Saturday, August 6, 2016

Daily Devotional August 4 - Him I Declare Unto You

""Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' Hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Who therefore ye ignorantly worship, Him I declare unto you." The Acts 17:22-23

I think this is a good example for all of us. I have had the opportunity to tell many people (those who were worshiping some god) about the true God. Even for those who are worshiping a god with a name, it is the same as worshiping an unknown god.

First of all the gods with or without a name do not answer prayer.
They are not listening.
They are not responding.
They are not speaking to the hearts of their followers.
They have never lived, nor do they live today.
They are not instructing their followers.
They do not exist.

Whether someone is worshiping an unknown god or a god with a name, it doesn't matter. They are worshiping a non-existent being/statue/idol. To reveal to them that there is a real God with a name and how to connect the dots is one of our responsibilities as a Christian. I mean, how can you really have met Jesus Christ and not have the necessary information to give someone who is desperately seeking what you possess? You have within you the key that unlocks the door from lost to found; from darkness to light; from worshiping ignorantly to worshiping with purpose and results.

Paul had the right idea, 'let me tell you about Jesus.' If you have been saved from your own ignorance of worshiping whomever or whatever, you have been set free from the hold that the world system has on people that do not know God. You have been set free to connect with God anytime, anywhere. You have been adopted into the kingdom and you have received a full share to all that is available to God's people. You have a remarkable gift from God and it is your responsibility to reveal the experience with all who might be without. I already know the argument about not being able to talk to others about Jesus, that it just isn't your responsibility and that you have decided to leave it for someone else to do, but that isn't really an argument, it is an excuse. What you think you don't know how to say to someone will come out just perfectly if you trust the Holy Spirit within you concerning the matter. You might be the only person available who has met Jesus to discuss this with a certain person.
There's other reasons that born again believers won't share Jesus. They think they will be laughed at or they are worried that it will finally be found out that they are Christians. Let me deal with both.
If you are worried that you will be laughed at, you need to get your priorities straight. Knowing God through the person of Jesus Christ is the one most important piece of knowledge you have or ever will have. If you are afraid of being laughed at, you really need to re-evaluate your priorities.
More than likely you are really helping anyone to find their way to Jesus.
More than likely you aren't really living for Jesus.
More than likely you aren't sure about Jesus.
More than likely when others are telling really dirty jokes, you just laugh and let it go as if it didn't matter.
More than likely you are really liberal with your daughter and let her wear anything she wants to, even if you are not in agreement.
More than likely you allow your son to watch just about anything he wants to and play any video game he wants.
You're not a very good witness for the gracious work that God has done on your behalf. Is it possible, that maybe you only have a cultural relationship with Jesus, that you have been conditioned to believe that God exists, but you have never confessed your sins and been born again and began a personal relationship with Jesus?

There is no other kind of saved other than saved through faith in Jesus Christ. At some point in time, you realized that you were separated from God by sin and you confessed your sins and God saved you by your faith in the work that Jesus did on the cross. If you have not done that you are not saved. You are not saved because you go to church or because you your mother or fatter told you that you are a Christian. You are not saved because you always do the right things or because a priest told you you are saved or because you take communion, have been baptized, confirmed or performed any other outward expression of an inward work. You are saved if you have recognized your sinful nature and asked God, by faith, to come into your heart and to cleanse you. Nothing else will do. Nothing else works. No one can go to God on your behalf and get you saved.

The other reason that you might not tell others about Jesus is that you are worried about being found out. I hope you are not one of these people, but you may have been at one time or another or you may know Christians that operate incognito. Operating incognito is not biblical, nor is it right. You are not protecting yourself or your family by hiding who you are. It may be different in other countries or in times past. I'm not arguing the point. But if you are in America and you have been born again, then what is keeping you from letting others know about your faith is cowardice. I know you don't want to hear it, but someone has got to tell you that trying to be like the world and accepted into all kinds of situations that do not glorify God, is not your calling. To be friends with the world is to be an enemy with God. (James 4:4) We are in the world but not of the world. (John 16:18-18) It is not godly to be a Christian and hide the fact from your friends or colleagues at work. There is too much of that going on today. You are not doing yourself a favor nor are you doing your co-workers a favor either. You are living in false pretense. You are powerless if what you do is under false pretense. God can only work in truth. The power you have within you is not activated under false pretense and you will not be able:
To effectively pray and receive the answers to prayer
To ask for a miracle with expectations
To witness so that someone else will come to Jesus
To stand against evil in your life
To take back lost territory
To make course corrections in line with God's will for your life
To fulfill your purpose for being where you are
Let me put it this way, do you want to be found out when Jesus returns?

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