January 31, 2011 – Stanley

Salvation and Lordship Colossians 2:6-10

How can people who have trusted Jesus as their Savior live in rebellion against God through inappropriate attitudes and behaviors? After all, when a person is saved, he’s given new life, but sinful thinking and conduct are characteristics of the old life. The truth, however, is that all believers live with this dilemma to one degree or another.

Salvation is a onetime act which God accomplishes in the life of any person who trusts in Christ’s payment for his sins. That individual is then guaranteed a place in heaven. But did you know that the Lord wants even more for us than this? The Bible teaches that He predestined us “to become conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom. 8:29-30). That’s His ultimate goal. Salvation is the door that opens the way for this process, which is accomplished by the Holy Spirit within us.

This transformation requires submission to Christ’s lordship. He paid for us with His blood, and since we are now His, He has the right to rule our lives. In other words, we received Him as Lord at salvation, and now we must walk in Him (v. 6), letting Him have complete control of every area–every decision, act, word, motive, attitude, and thought. If we don’t, our spiritual growth will be stunted, and we will yield to a sinful lifestyle.

If you see little progress in your spiritual life, the problem is probably due to an area that you are keeping for yourself. Only in surrendering it to Christ and letting Him be Lord of your entire life will you be enriched beyond measure as He changes your character, perspective, attitudes, and behavior.

January 31, 2011 – Begg

The Value of Righteousness

The Lord is our righteousness.

Jeremiah 23:6

It will always give a Christian the greatest calm, quiet, ease, and peace to think of the perfect righteousness of Christ. How often are the saints of God downcast and sad! I do not think they ought to be. I do not think they would be if they could always see their perfection in Christ. There are some who are always talking about corruption and the depravity of the heart and the innate evil of the soul. This is quite true, but why not go a little further and remember that we are perfect in Christ Jesus. It is no wonder that those who are dwelling upon their own corruption should wear such downcast looks; but surely if we call to mind “Christ Jesus, whom God made . . . our righteousness,”1 we shall be of good cheer. What though distresses afflict me, though Satan assault me, though there may be many things to be experienced before I get to heaven, those are done for me in the covenant of divine grace; there is nothing wanting in my Lord–Christ has done it all.

On the cross He said, “It is finished!” and if it be finished, then am I complete in Him and can rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, “not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith.”2 You will not find on this side of heaven a holier people than those who receive into their hearts the doctrine of Christ’s righteousness.

When the believer says, “I live on Christ alone; I rest on Him solely for salvation; and I believe that, however unworthy, I am still saved in Jesus,” then there rises up as a motive of gratitude this thought: “Shall I not live to Christ? Shall I not love Him and serve Him, seeing that I am saved by His merits?” “The love of Christ controls us,”3 “that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”4 If saved by imputed righteousness, we shall greatly value imparted righteousness.

11 Corinthians 1:30 2Philippians 3:9 32 Corinthians 5:14 42 Corinthians 5:15

January 29, 2011 – Stanley

Lord of the Living and the Dead Romans 14:7-12

In the New Testament, Lord is the most frequently used title for Jesus Christ. Although we rarely use this term in our daily lives, we are all quite familiar with another word: boss. That is basically what Lord means–one possessing authority, power, and control. The Word of God describes Jesus as the head of the church, the ruler over all creation, and the Lord of lords and King of kings (Col. 1:15-18; Rev. 3:14; 17:14).

The realm of Christ’s reign covers everything that happens in heaven and on the earth. No one–not even those who deny His existence—can be free of His rule or outside His sphere of authority. Although Satan tries to convince us that liberty is found in doing what we want, true freedom is acquired only through submission to Christ’s loving lordship.

Even death cannot release anyone from the authority of God’s Son. He is Lord of both the living and the dead. All people must decide to either yield or rebel against Him, but they have the opportunity to make this choice only while they are still living. After death, they will acknowledge Christ’s lordship through accountability to Him. If we have not bowed the knee to Jesus in life, we will be forced to bend it in the judgment.

Have you submitted to Christ’s rule over your life? His authority causes anger or fear in individuals who have not yet yielded to Him, but those who have experienced His lovingkindness, trusted in His goodness, and surrendered to His authority take comfort in knowing Him as the Lord of their lives.

January 29, 2011 – Begg

Look Forward

. . . The things that are unseen . . .

