Today is Wednesday. We just finished a conference with Dr. Clarence Sexton from the great Temple Baptist Church in Powell, TN. Wow! It was so amazing to listen to him preach. What a blessing it was. I and my people thoroughly enjoyed the messages, and the Spirit of God did His work in our lives. Thank you Jesus!
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. Oh that people would mistake us for Jesus, or at least, see a little of our Savior in us. A follower of Jesus Christ my Savior, that is all we should ever desire to be!
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!! God knows the outcome of your present situation... trust Him for a good outcome when you cannot see the way clear. Ours is a life of faith and trust in His direction.... anything we have made for ourselves might need to be destroyed to serve Him better and focus on Christ alone. Don't despair.... 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). Singing is an act of faith and worship. "Come before His presence with singing.." Let us sing, sing, sing unto the LORD!
Dear Lord, thank you for this day! Thank you for loving us so much that you teach us to walk in your ways. Our life is Yours! Our chief task and joy is to obey Your voice, to heed Your commands, and to expectantly wait on our LORD, desiring to anticipate Your wish and will for us. I love you Lord, and hope today I get to demonstrate that Love through my life. Thank you Jesus! Amen.