A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Tuesday, April 14, 2020
Ice Baby Daffodils with beautiful star shape blooms at Donegal Spring.
"The Ultimate Game Changer"
"But God raised Him from the dead!"
Message summary: We can certainly hope and pray that a true game changer will be discovered to get us out of the mess we are in with this pandemic but regarding a far greater problem with the human race, we already have a game changer; the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
Listen to this message on your audio player.
“He presented Himself alive to them after His suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3). “This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses” (Acts 2:32). “But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55). “But God raised Him from the dead” (Acts 13:30).
When doctors don't have medicines,
When leaders don't have answers,
When armies don't have weapons to withstand,
When governments crumble,
When people panic,
There is this ONE NAME, higher than any other name, which can restore, revive, renew and rebuild this broken world and it is JESUS!!! *
Yesterday we shared how the phrase "game changer" has become such a popular phrase during this coronavirus pandemic. Since writing that message I checked the phrase on Google and saw these new headlines:
We can certainly hope and pray that a true game changer will be discovered to get us out of the mess we are in with this pandemic but regarding a far greater problem with the human race, we already have a game changer; the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
The Book of Acts records the history of the early church following the resurrection of Christ. The prologue introduces the book with these words, “In the first book (Luke), O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up, after He had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom He had chosen. He presented Himself alive to them after His suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:1-3). The first book is the gospel of Luke. Theophilus is a name that means "lover of God". It may be used here in a literal sense describing a person or it may be generically referring to all who love God.
This week we are examining resurrection truths from each of the five major sections of the New Testament. Yesterday we took a brief look at a familiar verse in Matthew concerning the first witness who declared concerning the risen Christ, “He is not here; He is risen, just as He said” (Matthew 28:6).
Today we will look at several of the references to the resurrection in the book of Acts, the history of the early church. The early church was birthed out of the eyewitness experiences of the first disciples or apostles. These verses affirm the centrality of the resurrection of Christ.
There are three prominent preachers in the book of Acts:
Peter delivered the first sermon on the Day of Pentecost. He had denied the Lord some 53 days earlier but now he stood up boldly proclaiming the Gospel of the resurrected Christ. Standing with the other eleven apostles (Acts 2:14) he states, “This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses” (Acts 2:32). Being a witness to the resurrected Christ was a requirement concerning the apostle who would replace Judas (Acts 1:22). This demonstrates the centrality of Christ’s resurrection in apostolic preaching.
Stephen explained and defended the gospel in the longest sermon recorded in Acts 7:2-53. He didn’t get to finish though. In boldly proclaiming the Gospel he got up to the point concerning Christ’s death when he was violently interrupted (see Acts 7:51-54). However he still testified to the risen Lord who appeared to him during the most intense and final testing of his life when he was being stoned: “full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 'Look,' he said, 'I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God'" (v. 55,56).
Paul, formerly called Saul, witnessed the resurrected Christ in dramatic fashion at his conversion recorded in Acts 9. The risen Lord appeared to him. “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he (Saul) said, “Who are you, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting” (Acts 9:5,6). Paul of course went on to become an apostle and in his first recorded mission sermon preached concerning Christ, “But God raised Him from the dead” (Acts 13:30). Paul’s parting words to the Athenian philosophers was to declare that God had “fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man Whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:31).
The resurrection of Christ was a vital New Testament doctrine and central to apostolic preaching. Today the resurrected Christ lives within believers in His transforming power. Does he live in your life?
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we need the strength and boldness that comes through the indwelling resurrected power of Christ to proclaim, defend, and live the Gospel message day in and day out. It’s unlikely that we’ll be tested like Stephen, but we will be put to the test of defending our faith before unbelievers in this hostile world where the majority lack faith. We feel inadequate for the task, but we walk in the resurrected power of Your Holy Spirit and look to You for courage, compassion, and clarity in the message You have commissioned us to share with unbelievers. That which we cannot adequately express, or clearly explain is provided in the Scriptures which we can give to those we reach. Not only do we thank You for the inspiration of the Scriptures, but we are so grateful that we have easy access to the Word. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Way Maker" Video An exuberant and worshipful choir from Christ Church in Nashville
* Today's opening quote is from a comment on this Way Maker video. This song originated in Nigeria and we shared the version by Sinach, the original author, yesterday. It is blessing to God's children all over the world, especially at this time.
"Way Maker" Video BBSO (Romanian)
"Way Maker" Video SaRang Brothers (Korean)
"Way Maker" Video (Spanish) We devote this to Marvin and his family in Guatemala.
"Way Maker" Video (Indian)
"After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, 'Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!'” (Revelation 7:9,10).
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Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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