Friday, March 9, 2012

Acts 20:18-21, Galatians 6:1m Acts 5:5-10; Do you make a difference?

Acts 20:18-21
"And when they had come to him, he said to them: "You know, from the first day that I came to Asia, in what manner I always lived among you, serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears and trials which happened to me by the plotting of the Jews; how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ."
If you are living the same way you did before you met Jesus, then something is wrong. "Do you mean the bad things I used to do... like lying, drinking, and profanity?" Yes, but only in part because this kind of thinking is what's wrong with the modern day church. We tend to focus on the 'things' we have turned from and not on the 'One' we've turned to. You see, we should be following Jesus. Jesus said "Follow Me" and "DO the things I do." What did Jesus do? He reached out to the hurting, loved the unlovable, and He challenged the religious people of the day. We have made Christianity all about what we 'don't do' so that when we don't smoke dope or drink ourselves into a coma, we think we are living the Christian life. Certainly that is part of it, but it is when we love and serve one another that we are really living the Christian life. Look at the difference Paul made through his ministry. The world would never be the same because of the life of Paul.

Paul wrote, "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:1 NKJV

What is your commitment to God? You can judge that by your commitment to ministry, to the Church, and to serving others. Think about it. The fruit of our faith should be active. We should be 'Bible-doing' and not just 'Bible-reading'. It is my job to ask the hard questions and to help you with the answers. Here's a hard question... Are you making a difference? You probably already know the answer, but if you are not serving the Lord and others, then friend, you are probably not making a difference.
Life Lesson: We should make a difference in this work for God.
Dear Father,
Thank You for the gifts and abilities You have given me. Please forgive me for the times that I have failed to use them to glorify You by serving others. Please give me a burden for the hurting, the unlovable, the unsaved, and for my family in Christ. Give me opportunities to exercise that burden. Lord, I thank You for saving me from the bonds of sin. Please help me to serve You with all of my heart. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Living to tell what He died to say,
Pastor David McGee
My Comments: In Acts 5 Ananias and his wife Sapphira sold some property and he laid some of it at the feet of the Apostles and kept some for himself. When asked of Peter "Ananias why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself:" "While it remained was it not your own?And after it was sold was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God. Then he died. Three hours later when Peter asked the wife she also did not give the true price they got for the property and Peter asked her, "How is you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord?" She also, died.
When one comes to the Lord and accepts His mantle they live to bring glory and praise to the one whose name they carry. They know their whole lives and all they possess are the Lords and He graciously lets us live in His abundance. This couple did not have to give anything. Yet they wanted to be looked at, they were full of pride and so they lied because they did not want to give freely. Tithing is not expected it is given freely  in faith that God will take care of us. It is given freely as our time and energy, our words and our actions.
When we look into our selves we see what we are lacking in and seek the Lord to help us change and become truly a blessing to Him. A life lived for the glory of God reflects the glory of God. It is a life lived as Jesus lived His for the Father and others and not for ourselves.
Abba we pray You will give us the strength and guidance from Your Holy Spirit to live our lives for You and others and that we will bring glory and praise to Your Holy Name by all we think, say and do. Change our hearts and put Your Word on our hearts and in our mouths and bring us into right relationship with You who gave so much for us and show us how to live our lives for You and work with You in Your vineyard. Amen

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