WHAT TO DO

  • Listen to your favorite worship song.
  • Read the Biblical Text and Thoughts
  • Sit in silence and Meditate on the words
  • Journal what you hear from the Holy Spirit
  • Read the prayer and add to it as the Holy Spirit Leads

BIBLICAL TEXT

Romans 10:17 and Matthew 28:17

THOUGHTS – Faith Comes From Hearing

Have you ever really stopped and thought how much “hearing” influences our understandings?  Words are powerful and exude meaning.  What is interesting is how that meaning can become skewed when we hear it.  When I talk to my wife and call her dear I am not thinking of deer – you know the kind with four legs that run and hide during deer hunting season.

So, if words have meaning, faith as Paul suggests comes from hearing the word of Christ.  So if no one hears the word of Christ, can or will they have faith in Him?  We know that even when people hear the word of Christ they really don’t hear.  They hear words but really do not hear the word of Christ.  Example:  Paul at the end of chapter 10 in Romans he speaks to the people of Israel – Day after day after day, I beckoned Israel with open arms, And they got nothing for my trouble but cold shoulders and icy stares. (Romans 10:21, The Message).

So how do people hear the word of Christ?  Jump back to the end of Matthew’s gospel.  Jesus had spend 3 – 3 1/2 years walking with, talking to, and teaching a group of 12 (11 at the end of Matthew since Judas betrayed Jesus).  What was he preparing them for?  It was not going to be a dinner party – even though Jesus did much teaching around a table or meal.  Instead He was preparing them for one thing and one thing only – sharing the word of Christ.

What is the word of Christ.  Quite simply it is sharing what Jesus shared – that is what they learned.  In our modern view of this, they were to share the RED LETTERS of JESUS.  From those red letters people will know Jesus and the word of Christ.  This was not inviting them to a building that has become synonyms with church.  Reminder, a building is a building.  Those early disciples did not know anything about what we call “church”.  All they knew was – lets talk about Christ – get together to share meals – talk about Christ – strategize how we will, TALK ABOUT CHRIST.

That is a significant thought for us.  It is all about Jesus and sharing the word of Christ.

But wait many people say, I do not have the spiritual gift of sharing the word of Christ (we call it evangelism today).  Do you really think that all 11 had the spiritual gift of evangelism?  The clear answer is no.  And yet they all were instructed to go and make disciples.

What is even more telling is that Jesus’s return in Matthew 28 was less than well received.  How can that be?  Weren’t those 11 who were with him for the 3 to 3 1/2 years the ones mentioned already.  They heard those RED LETTERS first-hand.  They saw miracles first-hand. You and I often say, if I saw Jesus after the resurrection we would………..

Would we really be so excited, that we would leap to our feet and listen intently, and then say “whatever you ask Jesus?”  I can tell you that was not the case with those that lived and walked with Jesus.  Matthew 28:17 (The Message) gives us a clear picture in one verse what was going on with the 11 – “The moment they saw him they worshipped him.”  Now you are talking my type of disciples – ready to risk everything for Jesus.  Hold on, the rest of verse 17 is more telling – “Some though held back, not sure about worship, about risking themselves totally.”  Ouch!  That verse right before telling the 11 to GO MAKE DISCIPLES.  Note, it is before what we today call the Great Commission.

So Jesus gave a group of worshippers and doubters the responsibility to go and share the word of Christ.  Jesus had faith in the 11 because they heard and were with Him.  At some point, I conclude that Jesus believed He had gotten through to them.  After all, they were still gathering together so they learned something from Him.

Let us remind ourselves that we are like the 11, worshippers or doubters, but none the less we are called to share the word of Christ.  

Paul said there is “no difference between Jew and Gentile – the same Lord is Lord” (Romans 10:12, NIV).  “And how can they preach unless they are sent? “….how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.” (Romans 10:15, NIV)

All of us, pastor, church leader, hearer, listener, adult, and child are sent just like the 11 (worshippers and doubters) to share the word of Christ (the RED LETTERS OF the Bible).

Who are you sharing the word of Christ with today – not someone who already knows Jesus but who does not?

PRAYER

Lord, our God.  We come to you like the 11 – worshippers and doubters.  You call us to go and make disciples.  Fill us with your Holy Spirit and send us forth no matter our state of worship or doubt.  Draw us into the good news as we read the RED LETTERS recorded in the Bible.  Propel us whether – old or young in age, young or old in faith – to share the word of Christ, the Good News.  AMEN.

VIDEO

I Have Decided | Live | Elevation Worship (7:10)

In Christ Alone | Celtic Worship (5:44)

Blessed Assurance – Jeremy Riddle | Worship Circle Hymns (10:16)

How Great Thou Art // Joy Frost and Vince Gill duet (5:56)

*****NOTE for this song – notice how sharing Jesus should be natural

UPDATE ON GATHERING TOGETHER

We continue to be suspended due to COVID-19. It is our hope that we will be able to gather sometime in June – depending on what the health officials and the government instruct concerning meeting.

PLEASE CONTINUE TO MAIL YOUR TITHES AND OFFERINGS

We have been doing well with meeting most of our obligation in terms of ministry distributions (tithes to the Conference, utilities, insurance, and pastoral leadership).  Thank you!