2 Corinthians 4:18

In our Christian pilgrimage it is well, for the most part, to be looking forward. Forward lies the crown, and onward is the goal. Whether it be for hope, for joy, for consolation, or for the inspiring of our love, the future must, after all, be the grand object of the eye of faith. Looking into the future we see sin cast out, the body of sin and death destroyed, the soul made perfect and fit to be a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light.

Looking further yet, the believer’s enlightened eye can see death’s river passed, the gloomy stream forded, and the hills of light attained on which stands the celestial city. He sees himself enter within the pearly gates, hailed as more than conqueror, crowned by the hand of Christ, embraced in the arms of Jesus, glorified with Him, and made to sit together with Him on His throne, even as He has overcome and has sat down with the Father on His throne.

The thought of this future may well relieve the darkness of the past and the gloom of the present. The joys of heaven will surely compensate for the sorrows of earth. Hush, hush, my doubts! Death is but a narrow stream, and you shall soon have forded it. Time, how short–eternity, how long! Death, how brief–immortality, how endless! The road is so, so short! I shall soon be there.

When the world my heart is rending
With its heaviest storm of care,
My glad thoughts to heaven ascending,
Find a refuge from despair.
Faith’s bright vision shall sustain me
Till life’s pilgrimage is past;
Fears may vex and troubles pain me,
I shall reach my home at last

January 28, 2011 – Stanley

The Message the World Needs to Hear Mark 16:15-20

Suppose I asked what the mission of the church is–how would you answer? Although the church accomplishes many tasks, its only message to the world is the gospel of Christ. Everything else we do is merely an extension of that primary goal. The gospel we offer the lost is superior to every worldly philosophy. Never outdated or in need of correction, it is always sufficient to meet humanity’s greatest need: reconciliation with the Creator. Although the message is always the same, methods of making it known are many–including the spoken word, music, printed material, and electronic media. But all these avenues of communication require the individual involvement of God’s people. It is every Christian’s responsibility to use his or her spiritual gifts, talents, and abilities to help fulfill the Great Commission. Some Christians think that this role is given only to pastors, missionaries, or other people with an “up-front ministry.” But all of us have the responsibility to be involved in whatever way we are able and in whatever opportunity God gives us. Not everybody is called to go abroad as a missionary, but we all can give, pray, and tell friends and family what the Lord has done for us. When you’re truly committed to getting the gospel out, God will reveal what work He is calling you to do. He has a place for every one of us–nobody is insignificant or unusable. The limiting factor is not the Lord’s ability to use us but our availability to His call.

January 28, 2011 – Begg

Maturity in Christ

Colossians 1:28

Do you not feel in your own soul that maturity is not in you? Does not every day teach you that? Every tear that trickles from your eye weeps “imperfection”; every harsh word that proceeds from your lip mutters “imperfection.” You have too frequently had a view of your own heart to dream for a moment of any perfection in yourself. But amidst this sad consciousness of imperfection, here is comfort for you–you are perfect or “mature in Christ.” In God’s sight you are complete in Him; even now you are “blessed in the Beloved.”1

But there is a second perfection, yet to be realized, that is just as sure. Is it not delightful to look forward to the time when every stain of sin shall be removed from the believer, and he shall be presented faultless before the throne, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing? The Church of Christ then will be so pure that not even the eye of Omniscience will see a spot or blemish in her; so holy and so glorious that Hart did not go beyond the truth when he said–

With my Savior’s garments on,
Holy as the Holy One.

Then shall we know and taste and feel the happiness of this vast but short sentence, complete in Christ. Not till then shall we fully comprehend the heights and depths of the salvation of Jesus. Does not your heart leap for joy at the thought of it? Filthy as you are, you shall be clean. Oh, it is a marvelous salvation this! Christ takes a worm and transforms it into an angel; Christ takes a dirty and deformed thing and makes it clean and matchless in His glory, peerless in His beauty, and fit to be the companion of seraphs. O my soul, stand and admire this blessed truth of maturity in Christ.

1Ephesians 1:6

January 27, 2011 – Stanley

The Greater Purpose of Blessings Psalm 67

It is God’s nature to bless. However, we need to understand that He has a greater purpose in mind than we may realize. His ultimate goal is far more encompassing than just to make us happy, peaceful, protected, and prosperous. In fact, it is never the Lord’s intention for His blessings to end with us. Rather, He wants them to flow out to others as part of His plan for the whole earth.

