September 15, 2020
The rapid spread of the church in the New Testament can only be attributed to two things: the gracious, miraculous activity of the Holy Spirit and the bold witness of His followers. If God had not moved, nothing would have happened. If believers had not shared the gospel, the movement would have stalled.
We can always count on the power of God. He is moving. Our task is to not “quench” (restrain, resist, stop), the Holy Spirit. The need on our side is to turn from a fear of man and boldly cooperate as the Spirit prompts us to open our mouths and share the gospel every day, everywhere, to everyone.
AN UNDENIABLE WITNESS
Peter and John were threatened by unbelieving men. They had been imprisoned for proclaiming their faith. Such persecution regularly happens around the world and is increasingly happening in America. If we do not have a nationwide spiritual awakening, we can expect a rapidly growing persecution of believers in our nation. Satan will see to that.
But when Peter was questioned by the religious authorities, here was His response:
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them … let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead--by this name this man stands here before you in good health … and there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:8-12)
What gave Peter such boldness?
It’s not complicated. And, this is written for US. Are we willing to let Christ have absolute control? Which means that when He tells us to open up our mouths and unashamedly tell people about Christ, that we will respond in glad obedience?
We can’t say that we are filled with the Spirit if our days are not filled with gospel witness. Without living to lead people to Christ. Without opening our mouths everyday with the proclamation of the gospel. The Bible never records people being filled with the Spirit so they could feel better, or have nice emotions, or a good day.
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ and He will always do what He has always done … seek and save the lost. If that is not happening with us, then we are not cooperating with His leadership. And, the movement of God will be quenched and stalled in our families, our church, our world.
Father, forgive me for my timidity. For not letting Your Spirit have such control that my days are filled with telling everyone everywhere about You. I gladly give you my body to be used in the remaining days of my life as Your channel to tell people about that which they cannot know unless someone tells them—the lifesaving good news of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection and the assurance of eternal salvation if they will believe in Him.
October 13, 2021
October 12, 2021
It could not be worse. God is gracious in His offering of forgiveness through Jesus Christ to all who believe. Those who come to know God and obey Him will experience the best in this life and the life to come.
But what of all those who ignore God? Who will not trust Him? Who never follow and obey the one true God? The Bible leaves no ambiguity about this, and its clarity should sober us.
October 07, 2021
My son, who is planting a church in a Northern Colorado city, intentionally took me for a walk through a sculpture garden recently that is located in a prominent spot in his large city. It was beautiful, convenient, and filled with people.
To my amazement, at every 30 yards or so, there was a stone statue. The whole garden was a prayer garden, and each statue was named. The farther we walked, the more I realized it was a garden designed to help you pray to ancestral spirits. This religion is called animism and is no different from the false religions we read of in the Scripture. Paul encountered this in Athens.