Matthew 4:19 And (Jesus) saith unto them, Follow me…
This morning our associate pastor, Bro. Adam Bowen, preached a message on Peter’s actions leading up to and following his betrayal of Christ. It has been on my mind all day and I wanted to share some of what I got from it with you.
Jesus told Peter after he was “converted” he was to “strengthen thy brethren” (Luke 23:32). The way this word is used in the text isn’t what we think of today as being converted: becoming a Christian. It meant fully given over to love and obey God, or fully committed. As we know, Peter certainly went on to be fully committed to God and He did great things through Peter.
Do you ever wonder why the church isn’t full? Why people are not being saved? Why prayers seem to go unheard? I think the answer is the same to us today as it was to Peter some 2000 years ago; our people aren’t fully committed to love and obey God.
Do you have areas in your life that aren’t fully committed and submitted to God? If we are honest with ourselves the answer has to be yes. We all get a little slack, a little weak or weary from time to time. It’s so important that we listen to the Spirit’s voice and admit it when this happens. The sooner we do, the quicker we can get that area back into God’s will by fully committing and submitting to Him. Just think of what the Church could accomplish if all of God’s children would fully commit!
This evening I called my great-uncle. He is about 84 now I think and is suffering from some of the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s. I have not know this man but a couple of years; it’s a long story but suffice it to say God brought us together in His time for the reason He saw fit.
He and his daughter have hinted at this diagnosis for a while but I hadn’t seen any evidence of it until this evening. I know for certain now that he is slipping some. It is such a sad thing to see; only a year ago he seemed to me sharp as a tack. But I suppose, not being around him that much I might not have picked up on it as much as his daughter did.
We have spoken about the things of God in the past; about a year ago his wife of 50-plus years died and I think that set him to thinking on Eternity. He was, at that time, going to church again a little, when he could get a ride without putting anyone out of their way. He told me during one of our talks that he was new to the religion thing and was taking it slowly. I thought, “At your age I’d be running to catch up!” But I didn’t say that to him.
Now I wonder, has he taken Jesus as his personal Savior? Will he, if he hasn’t, make the commitment to Him while his mind still allows rational thinking? Could I have done more to sow the seed to him? Or would I have made it a worse situation by trying too hard? So many questions and so many things to consider. Guidance is what I am praying for in this situation. It could well be that God brought us together so that I might plant the seed of faith in him and he be saved before it is too late. I don’t know that for certain but it has a feel of it to me.
So if you think of it, remember me and my great-uncle in your prayers. That I would have the right things to say, at the right time to him and that he will be open to them. I reckon that the rest is between him and God.
Several months ago I wrote a piece called Change and Hope. It references society’s desire and definition of these concepts. I then explain what they mean to me and how Jesus is my Hope. It was published today online and may be read here: http://relijournal.com/christianity/change-and-hope/. I hope you enjoy it.
The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)
What a word is this! Jehovah God in the center of His people in all the majesty of His power! This presence alone suffices to inspire us with peace and hope. Treasures of boundless might are stored in our Jehovah, and He dwells in His church; therefore may His people shout for joy.
We not only have His presence, but He is engaged upon His choice work of salvation. “He will save.” He is always saving: He takes His name of Jesus from it. Let us not fear any danger, for He is mighty to save.
Nor is this all. He abides evermore the same, He saves, He finds rest in loving, He will not cease to love. His love gives Him joy. He even finds a theme for song in His beloved. This is exceedingly wonderful. When God wrought creation He did not sing but simply said, “It is very good”; but when He came to redemption, then the sacred Trinity felt a joy to be expressed in song. Think of it, and be astonished! Jehovah Jesus sings a marriage song over His chosen bride. She is to Him His love, His joy, His rest, His song. O Lord Jesus, by Thine immeasurable love to us teach us to love Thee, to rejoice in Thee, and to sing unto Thee our life-psalm. – C.H. Spurgeon