As we can see in today’s psalm, the Lord blesses us so that His salvation, His ways, and His justice may be known by every nation and every people group around the globe (vv. 3-4, 7). He is always acting with this larger picture in mind–even while working personally in our individual lives. Knowing this should fill us with an awesome yet humbling sense of significance. Every believer has a part in helping others know and understand the one true God. Each blessing He gives not only benefits us personally but is intended to help further this cause. On the other hand, we may sometimes not receive the things we want because they don’t contribute to His higher purpose. But if we are willing to fit our requests into God’s greater plans, we will position ourselves to be greatly used by Him.

When the Lord blesses you, He’s not only doing something for you; He’s also doing something in and through you to affect others’ lives. Don’t let the pleasures and comforts of His blessings blind you to their intended purpose. Ask God how to use His kindnesses as a way to point people to Him.

January 27, 2011 – Begg

A Fullness in Christ

And from his fullness we have all received.

John 1:16

These words tell us that there is a fullness in Christ. There is a fullness of essential Deity, for “in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.”1 There is a fullness of perfect manhood, for in Him, bodily, that Godhead was revealed. There is a fullness of atoning efficacy in His blood, for “the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”2 There is a fullness of justifying righteousness in His life, for “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”3 There is a fullness of divine prevalence in His plea, for “He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.”4

There is a fullness of victory in His death, for through death He destroyed him that had the power of death–that is, the devil. There is a fullness of efficacy in His resurrection from the dead, for by it “he has caused us to be born again to a living hope.”5 There is a fullness of triumph in His ascension, for “when he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.”6 There is a fullness of blessings of every sort and shape; a fullness of grace to pardon, of grace to regenerate, of grace to sanctify, of grace to preserve, and of grace to perfect. There is a fullness at all times; a fullness of comfort in affliction, a fullness of guidance in prosperity. A fullness of every divine attribute–of wisdom, of power, of love; a fullness that it is impossible to survey, much less to explore. “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell.”7

Oh, what a fullness must this be of which all receive! Fullness, indeed, must there be when the stream is always flowing, and yet the well springs up as free, as rich, as full as ever. Come, believer, and get all your need supplied; ask largely, and you will receive largely, for this “fullness” is inexhaustible and is treasured up where all the needy may reach it, even in Jesus, Immanuel–God with us.

1Colossians 2:9 21 John 1:7 3Romans 8:1 4Hebrews 7:25 51 Peter 1:3 6Ephesians 4:8 7Colossians 1:19

January 26, 2011 – Stanley

The Blessings of God Ephesians 1:3-14

Everyone experiences periods of difficulty in life. In such painful times, we may feel as though God is not blessing us. But even then, we are experiencing many of His amazing gifts, despite the fact that they might be escaping our notice.

Below are several examples of blessings that we can enjoy on bright or dark days:

1. We are assured that our almighty God chose us before the foundation of the world (v. 4). He predestined us to be adopted as His children (v. 5). We can feel special and wanted because the Sovereign of the universe selected us.

2. Jesus provided our salvation through His death and resurrection (v. 7). He redeemed us from sin that causes separation from God and ultimately leads to death. As a result, we receive a brand-new nature and daily forgiveness of iniquities (2 Cor. 5:17; 1 John 1:9).

3. The Holy Spirit resides within us. He guides, warns, and fills us so we are never without counsel or comfort. He also seals us so that our eternity is secure (Eph. 1: 13).

4. Our Father prepares an inheritance for us that is imperishable (1 Peter 1:4). We may experience momentary troubles, but we can look forward to living eternally in God’s presence, where there is joy and no suffering.

In the midst of painful situations, it may be easy to feel as if God’s hand is not resting on your life. But believers have wonderful spiritual blessings at all times. Without the four permanent gifts listed above, fear and emptiness would be overwhelming. So express gratitude, even in difficulty.

January 26, 2011 – Begg

Our Father in Heaven

. . . Your heavenly father . . .

Matthew 6:26

God’s people are doubly His children. They are His offspring by creation, and they are His sons by adoption in Christ. Hence they are privileged to call Him, “Our Father in heaven.” Father! Oh, what a precious word is that. Here is authority: “If I be a Father, where is My honor?” If you are sons, where is your obedience? Here is affection mingled with authority; an authority that does not provoke rebellion; an obedience demanded that is most cheerfully rendered–which would not be withheld even if it might. The obedience that God’s children yield to Him must be loving obedience. Do not go about the service of God as slaves to their taskmaster’s toil, but run in the way of His commands because it is your Father’s way. Yield your bodies as instruments of righteousness, because righteousness is your Father’s will, and His will should be the will of His child.

