A Strategic Act of an Apostle

by Dr. Craig von Buseck

Luke, the writer of Acts, shows us an amazing transformation in the life of Saul of Tarsus. This metamorphosis takes place in one single chapter – Acts 13 – though the preparation for it happened over many years.

Verse 2: While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

Verse 9: But Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him…

Verse 43: And after the meeting of the synagogue broke up, many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas…

In ancient times, the most prominent person was named first in all literature. The chapter begins with the introduction of Barnabas and Saul. By the end of the chapter, not only was Paul named first, but also his name had changed.

We see in Scripture that God changed Abram’s name to Abraham (Genesis 17:5) and Jacob’s name to Israel (Genesis 35:10). But nowhere do we see an explicit statement that God changed Saul’s name to Paul.

So why was his name changed at the same time that he emerged as the preeminent apostle to the Gentiles?

I believe that Saul himself changed his name from the Jewish name “Saul” to the Gentile name “Paul.”

The reason was two-fold:

  1. For the purpose of building a bridge of communication and trust with the people God had assigned to him to reach, the Gentiles.
  2. Saul so identified with his calling that he went so far as to change his name.

Writing to the church in Corinth, Paul makes the famous declaration: “I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22). In this significant step of changing his name from Jewish to Gentile, he is signaling his commitment to his calling – but also to those he is called to reach.

As you ponder this significant act of an apostle, I encourage you to prayerfully consider your calling and what you have done – or are willing to do – to “become all things to all…” that you might save some.

 

Craig von Buseck

Dr. Craig von Buseck

I Am Cyrus by Dr. Craig von Buseck

I Am Cyrus by Dr. Craig von Buseck

Dr. Craig von Buseck is manager of digital content for Inspiration.org. His most recent book is I Am Cyrus: Harry S. Truman and the Rebirth of Israel from Iron Stream Media. To order, visit IAmCyrusBook.com. Learn more at vonbuseck.com and inspiration.org.

 

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Thanksgiving is an important part of the Christian life. It is the capstone to a life of prayer. The apostle Paul instructed the church in Philippi regarding prayer:

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6, NASB).

Carrying from Europe the tradition of a day of thanksgiving after a successful harvest, the Pilgrims gave thanks to God for the bounty of the harvest after a year of sickness and hunger.

The native Wampanoag tribe also had a tradition of giving thanks to the Creator for a successful harvest, and so they joined with the Pilgrims in a joyful outpouring of gratitude mixed with merriment and feasting.

After the Revolution, the first official presidential proclamation issued in America was George Washington’s 1789 Thanksgiving message:

“…that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks

for His kind care and protection of the people of this country…”

Later, during the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln also issued a thanksgiving proclamation:

“… to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to … fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it … to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.”

As our Forefathers did in the midst of their trials, let us also take time to seek wisdom and guidance from our Heavenly Father and to worship Him for His blessings. In faith, thank God in advance for all He is going to do in the year to come – because there is tremendous power in Thanksgiving!

 

Dr. Craig von Buseck is a popular author, speaker, and editor of www.inspiration.org.  His latest book is I Am Cyrus: Harry S Truman and the Rebirth of Israel. Learn more at www.vonbuseck.com.

 

 

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A Miracle of Our Time

In May of 1948, as the British Empire ended their mandate and withdrew from Palestine, five Arab nations sat on the border ready to invade. At that moment, David Ben-Gurion, the leader of the Jews, stood in Tel Aviv and declared the establishment of the State of Israel—marking the rebirth of a Jewish nation in the Holy Land after 2,000 years in exile.

Who was Harry S. Truman to Israel? Find out more in I Am Cyrus by Dr. Craig von Buseck.

Who was Harry S. Truman to Israel? Find out more in I Am Cyrus by Dr. Craig von Buseck.

I Am Cyrus: Harry S. Truman and the Rebirth of Israel tells the amazing true story of Israel’s rebirth—promises made, promises broken, and ultimately the fulfillment of the ancient prophecy that this people would indeed return to their Promised Land.

Beginning with the birth of both the Zionist Movement and Harry Truman in the 1880s, I Am Cyrus chronicles the growth of Zionism and the unlikely emergence of Harry Truman on the American political stage. It then describes the prophetic and historic days leading to the rebirth of Israel and the vital role Harry Truman and his former business partner, Eddie Jacobson, played in those crucial moments.

The rebirth of Israel declares for a modern generation that God still keeps his promises. His Word is as reliable today as when these words were written.

“Blessed be the Lord, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant” (1 Kings 8:56).

Has God given you a promise? Then live in expectation.

 

 

Craig von Buseck

Craig von Buseck

Dr. Craig von Buseck is an author, editor of digital content for Inspiration.org, and a contributing writer for CBN.com, MTL Magazine, Charisma, and ChristianPost.com. He holds a Doctor of Ministry and an MA in Religious Journalism from Regent University, Virginia Beach, Virginia.

His latest book is I Am Cyrus: Harry Truman and the Rebirth of Israel. Contact Craig at www.vonbuseck.com, craigvonbuseck@gmail.com, http://www.facebook.com/craigvonbuseck, http://twitter.com/craigvonbuseck.

 

 

 

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Who was Harry S. Truman to Israel? Find out more in I Am Cyrus by Dr. Craig von Buseck.

Who was Harry S. Truman to Israel? Find out more in I Am Cyrus by Dr. Craig von Buseck.

 Someone once said there are regulators on our lives that help control and shape our destinies. These regulators include things we often take for granted like energy, sleep, food, money, and time. Wise management of these regulators can mean the difference between an average and an abundant life.

Another important regulator is what I call “newness.” Every 24 hours we are greeted by a new day at Midnight. Sunday morning brings a new week. On our birthday, we celebrate another new year of life.

One way we human beings tend to “clean the slate” is by leaving behind the old year and forging ahead with hope and expectation in the New Year.

C.S. Lewis writes: “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” I would add this.

You are also never too young to dream your dreams.

Whatever you are facing today, know that God has built “newness” into your life to give you hope and strength to press on. He has also given you talents that are available to open the door to future success.

Your role is to engage your circumstances with those talents – trusting God for His grace, favor, and strength – and then be persistent in pursuing your dream. Vern McLellan declares: “What the New Year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the New Year.”

The future is yours to write. The New Year provides you with a book full of 365 blank pages. So get out your pen, roll up your sleeves, and chase that dream!

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. … The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” ― Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Craig von Buseck

Craig von Buseck

I Am Cyrus by Dr. Craig von Buseck

I Am Cyrus by Dr. Craig von Buseck

Dr. Craig von Buseck is the editor of Digital Content for Inspiration.org. His new book I Am Cyrus: Harry S. Truman and the Rebirth of Israel will be available from Lighthouse Publishing on April 22. Learn more at vonbuseck.com.

 

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