Monday, February 28, 2011

Acts 17 in HD

Acts 17:32-34
Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, “We will hear you again about this.” So Paul went out from their midst. But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.
It might serve well to talk and walk through the preceding verses (of Paul’s ministry in Athens) another time, but these verses stood out in my mind as we were sharing the good news of Jesus in Africa. As we shared, there were those who had little time for what was being said. They were hardly interested. However, others requested another hearing. What they heard arrested their attention enough to want to hear more. I believe that is the Spirit at work. Still others had believed the good news.

I love the way this passage describes this happening in Athens. I love that the names Dionysius and Damaris are mentioned. Truly, when you see new life born (or I could say born again – John 3), the name of the individual means a great deal to you. It meant enough to Luke to record these names.

So, we have the responsibility to share. We have the responsibility to make a presentation of the gospel that gives glory to God. We have the responsibility to be as clear as possible (Colossians 4). Having said all of that, as the Spirit works, some will believe, some will mock, some will want to hear more. Evangelism is the work and privilege of every believer and every church.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A reality check

Sitting on a mat in front of a man who has no knowledge of the biblical teaching concerning the person and work of Jesus, you are confronted with a few things. One of my sole reasons for being thousands of miles away from home and family, was for these kinds of moments. I recognized that this indeed was a moment of privilege for me.

And yet, as I sat there, I was drawn to these bare facts. The message I wanted to share with this new friend was that what a Jewish man had done on a Roman cross nearly 2000 years ago had major relevance to him. I wanted him to know that this Man had made a difference in my life and could make a difference in his life as well. As a matter of fact, his entire life hinged on what that man named Isa (Jesus) had done, and whether he personally believed this message and embraced Isa as his own Savior.

The entire experience reminded me of what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 1:18. The message of Jesus Christ is folly to those who are perishing, but to those who are being saved, it is the power of God!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Still processing

I don't know exactly why, but it seems whenever I go on a cross-cultural trip, I come away with so much to think about. It takes me a while to sort through everything that I experience and learn.

In light of that, I want to take some time/words on the blog over the next few week to process through my recent trip to Africa. I shared a lot in a sermon a couple of weeks ago. In addition, I shared a lot last Wednesday night, but I still find myself reliving so much of the trip.

I am grateful for many prayers and I hope that sharing these thoughts will in some ways be a 'thank-you' for praying.

Tomorrow's Text (2/27)

Lord-willing, we will be looking at the words of Jesus to the church at Sardis in Revelation 3:1-6.