It's Sunday morning!! I love Sundays!! I get to go to church and be with God's people. I'm so looking forward to that. This morning, I was reading in the book of Acts. It is called The Acts of the Apostles, but it could easily be called The Acts of the Holy Spirit. It is an amazing book about the early church and the Christians who faithfully shared the gospel. Notice a few things:
1) CALLED CHRISTIANS Acts 11:26 "And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch." Barnabas took a young believer named Saul of Tarsus to preach and teach these new believers in Antioch, and here they were given the name of Christian. (little Christ, or imitator of Christ) It was not meant to be a nice term, but I'm proud to be thought of as a Christian. A follower of Jesus Christ my Savior!!
2) JOY AND THE HOLY GHOST- These two should always go together. The Holy Spirit's fullness should always manifest joy. In Acts 13:52 it says: "And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost." We should be happy Christians as we yield to the Holy Spirit and let Him have control in our lives. Don't be sad, be happy!! JOY.... Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last.... that's the formula.
3) FICKLE FOLLOWERS- Nothings new. As a pastor, I've often wondered how someone could think I'm the best pastor ever and then a few months later think I'm not worth listening to? How does that happen? Well, honestly, people are fickle. In Acts 14 we see that perfectly illustrated. At Lystra, a cripple man was healed and the whole city wanted to worship Paul and Barnabas. They even called them by the name of their gods. But Paul told them they were just common men who worshiped the Lord and "with these sayings scarce restrained they the people, that they had not done sacrifice unto them." (verse 18) But the next verse (19) reads: "And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead." From getting worshiped to getting stoned and left for dead!! Maybe it's not so bad when people just decided not to hear me preach anymore. I haven't been stoned yet!!
4) GOD KNOWS- Acts 15:18 says: "Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world." God doesn't need to add anything to His revelation, because He had it complete before the world was created!! God knows everything and doesn't just "come up" with things, like we do. God knows!!
5) MIDNIGHT SINGING- In Acts 16:25, Paul and Silas sang praises at midnight. They had been beaten, thrown in prison, and bound fast in the stocks. But, they sang God's praises!! What a lesson to learn about praise and loving God. We too need to learn the secret of singing at midnight (our darkest hour).
Well, all I have time for today! May God bless and hope to see some of you at church today! Pastor Mike Mutchler