Friday, January 7, 2011
Building People of Substance for Works of Power
Here’s some stuff I want to be sure know, me and tobie.
A few weeks ago I heard a news story about a diplomat who died after emergency surgery. According to the physicians who attended him, his last words to them on the way to the operating table were, “"You’ve got to stop this war in Afghanistan.” (I’m sure they would if they could.) Now given his line of work, I suppose those were noble words. Nevertheless, it set me to thinking: What do I want you to know if it’s possible I will never see you again? If you are part of my family or circle of intimate friends, I suppose you should know that I love you. For all the rest of the world, what can I say that is of any importance? Well, here’s the stuff I want to be sure you know:
1. Jesus came to rescue you and you needed it. He didn’t come to spoil your fun or condemn you for your wrongdoing. You were hopelessly lost. He found you and provided an answer for your mess, whatever that may be. John 3:16-19 / .Eph 2:12
2. You must be born again. You can’t just turn over a new leaf and try to do better. You have to be replaced. John 3:1-8 / Romans 10:9-10 / 2 Cor 5:17
3. Water baptism is not optional. It doesn’t save us, but it is the required first step in a life of discipleship, and our place of public identification with Him. Matt 28:18-20 / 1 Peter 3:21 / Romans 6:3-4
4. You need the Word. You cannot live the Christian life without the Word of God. Read it, say it, listen to it, crave it. There is no growth in God without it. Matthew 4:4 / 1 Peter 2:2 / 2 Tim 3:16-17.
5. You need the Holy Ghost. Without supernatural help, religious form may be your fate. Lack of power was a dilemma for us all. You need to be able to pray when you don’t even know what to pray for. Romans 8:26 / 1 Cor 14:2,4 / Acts 1:8.
6. It’s not just juice and crackers. The Lord’s Table is a holy ordinance to be observed with reverence and self-examination. It is a time to remember what Christ has done for you, what he provided in His covenant, and what He has promised at His coming. It speaks loudly of our participation in a Body unbroken. 1 Cor 11:23-29 / 5:7-8
7. You and I need each other. The Christian life is a team activity. We are His Body, and every part is part of Him. Please find a place of connection with a local church and hang on. Heb 1:24-25 / Acts 2:42
8. The world is waiting. Our spiritual life is never just about us. We strive to grow, to learn, to serve in the church, but ultimately we are here to reach others, not to be comfortably insulated and isolated. You are the salt of the earth. Don’t lose your savor. Matt 5:13 / Col 4:5 / 1 Peter 3:15 / Rev 22:20-21.
Scripture Reading: And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation." Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. (Acts 2:40-43 NKJV)
Somebody Said: Judge each day not by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant
There. Now if we never speak again, you have all you need to live a useful life. Be sure to tell someone else about it. They are looking for answers and they don’t even know the questions. This year I am going to expend energy making sure no one gets away without knowing this stuff. It’s going to be a grand year!