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A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold is as pictures of silver.(Prov.25:11) It is so important to speak the right words to people at the right time to produce the right results. When you think of apples of gold in pictures of silver, then you are thinking of wealth and excellence. When we speak wisdom into the lives of others we are making them wealthy. Therefore we must seek God for He is the source of all wisdom and He will give us just the right words needed at the right time.
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  • #Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas and Simeon that was called Niger and Lucius of Cyrene and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Ghost said Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. Acts 13:1,2

    Antioch was the birthplace of the Gentile church and Barnabas as well as Simeon was responsible for starting it. Simeon was of Niger descent which meant he was a black man. We do not know much about Lucius of Cyrene and Manaen but they had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, who was the one who had John the Baptist beheaded, and is now in exile. Saul was converted on the Damascus road and also was used to preach in the church at Antioch. So the Holy Spirit told them to separate Barnabas and Saul for the work I have them too, after they had ministered to the Lord and fasted. This will be the beginning where Saul's name would be changed to Paul and all the things that the Lord Jesus had told him that he was a chosen vessel to take the gospel to the Gentiles. There he would suffer many things of the Jews and be stoned at Iconium. Nevertheless, the Church would grow throughout all the persecutions, and then John Mark would prove unfaithful in the ministry. 

  • #But the word of God grew and multiplied. And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had fulfilled their ministry and took with them John, whose surname was Mark. Acts 12:24,25

    So the word of God grew and multiplied as the angel of the Lord had taken vengeance on Herod. And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem since they had completed their ministry. Now they are taking John, whose surname was Mark with them. This will lead to conflict in the ministry as John Mark will cause Saul some consternation on their missionary journey. It would take some while before Paul when he is in prison on his swan song to see that John Mark was indeed profitable for him in the ministry. This tells us that even though we may fail in the ministry at times, God can restore us, as He did for John Mark. So the lesson that we can learn is to never give up and redeem the time for the days that are evil. Also we must be quick to forgive those who have disappointed us and move on by faith trusting in the Lord to make a way in the ministry for us to complete the work God has ordained us to do.

  • #And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne and made an oration unto them. And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god and not of a man. And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him because he gave not God the glory and he was eaten of worms and gave up the ghost. Acts 12:21-23

    Almighty God alone is to be worshipped and not man. God will not share His glory with any man, so the angel of the Lord smote Herod, because he gave not God the glory. Vengeance is of the Lord so He avenged Herod for the death of James. We must warn those in authority to give God the glory, for He sets up, and puts down those that are lifted up in pride. This was an immediate judgment upon Herod because of his exceeding wickedness. I shall exalt the Lord at all times for He alone is worthy of all our praises. Pride goes before destruction and a proud spirit before a fall. 

  • #And Herod was highly displeased with them of Tyre and Sidon but they came with one accord to him, and having made Blastus the king's chamberlin their friend, desired peace; because their country was nourished by the king's country. Acts 12:20

    We do not know why Herod is highly displeased with Tyre and sidon but they came with one accord to him seeking peace. So Blastus the king's chamberlin and friend desired this peace. Perhaps it was with some sort of offer he was able to nourish their country by the king's country. We would call that diplomacy today when nations seek to appease one another with monetary gain to nourish their people. So the Christians were blessed by this diplomacy. We need to see some type of diplomacy today between the United States and Russia as tensions have not been this high since the Cold War Era. We must pray for our leaders to have prayer for peace so that the nations can be nourished and not suffer famine from war. May God grant that Mr. Blinken can negotiate some peace treaty with Russia soon.

  • #Now as soon as it was day there was no small stir among the soldiers, what was become of Peter. And when Herod had sought for him and found him not, he examined the keepers and commanded that they should be put to death. Acts 12:18

    God is going to show mercy to the soldiers, by putting Herod to death. The soldiers had done nothing wrong it was the angel of the Lord that released Peter. This reminds us that if we are sent to prison for doing the will of God, we too can expect miraculous deliverance. So you think God does not deliver us that way anymore? Then do not be surprised what God can do for He is omnipotent and moves when we place our faith in Him. For without faith, it is impossible to please God. So if you are a soldier holding a child of God in prison, then beware your life may be in danger. Do not fight against God for it is a losing matter.

