist

You are entering the days of deeper experiential knowledge and living out of these words, found in the book of Acts (17:27-28, NLT):

“His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’”

As My church finds her identity she will pick up her leadership mantle that was discarded to be accepted by the world. The nations will not seek Me until my bride seeks Me.

To live and move and exist in Me you must leave your desire for control behind. Look to me for your function and identity and let me lead you into the most excellent way, the way of my kingdom.

I call you and send you because you are My offspring, My immediate descendants who have full sonship and bear My image. When you My bride, give up control and simply be my children, that is when you will begin to move with Me in My fullness and in your inheritance. When you move in My fullness the nations will turn aside to see My excellent spirit.

Activation: Ask God to meet you where you are in your understanding of your own sonship with Him. Ask the Lord to show you where you are fighting Him for control and why there is mistrust in that area. Give Him your mistrust and receive His fullness as a son or daughter.

And why have I called you for this work? Why did I call you by name when you did not know me? It is for the sake of Jacob my servant, Israel my chosen one.

Isaiah 45:4 (NLT

Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm.

Daniel 6:3 (NKJV)

Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

John 20:21 (NIV)

#lionbites

Lion Bites – Global Prophetic Alliance – My Shape Is Your Shape

I am taking my bride through a transformational process of refining, re-identification, and consecration.

You have become something you were never meant to be.

You are mine and I will shape you. Do not be ashamed, simply follow the way I lead, and let me show you who you are. My bride, my beloved, I know you and call you by your true name.

Some of you have been feeling unexplained frustration and discontentment; this is your spirit bearing witness that you are not aligning with the identity I ordained and proclaimed at your beginning.

I created you. I know your inner workings. I know your true shape. It is time to loosen the constraints you have accepted from the world that have distorted your form. Trust me, I will show you the most excellent way.

In the refining I will remove the impurities that are not of Me. Your appetites will change as you follow after Me. Let the things fall from your form as you keep Me in your sight.

People who knew you once will look at you and not recognize you as your identity will be shaped by Me. This will cause you to feel outcast from those familiar to you, but you are being set aside for Me and brought into communion with Me.

I will bring that group through the fire and make them pure. I will refine them like silver and purify them like gold. They will call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.’”

Zechariah 13:9 (NLT)

But now, O Jacob, listen to the LORD who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.”

Isaiah 43:1 (NLT)

And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

John 20:22 (NIV)

Activation: Spend some time with the Lord and ask Him where in life you fit His shape and where you don’t.

As you talk with the Lord decide and settle in your heart to trust Him and surrender the appetites, habits, and relationships that don’t fit His shape for you. Let His breath of life fill you and shape you like the wind in a sail.

#lionbites

Invite The Holy Spirit Into Your Day | A Blessed Morning Prayer To Start Your Day With God

Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous ones [those whose moral and spiritual integrity places them in right standing with God], And praise and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.

Psalm 97:12 (AMP)

The [reverent] fear of the Lord[that is, worshiping Him and regarding Him as truly awesome] is the beginning and the preeminent part of wisdom [its starting point and its essence], And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding and spiritual insight.

Proverbs 9:10 (AMP)

And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him—the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and strength, the Spirit of knowledge and of the [reverential and obedient] fear of the Lord—

Isaiah 11:2 (AMP)

For the high and exalted One He who inhabits eternity, Whose name is Holy says this, “I dwell on the high and holy place, But also with the contrite and humble in spirit In order to revive the spirit of the humble And to revive the heart of the contrite [overcome with sorrow for sin].

Isaiah 57:15 (AMP)

26 Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you, and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

27 I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My ordinances and do them.

Ezekiel 36:26-27 (AMP)

Then he said to me, “This [continuous supply of oil] is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel [prince of Judah], saying, ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit [of whom the oil is a symbol],’ says the Lord of hosts.

Zechariah 6:8 (AMP)

Jesus answered, “Be careful that no one misleads you [deceiving you and leading you into error].

Matthew 24:4 (AMP)

for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

Luke 12:12 (AMP)

God is spirit [the Source of life, yet invisible to mankind], and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

John 4:24 (AMP)

But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit , whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you.

John 14:26 (AMP)

But when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth [full and complete truth]. For He will not speak on His own initiative, but He will speak whatever He hears [from the Father—the message regarding the Son], and He will disclose to you what is to come [in the future].

John 16:13 (AMP)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.

24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the [1]sinful nature together with its passions and appetites.

