Tuesday, October 8, 2013

October 9, 2013

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8

As a Christian it is natural to be excited about how God has forgiven you and set you free from your past. I think most Christians get excited about that.

And Christians get happy about the future God has provided for them through the grace of Jesus Christ. 

So believers have forgiveness and freedom for their past and they have forever in their future.

It seems to me that where Christians struggle the most is in the present. What is a Christian supposed to do between his spiritual "birth" and his physical death? That can be a period of fifty or sixty years. How should those years be spent?

Jesus had a definite idea about what His followers should be doing. They are to be witnesses.

What is a witness? What does a witness do?

First, a witness tells what he knows.

So, what do you think a Christian should know?  

A Christian should know God and know Him well!

A Christian should know God's Word and know it well.

If you were called to witness what you know about your faith, what would you say?

Second, a witness tells what he has seen.

A Christian should be able to tell about the changes he has seen God make in his life.

A Christian should also be about how he has seen God work in his family and in his church.

If you were called as a witness what have you seen that you could tell others about?

Third, a witness is loyal to what he knows and what he has seen.

In Greek, the word for witnesses is "martures,' from which we get the English word martyr. It means being loyal to Jesus no matter the cost and speaking up for him even when others oppose you. 

Are you able to do that? 

What is a Christian supposed to do between "forgiven" and "forever"?

You are to be a witness - His witness.

October 8, 2013

"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future,nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."  Romans 8:37-39

Love is the heart of the Great Commandment and it is also the heart of the Great Commission! 

Love leads to life-change! And not just superficial change but a fundamental spiritual transformation. Love has that power because love is committed, and love is courageous, and love is confrontational and it is consistent. 

The Apostle Paul understood compelling love - "But I want to share one more powerful aspect of love - love is compelling! If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again." II Corinthians 5:13-15

I'm sure you are familiar with the saying, "You do for love what you wouldn't do for money." That is another way of expressing the compelling power of love.

It is the love of God that compelled Him to speak creation into existence to sustain His prized creation, Adam.

It is the love of God that compelled Him to extend mercy and grace toward Adam and Eve after they abused His love by their self-centered love.

It is the love of God that compelled Him to send His only begotten Son, Jesus, to suffer and die for the sins of the world.

It was the love of Jesus that compelled Him to empty Himself, leave Heaven and come to earth as a baby in a feed trough.

And, it was the love of Jesus that compelled Him to surrender to an agonizing death on the cross to atone for the sins of the world.

When you have received the love of God through Christ by faith, you will be compelled to share His love with those you love. If you are not compelled by His love you should make sure you really have it. 

His love is compelling!