Posts tagged ‘missions’

February 29, 2012

Daily Devotionals: (Feb. 29th) The Message of the Church

by colinmercer

The New Testament Church: Learning from the first disciples of Christianity

Reading: “Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” Acts 3:6

What can the church say to a world ruined by sin? There is only one answer to this question.

Peter did not tell the beggar at the gate to beg some more, for that would have benefitted him for a only short time. Neither did he tell him to ignore his situation and be content with his plight, for that would have filled him with crushing despair. Peter told him something that he wasn’t expecting: “Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I thee: in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.”

There are two great parts to Peter’s statement: one involved a correction. This beggar was expecting something to fix his temporal needs. But Peter spoke in such a way as to redirect him. When he said, “Silver and gold have I none,” he was making it clear that such things were not the most important things. His correction of the beggar was quickly followed by his counsel to the beggar, for Peter went on to say, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.”

That was a Christ-centered word. It was a converting, transforming, and delivering message, and it was spoken with authority and accompanied with power. At once the lame man stood up and walked.

So back to my question, what can the church say to a world ruined by sin? We can tell a sin-ruined people of a Christ who is mighty to save. Preachers can tinker with the problems of society—politics, pastimes, pleasures, and philosophies—but to what avail? What would the church accomplish? Nothing!

We need to speak in the name of Christ and proclaim the great news that Jesus Christ alone can save from sin. Let us give ourselves to that work.


February 3, 2012

Daily Devotionals: (Feb. 3rd): The Uttermost Part of the Earth

by colinmercer

The New Testament Church: Learning from the first disciples of Christianity

Reading: “Ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1:8

When I was a child I remember being taught a chorus that went like this: “Red and yellow, black and white, all are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.” Simple lines, but they have a solemn message: the gospel is for the world. Keep in mind that these disciples had probably never been far from Jerusalem or Galilee or even Judaea. They were Jews who had been brought up in Israel, yet here was their Lord commanding them to go to the uttermost parts of the earth. He was telling them the gospel was not just for the Jews but for the Gentiles.

This universal gospel really challenged the disciples. To go far and wide with the message of Christ would take them out of their comfort zone. In a very real way this was a follow up to what Christ had said in John 4:35: “Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already unto harvest.” John Wesley had this kind of vision when he said, “All the world is my parish.”

Have we the duty to go to Africa and Asia and Australia and throughout the Americas—everywhere and anywhere with the gospel? Yes we have! There are scores of millions of people—Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Roman Catholics, and nominal Protestants—who need to hear that Christ is the only ”way, the truth and the life.” And we must go! We may not be the same politically, socially, culturally, or educationally, but they need Christ. May the Lord give me a burning desire for the salvation of soul­s—“a desire like Christ’s own!”

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