25 If we [claim to] live by the [Holy] Spirit, we must also walk by the Spirit [with personal integrity, godly character, and moral courage—our conduct empowered by the Holy Spirit].

Galatians 5:22-25 (AMP)

Footnotes
Galatians 5:24 Lit flesh.

So whoever rejects and disregards this is not [merely] rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you [to dwell in you and empower you to overcome temptation].

1 Thessalonians 4:8 (AMP)

Do not quench [subdue, or be unresponsive to the working and guidance of] the [Holy] Spirit.

1 Thessalonians 5:19 (AMP)

But you, beloved, build yourselves up on [the foundation of] your most holy faith [continually progress, rise like an edifice higher and higher], pray in the HolySpirit,

Jude 1:20 (AMP)

Wednesday Morning Scripture (Wk38/2022) – John 11:25-46

The Death and Resurrection of Lazarus

…….

25 Jesus said to her, [1]I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in (adheres to, trusts in, relies on) Me [as Savior] will live even if he dies;

26 and everyone who lives and believes in Me [as Savior] will never die. Do you believe this?”

27 She said to Him, “Yes, Lord; I have believed and continue to believe that You are the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed), the Son of God, [2]He who was [destined and promised] to come into the world [and it is for You that the world has waited].”

28 After she had said this, she left and called her sister Mary, privately whispering [to her], “The Teacher is here and is asking for you.”

29 And when she heard this, she got up quickly and went to Him.

30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met Him.

31 So when the Jews who were with her in the house comforting her, saw how quickly Mary got up and left, they followed her, assuming that she was going to the tomb to weep there.

32 When Mary came [to the place] where Jesus was and saw Him, she fell at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33 When Jesus saw her sobbing, and the Jews who had come with her also sobbing, He was [3]deeply moved in spirit [to the point of anger at the sorrow caused by death] and was troubled,

34 and said, “Where have you laid him?”They said, “Lord, come and see.”

35 Jesus wept.

36 So the Jews were saying, “See how He loved him [as a close friend]!”

37 But some of them said, “Could not this Man, who opened the blind man’s eyes, have kept this man from dying?”

38 So Jesus, again deeply moved within [to the point of anger], approached the tomb. It was a cave, and a boulder was lying against it [to cover the entrance].

39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there will be an offensive odor, for he has been dead four days! [It is hopeless!]

40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you believe [in Me], you will see the glory of God [the expression of His excellence]?”

41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus raised His eyes [toward heaven] and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.

42 I knew that You always hear Me and listen to Me; but I have said this because of the people standing around, so that they may believe that You have sent Me [and that You have made Me Your representative].”

43 When He had said this, He shouted with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”

44 Out came the man who had been dead, his hands and feet tightly wrapped in burial cloths (linen strips), and with a [burial] cloth wrapped around his face. Jesus said to them, “Unwrap him and release him.”

45 So then, many of the Jews who had come to [be with] Mary and who were eyewitnesses to what Jesus had done, believed in Him.

46 But some of them went back to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.

John 11:25-46 (AMP)

Footnotes

John 11:25 The fifth of the memorable “I am” statements. See note 6:35.

John 11:27 The Coming One was a Messianic title.

John 11:33 In Greek this term suggests an emotional indignation or sternness. Jesus was angry at the sorrow caused by death. It occurs four more times in the NT in reference to Jesus’ words or His feelings. See Matt 9:30; Mark 1:43; John 11:38; 13:21.

Wednesday Morning Scripture (Wk38/2022) – John 12:1-8

Mary Anoints Jesus

1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus went to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom He had raised from the dead.

2 So they gave a supper for Him there. Martha was serving, and Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with Him.

3 Then [1]Mary took a pound of very expensive perfume of pure [2]nard, and she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

4 But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, the one who was going to betray Him, said,

5 “Why was this perfume not sold for [3]three hundred denarii and [the money] given to the poor?”

6 Now he said this, not because he cared about the poor [for he had never cared about them], but because he was a thief; and since he had the money box [serving as treasurer for the twelve disciples], he used to pilfer what was put into it.

7 So Jesus said, “Let her alone, so that she may keep [the rest of] it for the day of My burial.

8 You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me.”

John 12:1-8 (AMP

Footnotes

  1. John 12:3 There were two anointings of Jesus. This one in Bethany by Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus (Matt 26:7; Mark 14:3), and the other in the area of Galilee by an unnamed woman (Luke 7:37, 38).
  2. John 12:3 This was a thick, scented oil obtained from the root of a flowering plant grown in the Himalayas of Tibet and in the northern regions of India and Nepal.
  3. John 12:5 I.e. about a year’s wages for an ordinary workman.

