Antioch Devotionals- June 8-12

MONDAY, JUNE 8TH  John 14:15-17
Faithfulness by Paula McKee
 “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” - John 14:15-17

Crazy fear overtakes us: lack of resources, awkward social or job  situations, financial decisions, family conflicts, fear of sickness...  When she was small, my daughter was afraid of storms, but it amazed me when she prayed to accept Christ as her Savior one evening at GMA camp and then went running with other girls across a large field from the meeting room to the bunk house while lightning played across the sky. She would not have done that before that night. I believe she had the peace of the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised that “another advocate” would help us. He helps me with my fears and empowers me to do what I cannot do on my own. I want all to know his power, so I will do my best to “keep [his] commands” by loving God and loving others (Matthew 22: 37-39).
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the example of the life of your son and his sacrifice for my salvation. I love you God. Please strengthen me when I am weak. Calm my fears so that I might do your will in all situations. In Jesus’ holy name I pray. Amen.
By Jeff Rice
“Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd:” - Acts 2:14

Pastor Jason talked about as we come out of this intermission as a church and with all the chaos going around that we as believers need to renew our commitment to the Great Commandment: Love the Lord God and Love our Neighbor.  I completely agree with this message, but we have to ask ourselves for what purpose.  Why do we Love God with all our heart and love our neighbor as we love ourselves?  Just because God commanded it? Yes that is definitely a reason, but it goes farther.  It is for the purpose of supporting the Gospel message.  It is hard to tell people about God’s love if we are not practicing the love of God in our lives, but I also believe the Bible makes it very clear that it’s not just enough to love God and love others.  Paul tells us in Romans 10 “faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”  Pentecost was an amazing day in the life of the Church, so much so that 3,000 came to faith in Christ on that one day!  But it wasn’t enough for the church to wait and pray, it wasn’t enough for the believers to be indwelled with the Spirit, it wasn’t enough for the believers to demonstrate signs and miracles.  It wasn’t until Paul stood up, raised his voice, addressed the crowd, and shared with them the Good News of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ that people were moved.   It says in vs. 41 of Chapter 2 of Acts that “those that accepted his message were baptized and about 3,000 were added to their number that day.”  Yes we must renew our commitment to the Great Commandment, but it has to be expressed in a renewed commitment to the Great Commission.  “Go and Make Disciples ….” Then and only then will the true Church of the Lord Jesus Christ be able to turn the world rightside up!
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 10TH John 13:34-35
By Toya Aultman
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” - John 13:34-35

The marching orders from Jesus have not changed. We are to love God and love others. Jesus didn't tell us to just love those like us, as in same political party, same skin color, same income bracket, same church affiliation, etc. but to LOVE GOD and LOVE OTHERS. Looking at the world today, it almost seems like Fear has won. Malice has won. Racism has won. Hate has won. Sin has won. And sadly for a large portion of the population they see that as okay. It’s a dog eat dog world, every man for himself. But like the song says, "fear, he is a liar". So are malice, racism and hate, because the king of lies is behind it all.
It’s time to rise up Church of God! We've read the back of the book, we know Who wins! This world will never mandate love, we have to model it. This world cannot come up with enough laws to make this a loving world, we have to show them real love. We possess what this world is aching for, groaning for, begging for...that is the hope found in the precious name of Jesus! As Jason challenged us, when the all clear is given, the marching orders have been given, let's move!!
Father God, our hearts are breaking from all the fear and hate in this world today. Renew within us a passion for You and a love toward others. Amen.
Waiting by Paulette Herring
“Jesus gave this command to the disciples," Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about." - Acts 1:4

We are not the only ones waiting, the disciples did too.  If you came to church Sunday, you had three services to choose from; 8:30 anybody, the other two services divided by the alphabet. Social distancing could be done this way, also time in between to sanitize.  I guess you could say this is the new normal, right now at least. Some of us are still waiting to attend.
Acts 2:1-2 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.
So the disciples had been waiting after Jesus had returned to heaven.   Jesus told them to wait, do not leave Jerusalem till the Spirit comes. They were praying, training, preparing, maybe in isolation for the Spirit. Acts 2:3-4 they saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. All of the people there could understand in their own language! Their intermission was over. The disciples had waited and when it was time to move, they did!
So maybe our intermission is about over.  The church can lead the way and show the world that Jesus is love