葉長老 2015.5.21 風美小組信息/ 周映廷 弟兄 摘要
God thinks so highly of us as to entrust us with the mission of spreading the Gospel. Therefore, Christians should not look down own on themselves. We don’t pour new wine into old wineskins; this wine is the blessings from God, and we need to change our heart and mind in order to receive God’s blessings. Otherwise, the wineskin will break when it receives new wine.
If we have this notion, we will have strength, and we won’t be afraid even when we are attacked by others. We should learn from Paul’s example and stand firm for God. In Acts 19, Paul debated with others fervently. Many people believed in Jesus because they saw Paul’s enthusiasm, Paul’s knowledge about God, and the power behind Paul.
Shortly, the name of Jesus became very famous. Seven sons of a Jewish chief priest tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus. This reminds us that the purpose of our Bible reading, healing the sick, and casting out demons is not to glorify ourselves. Whose name do you raise? Only you and God can answer that.
Superstitious is believing in false God that asks you to do so much for it but never do anything for you. Many people follow idols blindly; they do not know what they are doing or that Jesus is their only true hope. Ephesus is full of idols. Christians should hold firm to God, but the Truth is often blurred.
God creates everyone differently and for different purposes. Our knowledge about God is very limited. As a result, we many have different opinions, but we hold on to the same Truth.
There’s only one Truth, so we should have one goal. When churches do God’s works, they should prosper; if not, there must be something wrong. Members should learn from each other so that God’s Gospel can be spread. We ought not to lock ourselves inside the ivory tower; we study Bible and God all day, but get nothing in the end. Christians should GO and make disciples of all nations.
Churches should find out who is not serving, because those people can be used by God in the future. Every will have to answer to God one day, so we should all think about how God’s kingdom can be established in our church. Do not wait until we weep and gnash our teeth in darkness; it will be too late. The God we know, is the only true God, there a fire in our heart we cannot hold back. We cannot just watch indifferently souls lost in darkness.
After we meet God, we will act differently. Our thoughts will be connected to the house of God. No matter how good we are at our services, they would all be in vain if we do not long to save souls. God is true, but humans can be fake. So, Gentiles thought that our God is false too. The key to God’s kingdom is believing and admitting that Jesus died for our sins and resurrected. Our faith does not come from our sights; we believe, with our heart, that God is real. Once we receive baptism and open our hearts, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside us.
Paul was very eloquent and courageous. He argued with people, and he did not compromise the Truth. He had principles, but he is also flexible. He is as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves when spreading the Gospel. Christians need trainings as well; if Christian’s knowledge about the Truth is not deep enough, they can be confused by all kinds of questions. Today, we no longer need to debate with others like Paul did, because everything is written in the Bible. All we need to do is to peruse God’s words and equip ourselves.
In Acts 19, we can see the growth of Paul’s spiritual life. The situation was difficult, but he is enthusiastic. He put all the difficulties behind him, and he didn’t let the enemy reach him. Therefore, at the end of his life, he could say, ” I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race.” If you fought the good fight, you are a good and faithful servant, if not, you are a wicked and lazy servant!
We should look up to Jesus Christ. If people obey Him, God will turn seemingly bad things into blessings; this is the greatness of our God!
Message by Elder Yeh