Preaching Jesus Christ

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by SueJLove, Aug 30, 2014.

  1. Saturday, August 30, 2014, 7:11 a.m. – the Lord Jesus put in mind the song, “Servant of the Lord.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Acts 6-7 (quoting selected verses in the NIV). I will summarize much of this due to the length of the passages.

    Stephen Chosen

    Widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food, so the disciples gathered together and made the decision to choose seven men from among them who were known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. They would hand this responsibility over to them.

    One of the seven chosen was a man named Stephen. He was a man full of God’s grace and power who performed great wonders and signs among the people. Yet, as we know, wherever God is at work, Satan is not far behind working his will and his ways to destroy what God is doing in people’s lives. Opposition arose against Stephen. There were Jews who began to argue with him. “But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke” (6:10). Amen!

    Yet, that did not stop Stephen’s opponents. Since they could not stand against the wisdom of God given Stephen, they began to make up lies against him. By doing so, they were able to stir up the people, the elders and the teachers of the law so that Stephen was seized and brought before the Sanhedrin. They produced false witnesses against him. “All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel” (6:15). Amen! Oh, that we would all have such a response to persecution!

    When Stephen was asked if the charges were true, he replied, “Listen to me!” And, then he went on to give a summation of all that had taken place from the time God had called Abraham, up to and including the life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, their promised Messiah and Lord.

    As I began prayerfully reading through Stephen’s speech to the Sanhedrin, concerning the various historical events which had taken place, beginning with Abraham and leading up to the fulfillment of the promise given to Abraham, which was Jesus Christ, God began to speak to my heart concerning his calling upon all of our lives to be his servants and his witnesses throughout the world. He began showing me some critical steps involved in taking his gospel to the ends of the earth, plus he reminded me of his many instructions to his disciples, and of his multiple promises to them as they went with his gospel to the nations.

    Leave and Go

    “Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Harran. ‘Leave your country and your people,’ God said, ‘and go to the land I will show you’” (7:2-3).​

    For over a week now the Spirit of God has had these words “Leave and Go” stand out to me in relation to following Jesus Christ wherever he leads us, and in relation to sharing the gospel of our salvation to our world around us. I believe he is saying, “Get ready; be prepared.” Yet, we should expect temptation to doubt, fear and bail, and we should anticipate all kinds of opposition, but we are to know that God is with us, that he will not leave us or forsake us - his servants - but that he will see us through. He is saying, “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” We must be willing to leave home, family, possessions, and occupation, etc. to go wherever he sends us with the gospel of Christ.

    Future Rewards

    He gave him no inheritance here, not even enough ground to set his foot on. But God promised him that he and his descendants after him would possess the land, even though at that time Abraham had no child. God spoke to him in this way: ‘For four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves,’ God said, ‘and afterward they will come out of that country and worship me in this place’” (7:5-7)​

    When I read this, the Lord Jesus put the song in mind, “Guide me, O Thou Great Jehovah, pilgrim through this barren land. I am weak, but Thou art mighty. Hold me with Thy powerful hand. Bread of heaven, bread of heaven, feed me till I want no more…”

    The whole song is based off the story of the calling of Abraham all the way up to the crossing of the Jordan into the Promised Land. We, as followers of Jesus Christ, are strangers and pilgrims in this land. This world is not our home. We are just passing through. In this world we will face many joys and blessings, but also hardship, persecution, difficulties, sadness, pain, and sin, and yet, in the spiritual realm, we can know joy, forgiveness, restoration, healing and hope for our future. Amen!

    What encouraged my heart this afternoon as I read this is that, first of all, we should see our lives on this earth as temporary, and that we truly are strangers and pilgrims here, so we should not focus our time, talents, money and attention on building our earthly kingdoms, but we should seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and God will supply all that we need.

    Secondly I saw that we should also not live our lives here to gain the approval of humans, to be liked or popular, to fit in with the world around us, and/or to enjoy the pleasures this sinful world has to offer us. We are to come out from the world and be separate (different), and we are to be set apart to God and to his service.

    And, lastly I saw here a promise of deliverance and future restoration for those who had once been enslaved in sin, but who will accept God’s offer of his great salvation. I see this promise in light of our obedience to “Leave and Go,” to live as strangers in this world, and to accept rejection, hatred and persecution as part of the cost of following Christ and for the sake of sharing the gospel of salvation with those to whom he sends us. There will be fruit for our labor when God delivers them from their slavery to sin, he sets them free, and they worship God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – as their Only God and Lord. Amen!

    Going Back

    “Then the Lord said to him, ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. I have indeed seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their groaning and have come down to set them free. Now come, I will send you back to Egypt’” (7:33-34).​

    Fast forwarding, the descendants of Abraham did end up in Egypt for 400 years following a famine in Canaan, which then took them to Egypt, where God had sent Joseph ahead to prepare the way for them. Yet, he saw the oppression of his people in Egypt, and he heard their groaning, so he was now sending Moses back to Egypt to deliver his people out of slavery and to lead them to the Promised Land. So, what did Egypt mean to Moses, who had now been living away from there for forty years? And, what might that represent to us?

    Egypt was where Moses was born. He was raised by Pharaoh’s daughter. When he was 40 years old, he decided to visit his own people, the Israelites. Things happened and Moses ended up killing a fellow Egyptian, thinking he was defending a fellow Israelite. He thought that his own people, the Israelites, would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not. Moses ended up fleeing to Midian. After 40 years there an angel appeared to Moses, and God spoke to him. He was going to send him back to where he had done wrong to another, and where he had been rejected by his own people.

    We were all born into sin. Egypt represents slavery to sin, it means failure, but it also means rejection. God is certainly not leading us back into sin, yet he does sometimes lead us to revisit our past so that we can be set free, and so he can use us once more. He was not leading Moses back to be in slavery, but to speak God’s words in order that his people might be delivered and set free. So, going back to Egypt means second chances to do what we didn’t do right the first time. It represents to some having to face the demons of their pasts so that God can set them free, so he can bring them back into fellowship with him, and so he can use them once more for his service to be his witnesses and servants. Amen!

    Servant of the Lord / An Original Work / July 26, 2012
    Based off Romans 1:1-17 NIV

    Servant of the Lord;
    For the gospel you’re set apart.
    Promised through the prophets of old:
    Jesus, Son of God.
    Through Him, and for His name alone,
    We receive His grace
    To call people, Him to obey;
    Coming from their faith.
    Servant of the Lord,
    For the gospel you’re set apart.
    Promised through the prophets of old:
    Jesus, Son of God.


    You belong to Christ;
    Loved by God, and called to be saints;
    Serving God with whole heart and mind;
    Preaching Jesus Christ;
    Always praying for others’ needs;
    Helping hand to lend;
    Giving courage to others’ faith,
    For the praise of God.
    You belong to Christ;
    Loved by God, and called to be saints;
    Serving God with whole heart and mind;
    Preaching Jesus Christ.


    Servant of the Lord;
    Of the gospel, I’m not ashamed;
    For salvation, power of God
    To those who have faith.
    In the gospel find righteousness:
    Being right with God.
    Turn from sin, and trust Jesus Christ.
    By faith, live in Him.
    Servant of the Lord;
    Of the gospel, I’m not ashamed;
    For salvation, power of God
    To those who have faith.


    http://originalworks.info/servant-of-the-lord/
     
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