All in Books of the Bible
People use all sorts of standards today. Reason and Experience are two. Please hear me. Experience plays a role, and indeed human reason. Yet, has there ever been a time when your experience, your heart, misled you? How about your logic? Ever a time it was flawed? It is why Christians, for centuries, have turned to the Word of God as the Prime Standard.
He has deeply planted the truth that all that happens in the world is under God’s purview. When you and I can live into this truth, we can find much freedom from the challenges and joys of life.
Faith will lead us to all sorts of things: reading God’s Word, joining others in worship, prayer, concern for the poor, concern for living holy lives—it will lead to action—that is what alive faith looks like.
Today I want to take break in the midst of all the action and reflect. It sounds as if Paul, Barnabas, and their companions did likewise. We read in verse 28, “They remained no little time.
What comes to mind when you think of a celebration? Each year millions of people become new followers of Jesus. We need to stop and a take a moment to celebrate that the movement of Jesus is spreading across the world!
You can love Jesus, receive him, and keep him to yourself. But if you love people, and if Jesus is really changing life on a daily basis, then you and I will tell others. Please note the difference between Jesus daily changing us, as compared to a “past-moment”.
Have I moved beyond understanding I won’t, at times, be popular when I share Christ, to expecting it? Certainly, I want to be winsome, but at the end of the day, do people’s reactions control my witness?
As I ponder their performance, as I allow this pattern to percolate, is my purpose to serve God sufficient to silence those who proclaim my un-popularity? Is it sufficient to silence the voices in my head which cause me to be fearful?
The definition of words, and what we believe about them, impacts how we view the world. When you read about “magic” what is your reaction? How about when as a follower of Jesus, your situation is described as a battle?
How do you view your Christian mission? Do you see yourself as a loner—or as an extension of the Body? Are you a hand, foot, or eye connected to the other members, all moving in the direction of the Kingdom? And have you reached out to stay connected?
If I place confidence in myself, and only myself, then I am on the downward spiraling path of pride. Can I share with you? I struggle with pride. Perhaps you do, too. Few of us set out to be prideful, yet we often drift into its grip.
I am suggesting that you and I can have a relationship with the omnipotent Creator and Sustainer of the universe, in a way similar to how we have relationships with human beings.
It seems to me that whether or not we share the Good News might just come down to what we believe will happen to people who do not know Jesus after they die. Do we, do you, do I, believe that if a person dies without knowing Jesus, they could spend eternity apart from God?
If we are honest with ourselves, we each need accountability. But how do we live a life that is fully accountable to God?
When I find myself at odds with other believers, I work hard for unity, for oneness. Yet oneness does not have to mean we agree on everything. There are beliefs that are essential for all who claim to follow Jesus, and non-essentials.
God connects people who intentionally seek Him, He connects them through time and space. He connects them in person, He connects them through books, He connects them through technology. None of this is a coincidence. God is at work.
When we pray for people to be healed, what is our motivation? Certainly it is to relieve suffering. But can it also be that people would come to know Jesus?
Can people change? When that life is submitted to God, God can bring about change. In fact, in Philippians 1:6, God’s Word tells us that God will complete the work he began in us.
To follow Jesus we must make U-Turns. The word “repent” literally means to turnaround. Everyone’s natural tendency is to turn away from God; we must turn towards God. And just like with Saul, it requires God’s intervention. Please hear me. None of us comes to God on our own. It is God who initiates the call.
For me there is something about “sitting with the Word”. I read, I think about things going on in the world, and in my life…I mull over what God’s Word has to say to all of this…I pray. When I do that, I am simply putting my life “through” God’s Word.