  • #And he, beckoning unto 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 the brethren. And he departed and went into another place. Acts 12:17

    Peter does not know that the apostle James has been killed by Herod, so he beckons for them with his hand to hold their peace and declared unto them how the Lord had delivered him out of the prison. He told them to show these things unto James. Then he departed and went into another place. We must continue to pray for the Lord to deliver us in the same way as he delivered Peter and even though James too was delivered unto death, it is absent from the body and present with the Lord. We will all get to heaven through death or the rapture for those who are alive at His appearing. God is faithful and will not allow us to be tried beyond what we may endure. So count it all joy, even though we are in manifold temptations, the trying of our faith is producing patience in us. So rejoice in the Lord always.

  • #But Peter continued knocking and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished. Acts 12:16

    So the Church finally opens the door after Peter kept knocking and when they opened the door, they saw him, then they were astonished to say the least. They know of a fact that Peter is indeed alive and well. What a blessing to see this as their prayers have been answered. We too must pray without ceasing and see it is no secret what God can do. As the hymn goes what He does for others, He will do for you. I have seen God do many wonderful things in my life and the most wonderful thing was the day that He saved my soul. The most wonderful thing we can do is to pray for the salvation of others. God is not willing that any should perish but that all would come to the knowledge of the truth. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except by Him. Jesus said if I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto myself. So come and lift up Jesus just like Peter has been doing and we will see God work many miracles.

  • #And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel. Acts 12:15

    Mental illness has been a problem since the first Christians were accused of being mad. It is amazing that the saints did not believe Rhoda was telling the truth. So it is with those with paranoid schizophrenia and they tell her it is his angel assuming he has been killed by Herod just as James was. We must believe when we pray that God answers our prayers, even though He allows some of us to be killed for the gospel's sake, as James was. However, God had a plan for Peter so he was delivered. Paranoia is a sign of mental illness, and if you are hearing voices you should seek mental health professionals. As I have heard voices and I am being treated for mental illness. Thank God for the professionals who prescribe medication to treat the chemical imbalance in the brain that is causing those voices. Yet what Rhoda has heard is not mental illness, for she knows Peter is knocking at the gate door and she is not mad. The stigma of being mentally ill was bad before the pandemic, but now more people are suffering from mental health. Thus it is no longer a stigma to have mental illness and I thank God that more people are being treated for their mental illness. Angels do not knock on the door and this is real that Peter is alive and well thank God for his deliverance.

  • #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. Act 12:14

    Rhoda knew it was Peter at the door, for she knew his voice. Yet she opened not the gate for gladness of heart, but ran in and told how Peter stood before the gate. It is amazing how when we pray for deliverance we are surprised when the Lord delivers those we are praying for. I was working in Houston, Texas as a Service Technician and in a storm, not knowing a tree was about to fall on my Van. Miraculously it missed me. I visited my parents' home for lunch, and my father told me he had been praying for me, and then I understood why the tree missed my Van. I thanked God for a praying Pastor as a Dad for me. Peter was delivered too because of the church praying for him. Rhoda is acting normal because she did not want to scare the saints that had been praying for Peter. We can learn a lot about how to act when God moves in our favor. Let us rejoice in the Lord always, and again rejoice for God saves those who pray to Him. Give God the glory and tell the story of how He delivers us to the uttermost.

  • #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 toghether praying. And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda. Acts 12:12,13

    Now Peter is sure that the Lord has delivered him and he comes to the house of Mary, the mother of John Mark. And they were all praying so he knocked on the door and a damsel named Rhoda answered the door. She was surprised to see Peter, which was an answer to the prayer. We too must continue to pray as this Omicron variant is spreading rapidly and many are ill, yet not as many are dying as with the variant Delta. Let us pray that God will turn this pandemic into an endemic where we can learn to live with it like the flu. I thank God that He has delivered many of us from this pandemic as God delivers some by death as well as life like Peter. For to live is Christ and to die is gain.

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