Tonight at Bible study, we read Chapter 4 of Acts of the Apostles. It's about the Pentecost and the power of the Holy Spirit. In one of the closing paragraphs, Ellen White says this of the disciples:
"No longer was it a matter of faith with them that Christ was the Son of God. They knew that, although clothed with humanity, He was indeed the Messiah, and they told their experience to the world with a confidence which carried with it the conviction that God was with them." Acts of the Apostles, p. 46
Christ's divinity, authority, and power to save was no longer a mere belief-- a vague idea in their heads that couldn't fully be explained; instead it was fact. Not only was it fact, but it was a certainty that changed their lives, their daily actions.
God keeps bringing things to my attention that make me realize that somewhere, somehow there is a disconnect in my own and many other Christians' minds. Somehow God is not as real to me as He ought to be. If He were, it would be impossible for me to doubt His power, and it would be impossible for me to distrust His love and the goodness of His plans for me. Because if God were as real to me as He ought to be, His love and power would be a fact that would change my life, my daily actions.
Somehow the things which are seen, the things of this world, have become more real to us than our heavenly home (of which we are true citizens) and the God of love who dwells there. I know this because if God were more real to us, we would live our lives as if nothing else in the world matters as much as He does.
"By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God." Hebrews 11:8-10
"These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city." Hebrews 11:13-16
"So we do not lose heart. . . as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16, 18
"But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ" Philippians 3:20
Monday, September 19
Well friends... As some of you know, I preached a sermon this past weekend. I really believe God blessed, and I hope that the point got across. I am not the world's most dynamic speaker, and the sermon probably could have gone a little better, but what's done is done. I just pray that somehow God used the words He put on my heart to touch someone else's.
Here it is if you want to listen/download it. It's called Wholehearted Commitment. It's about 30 minutes long, so plan accordingly :)