Thursday, September 04, 2008
Change Is Good
The first mission trip Paul and Barnabas received their instruction from the Holy Spirit, now for their second trip they are trying to make their own plans but they had to wait for the Holy Spirit to verify which direction to go.
On the road again and this time Paul takes Silas and their first stop is northern Greece, which is the area of Macedonia, they meet Lydia in Philippi and she became a believer. While they are staying in Philippi they are beaten and thrown into prison on false charges.
What a place for a revival to take place! Our pastor would love to have a “captive” audience, the jailer and the prisoners were all stuck listening to Paul and Silas as they pray and sing hymns. It had to have an effect on them all because when the chains came loose nobody bolted for the doors that were standing wide open. The gospel had an effect on the jailer as well and then when he took Paul and Silas home with him they began to preach to his entire household and they are saved.
The gospel changes lives; the prisoners didn’t run when they had a chance and the jailer took his prisoner’s home with him and nursed his wounds. What Paul later told the Corinthians is true:
2 Cor 5:17-20 When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun! 18 All these new things are from God who brought us back to himself through what Christ Jesus did. And God has given us the privilege of urging everyone to come into his favor and be reconciled to him. 19 For God was in Christ, restoring the world to himself, no longer counting men's sins against them but blotting them out. This is the wonderful message he has given us to tell others. 20 We are Christ's ambassadors. God is using us to speak to you: we beg you, as though Christ himself were here pleading with you, receive the love he offers you--be reconciled to God.
Many questions come to mind here. Are you in Christ? Do you look like a person changed by Christ? Do you live a different way from how the rest of the world does? Am I behaving like it is a privilege to tell others?
I have been a Christian for a long time but I still do not look enough like Christ, and I still do not behave like an ambassador should. Yes I am a good man and I talk to people about God but I am not behaving like an ambassador that is privileged to tell the wonderful message. I have just suffered the lose of two friends, one that my family is confident is with God right now but the other person that was with her nobody is confident about were he is sending eternity right now. I didn’t know him very well but I wish I had been friendlier and had taken more time to know him well enough to know where he stood with God.
7 For the Holy Spirit, God's gift, does not want you to be afraid of people, but to be wise and strong, and to love them and enjoy being with them. 8 If you will stir up this inner power, you will never be afraid to tell others about our Lord. 2 Tim 1:7-8 (Living)
I will be friendlier to others to win an opportunity to give them the good news, which is my privilege to do.
Impress on me Lord the shortness of life and the importance of the task that I am here to accomplish.