Father! Here is a kingly attribute so sweetly veiled in love that the King’s crown is forgotten in the King’s face, and His scepter becomes, not a rod of iron, but a silver scepter of mercy–the scepter indeed seems to be forgotten in the tender hand of Him who wields it. Father! Here is honor and love. How great is a Father’s love to his children! That which friendship cannot do, and mere benevolence will not attempt, a father’s heart and hand must do for his sons. They are his offspring, and he must bless them; they are his children, and he must show himself strong in their defense. If an earthly father watches over his children with unceasing love and care, how much more does our heavenly Father? Abba, Father! He who can say this has uttered better music than cherubim or seraphim can reach. There is heaven in the depth of that word–Father! There is all I can ask, all my necessities can demand, all my wishes can desire. I have all in all to all eternity when I can say, “Father.”

January 25, 2011 – Stanley

Blessing Others Psalm 5:11-12

The other day as I was walking through a store, I happened to sneeze, and a gentleman nearby offered the typical response, “Bless you.” This caused me to think about what that common expression actually means–namely, a request for divine favor—and the different ways we can bless others.

First, we can bless people by praying for them, and we should be specific when bringing such petitions to the Lord. General requests like “please bless him” can become rote and devoid of meaning. Besides, supplications with greater detail might bring more identifiable answers. And imagine how others will be encouraged when they see that we cared enough to pray thoughtfully–and God cared enough to fulfill the request.

Second, we can ask God’s favor on events and situations. Of course, He will respond only when these have His approval. For example, it is appropriate to request the Lord’s presence in a church service, and to ask that He touch those present.

Third, we can bless God. We do this by expressing our praise and thanksgiving for His character and for what He has done (Ps. 104:1). Blessing Him also takes place through our obedience, service, and desire to please Him. When we place Him first in our lives, He is honored.

The Lord provides a vast array of good gifts, and the desire for such benefits is normal and universal. In fact, as we yearn for divine blessings, why not apply the golden rule as a motivation to bless others–including God Himself–through prayer and service?

January 25, 2011 – Begg

The Steadfast Love of the Lord

I will recount the steadfast love of the Lord, the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord has granted us.

Isaiah 63:7

And can you not do this? Are there no mercies that you have experienced? What! Though you are gloomy now, can you forget that blessed hour when Jesus met you and said, “Come unto me”? Can you not remember that rapturous moment when He snapped your fetters, dashed your chains to the earth, and said, “I came to break your bonds and set you free”? Or if the love of your conversion be forgotten, there must surely be some precious milestone along the road of life not quite grown over with moss, on which you can read a happy memorial of His mercy toward you. What! Did you never have a sickness like that which you are suffering now, and did He not restore you? Were you never poor before, and did He not supply your wants? Were you never in difficulties before, and did He not deliver you?

Arise, go to the river of your experience and pull up a few bulrushes and fashion them into an ark, in which your infant-faith may float safely on the stream. Forget not what your God has done for you; turn over the book of your remembrance, and consider the days of old. Can you not remember the hill Mizar? Did the Lord never meet with you at Hermon? Have you never climbed the Delectable Mountains? Have you never been helped in time of need? I know you have. Go back, then, a little way to the choice mercies of yesterday, and though all may be dark now, light up the lamps of the past–they shall glitter through the darkness, and you shall trust in the Lord till the day break and the shadows flee away. “Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old.”1

1Psalm 25:6

January 24, 2011 – Stanley

The Believer’s Transformation Ezekiel 36:25-27

I marvel at the metamorphosis of a caterpillar. A crawling, slimy, and spiky bug disappears into a chrysalis spun from its own body, and before long, a delicate and graceful winged butterfly emerges. It is magnificent.

Our change at the moment of salvation is just as radical and miraculous. From a death-bound, sinful, and depraved heart, God brings about a brand-new creature–one that is forgiven, made righteous, and designed to be the place where He Himself resides (2 Cor. 5:21; John 14:17).