Lion Bites – Global Prophetic Alliance – Developing Devotion

To the devoted and dedicated Mary of Bethany who would sit at my feet ready to listen and love me, I promised she had chosen what was better and that it would not be taken away from her.

You see, she knew how to receive my word and draw on me. She knew me. She demonstrated her surrender to me and my ways so much that she didn’t need to defend herself when others criticised her; she didn’t get easily distracted.

But what I want to emphasise now is the way she trusted in me, in all seasons of her life. Ask me what season are you in just now and what do you need? Mary had a season of learning, mourning, and celebrating. She knew when to receive and when to act.

Her learning was spending time with me and because she knew me she was able to release her grief to me when her brother Lazarus died (John 11:32). She actually left her friends who had come to mourn with her to quickly find me, her ultimate comforter. Her celebration and thankfulness was demonstrated when she showed such extravagant devotion by anointing me with fragrant oil. And again because she knew me she kept on worshipping when others were criticising her (John 12:1 – 8).

Activation: Ask Jesus to show you what He wants to emphasise today. Is it time to sit at His feet and learn (which is symbolic of a teachable spirit) and to spend time in friendship. Or is it time to trust Him on a deeper level with your emotions? Is this a time to worship and trust despite others criticism? Ask Him to help you develop devotion and dedication to Him.

But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.

Luke 10:42 (NKJV)

But Jesus said let her alone; she has kept this for the day of my burial.

John 12:7 (NKJV)

One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple.

Psalm 27:4 (NKJV)

#lionbites

Lion Bites – Global Prophetic Alliance – Speak Jesus

Are you overwhelmed by the obstacles in front of you?

Before David became King, he faced Goliath, and like David there will be some difficulties you will have to overcome. But do not fear the adversity going on around you because when it seems like all hope is gone, I will amaze you. Like the widow’s oil, I will keep filling what you offer.

In me, you will stand before your giant, slingshot and stone in hand, and we will watch the giant fall.

Activation: Make a list of the challenges you face; the obstacles, pain, perceived limitations, and trials. When you are finished, write and speak Jesus over each one as an act of surrender and watch me go to work on your behalf.

David defeated Goliath with a sling and a rock. He killed him without even using a sword.

1 Samuel 17:50 (CEV)

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)

9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,

10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,

11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:9-11 (NKJV)

#lionbites

Lion Bites – Global Prophetic Alliance – God of the Second Chance

I’ve watched you running the race I planned for you; I saw you trip and believe that you had messed up. It grieved Me as I saw you walk away, mistakenly believing you’d missed your chance to ‘shine for Me.’

My child, that is so far from the truth.

I am with you every step of the way. I don’t count the failures and I don’t want you to carry shame or guilt. If you look up and meet my gaze, you’ll see my outstretched arms, desperate to embrace you and remind you that nothing can separate you from My faithful love and acceptance.

I want you to hear, “You’re my happy thought, there is still hope.”

I savour opportunities to offer a second chance. When you truly seek forgiveness for your sin, I’m eager to forgive because I love everything I created you to be and my nature is to delight in merciful forgiveness.

Activation: Receive His forgiveness today. Ask the Lord to forgive whatever you’ve done. Wait and listen until you hear in your Spirit, “You’re forgiven’ in response to your apology. It will be like music to your ears and your Spirit will soar as you step into the freedom of Christ.

Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.

Micah 7:8 (NIV)

If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just [true to His own nature and promises], and will forgive our sins and cleanse us continually from all unrighteousness [our wrongdoing, everything not in conformity with His will and purpose].

1 John 1:9 (AMP)

#lionbites

Lion Bites – Global Prophetic Alliance – Be My Hands & Feet

Just as I love and have plans for you, I love and have plans for those around you. When you reach out in my name to those I send you, you become my hands and feet. Then the world around you will taste and see my goodness.

Be my light.

Be my city and beacon on a hill; do not shrink back.

Overcome evil and darkness with my goodness and light.

Allow me to love those around you, through you.

Give me permission to go before you.

Activation: Ask the Lord to reveal to you someone whose life he wants to touch through you today. Pray and discern the way He wants to bless this person through you.

And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”

Romans 10:15 NLT)

You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.

Matthew 5:14 (NLT)

#lionbites