“You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus. Paul provided an important clue concerning his missionary methods when he bid farewell to the Ephesian elders. He taught the Christian faith in private homes as well as in public gatherings. He was willing to teach all who would listen regardless of race or culture. He sought to bring his pupils to repentance and faith in Christ, not just increase their factual knowledge. He did not refrain from teaching certain truths for fear of opposition. He taught whatever God showed him was helpful for the people.” (Acts 20:20-21)
Proclamation helps the church to grow in Christ and invites the unsaved to believe in Christ. Increasing the size of the congregation alone is not the main point, it is in educating the congregation in order for them to be effective in taking the gospel message out into the world, that there is a promise of eternal life, but we must also know that repentance of sins is essential to claim that promise. The elders from Ephesus that he had sent for, needed to know that they were to take this message publicly and to all races and cultures, as he had done. Furthermore he closes with an appeal for repentance and faith, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the promise of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, today we recognize the gift of proclaiming without bias. The message that we take out into the world we live in beloved come from mixed races, genders, languages, etc. and that the message is for all of them, without exception. We are not giving an exclusionary message; it is an inclusionary message that is for all people. Today we also pray those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, for those we don’t know, especially the people in Ukraine, as they are fighting for their very lives and way of life. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Plan ahead beloved, remember the ark was built in the middle of a drought!”
“He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.” (2nd Thessalonians 1:8)
We all know people who simply do not believe in God through His Son, Jesus Christ. They may even sit next to you in the pew! They show up every Sunday to worship, but then leave and live a life that does not reflect Christ in any way. Sometimes it is in ignorance, for parents do not talk with their children about Christ or church. Sometimes it is those we know at Holiday Christians, they show up for Christmas and Easter only. Some will tell you they believe, but then so did Satan, until he decided he wanted to be God! Services on Sunday are not for attendance, they are to worship the God we serve in our daily lives. The God who allowed His only begotten Son to die on a cross as atonement for our sins. Beloved, God loves us and wants a daily relationship with us, not just on Sunday, but everyday. In what way, are you honoring that relationship with Him?
“For the Message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of he intelligent I will frustrate.’ Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.” (1st Corinthians 1:18-25)
Proclaiming the gospel brings two responses. Some will accept the gospel with repentance and faith. Others will respond with rejection and rebellion. This dual reaction is clearly seen in these verses of 1st Corinthians. When Simeon spoke of Jesus Chris in the Temple, he pointed out these two results (Luke 2:34). The results belong to God. Our assignment is to preach the gospel so that all people will be brought either to receive Him or reject Him.
2ND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: ‘This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against., so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.’” (Luke 2:33-35)
Simeon had been promised by through the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he saw the consolation of of Israel. He was a righteous and devout man and went to the Temple every day and when Mary and Joseph entered the Temple for Jesus’ dedication as their firstborn child, the Spirit moved in Simeon, alerting him that the child was there. There also was a prophetess named Anna, daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She had married for seven years, and her husband died, and she lived in the Temple, worshiping, fasting, and praying day and night. At the age of 84 and before Mary and Joseph left the Temple she came up to them and gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. They left to return to Galilee.
Jesus’ coming brought decision time. People must accept Him and rise to salvation or reject Him and fall to judgment. He would suffer rejection, which would bring His mother suffering, also. No one can make the decision to accept or reject Him, as this is a personal decision and one that carries with it consequences. Choose wisely.