Have you ever wondered why, then, we continue to struggle with sin after trusting Christ as Savior? Shouldn’t all the habits and tendencies of our old heart have vanished? The answer is that the term “new creature” refers to our position in Christ. It is true that believers are forgiven and eternally secure as children of the heavenly Father. Yet we remain in fleshly bodies, and as long as we are on earth, there will be an ongoing battle between spirit and flesh.

Throughout our life, God is transforming us to be increasingly like Jesus–His Spirit residing within helps us to combat sin and teaches us how to live. This process, called sanctification, is a journey that will last until we are called home to heaven.

While salvation is a one-time event, sanctification is a life-long adventure. And though the Lord sees believers as righteous, we still have the capacity to sin. Thankfully, God’s Spirit guides and empowers us to become more like Jesus, and as we yield to Him, our behavior and thoughts will change.

January 24, 2011 – Begg

Two Deliverances

For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler

Psalms 91:3

God delivers His people from the snare of the fowler in two senses. From and out of. First, He delivers them from the snare–He does not let them enter it; and secondly, if they should be caught in it, He delivers them out of it. The first promise is the most precious to some; the second is the best to others.

“He will deliver you from the snare.” How? Trouble is often the means God uses to deliver us. God knows that our backsliding will soon end in our destruction, and He in mercy sends the rod. We say, “Lord, why is this?” not knowing that our trouble has been the means of delivering us from far greater evil. In this way many have been saved from ruin by their sorrows and their crosses.

At other times God keeps His people from the snare of the fowler by giving them great spiritual strength, so that when they are tempted to do evil they say, “How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?”1 But what a blessed thing it is that if the believer shall, in an evil hour, come into the net, yet God will bring him out of it! O backslider, be cast down, but do not despair.

Wanderer though you have been, hear what your Redeemer says: “Return, O backsliding children; I will have mercy upon you.” But you say you cannot return, for you are a captive. Then listen to the promise–“For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler.” You shall yet be brought out of all evil into which you have fallen, and though you shall never cease to repent of your ways, yet He who has loved you will not cast you away. He will receive you and give you joy and gladness, that the bones that He has broken may rejoice. No bird of paradise shall die in the fowler’s net.

1 Genesis 39:9

January 22, 2011 – Stanley

From Alienation to Reconciliation 2 Corinthians 5:14-21

Separation, rejection, and alienation are unpleasant experiences that we usually try to avoid at all costs. But we live in a fallen world, so we cannot totally escape them.

Isolation from other people is bad enough, but what’s worse is that many individuals live apart from the heavenly Father. How tragic and futile life must be when it is spent completely detached from its Creator. God planted within each of us a desire to be in relationship with Him, so until we find our connection to Him, we will always feel that something is missing.

And yet as crucial as that relationship is to our well-being, something stands in its way: Whether by our thoughts or actions, we have all violated the Lord’s commands (Rom. 3:23), and our pure, holy God cannot be in the presence of sin. Romans 6:23 states that the penalty for sin is death, which is an eternal separation from the Lord. Therefore, we will always have a void.

What a bleak outlook for mankind! But our loving Father solved the dilemma by sending His Son to pay our penalty. Fully God and fully man, Jesus lived the perfect life, took all our iniquity upon Himself, and died a gruesome death on the cross. No longer are we condemned for our wrongs, because Christ took our place. And three days later, He victoriously rose to life.

Salvation is available to anyone who believes and receives this remarkable gift. John 3:16 describes how reconciliation puts an end to our alienation: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

January 22, 2011 – Begg

What are You without Grace?

Son of man, how does the wood of the vine surpass any wood, the vine branch that is among the trees of the forest?

Ezekiel 15:2

These words are for the humbling of God’s people; they are called God’s vine, but what are they by nature more than others? They, by God’s goodness, have become fruitful, having been planted in a good soil; the Lord has trained them upon the walls of the sanctuary, and they bring forth fruit to His glory. But what are they without their God? What are they without the continual influence of the Spirit, begetting fruitfulness in them?

O believer, learn to reject pride, seeing that you have no ground for it. Whatever you are, you have nothing to make you proud. The more you have, the more you are in debt to God; and you should not be proud of that which renders you a debtor. Consider your origin; look back to what you were. Consider what you would have been but for divine grace. Look upon yourself as you are now. Does not your conscience reproach you? Do not your thousand wanderings stand before you and tell you that you are unworthy to be called His son? And if He has made you anything, are you not taught thereby that it is grace that has made you to differ?

Great believer, you would have been a great sinner if God had not made you to differ. O you who are valiant for truth, you would have been as valiant for error if grace had not laid hold upon you. Therefore, do not be proud, though you have a large influence–a wide domain of grace, for once you did not have a single thing to call your own except your sin and misery. Oh, strange infatuation that you, who has borrowed everything, should think of exalting yourself–a poor, dependent pensioner upon the bounty of your Savior, one who has a life that dies without fresh streams of life from Jesus, and yet is proud! Fie on you, O silly heart!

January 21, 2011 – Stanley

Evangelism: Every Believer’s Calling Acts 1:6-8

One Sunday, a man approached me between services to share his story. He’d been addicted to drugs and was leading a hopeless life when he heard a Scripture verse in a sermon. He said that one passage led him to place his trust in Jesus. The man was saved, and God transformed his life.

Every believer has a story. Oftentimes, the more we surrender to God, the greater our ability to see His hand in our life. And the more we watch Him work, the stronger our desire to share with others all that He has done.

The same was true of the early disciples. A small crowd gathered around Jesus before His ascension. They heard His command to spread the gospel around the globe, making disciples and baptizing people from all nations. Surely this seemed like an overwhelming task for a handful of followers, but they obeyed. Their personal experiences with Christ undoubtedly motivated them to share the good news, and they also must have gained confidence from Jesus’ promise of His presence and power.

We, too, should be taking Christ’s command seriously. One of our highest callings as believers is to tell others about Him. As was true for the early Christians, our own experience with the Savior is the most exciting and convincing story to tell.

Are you passionately telling others about Christ? Loving God involves not just having a personal relationship with Jesus but also sharing Him with others. The world around you needs the power of Christ. Let the Holy Spirit guide and enable you to share effectively with those around you.

January 21, 2011 – Begg

The Joy of Safety

And in this way all Israel will be saved.

Romans 11:26

When Moses sang at the Red Sea, it was his joy to know that all Israel was safe. Not a drop of spray fell from that solid wall until the last of God’s Israel had safely planted his foot on the other side of the flood. That done, immediately the floods dissolved into their proper place again, but not till then. Part of that song was, “You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed.”1 In the last time, when the elect shall sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and of the Lamb, it shall be the boast of Jesus, “Of all whom you have given me, I have lost none.” In heaven there shall not be a vacant throne.

For all the chosen race
Shall meet around the throne,
Shall bless the conduct of His grace,
And make His glories known.

As many as God has chosen, as many as Christ has redeemed, as many as the Spirit has called, as many as believe in Jesus shall safely cross the dividing sea. We are not all safely landed yet:

Part of the host have crossed the flood,
And part are crossing now.

The vanguard of the army has already reached the shore. We are marching through the depths; we are at this day following hard after our Leader into the heart of the sea. Let us be of good cheer: The rearguard shall soon be where the vanguard already is; the last of the chosen ones shall soon have crossed the sea, and then shall be heard the song of triumph, when all are secure. But oh, if one were absent–oh, if one of His chosen family should be cast away, it would make an everlasting discord in the song of the redeemed and cut the strings of the harps of paradise, so that music could never be extorted from them.

1Exodus 15:13

January 20, 2011 – Stanley

Evangelism: Every Believer’s Calling Acts 1:6-8

One Sunday, a man approached me between services to share his story. He’d been addicted to drugs and was leading a hopeless life when he heard a Scripture verse in a sermon. He said that one passage led him to place his trust in Jesus. The man was saved, and God transformed his life.

Every believer has a story. Oftentimes, the more we surrender to God, the greater our ability to see His hand in our life. And the more we watch Him work, the stronger our desire to share with others all that He has done.

The same was true of the early disciples. A small crowd gathered around Jesus before His ascension. They heard His command to spread the gospel around the globe, making disciples and baptizing people from all nations. Surely this seemed like an overwhelming task for a handful of followers, but they obeyed. Their personal experiences with Christ undoubtedly motivated them to share the good news, and they also must have gained confidence from Jesus’ promise of His presence and power.

We, too, should be taking Christ’s command seriously. One of our highest callings as believers is to tell others about Him. As was true for the early Christians, our own experience with the Savior is the most exciting and convincing story to tell.

Are you passionately telling others about Christ? Loving God involves not just having a personal relationship with Jesus but also sharing Him with others. The world around you needs the power of Christ. Let the Holy Spirit guide and enable you to share effectively with those around you.